No. 14 seed Victoria Azarenka of Belarus will face China’s Zhang Shuai in the first round of the 2021 Chicago Open on Monday, September 27. Get the live streaming options of this Victoria Azarenka v Zhang Shuai match along with its preview, head to head, and tips here.
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Victoria Azarenka v Zhang Shuai Head to Head
Azarenka is 2-0 against the Chinese player, winning at Indian Wells and Rome in 2016 and 2019 respectively.
Azarenka Looking to Turn Things Around
World No. 35 and 21-time champion Victoria Azarenka will open her Chicago campaign against Zhang Shuai on Monday. The former World No. 1, who has played in 40 finals, has not reached one since finishing runner-up to Aryna Sabalenka in Ostrava last year.
A player who thrives on all courts and is particularly difficult to beat on hard courts, Aazarenka has struggled for consistency throughout the season. She did make it to the semifinals on the hard courts in Qatar and the grass courts of Berlin, but hasn’t had too much of success other than that.
Most recently, Azarenka was a quarterfinalist at the Canadian Open and could only win two matches in Cincinnati and the U.S. Open.
The 32-year-old will be looking to turn things around with a deep run in Chicago. Will the fortunes change for the Belarusian?
Zhang Has Struggled on Hard Courts
Meeting Azarenka will be another 32-year-old, Zhang Shuai, who had a terrible start to the season, going 1-9 from the first nine tournaments but had a change of fortune at Nottingham, where she reached the final against all odds.
Zhang finished runner-up to Johanna Konta in the grass court tournament and has been winning more matches since that tournament.
The Chinese also reached the semifinals in Palermo and the quarterfinals on the hard courts of San Jose and Cleveland. However, despite those two hard court results there are questions about her form on the surface.
Can the World no. 48 find some consistency on hard courts in Chicago or will she continue to struggle on the surface where she has reached three of her four tour-level finals, and won two titles?
Azarenka v Zhang Prediction and Tip
Azarenka should extend her perfect record against Zhang with a win the first round.