One could not have asked for a better start of the clay-court season as current US Open finalist Victoria Azarenka collides with the familiar foe Venus Willaims in the first round at the Italian Open 2020. The match can be a treat to the tennis fans as both are veterans of the sport and have played each other on numerous occasions in the past.
Victoria Azarenka vs Venus Williams: Preview
Talking about the performance in the lead up of the Italian Open, the long break due to the COVID-19 pandemic has well and truly helped Azarenka return to her ominous best. The 31-year old Belarusian blew away each and every player that came her way at the Flushing Meadows before she ran into Naomi Osaka in the championship match.
The two-time Australian Open champion looked determined to add her third Major before losing 6-1, 3-6, 3-6 to the Japanese sensation. Out of top-50 at the start of the US Open, Azarenka is now World No.27 and looks destined for another great run at the WTA Premier 5 event.
On the other hand, age is certainly becoming a factor for Venus Williams and looks as if it is just a matter of time before she bids adieu to her illustrious career. The 40-year old American lost in the first round itself in the US Open to Karolina Muchova in straight sets 3-6, 5-7. Maybe the former World No.1 finds a ray of hope in Rome, whose chances at the moment, look bleak.
Victoria Azarenka vs Venus Williams: Head-to-Head
As said above, the two athletes have faced each other 8 times prior to their meeting in Rome. Venus leads the head-to-head record 6-2. Their last meeting came not long ago at the Lexington Open. It was a Round of 32 match where Venus Williams crushed the challenge of Azarenka in straight sets 6-2, 6-2.
Victoria Azarenka vs Venus Williams: Prediction
Although the head-to-head record and their last meeting tilt the chances of winning in the favour of Venus, in reality, it is not so. Instead, Azarenka is the prime contender to advance to the next round and it will not be a surprise if she just demolishes the American in the process. Fatigue and change in surface of the court, though, might play a spoilsport in the Belarusian’s charge in Rome. Having said that given her form, Azarenka might pull this off rather comfortably.
Match Prediction: Victoria Azarenka defeats Venus Williams comprehensively in straight sets.