Brisbane QF: Victoria Azarenka vs (8) Roberta Vinci
Victoria Azarenka’s Australian Open preparation continues on Thursday night when she comes up against Roberta Vinci at the quarter-final stage of the Brisbane International. Victoria and Roberta have both played some high quality tennis in their opening matches at the event, this should be highly competitive clash on Pat Rafter Arena.
Victoria Azarenka seems to be in the best shape she has been in since she won back-to-back Australian Open titles in 2013. It looks like Vika will once against be a serious contender in Melbourne this year. The Belarussian has made a positive start to her Brisbane campaign, recording 2 relatively comfortable straight set victories.
Azarenka stormed through her first round encounter in impressive fashion, claiming 12 consecutive games on route to a 6-2 6-0 win over Elena Vesnina. The former champion advanced to the quarter-final stage with a 6-3 6-3 victory over lucky-loser Ysaline Bonaventure. The match wasn’t as easy as the scoreline might suggest, the opening set was particularly tough, lasting almost an hour. Eventually Vika got well on top of her inexperienced opponent. Vika will look forward to stepping things up when she takes on Roberta Vinci on Thursday, clearly her toughest opponent of the week thus far.
Roberta Vinci has carried her surprisingly good late 2015 season form into the new year. The Italian has advanced to the quarter-final stage in Brisbane courtesy of back-to-back victories over high quality opponents. Roberta started the week with a hard-fought 3-6 6-2 6-4 victory over Jelena Jankovic before thumping Dominika Cibulkova 6-1 6-1 in a surprisingly dominant display. Roberta was really impressive in her win over Dominika, it was a very complete performance in every aspect.
Victoria Azarenka has won all three previous encounters between the pair, all in straight sets. However the two have not played each other since Tokyo in 2012, Azarenka won that match 6-4 6-2. This is a good match-up for Azarenka, she isn’t really troubled by the Vinci slice and will be able to totally dictate play from the baseline. I suspect Vika will really step up her level in this match and continue her winning record over Roberta, she will need to serve a bit better than she has been in her opening two matches.