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Great Match Preview: Serena Williams to Face Maria Sharapova

| by SportsbookGurus

Serena Williams, the top-seeded American at this year’s Wimbledon, had little trouble on Saturday advancing to the fourth round as she got past Dominika Cibulkova in a straight-sets win. Williams overpowered the 46th-ranked Slovak with her dominating serve. She hit 19 aces and had at least two aces in each of her nine service games in route to her 7-5, 6-3 win.

“Serving that well feels awesome,” Williams said. “I serve well at Wimbledon for some unknown reason. I want to keep doing it. I wish I could serve like this every tournament.”

Williams, the defending champion, will now face Maria Sharapova on Monday. Sharapova advanced to the fourth round with her win over Barbora Zahlavova Strycova of the Czech Republic.

The first set did not last long, just 18 minutes, as Williams won 25 of 31 points, served six aces and hit 12 winners. She won 19 of her first 20 service points and Cibulkova put only four returns in play during this stretch. In the match, Williams won 37 of 43 service points and held at love 5 times.

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Cibulkova finally held serve for 1-1 in the second set when she finally got on the scoreboard. After that, she played competitively for the remainder of the match but Williams’ serves were too much for her to handle. Cibulkova credited Williams with her overpowering performance.

“It was really hard returning her serve because she was mixing her serve and playing really fast serves to the lines,” she said. “I couldn’t even get the ball, not even try to hit a return.

“I really doubt if somebody can beat her here if she plays like this.”

Williams is looking to capture her fourth Wimbledon title and 13th Grand Slam crown and will now have to get past Sharapova on Monday. Sharapova has had some success against Williams in the past, including beating her in the 2004 final. Sharapova, who is seeded 16th, will face Williams earlier rather than the later stages due to Sharipova’s seed.

“I definitely don’t think it’s early,” Williams said. “It is what it is. You always have to be ready. She’s obviously really good, especially on grass.”

Sharapova seems to be getting back into her usual form after right shoulder surgery in 2008 and is looking forward to the challenge on Monday.

“I love playing against her,” Sharapova said. “She’s the defending champion. She’s great on this surface. She’s won numerous Grand Slams. If there’s a challenge ahead of you, it’s definitely playing against her, and I enjoy that.”

Williams will enter her match with Sharapova as the favorite according to Tennis Sportsbooks with her moneyline set at -400. Sharapova has hers set at +275.