The third round of the 2019 Wimbledon Championships will feature two former World No. 1s – Simona Halep and Victoria Azarenka, battling it out in what is set to be a thrilling encounter. The match will take place on Friday, July 5 and the timings will be announced soon. Get Simona Halep v Victoria Azarenka live streaming options with the preview here.
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Simona Halep v Victoria Azarenka Head to Head
The head-to-head tally is currently at 2-2 right now, with Halep winning their last two meetings. One of them, in fact, came in the 2017 Wimbledon where the Romanian won in straight sets.
As for Azarenka’s wins over Halep, both of them came in 2012 with the WTA Linz highlighting her last win.
Halep Survives Buzarnescu Challenge
Former Wimbledon semifinalist Simona Halep kick-started her campaign at SW19 with a 6-4, 7-5 win over Aliaksandra Sasnovich. In the second round, however, things got more difficult for her when she met her left-handed compatriot Mihaela Buzarnescu.
It was a match that lasted for a little under two hours and saw both the players push each other to the limits. Not so surprisingly, it proved to be a three-set affair where Halep’s performance was less than eventful. In fact, it wouldn’t be a stretch to say that Halep got lucky.
She maintained her first-service win rate at 54% and dished out only 12 winners in comparison to Buzarnescu’s 25. In the end, what got the Canadian Open winner through was her opponent’s 44 unforced errors. Needless to mention, Halep entirely lacked that efficiency and phenomenal form that made her a formidable force.
On the flip side, it may have been one of those matches for the Romanian this season where she wasn’t at her full best. The Madrid and Doha Open runner-up has been more or less consistent this year but never really managed to fully go the distance. Most recently, she was stopped in her tracks in the quarterfinal in Eastbourne and French Open.
Azarenka on a Mission
The Belarusian was a finalist in Wimbledon last year in the mixed doubles segment. This time, she will be hoping to produce that feat in the singles discipline.
Ever since her return to the tour, Azarenka has spent a lot of time in attempting to reach the form she once possessed. Her efforts, while on the right track, haven’t produced the results she hoped for. However, that may be about to change in Wimbledon.
Starting with a straight-set win over Daria Kasatkina in the first round, she put up a flawless performance against Ajla Tomljanovic in the second round. In just a little over an hour, Azarenka tamed the Aussie with 6-2, 6-0, with 15 winners and just 12 unforced errors. It was also a match that was reminiscent of the Belarusian’s glory days.
Azarenka hasn’t had the best time on the tour either. Her best performance came in Monterrey where she reached the final – her first one after three years. She was also a quarterfinalist in Stuttgart and Rome.
Azarenka v Halep Predictions & Tips
If Halep doesn’t step up her game against Azarenka, she is in for a massive defeat. The performance she put up against Buzarnescu won’t cut against someone as lethal as the Belarusian. Every mistake will be severely punished. As for Azarenka, she will need to elevate her level a little bit, just to cover her bases.
Tip: Three sets in the match. (888Sport)