A few days before the US Open 2020, when the talk surfaced of Serena Williams’ biggest competition at the event, not many discussions included Victoria Azarenka. Soon, it became the most anticipated match of the event and the fans and tennis enthusiasts alike, now have their wish.
Serena Williams vs Victoria Azarenka: Preview
Serena Williams endured another tough match in her quarter-final to prevail 4-6, 6-3, 6-2 against Tsvetana Pironkova. Williams was in trouble at one moment, with a set and a break down, but showed her class to eventually prevail. Such has been the story of Williams’ campaign so far and she has risen to the occasion when needed.
Her opponent for the semi-final played her best match of the tournament in the quarter-finals. Victoria Azarenka dropped just one game against the 16th seed Elise Mertens in a 6-1, 6-0 win. She extended her unbeaten run to 11 matches since the start of the Western and Southern Open.
Azarenka did not allow Mertens to hold serve even once and sealed the deal in just 64 minutes. Such is her confidence and level of dominance currently.
Williams vs Azarenka: Head-to-head record
Williams lead Azarenka 18-4 in matches they have played against each other. However, those stats will play no role in the current scenario, given Azarenka’s confidence. They have played two US Open finals in 2012 and 2013. Williams won both those matches but they were both tough three-set battles. They last placed at Indian Wells in 2019, Williams winning in straight sets.
Serena Williams vs Victoria Azarenka: Prediction
When asked which match against Serena Williams she remembers most, Azarenka’s reply showed how much she cherishes the rivalry. “I don’t think I would want to forget anything, to be honest. I think we’ve built a lot of memories to remember,” she said.
Given the confidence both players have, we might be in for another such memorable battle. However, this time it will be tougher for Williams. Azarenka is on a roll and is playing with freedom. Williams’ serve will need to be even stronger on Thursday if Azarenka continues the way she did against Mertens.
Williams has proved over the years that counting her out till the last point is played, is a mistake. But it seems Azarenka might just have enough to overcome the challenge of the 23-time major winner this time.
Prediction: Victoria Azarenka to win in three sets
Naomi Osaka vs Jennifer Brady: Prediction
The winner of the match will play the winner of the first semi-final between Naomi Osaka and Jennifer Brady. Osaka has had her challenges, but she has used her experience to good effect. The two-time Grand Slam winner faces an unheralded opponent in Jennifer Brady who has slipped under the radar to make the semis.
Brady will challenge Osaka with her attacking play. She is yet to drop a set and will bring her fearless mindset to the match against Osaka. The 4th seed will face another challenge but is expected to reach her second US Open final.
Prediction: Naomi Osaka to win in two tight sets