Considered by many one of the greatest tennis players of all time, Serena Williams is playing in her final US Open. Williams announced her retirement from the sport of tennis to focus on building a family.
Here’s a crazy stat from her first win at the 2022 US Open and what betting odds and history say for her chances of winning the tournament.
What Happened: Williams won her first match of the 2022 US Open, defeating Danka Kovinic with scores of 6-3 and 6-3. The win moves Williams on to the second round, where she will face number two seeded Anett Kontaveit.
Williams’ win on Monday Aug. 29, kicked off her run for the 2022 US Open and also turned in a crazy cross sport statistic shared on Twitter Inc TWTR by baseball blogger Dan Clark.
Aug 29, 2001: Serena Williams wins at US Open, Albert Pujols hits a home run (HR) and Vlad Guerrero Sr, Craig Biggio & Dante Bichette all record a hit.
Aug 29, 2022: Serena Williams wins at US Open, Albert Pujols hits a HR and Vlad Guerrero Jr, Cavan Biggio & Bo Bichette all record a hit.
The stat shows that 21 years to the day, Williams won a match at the tournament, several accomplishments happened in baseball. In this case, Pujols, who is set to retire at the end of the season, hit a home run and three baseball players for the Toronto Blue Jays who are the kids of former MLB players had hits.
While Williams is accustomed to winning tennis matches with a career winning percentage of around 85%, the other stats are less common. Williams entered the US Open ranked outside of the top 100, making her an underdog in many of her matches.
Pujols has played in 80 games this season and has 15 home runs, putting his home run rate at 19%. Bichette, Biggio and Guerrero have batting averages of .262, .216 and .279 respectively. This means they all average around one hit every three to five at bats. With some not getting five at bats or having their plate appearance scored as an at bat, it would seem that the odds of all three getting a hit in the same game are pretty low.
The stat might seem strange to some, but to anyone who loves sports and statistics, it could be a positive sign for Williams to gain some momentum in the US Open. The usage of the 2001 US Open could also be a sign of good luck, as the then 10th ranked Williams went on to reach the finals of the tournament and lose to her fourth-seeded sister Venus Williams. In the 2001 US Open, Serena defeated third-seeded Lindsay Davenport and number one seeded Martina Hingis in the quarterfinals and semifinals, respectively.
The tweet by Clark received around 30,000 likes and shared across the social media platform by 5,000 accounts.
What’s Next: Williams will face Kontaveit at 7 p.m. ET Wednesday in a match to be aired on ESPN2, a unit of The Walt Disney Company DIS.
The match will take place on the court at Arthur Ashe Stadium, where the cheapest tickets are listed for $314.55 each on Ticketmaster, a unit of Live Nation Entertainment LYV.
Williams is listed as an underdog in the matchup with odds of +205 at DraftKings Inc DKNG.
After winning the first round matchup, Williams has been a popular bet, with her odds improving from +5000 to win the US Open at the start of the tournament to +2200 (9th best) as of Wednesday. Despite being the underdog in the matchup, Williams has better odds to win the tournament than second seeded Kontaveit at +3500.
Williams holds a 50-11 record against seeded opponents at the US Open and a 17-6 record when facing a higher seed at the tournament. Williams also holds a 23-9 record against top 10 opponents and a 15-4 record against opponents at the US Open.
“I always just got to do the best I can,” Williams said after her first round win. “I feel so comfortable on this court (Arthur Ashe Stadium), in front of everyone here.”
Photo: Courtesy of mirsasha on flickr