Wimbledon QF: (1) Serena Williams vs (23) Victoria Azarenka
The most anticipated quarterfinal match-up on Tuesday at SW19 sees 5-time former champion Serena Williams come up against former world number 1 Victoria Azarenka. This will be the next chapter in one of the great modern rivalries, Vika has competed with Serena like no one else in recent years.
Serena Williams’ passage to the quarterfinals has been tricky. Serena made a slow start in her opening two matches before surviving an almighty scare against Heather Watson in the third round. Serena was down a double break in the deciding set against Watson but rallied to keep the ‘Serena Slam’ alive.
Serena advanced to the final 8 with a 6-4 6-3 victory over Venus Williams. It was a typically dull affair between the Williams sisters, both ladies showed no emotion throughout the entire match. Serena will need to fire up for her next opponent, Vika Azarenka is on a mission.
Victoria Azarenka has roared into the final 8, picking up four consecutive straight set wins. The Belarusian has overcome some potentially dangerous opponents, defeating Kristina Mladenovic and Belinda Bencic in her last two matches. Vika looks extremely focused and determined, it’s going to take a big effort to defeat her.
Serena Williams holds a 16-3 head to head record over Azarenka. However that head to head record doesn’t do the rivalry justice, Vika has come agonisingly close on a number of occasions, including their two encounters in 2015. Azarenka had numerous match points to defeat Serena in Madrid and was up a set and a break at Roland Garros. However Serena rallied to win both in three sets.
This should be another memorable encounter between Serena and Vika, there is very little to separate the pair. I think Vika has been a little unlucky in their two recent encounters, I expect a change in fortune for her on Tuesday, VIka for the win.
Prediction: Victoria Azarenka to defeat Serena Williams in 3 sets