Elina Svitolina vs. Victoria Azarenka
|Date & Time||Tuesday May 14, 2019, 1:30 PM (EDT)|
The Line: -- Over/Under:
Elina Svitolina and Victoria Azarenka meet in the second round of the 2019 tennis Italian Open.
Elina Svitolina enters this tournament in shaky at best form, as she’s lost her last three matches and six of her last seven sets. Svitolina is coming off a loss in Madrid where she won 58 percent of her services points, was broken three times and had three double faults. Svitolina also struggled with her serve in Miami, and considering she has just one match since Miami, there’s reason to believe hr form isn’t going to improve that much. There’s only one way for Svitolina to break out of this funk, and that’s consistent reps, something she has had these past two months. Svitolina is a player to keep a close eye on in the second round. Svitolina has won seven of her last nine matches on clay court.
Victoria Azarenka is coming off a straight sets win over Shuai Zhang that took 15 games to decide. In the victory, Azarenka won 64 percent of his first serve points and 59 percent of his second serve points. Azarenka won 62 percent of his total service points and converted on six of his eight break points. Azarenka got 60 percent of her first serves in play and faced just one break point in a win that took a little over an hour. Azarenka is coming sharper with her serve and the unforced errors are slowly starting to be cleaned up as well. We’re slowly but surely starting to see Azarenka become the player she was before her pregnancy. Azarenka has 66 career wins over top-10 players and two of those wins came this year. Azarenka has won four of her last six matches on clay court.
These two have played twice and Azarenka won both meetings, most recently a 2015 match in Toronto. The other match was 2015 Doha.
Svitolina isn’t playing well and doesn’t have the reps under her belt to think there’s going to be a drastic improvement. Azarenka is consistently playing matches and is improving her game steadily with each set. Whether you put a ton of stock into two matches four years ago or not, Azarenka is in better form right now, and she’ll eat up those subpar serves from Svitolina if they continue.
I’m leaning toward Azarenka winning this match.