Victoria Azarenka will look to continue with her winning momentum as she takes on Russia’s qualifier Daria Kasatkina in the third round of the 2020 WTA Italian Open. The match will be played on Friday, September 18 starting at around 3 pm local time (2 pm BST). Get the live streaming options of this Victoria Azarenka v Daria Kasatkina match along with its preview, head to head, and tips here.
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Victoria Azarenka v Daria Kasatkina Head to Head
There have been two previous matches between the 14th-ranked Azarenka and Kasatkina, who is ranked 74th in the world. And both have gone in favour of the Belarusian. In the first at the 2016 Fed Cup, Azarenka needed three sets to get past her opponent before registering a straight-set victory over her in the Madrid Open last year.
Azarenka Delivers a Roman Master-Class
Some time after the US Open final, tennis great Martina Navratilova had written in a column about what had changed for Azarenka. According to the legend, her shots had become more powerful and that was giving her opponents lesser time to react.
That may be true but did anyone expect that to translate into the result we saw in Azarenka’s second round match against Sofia Kenin? Highly unlikely.
I mean, we did predict Azarenka would go on to win this, but it was more to do with the adrenaline Azarenka is operating on right now. The high from her performances at the Cincinnati Open and US Open following a barren phase in her personal and professional life would have helped but a 6-0, 6-0 scoreline?
Against the current Australian Open winner? Really?
If that’s the kind of form she can push herself to – and we saw that in her US Open quarterfinal against Elise Mertens as well – then she automatically becomes a heavy favourite to go on to win the title here. Unfortunately for her opponent, a Russian qualifier, she might as well wave the white flag.
Kasatkina Yet to Drop a Set
The Russian Kasatkina has fallen more than 60 places from her career-best of 10th on the WTA Rankings which has been down to regular ousters in the early stages of tournaments. Her poor performances in the lead-up to the Rome Open have seen her make the semifinal at Lyon and six other first round exits this season.
At the Italian Open here, she had had to qualify to make the main draw, and has now won four matches in a row to make it to the round of 16 – something Kasatkina had done thrice already at Rome. This time though, she is yet to drop a set all tournament, defeating Arina Rodionova and Gabriela Dabrowski in the qualifiers and Vera Zvonareva and Katerina Siniakova in the main draw.
Unfortunately for her though, unless Azarenka’s game drops dramatically because of sheer exhaustion due to the amount of tennis she has played over the last four weeks, it is looking quite difficult. Kasatkina will be hoping for a 2017 Charleston-like performance, one which had seen her win the title but then again, nobody had exhibited the kind of form her third round opponent here has.
Azarenka v Kasatkina Prediction & Tip
It’s difficult to suggest anything but a straight-set win for Azarenka and the odds aren’t too bright for that. Expect another easy one for the Belarusian.
Tip: Azarenka to win in straight sets: 1/2 (bet365)