Quarter-Final (8) Victoria Azarenka vs (3) Agnieszka Radwanska
Victoria Azarenka and Agnieszka Radwanska will do battle on Friday night for a place in the semi-finals at the Rogers Cup in Montreal. Usually when these two meet, Vika is the raging favourite. However on this occasion, Radwanska has a significant chance to win back-to-back matches against the former world number 1 for the first time.
Vika comes into this match deprived of confidence; the Belarusian has been far from convincing this week in Montreal and will need to step up her level if she is to defeat the Pole on Friday. Vika stumbled over the finish line against Cornet and was too good for Heather Watson on Thursday. In the third round, Aga avenged her Wimbledon semi-final defeat to Sabine Lisicki with a 6-1 3-6 6-3 victory. The match was totally on Sabine's racquet, the German ended up hitting far too many unforced errors, 52 of them. Radwanska did what she had to do and was able to maintain her composure to serve out the match.
Victoria Azarenka has dominated this match-up in the past; the Belarusian has a 13-4 record over the Pole. There is a little bit of spice to this rivalry, the two were once quite friendly but all that changed during the 2012 season. After their 2012 encounter in Doha, Agnieszka hinted that she believed Victoria over-exaggerated an injury during the match and that it ‘was not a good look for women’s tennis.’ A few weeks latter, Vika smashed Aga in Indian Wells and stated that ‘she hoped her performance was a good look for women’s tennis.’ Ouch.
Earlier this year in the quarter-finals of the Australian Open, Agnieszka broke a string of seven consecutive losses to the Belarusian with a mesmerizing 6-1 5-7 6-0 victory. Radwanska played one of the matches of her life, totally bamboozled her opponent with stunning defence and skilful aggression. Both ladies will be desperate to win this match; there is certainly a rivalry between these two ladies who don't seem to like each other very much.
The fact that this match is being played at night certainly favors Vika, however I believe Agnieszka will come out on top. Although Vika has dominated Aga in the past, their meeting at the Australian Open showed that if Vika is slightly off, Aga has the game to really frustrate the Belarusian (at the moment Vika is not at her best). Given Vika is somewhat injured at the moment, it will be interesting to see how she acts if she is losing, there is a good chance we will see some drama.
Prediction: Agnieszka Radwanska to defeat Victoria Azarenka in three sets