Cincinnati R3: Victoria Azarenka vs Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova
Victoria Azarenka has a made a blistering start to the 2015 Western & Southern Open. The 2013 Cincinnati champion has picked up convincing victories over Lauren Davis and Caroline Wozniacki to set up a third round clash with Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova. The Russian is also in some good form and will be a tough test for Vika.
Vika kick-started her week with a 6-1 6-2 drubbing of Lauren Davis. The Belarusian advanced to the third round with an impressive 6-0 6-4 victory over Caroline Wozniacki, her fifth victory in a row over the Dane. Vika dominated proceedings from the baseline, hitting 16 more winners than Wozniacki. Vika played the big points well, saving 10 out of 11 break points in the second set, twice holding from 0-40 down. Vika seems to thrive in the humid Cincinnati conditions and is on track for another deep run at the Western & Southern Open.
Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova is starting to find some solid form. The Russian began her U.S Open series with a run to the final in Washington D.C, but ran out of gas in the final against Sloane Stephens. Pavlyuchenkova has advanced to the third round in Cincinnati with three set victories over Roberta Vinci and Yaroslova Shvedova.
Pavlyuchenkova usually raises her level against the better opponents, she will need to step it up on Thursday if she is to reverse a poor record against the former world number 1. Vika holds a perfect 4-0 head to head record over Pavlyuchenkova, however most of their matches have been quite tight. The two haven’t played since Madrid in 2013, Vika won that match 7-6 7-6. Vika’s early round form has been very good, she should be too good for Pavlyuchenkova when it matter most.