Fourth seeded Victoria Azarenka will be up against the seventh seed Elise Mertens in the quarterfinal of the 2020 WTA Ostrava Open on Friday, October 23. The match begins at around 8 pm local time (7 pm BST or 2 am Eastern Time). Get the live streaming options of this Victoria Azarenka v Elise Mertens match along with its preview, head to head, and tips here.
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Victoria Azarenka v Elise Mertens Head to Head
Their only previous meeting came as recently as the 2020 US Open earlier this year when Azarenka routed Mertens 6-1, 6-0 on her way to winning their quarterfinal.
Azarenka Overturns a Set Deficit
Coming into the tournament on the back of an early French Open exit but an otherwise solid string of results riding on her back, Azarenka was a heavy favourite against Czech Barbora Krejcikova in her second round match.
However, Azarenka, who had a first round bye, looked very rusty in the first round and dropped two service games – in the third and seventh games – to lose the opening sets. It was the third successive set Azarenka had lost 6-2 following a 6-2, 6-2 defeat at the hands of Anna Karolina Schmiedlova and the memories of those defeats might have been looming large again.
Azarenka has seen far greater adversity in her life and shown the will to fight back too, which is exactly how this match went. She first saved a plethora of break-points in the third game of the second set before breaking her opponent twice – in the fourth and eighth games – to bring it back to level pegging.
And with the momentum having firmly swung Azarenka’s way, she routed Krejcikova in the third 6-1 to complete a win that was reminiscent of her US Open victory over Serena Williams.
She now faces an opponent she had faced in that very US Open and dropped just a game to.
Mertens Mincemeat for Muchova
It has been the kind of start in this tournament for Mertens that most would be used to seeing all season from her. The Belgian world number 21 has shown some impressive form in recent times and the same has been on display in both her opening two rounds here in Ostrava.
After banishing Amanda Anisimova 6-2, 6-3 in the first round, some might have expected Mertens to face something of a fight from Karolina Muchova in the second round. We had thought otherwise, expecting Mertens to complete a facile win and that’s exactly how things panned out for her.
The first set of her second round match was bit of a cagey affair, with Mertens saving four break-points in the very first game of the opening set. She saved another in the third game, but pushed on to remain on serve till Muchova needed to serve to stay in the set at 4-5.
A shaky Muchova gave Mertens a look-in and it was accepted gleefully with both hands.
Up a set, Mertens fed off that confidence and broke Muchova at 3-2 and 5-2 to wrap up what turned out to be an easy win in the end.
Azarenka had had a measure of her at the US Open, wonder if Mertens can bring a different set of arsenal to the court here.
Azarenka v Mertens Prediction and Tip
Mertens can be expected to put up a far greater fight than she had the last time but there’s this tendency she finds difficult – overcoming the top opponents, as has been the case against Simona Halep, Naomi Osaka, Azarenka and Karolina Pliskova in recent times. Azarenka expected to win again but we think this could be a three-setter.
Tip: Three sets in the match: 6/4 (bet365)