Serena leads their previous meetings 8-3. The ir last match was in March this year. Kuznetsova won in 3 sets on a hard court. They have had a few 3 setters.
Serena has played ok this week after a dodgy start in the doubles. Someone commented that she was in “drunk mode” in that match. She was only broken once in her first singles match but Mchale gave her a better work out in the last round. Mchale broke in the fifth game but was broken back 5 games later. the set went into a tie break. Serena saved a set point on her way to winning the tie break.
I was not sure that Kuznetsova was in good enough shape to go deep into this tournament. She had withdrawn from her semi final in Prague and lost her first match in Madrid to Siegemund. However she has performed well so far beating Garcia and Stosur in straight sets. In the third round she easily won the opening set but switched off a little in set 2 losing it to a double break. She broke Gavriliova in the second game of the deciding set and looked like she was going to hang on to the end. Gavrilova had other ideas and broke back for 4-4. Kuznetsova immediately broke back and eventually served out the match from 0-30.
I see some value on Kuznetsova at the start and think she can take a set today. Lay Serena if she breaks first. Back her if she loses set 1