On Thursday at the French Open, Serena Williams will take on Yulia Putintseva in a quarterfinal matchup. Serena leads their head-to-head 2-0 with both matches going to a tiebreak in the opening set. This is a battle of power versus consistency. Serena has the best first strike combination—power serving and power returns. Putintseva is all about solid consistent play—using placement more than power. The key for Putintseva will be to survive the opening blow of each point and make Serena play longer, more drawn out points.
Neither player has dropped a set in reaching the quarterfinals. Serena has lost serve just three times, while Putintseva has broken serve in more than two thirds of her return games—strength vs. strength. The problem Putintseva faces is Serena has been breaking serve just under 60% of the time and Putintseva's serve does not have the firepower to pressure Serena.
Serena’s French Open highlights:
• Dominating 1st serve: 20 aces, 121 mph top speed, 78% 1st serve points won, broken just 3 times
• Dominating return game: 19 breaks in 33 games, 64% won returning 2nd serves
• Forehand is her big weapon off the ground: 48 forehand winners (only 24 forehand unforced)
• Has not lost a set: dropped just 17 games in 4 rounds
Putintseva’s French Open highlights:
• Solid serve game without much power: 72% 1st serves in play, 62% 1st serves won, 64% won on 2nd serve (higher than 1st serve!)
• Dominating return game: 23 breaks in 34 games (68%), best in the tournament
• More backhand winners than forehand winners (39 to 34), but great balance between the two
Check SI.com's French Open Daily Data Viz hub page throughout the whole tournament for the latest data-driven infographics and charts from IBM, the official technology partner for the French Open. IBM captures and analyzes the data that powers all of the Grand Slams, as well as the digital platforms that extend the experience to fans around the world.