Wild-card entrant Victoria Azarenka will take on qualifier Margarita Gasparyan in round one of the WTA St. Petersburg Open. This match will be played on Tuesday.
Watch & bet on Victoria Azarenka v Margarita Gasparyan with bet365 here* on Tuesday, January 29. The Ostapenko v Mladenovic match will begin at around 5 pm local time (3 pm BST).
*Geo-restrictions apply & pre-funded account needed
Azarenka’s Continuing Crisis
As if her issues off the court aren’t sad enough, Azarenka’s recent performances on it have left a lot to desire. And she will hope that the WTA St. Petersburg Open is a start of something afresh, a start of a few wins she can notch up.
After having finished off with her proceedings last season in Tokyo, retiring from her match against Camila Giorgi, she hasn’t made much of a comeback this season.
There was a first round loss at the hands of Venus Williams at Auckland and while she would have thought she started off as a favourite in her opener against Laura Siegemund, Azarenka lost in three to her opponent in round one.
Her poor form has meant her rankings have tanked too, fallen outside the top 50 which pales in the shadow of the number one rank she had attained in 2012. Can she tackle her younger but lesser experienced opponent?
Gasparyan Climbs her Slow Ascent
The Russian world number 92 has been playing in tournaments all around the world, from lower-level competitions to WTA tournaments and a Grand Slam to boot.
She ended the previous season with some fine performances that saw her get to the final of the Tashkent Open and quarter-finals in Linz and Luxembourg, before completing her proceedings at the WTA Mumbai Open in which she made the semi-finals.
This year, however, she played her first tournament straightaway at the Australian Open and won her first round match. Gasparyan went down in the second to Elise Mertens.
Because of her low rankings, Gasparyan has had to qualify for this tournament, winning three matches in a row to make it to the main draw but things get tougher from here as she takes on Azarenka first up.
Azarenka v Gasparyan Head to Head
These two have played each other just once before this with Azarenka winning that match against Gasparyan on clay. She won that in straight sets.
Victoria Azarenka v Margarita Gasparyan Predictions & Tips
It is rather surprising to have Gasparyan, a qualifier start off as a favourite to win this match against a former Grand Slam winner. Bet365 are offering 8/11 for a Gasparyan win but we think the odds of 1/1 for Azarenka to clinch are too attractive to let go of.
Azarenka to win: 1/1 (bet365)
You can watch & bet on Victoria Azarenka v Margarita Gasparyan with bet365 here on Tuesday, January 29.