Women’s Australian Open, Quarter-Final Preview: Angelique Kerber v Victoria Azarenka

Victoria Azarenka

Angelique Kerber and Victoria Azarenka were the clear favourites to reach the quarter-finals from the third quarter of the draw and while upsets have been aplenty in this Australian Open draw, the form book has held true. Kerber was first into the last eight with a 6-4 6-0 victory against fellow compatriot, Annika Beck. Kerber battled through a lengthy opening set that saw five of the games go to deuce and seven breaks of serve. Kerber served out the first set to 30 before sauntering through the second set. It was a big match for Kerber, dealing with the pressure of being the heavy favourite to win and also going for her first Australian Open quarter-final, but she came through unscathed.

Azarenka followed on court and had her toughest match of the year so far based on the scoreline… the Belarusian was still a straight sets winner, prevailing, 6-2 6-4 against Barbora Strycova in 86 minutes. The Czech player had a wonderful tournament, defeating two seeds in Caroline Garcia and Garbiñe Muguruza, and giving it her best shot against Azarenka. Azarenka finished the match with 15 winners to 14 unforced errors and has yet to drop more than four games in a set this year.

Head-to-head record: Azarenka leads Kerber, 6-0 in their head-to-head. While Kerber’s game style does play into Azarenka’s hands, they have had their fair share of crackers. I’ve written about them on many occasions before so check out my Brisbane final preview HERE. Their match in Brisbane began with heaps of promise; the first seven games was probably the best women’s tennis of the year so far. Kerber started strong, but her resistance faltered against a rapidly rising in form, Azarenka.

Analysis: All the form and records point to Azarenka in this one. I still have this nagging concern that the Belarusian has yet to be tested this year. I’m intrigued to see how her game holds up when faced with some real pressure. Kerber went away fast in the second set of the Brisbane final and it’s imperative she hangs in this one mentally if she is going to stand a chance of progressing. I’m curious about the comment in the tweet above where Kerber has implied she may try a new tactic against Azarenka. I quite like Kerber to get a set in this one but it would likely take one of the best performances of her entire career to stop Azarenka.

Prediction: Azarenka d. Kerber in 3 sets

Photo in this post by Jimmie48 Tennis Photography

20 thoughts on “Women’s Australian Open, Quarter-Final Preview: Angelique Kerber v Victoria Azarenka

  1. You could put a case for some of the top seeds that have not been tested as yet,due to upsets,also their draws.Playing Kerber I feel will bring out the best in Vika,she is fully aware she needs to keep stepping up as she plays toward towards ‘business end of the Grand Slam’ Vika in straight sets for me.tight sets I think:)

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  2. Really would love Angie to win this one, but as you said, it would be such a huge performance for her! Azarenka seems almost unbeatable since the beginning of the season and she has a clear psychological advantage… But maybe coach Torben has the secret weapon… We will see it tomorrow, but it should be a really great match, as always with Angie I want to say 😉

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    • I’m intrigued to see what Torben up his sleeve! Personally, i’d like to see Kerber win this. She’s one of my favourite players to watch and i’ve really warmed to her in the past few years.

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  3. So sad I won’t be able to watch it. That’s just not fair. not at all. I need to get up very early in the morning and broadcast time in Germany is 1 am 😦 😦 😦 Poor me!
    Anyway, I’d love to wake up, checking the result and see that Angie gave a proper fight to Vika. I really wish Angie could win it and I think one day she will get an elusive win against her but I don’t feel it will be tomorrow. However, I’d be also happy for Vika and IF she wins I would so much love to see her challenging Serena 🙂 🙂

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    • Same for me, my heart sank at the schedule but I knew that’s how it would be. I kind of feel like the season starts after Australia for me because most of the tennis is at an acceptable time to watch! I keep waking up in the middle of the night desperate to know results! I haven’t done it yet this tournament but in the past i’ve dreamt about results and been very confused in the morning haha. I’m rooting for Angie but I would be surprised if she can stop Vika.

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  4. Although Kerber won her “break-fest” quaterfinal match with Beck if anybody has watched the full game it was Beck dictating the terms and the aggressor of the two.Kerber was very passive and only when she secured a double break in second she dictated terms.The Belarusian has a 6-0 record against the German and recently defeated her in Brisbane comfortably 2-0.Vika will never let go this chance and i see it 7-0.
    Vika in strainght sets……6-2,6-4

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    • I’ve watched the match with Beck, and Kerber’s serve was just terrible.. it was really painful to watch to be honest. Beck’s UEs were mainly the reason why Kerber went through. She could have been in a bad day though.. I haven’t seen other Kerber’s matches. But if she brings that serve against Vika, she will be punished severely.

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  5. Vika 6-3 6-2
    I’ll be shocked if she loses a set, and devastated if she loses the match

    Vika Serena meet in the final @4.3 , I have this for weeks haha.

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  6. On current form… this looks to be a straight forward win for Azarenka. With her having a won all their previous meetings nothing would suggest otherwise.

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  7. All credit to Kerber,she played a great tactical match against Vika,she deserves her s/final spot.Her serve was great,she didnt keep attacking Vika’s bhand like in previous matches,she played defensive tennis.
    Keep this up Angie!

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    • Unlike Serena’s beat down of Maria, this match was a pleasing brain teaser for me. Darn good strategy from Kerber. Victoria would have quickly caught on had she tried to attack the backhand. Excellent tactics. This is the Angie I like to see, not only once every three or four slams, but more often. She left Vika confused, sadly failed the top seed test.

      Fingers crossed she doesn’t go the way of Aga a few years back, beating an inform Sharapova, then losing to Cibulkova in the semis. To be fair to Cibulkova she played well. I like Konta, but I want to see Angie in the finals. At 28 yrs, she’s got to get things done now.

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