An all-Belarusian affair has been set up for the first round of the WTA Indian Wells Open 2019, with Victoria Azarenka to go against the 20-year-old Vera Lapko. The match will be played on Wednesday, March 6, after 6:00 pm local time (2:00 am BST the next day). Get all Victoria Azarenka v Vera Lapko live streaming options here.
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Victoria Azarenka v Vera Lapko Head to Head
This is the first time that the two ladies are meeting each other on the tour.
Azarenka Looking to Replicate 2016 Feat
Back in 2016, Azarenka achieved a feat that only a handful have managed to do so far – she won the Sunshine Doubles. She conquered the Indian Wells Open and Miami Open back to back, for the second and third time in her career respectively.
It is also worth noting that the Miami Open was the last singles title Azarenka won the tour. In fact, that was the last time she reached a final. Since then, she has had to take some time off tour owing to injuries and pregnancy. Even after returning to tennis, her spell has been largely marked with her off-court issues and a severe loss of form.
Presently ranked as the World No. 48, the Belarusian is heading into this fixture with a win-loss record of 3-4. After losing heavily in the opening tournaments this season, she found some reprieve in the Mexican Open, where she reached the quarterfinal. Despite this, she is still a long way from her former self.
However, as a doubles player, she did exceedingly well in Acapulco. She won the doubles title with Zheng Saisai, her first one since becoming a mother in 2016. Perhaps, she can build on this and carry this rhythm to the singles circuit too.
Lapko Looking to Make Some Headway
Although the young Belarusian is a talented player, having won six ITF singles titles, she is yet to assert her presence on the WTA Tour.
Her form this year has been quite similar to that Azarenka’s. She lost in the early rounds in Hobart and the Australian Open, and had a similar run in Dubai too, where she was knocked out by Eugenie Bouchard.
This is the second time this month that Lapko will be playing in Indian Wells. Around the same time last week, she was playing on the same courts but for the 125K Series event. Unfortunately, she didn’t have much luck there. Despite enjoying a bye into the second round, she was defeated by Catherine Mcnally in the opening match.
Victoria Azarenka v Vera Lapko Tips & Predictions
Azarenka will start here as the favourite, given her massive experience over Lapko. However, this is a fixture that can quite possibly go either way, given Azarenka’s recent dip in form.
Tip: Azarenka to win: 1/6 (betway)
You can watch & bet on Victoria Azarenka v Vera Lapko on Wednesday, March 6 here . The match is scheduled for 2:00 am BST the next day.