The third day of the US Open features a blockbuster second round match between the seven-time Grand Slam champion Venus Williams and the hard-hitting Oceane Dodin on the Arthur Ashe Stadium, kicking off the night session at 7 pm local time. The crowd would definitely be more supportive of the American, but Dodin stands a respectable chance of creating this huge upset in Flushing Meadows.
Dodin’s first round match
Dodin had to survive a three-set marathon against compatriot Pauline Parmentier in the first round. Looking inconsistent on her first serve initially, Dodin lost the first set 3-6 before throwing in a bagel in the second out of nowhere to provide the perfect reply. The final set saw Parmentier jump out to a comfortable 5-2 lead but from there she crumbled mentally as Dodin stepped up her level of play to storm back and eventually clinch the win having saved two match points in the process.
Williams’ first round match
Williams had a slow start to her US Open campaign as she unexpectedly dropped a set against qualifier Viktoria Kuzmova in the opening round. The American originally looked to be at her best when she strolled to clinch the first set before allowing the underdog to make an immediate reply, sending the match into a deciding set. Nonetheless, Williams fended off all four break points she faced in the decider and eventually took the win in three sets, triumphing over the inspired Slovakian.
Head to Head
This is the first meeting between the two powerful players and without a doubt, this match would definitely be dominated by powerful shots.
In terms of service, both players are equally as strong. The power both players utilize on their serves is incredibly strong as compared to the rest of the tour, and without a doubt, this is going to be a serve-dominated contest. Williams serves with more precision and consistency, and her powerful first serves are often enough to help her win some points.
Nonetheless, the legendary American has to ensure that she has a high first serve percentage as her second serves could be pretty inconsistent at times, and could go as slow as 65 mph. Dodin has a huge serve and she would look to use power to take charge against the American. However, she is too inconsistent and the Frenchwoman must find the rhythm to have any chance of triumphing.
Both players are solid in their baseline game but Williams once again edges in this department based on her consistency. The seven-time Grand Slam champion has some booming groundstrokes but the underdog is not too bad either, and this would definitely be a hard-hitting encounter. Dodin often misfires and the depth of Williams’ groundstrokes might pose some problems for the giant-killing Frenchwoman.
Drop shots could be useful for both players in this encounter especially when both are excellent at the baseline and the sneaky shots could catch either of them off-guard. Being a former world number one in doubles having achieved the Career Grand Slam too, Williams has some great hands at the net but Dodin is good at passing shots, something the American has to beware of. Dodin looks to dictate play throughout the match but it would be a daunting task to do it against the legendary Venus Williams.
Consistency plays a huge part in this match, with Venus Williams having the edge in this match-up. Reaching two Grand Slam finals this year already, the American might just prove too strong for the dangerous Dodin in this encounter. However, do not be surprised if the Frenchwoman might just snatch a set in the process.
Match Prediction:  Venus Williams d. Oceane Dodin in three sets