Serena Williams vs Ajla Tomljanovic Match Preview

Serena Williams 2022 US Open

The eyes of the tennis world will once again be on Serena Williams and Arthur Ashe Stadium on Friday night as the six-time champion faces Australia’s Ajla Tomljanovic. Williams produced her performance in well over a year to defeat the second-seeded Anett Kontaveit 7-6 2-6 6-2 in the second round, much to the delight of the boisterous New York crowd. Can Williams prolong her farewell tournament, or will Ajla Tomljanovic silence the crowd? Let’s look at some of the keys to the match.

UAjla Tomljanovic vs Serena Williams

Keys to the match:

1. How will Tomljanovic handle the occasion?

The atmosphere inside Arthur Ashe Stadium has been insane for Serena’s first couple of matches this week. Expect that to increase slightly for this match as momentum builds behind Williams. Anett Kontaveit seemingly cracked under the pressure in the previous round as she quickly threw away her final service game. Kontaveit was in tears in her post-match press conference, admitting it was hard to deal with the partisan crowd. Tomljanovic will need to be mentally prepared to deal with the crowd, that will be just as important as any tactics on the court.

2. Serena Williams’ serve

Serve is key for Serena Williams. It has always been her most important shot and it still is, perhaps more than ever. Williams is more vulnerable from the back of the court at this stage of her career; therefore, a strong serving performance is key. Williams served exceptionally well against Kontaveit in the previous round, hitting 11 aces and winning 73% of her first service points from a healthy first serve percentage of 64%.

3. Tomljanovic aggression

Will Tomljanovic be aggressive? She needs to be if she is going to win this match. It’s going to take bold play to stop Serena Williams, a 23-time Grand Slam champion isn’t likely to surrender against passive play. Tomljanovic’s greatest weapon has always been her backhand, it’s a world-class shot, if she can riffle her backhand, she will have her chances on the night.

4. Serena Williams form/fitness

Serena Williams is about to turn 41; it is fair to say that she isn’t as match fit as she once was. Williams’ second round win over Anett Kontaveit was a draining battle. It wasn’t the longest match, but it was intense. It remains to be seen how Williams recovers from that match for what should be another intense battle. While it’s true Williams played a superb match against Kontaveit in the previous round, her recent struggles shouldn’t be forgotten. Can she produce back-to-back strong performances against quality opposition?


Serena Williams will head into this match as the favorite. She deserves that tag after her win over the world no. 2 in the previous round. However, she isn’t an overwhelming favorite. Tomljanovic is having a good season which includes a run to the quarterfinals at Wimbledon. This will be the first meeting between the pair, a huge occasion with so much on the line for both players. Williams is on a mission to prolong her celebration, whilst Tomljanovic has a chance to record the biggest win of her career. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Tomljanovic pull off the upset, this might be her time to shine.

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