??? BNPPO19, Indian Wells – R1 Preview
?? Victoria Azarenka vs. ?? Vera Lapko
An all-Belarussian opening round clash at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells sees 2-time former champion Victoria Azarenka take on Vera Lapko. This will be the first career meeting between the Fed Cup teammates, it is Azarenka who rightfully heads into this match as a strong favourite. The winner of this match will face Serena Williams in the second round, an added incentive here.
Azarenka arrives in Indian Wells fresh from a decent showing in Acapulco where she reached the quarter-finals. Azarenka produced a couple of quality performances in Acapulco, including a straight set demolition of the second seeded Danielle Collins in the opening round, but Azarenka’s campaign in Acapulco ended in disappointing fashion as she squandered multiple leads in a 3 set loss to Sofia Kenin.
Vera Lapko arrives in Indian Wells deprived of confidence. Lapko has lost her last 5 matches including a straight set loss at the Indian Wells 125K event last week to Catherine McNally. Lapko ended 2018 in strong form and many would have expected the 20-year-old to have breakout year in 2019, the opposite has been the case thus far.
This is will be first meeting between Azarenka and Lapko but the pair are no strangers to each other. Azarenka and Lapko have practised several times together during Fed Cup ties, no doubt Azarenka would be an idol of Lapko’s so it will be interesting to see how Lapko handles this occasion.