??? BNPPO19, Indian Wells – R2 Prediction
?? (10) Serena Williams vs. ?? Victoria Azarenka
The standout match-up thus far from the 2019 BNP Paribas Open sees Serena Williams and Victoria Azarenka renew hostilities in what promises to be an epic encounter between two great rivals. Williams and Azarenka have both had limited schedules in recent times, it will be interesting to see how this match-up pans out as the two do battle for the first time since their respective returns from giving birth.
I’m going to side with Azarenka here. It is Azarenka who has the momentum heading into this clash. Azarenka is match tough having reached the Acapulco quarter-finals last week and having cruised through her opening round match in Indian Wells. Conversely, Williams received a bye through the opening round and has not played in over a month, it is a big ask to come out and compete at such a high level with limited match practise, if anyone can do it, it is Williams.
However, Azarenka has consistently troubled Williams in the past and is the type of opponent Williams has struggled against in the last few years. The top level counter-punchers are the ones that have caused Williams problems in recent times and a fired-up Azarenka falls into that category. The slow courts in Indian Wells will favour Azarenka in this match-up. Azarenka can deal with the Williams serve like not many can and that will be key to victory here as Azarenka can match Williams from the baseline on this surface.