Wimbledon Day 8, Quarter-Final Preview: Serena Williams v Victoria Azarenka

AzarenkaFor the second Slam in a row, we have a Serena Williams v Victoria Azarenka match to look forward to. While they met in the third round at Roland Garros, deemed far too early by EVERYONE, this time round it’s a little more fitting that they will play in a quarter-final. Azarenka has had some tough draws to contend with this year but should be thankful for the hand she was dealt at Wimbledon. Drawing Carla Suarez Navarro in her eighth was extremely favourable for Vika as the Spaniard was hit off the court in the first round by Jelena Ostapenko, opening up the section for her to thrive. Azarenka hasn’t dropped a set with wins over Anett Kontaveit, Kirsten Flipkens, Kristina Mladenovic and Belinda Bencic. Against Bencic, Azarenka produced an excellent display to defeat the Swiss player, 6-2 6-3.

In arguably the most anticipated women’s match of the tournament so far, Serena defeated her sister Venus, 6-4 6-3 in a high quality clash. The stats for Serena were pretty dreamy…. 10 aces, 36 winners to 13 unforced errors and just 13 points dropped on serve throughout the 68 minute contest. Serena’s form was on a different level to that of her third round match against Heather Watson and she closed out the match against Venus in ruthless fashion. This is the first time in three years that Serena has reached the quarter-finals at Wimbledon.

This will be the third time that Serena and Vika have played each other in 2015 with the first two both going the distance and being just a tad eventful. In Madrid, Serena saved three match points to somehow prevail, 7-6(5) 3-6 7-6(1) in two hours and 43 minutes. Azarenka led *6-5 *40-0 but a string of double faults saw Serena given a lifeline. Vika looked to be on her way to a win once again at Roland Garros, up a set and a break and just two games away from knocking the world number one out. However, Serena found a way to come back, as she did during many of her matches in Paris. Serena won, 3-6 6-4 6-2.

Azarenka has been steadily improving but still hasn’t quite proven she’s back to her best form. Azarenka is 3-5 against the top ten this year including two losses each against Serena and Maria. Azarenka though has been very efficient at this tournament and should have plenty in the tank to give this one her best shot. I think that she needs to get it done in straight sets; Serena has won her last 19 three set matches. When the pair last played at Wimbledon in the semi-finals in 2012, Serena served up a whole set of aces. Serena’s serve was starting to look ominous at times against Venus. I fancy another close match in what is one of the best rivalries for the WTA tour but i’m not sure if Vika’s quite there yet… Serena for the win.

Prediction: S.Williams d. Azarenka in 3 sets

Poll results: 58% of readers correctly predicted that Serena would beat Venus and 64% correctly predicted that Azarenka would beat Bencic.

10 thoughts on “Wimbledon Day 8, Quarter-Final Preview: Serena Williams v Victoria Azarenka

  1. Azarenka’s serve to me is the one area in her game that can be her downfall,especially her 2nd serve which is attackable.In this match up Azarenka can’t afford her serve to be inconsistent.Serena to win in straight sets.

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    • Her serve has looked great this tournament. But she’s yet to come up against such an aggressive returner like Serena.

      I don’t know why their matches always go to 3 sets because Serena does nearly everything better than Vika does. Having said that, none of their 3 grass matches have gone the distance.

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      • I put it down to being able to retrieve coupled with the fact that Serena doesn’t really blow Azarenka off the court. That is to say, being friends, she doesn’t play her with the ‘evil eye’ like Sharapova. Serena’s game always looks great against hitters much like herself. Copious retrievers really get under her skin.

        Azarenka’s mind isn’t fully strong yet against top players, but this could be her comeback tournament, moreso with the likely opposition any of them could face in the finals. She would be gunning for the finals.

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      • Yeah they have both said they get along really well, so that could be part of it. I think Azarenka is just very good at waiting for any small opportunity. With Serena in a quarter final on grass, there aren’t likely to be many.

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  2. No one supporting Vika???
    So that’ll be me then.
    in-game 1st set:
    So far it seems Azarenka will win comfortably. Doing better in every department except serve. Serena’s running too much already. Maybe Vika’s serve breaks down later. Maybe Serena finds something in her endless library of solutions yet again?
    Go Vika!!

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  3. Really enjoyed this match,Vika played great tennis for a set and a half,her serve,especially her 2nd serve let her down big time,this is the one area in Vika’s game she really needs to address.What I admire about Vika is that she always goes down fighting.Serena served 17 aces,46 winners,12 UFE.Serena meets her old buddy Sharapova in the s/finals:)

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  4. Well it looked like Serena would lose her legs before Vika but it was the other way around. As always she put up a fight like noone else. Tough facing all those aces while having to constantly defend your 2nd. Think its gotten better though. She’s more composed in her service motion than before and needs to go further in that direction. Its not quite her style emotionally and momentum-wise but hopefully she can bring that dimension to her game.
    Also needs to improve her ability to redirect the ball at an agressive angle sooner than her opponent when they exchange direct power balls. It matters when both players are tired. Another key area where Serena’s better. I’m sure Vika can fix that up in no time.

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