An old rivalry will be renewed in the first round of the WTA Doha Open 2021 when Victoria Azarenka faces Svetlana Kuznetsova. The match will take place on Monday, March 1, and the timings will be announced soon. Get Victoria Azarenka vs Svetlana Kuznetsova live streaming options with the latest match odds, head to head stats, and preview.
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Victoria Azarenka vs Svetlana Kuznetsova Head to Head
Azarenka leads 5-4 in the head to head tally. They last met in the 2016 Miami Open, where the Belarusian won 6-3, 6-2.
In fact, Azarenka has dominated and won their last 4 meetings on the tour, going as far as 2012. All of those four wins have come in straight sets.
Azarenka Hoping for a Fresh Start
Victoria Azarenka did not have that good of a run in the Australian Open Series and she now looks to make amends and move up further in the rankings.
She started the season in the Grampians Trophy tune-up event in Melbourne, where she reached the quarterfinal and withdrew from her match against Anett Kontaveit, citing fitness reasons.
Then, in the Melbourne Grand Slam, she incurred a shock defeat in the opener to Jessica Pegula with 5-7, 4-6.
However, these unexpected defeats are in no way a testimony to the possibility that Azarenka’s form may be going down. If anything, these results can be looked perceived as a warm-up of sorts for the 2021 season that lies ahead.
Last year, Azarenka completed her resurgence on the tour as she cracked the top 15 after ending the previous season as World No. 50.
What made this particularly possible was her brilliant performance in the American tournaments. The 31-year-old Azarenka won the Western & Southern Open – her first major title since the 2016 Miami Open. Then, in the US Open the following week, she once again reached the final but lost to Naomi Osaka.
However, she delivered one of the best runs of her career at the Flushing Meadows – she dispatched Aryna Sabalenka, Iga Swiatek, Elise Mertens, and Serena Williams on her way to the final.
Azarenka ended the season with the WTA Ostrava, where she was once again the runner-up, this time losing to Sabalenka.
Kuznetsova in a Similar Boat
Svetlana Kuznetsova may be one of the most experienced players on the tour but her recent form has been on a completely opposite spectrum.
Seeking her first singles title since the 2018 Citi Open, the Russian has spent the better part of her time attempting to move past the early rounds with little to no avail. She is heading into this match on the back of a second-round, three-set defeat to Belinda Bencic in the Australian Open. Before that, she participated in the Grampians Trophy where she was knocked out by Jennifer Brady in the opening match.
A majority of her last season has been along similar lines. The 35-year-old fell quite early in the Roland Garros and Melbourne Slam, but she did have a good run in the Qatar Open.
Around the same time last year, she found herself competing in the semifinal where she fell to Sabalenka 4-6, 3-6.
Azarenka vs Kuznetsova Prediction and Tip
In contrast to Azarenka, who is slowly moving up on the tour and is once again finding her groove, Kuznetsova has been more or less on a downward trajectory. Azarenka should be able to win this match comfortably and reach the second round in Qatar.
Tip: Azarenka to win in straight sets: 10/11 (bet365)