Australian Open: Serena v Sharapova by the numbers


In 17 straight meetings with Serena Williams, Maria Sharapova has suffered defeat to the American great.

If the Russian is to stay on track for a sixth grand slam title, she will need that to change at the Australian Open on Tuesday.

Sharapova has a 2-18 win-loss against Williams in total, failing to win a set in their past six matches.

We look at some of the numbers they have put together in Melbourne so far to see if Williams still holds the edge.

Williams - 25
Sharapova - 52

Surprisingly, Sharapova has served more than double the number of aces in the opening four rounds. However, she is putting fewer first serves in (58 per cent v 56) and has fewer unreturned serves (41 per cent v 40). Williams is also winning more first serve points (86 per cent v 82).

Second serve points won (percentage)
Williams - 61
Sharapova - 48

A statistic hugely lopsided in Williams' favour and could prove decisive in their quarter-final. It is also a reason Sharapova has been broken seven times as opposed to Williams' two so far, but having played seven more service games.

Returns in (percentage)
Williams - 70
Sharapova - 81

Only the percentage of returns in is a huge difference in returning stats. In terms of return points won against first serves (both 46 per cent) and against second serves (62 per cent to 59 in Sharapova's favour), the duo have thus far been similar. Williams has converted 17 of 39 break point chances to Sharapova's 22 of 55, but saved four of six to the Russian's seven of 14.

Forehand v backhand
Unsurprisingly, Williams and Sharapova have hit more winners from their forehand wings than their backhands. But forced errors are a contrast, with Williams making more off her backhand (25 of 44) and Sharapova her forehand (25 of 47). The unforced errors are similar. Williams has 33 from her backhand side (opposed to 20 forehand) and Sharapova 69 from her forehand (47 backhand).