For 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