Sisters to renew rivalry Saturday
Tomorrow, Serena Williams and Venus Williams will collide for the 28th time in their careers. Which sister is more likely to be crowned the Australian Open champion?
Handicappers aren't shy about backing the slightly younger sibling. Online sports book Bovada.lv gives Serena Williams, 35, odds of -500 to come out on top Down Under. Venus, on the other, enters the women’s final as a +375 underdog.
On Thursday, Serena waylaid Mirjana Lucic-Baroni in the kind of fashion that’s become routine for the greatest player of her generation. In Melbourne, she’s targeting career Grand Slam title No. 23. Only Margaret Court, with 24, boasts a higher number in the history of tennis.
Meanwhile, Venus, 36, returns to a majors final for the first time since 2012. She outlasted CoCo Vandeweghe in a three-set semifinal thriller to get here. The 36-year-old converted 5 of 9 break points in that 6-7 (3), 6-2, 6-3 triumph.
Somewhat surprisingly, Serena and Venus haven’t encountered each other in a Grand Slam finale for over a decade and a half. Serena clearly holds the all-time edge in the matchup, though, claiming 16 of 27 meetings. She’s also 10-8 vs. Venus on hard courts. Expect the latter to put up a valiant fight, but we can’t go against one of the most iconic figures in sports.
SATURDAY AUSTRALIAN OPEN PICK: VENUS WILLIAMS/SERENA WILLIAMS OVER 2.5 SETS