(wc) Victoria Azarenka vs (7) Venus Williams
Vika Azarenka will be seeking her first career victory over Venus Williams on Friday evening when they go head to head in the second semi-final of the day at the Qatar Total Open. This promises to be a fascinating battle between two ladies desperate to clinch yet another title in Doha, the winner of this match will start favourite in the final.
Vika has had a wonderful week in Doha, defeating three quality opponents on route to her first semi-final appearance since Brisbane last year. The Belarusian now has a massive opportunity to win her third title in Doha and her first title since Cincinnati in 2013.
Victoria Azarenka extended her winning streak in Doha to 13 matches with a commanding 6-3 6-1 quarter-final victory over Caroline Wozniacki. Vika dictated proceedings from start to finish, clinching her second consecutive one-sided victory over Wozniacki this season. Vika was extremely solid from the baseline, controlling the centre of the court and was rewarded for her aggressive play. The Belarusian hasn't done much wrong this week, a tentative end to the second set against Svitolina the only negative.
Venus Williams advanced to the semi-finals in Doha with a hard fought 6-4 1-6 6-3 victory over Agnieszka Radwanska. A third consecutive three set victory for Venus and her second straight victory over the Pole.
Agnieszka Radwanska played much better than she did in their match at the Australian Open however Venus simply overpowered her, once again. Venus hit an impressive 46 winners, bossing Radwanska from the baseline. It wasn't just power that got Venus over the line, Venus also moved extremely well, winning several long rallies, including on match point.
Not only has Vika never beaten Venus Williams, she has never taken a set off the American. Venus Williams has a perfect 4-0 head to head record over Vika, all four victories have been in straight sets. Their most recent encounter came last year in Stanford, Venus prevailing 6-4 7-6 in an extremely high quality match.
Venus seemed to running low on energy towards the end of her quarter-final victory over Radwanska, after three tough three set matches Venus doesn’t seem to have much fuel left in her tank. On the other hand, Azarenka looks extremely fresh and is playing at a very high level this week. The scene seems set for Vika to finally clinch her first career victory over Venus.
Prediction: Victoria Azarenka to defeat Venus Williams in 2 sets