Third seeded Serena Williams will be aiming to make it to her 11th US Open final when she takes on two-time Australian Open winner Victoria Azarenka on Thursday, September 10. The match begins at around 9 pm local time (2 am BST next day). Get the live streaming options of this Serena Williams v Victoria Azarenka match along with its preview, head to head, and tips here.
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Serena Williams v Victoria Azarenka Head to Head
This has been an old, long and a rather one-sided rivalry. There have been 22 matches played between Serena and Azarenka and the American 23-time Grand Slam winner has won on 18 occasions. This includes three US Open wins, including the 2012 and 2013 final following a third round match in the 2011 edition.
They last played at the 2019 Indian Wells Open and Williams won that second round match in straight sets.
After winning in their third meeting in 2009, it took Azarenka another eight to clinch her second win against Williams with her most recent win coming in the 2016 Indian Wells final.
Serena Continues to be Stretched
That she has made the semifinal is as much a surprise as it is a testimony to Serena’s mindset. She has not been at her best and that’s understating it and at different times in different matches it has looked like her movement has been very restricted and the struggles have been very real.
And yet, Serena has gone on to win every single match. Scrappy wins alright but wins nonetheless. And that’s what makes her such a fierce competitor – you think you have things under control but the American finds a way to get past you.
The power hasn’t diminished too much, it’s just become more inconsistent. And that’s where opponents have been able to take advantage.
The first set against Tsvetana Pironkova, for instance, was one where Serena looked flat in the first set. She wasn’t moving too well at all and a shock win for the unranked Bulgarian could also be entertained as a possibility.
It didn’t happen despite Pironkova winning that first set, because, as Serena said later:
“It’s not how you start; it’s how you finish, right?. I just feel like, I’m okay. I’m ready to play three sets every match if I have to. It doesn’t matter. A win is a win.”
And that is what you can expect out of her even in this semifinal; a fight, a scrap if needed, but one in which she refuses to relent.
Azarenka Breezes Past Favourite Mertens
Mertens was a very slight favourite going into her quarterfinal match against Azarenka, having reached the final of the Prague Open an the semifinal at the Cincinnati Open two weeks ago.
And then she was blasted out of the court by Azarenka who hasn’t cared too much about favourites or odds or anything else but winning. That she has reached the semifinal is a massive filip for those who are looking to make comebacks in any sphere of life given all that she has gone through off the court and then you look at the scoreline, you realise Azarenka’s back to playing at those levels which won her those two Australian Open titles.
She dropped just one game in her rout of the ‘favourite’ Mertens.
Azarenka needed just an hour and 13 minutes on court and broke Mertens six times during the match for her 6-1, 6-0 victory.
Now, armed with a 10-match winning streak – plus a walkover from the injured Naomi Osaka – Azarenka will go into this semifinal knowing she can win this against a fighting, but struggling opponent.
Serena v Azarenka Prediction & Tip
Stunningly, Serena has opened a favourite in this match, 4/5 as opposed to 1/1 for an Azarenka win. This might not be easy but Azarenka’s ammunition should be good enough to send Serena packing out of the tournament.
Tip: Azarenka to win: 1/1 (bet365)