Former World No. 1 Victoria Azarenka will meet the rising Spaniard Paula Badosa in the final of the 2021 Indian Wells Open on Sunday, October 17. Get the live streaming options of this Victoria Azarenka v Paula Badosa match along with its preview, head to head, and tips here.
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Victoria Azarenka v Paula Badosa Head to Head
This is the first meeting between the two ladies on the WTA Tour.
Azarenka Rediscovers Her Groove in California
Five-time Grand Slam finalist Victoria Azarenka has been absolutely sensational over the last week or so in the BNP Paribas Open. Starting as the number 27 seed with a bye into round two, she navigated all of her matches in straight sets, at least until the semifinal.
In the opening rounds, she didn’t face a lot of resistance. Starting with a 7-5, 3-0 walkover-win over Magda Linette, Azarenka moved on to upset the former Wimbledon Champion Petra Kvitova with 7-5, 6-4. Next, she moved past the likes of Aliaksandra Sasnovich and Jessica Pegula with a similar score to mark her best performance on the season.
In the semis, she played the resurgent Latvian Jelena Ostapenko and had to battle for two hours and 22 minutes to take the match 3-6, 6-3, 7-5.
This marks the first time that the World No. 32 has reached a WTA final on the tour since the Ostrava Open last year. By her standards, the 32-year-old has had a pretty mediocre season so far in 2021 with a semifinal run in the Qatar Open and Bett1Open marking her key performances. It was as a result of these runs that she dropped out of the top 20.
But following this superb stint in Indian Wells, Azarenka looks all set to make leaps in the rankings and add a prestigious trophy to her collection.
Badosa, a Star in the Making
Irrespective of the result of Sunday’s final, Paula Badosa has established herself as a force to be reckoned with.
She is currently ranked N0. 27 on the singles circuit – leaps and bounds ahead of her #70 spot at the start of the season. The 23-year-old Spaniard has made this possible on the back of some superb tennis, notably on clay courts.
Badosa was a semifinalist in the WTA 500 Charleston and Madrid Open and later, reached the second week in the French Open and made a quarterfinal appearance. Around the same time, she also won her maiden singles title in the Serbia Open.
The number 21 seed also reached the quarters in the Tokyo Olympics and Cincinnati Open to continue building her form. Admittedly, her prospects of reaching this far in the Indian Wells Open weren’t that great, considering that she arrived here on the back of uneventful results. However, Badosa overcame those odds and then some more.
In the opener, she survived a three-set epic against Dayana Yastremska to take the match 6-4, 2-6, 6-2. In the next rounds, she defeated Cori Gauff (6-2, 6-2) and the number three seed Barbora Krejcikova (6-1, 7-5) to put down the marker. Now in the quarterfinals once again, this is where things were supposed to get a bit tricky for Badosa.
She met former World No. 1 Angelique Kerber and moved past her in straight sets, to set up the semifinal clash with Ons Jabeur. Badosa defeated the rising Tunisian 6-3, 6-3 in just 83 minutes, winning an incredible 76% of her first service points.
With a strong service game and some brilliant tennis, Badosa has beaten some big players in the valley. Can she now do the same to Azarenka?
Victoria Azarenka v Paula Badosa Prediction and Tip
Azarenka will start as the odds-on favourite but given Badosa’s scintillating form, the Belarusian will need to work for her third Indian Wells Open title. However, she should be able to do so, given her superior experience and pedigree.
Expect an entertaining final where three sets are definitely on the cards.