The world number 15 Victoria Azarenka has a difficult opponent in the form of Jessica Pegula in the second round of the 2021 Madrid Open on Sunday, May 2. Get the live streaming options of this Victoria Azarenka v Jessica Pegula match along with its preview, head to head, and tips here.
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Victoria Azarenka v Jessica Pegula Head to Head
Their only previous meeting came at the 2021 Australian Open in which Pegula had registered a straight-set win in the opening round of the competition.
Azarenka Made to Work by Alexandrova
Featuring in her first clay court match of the season, Azarenka did face some difficulties but in the end, she eased into her first round encounter and came through in three sets.
Azarenka overcame the loss of the second to defeat Ekaterina Alexandrova 7-5, 3-6, 6-1 in two hours and five minutes, in what was her first match in over a month.
Coming into the tournament after a middling sort of a start to the season which had seen Azarenka make the semifinal in Doha and fourth round in Miami, the Belarusian shared a break apiece with Alexandrova in the first set as it looked to be heading towards a tie-breaker.
In the 11th game, however, Azarenka helped herself to a break off the third chance she got and then served out the set. Up a break at 2-1 and 3-2 in the second set, Azarenka looked to be running away with the match but her Russian opponent hung on, and broke back twice in a row to close out the equaliser.
And the third set looked to be headed in the same direction when Azarenka traded breaks early on, but back to back breaks following that sealed the deal for the world number 15.
Can the two-time Madrid Open finalist go deeper now?
Pegula Tames In-Form Cirstea
Sorana Cirstea had entered this tournament on the back of a title win on clay, beating Elise Mertens in the final of Istanbul Open. On the other hand, Pegula, who has risen to 33rd in the world, doesn’t have the best clay court record either, which meant both started out at 10/11 to win this one.
Pegula, however, pocketed this one in straight sets, overcoming her Romanian opponent 7-6 (5), 6-3 to win her first ever match in WTA 1000 clay court events.
In fact, this was Pegula’s first main draw win on clay since her opening round victory at the 2019 Prague Open after which she had lost four successive main draw matches on the red dirt.
Can she now up the ante against a well-experienced player who has had recent problems with form? Could end up becoming a tight contest.
Azarenka v Pegula Prediction and Tip
Azarenka starts off at 8/11 to win this but given her own form and Pegula’s brilliance over the last few months, this is too close to call. Going for the games market.