'Konta can upset Serena'
Former world No. 19 Tamarine says Briton has the edge over Serena in last-eight clash
Serena Williams has fought countless battles and won numerous titles in a storied career that has spanned more than 20 years.
But, the 35-year-old American's Australian Open quarter-final opponent today, Johanna Konta, will be a brand new preposition for the former world No. 1, as this is the first time the two will face off in a competitive tie.
In fact, former Thai professional Tamarine Tanasugarn believes Konta, 25 (right), has the upper hand.
"Konta will have a way higher chance of winning," Tamarine told The New Paper yesterday at the FOX studios at one-north.
The 39-year-old former world No. 19 is doing punditry work for FOX Sports, and is in Singapore on a promotional trip for the Australian Open.
"I think Konta still has a better fitness level than Williams, she's more ready than Williams is now.
"But Konta has to be accurate with her first shots. If they end up playing three sets, Konta's got a really good chance."
World No. 9 Konta was an unused alternate at the Women's Tennis Association (WTA) Finals Singapore last year, after Svetlana Kuznetsova clinched the last spot the weekend before the Finals.
The Briton, who played under the Australia flag until 2012, was also the 2016 WTA Most Improved Player of the Year.
Even if Williams progresses to the semi-finals, Tamarine said that another huge obstacle potentially stands in her way.
It comes in the form of Karolina Pliskova, a player whom Tamarine described as being in "championship form".
If they end up playing three sets, Konta’s got a really good chance. Tamarine Tanasugarn on Johanna Konta versus Serena Williams
She added that the Czech may even win her maiden Grand Slam title in Melbourne.
Tamarine said: "Right now, the tennis world is changing, it's about power games and strong weapons.
"Whoever has strong power games has a higher advantage throughout the competition, like Pliskova and Serena.
"I've been watching Pliskova's performances in the previous rounds; she's almost unstoppable, she can disguise her serve and her serves are all very effective.
"She's going to be doing very well if she is able to pass Serena (Williams) in the semi-finals, and that will be her ticket to win this title."
However, Tamarine said that one can never count out Williams, who is tied with Steffi Graf on 22 Grand Slam women's singles titles.
A 23rd in Melbourne cannot be ruled out, she added.
She said: "She's a true champion even if she pulled out during the warm-up tournaments before the Australian Open.
"When it comes to a Grand Slam, there's a different level of concentration involved. She could still possibly win this."
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