?? Western & Southern Open – QF Preview + Prediction:
?? Ons Jabeur vs. ?? Victoria Azarenka
A resurgent Victoria Azarenka will be looking to reach the semi-finals of the Western & Southern Open for the first time since she won the event in 2013 when she comes up against Ons Jabeur on Wednesday. This will be the first career meeting between the pair, an interesting match-up, a big opportunity for both to the reach the final 4.
Ons Jabeur continues to impress in 2020. This hasn’t been a good year for most, for Jabeur it has been a great year. Jabeur reached a Grand Slam QF for the first time earlier this year at the Australian Open and is now into the final 8 at the Western & Southern Open for the first time. Jabeur battled past Leylah Fernandez 0-6 6-4 6-3 in the first round before upsetting the 7th seed and defending champion Madison Keys 6-4 6-1. Jabeur booked her spot in the final 8 with a commanding 6-3 6-0 win over Christina McHale.
Azarenka is having a great week in New York. The 2-time former US Open finalist has a great record at this venue and could be on the verge of another big result at Flushing Meadows. Azarenka started the week with a 6-2 6-3 win over Donna Vekic, followed by a 6-2 7-6 win over Caroline Garcia, a pair of important wins given Azarenka had never previously beaten either of those opponents. Azarenka booked her spot in the final 8 with a hard-fought 6-4 7-5 win over an in-form Alize Cornet.
I like Azarenka in this match-up. Jabeur is certainly playing great tennis right now, but I think she could be exposed in this match-up. Azarenka isn’t usually bothered by versatile opponents; the former world number 1 can handle the different looks Jabeur will throw at her. Azarenka’s baseline game has looked great this week, especially her backhand. If Azarenka is on her game, she won’t allow Jabeur to spin her webs, Azarenka’s power from the baseline and ability to take the ball early and move up the court can expose the poor movement of Jabeur.