Victoria Azarenka vs. Serena Williams
|Date & Time||Friday March 8, 2019, 3:00 PM (EST)|
Indian Wells Tennis Garden
Indian Wells, California
The Line: -- Over/Under:
Victoria Azarenka and Serena Williams meet in the second round of the 2019 tennis Indian Wells.
Serena Williams hasn’t played since her quarterfinal trip in the Australian Open, so it will be interesting to see what the extended rest will do for her game. Serena showed flames of her old self in the grand slam run, hitting the ball with great pace and blasting her serve. In other spots, Serena would struggle with her unforced errors and get very frustrated when the ball would sail on her. Of course, Serena also turned her ankle in the quarterfinal match, which led to her blowing a massive lead in the third set and eventually losing the match. While it’s fir to expect Serena to be back in good form, there are some questions that should be answered early in this match. Serena has won 10 of her last 13 matches on outdoor hard court.
Victoria Azarenka is coming off a straight sets win over Vera Lapko that took 17 games to decide. In the victory, Azarenka won 63 percent of her first serve points and 57 percent of her second serve points. Azarenka won 60 percent of her total service points and converted on six of her 13 break points. Azarenka can still be more consistent with her serve, but her return is on point and that competitive spirit carries her in key points. Azarenka has a chance to win two matches in a single tournament in back-to-back tries. Azarenka looks for her first win over a top-10 player for the first time since Miami of last year. Azarenka has won five of her last seven matches on outdoor hard court.
These two have played 22 times and Serena has won 18 of those matches. The most recent match was in the 2016 Indian Wells, a match Azarenka won in 20 games. Serena has won 16 of the last 19 matches against Azarenka. Five of the last seven meetings have gone the distance.
Serena enters this match with question marks, but it’s nothing compared to what Azarenka has been dealing with. Azarenka has yet to put together a consistent winning stretch since returning from her pregnancy and certainly hasn’t beaten a player of the quality of Serena. And while neither player is the player they were a couple of years ago, the lopsided h2h advantage does mean something.
Serena should win this match, even if it’s a little together than usual.