Victoria Azarenka vs. Petra Kvitova
|Date & Time||Wednesday January 30, 2019, 7:30 AM (EST)|
Saint Petersburg, Russia
The Line: -- Over/Under:
Victoria Azarenka and Petra Kvitova meet in the second round of the 2019 tennis St. Petersburg.
Victoria Azarenka is coming off a straight sets win over Margarita Gasparyan that took 17 games to decide. In the victory, Azarenka won 60 percent of her first serve points and 43 percent of her second serve points. Azarenka won 55 percent of her total service points and produced seven breaks on 19 break points. Azarenka is still working her way back from her pregnancy and has yet to put together consistent success. Azarenka has a ways to go with her serve, but you have to be pleased with her effort return wise and the competitive fire is still there. As long as Azarenka can put together some victories and play a consistent schedule, it will only be a matter of time before she returns to where she was before her absence. Azarenka has won three of her last four matches on indoor hard court.
Petra Kvitova will play her first match since losing the final of the Australian Open, and she’s now won 11 of her last 12 matches Kvitova is simply playing her best tennis in quite some time, as the serve is back to being at an elite level and she’s using the full court with confidence. Kvitova didn’t have much success with her second serve and piled up the unforced errors in her loss to Naomi Osaka, but she’s easily the hottest player on tour at the moment and should be eager to build on this momentum. Kvitova will have chances at that No. 1 ranking if she can continue to win at this rate. Kvitova has lost her last three matches on indoor hard court.
These two have played seven times and Kvitova has won four of those matches. The most recent match was in Toronto of 2015, a match Azarenka won in straight sets. These two have only played four times since 2011. Five of the seven matches have been decided in straight sets.
You can never count out Azarenka with her competitive spirit and big match experience, but it’s no secret she’s still not the player she once was. It’s hard to get behind Azarenka against top tier players with her inconsistent play. Kvitova has caught fire in 2019 and there’s no sign of her slowing down. Maybe fatigue gets to Kvitova in this match, but that’s the only reason not to get behind her in this contest.
I’ll side with Kvitova in straight sets. Azarenka is just not there yet.