Simona Halep vs. Victoria Azarenka
|Date & Time||Wednesday September 9, 2015, 8:00 PM (EDT)|
The Line: -- Over/Under:
Victoria Azarenka and Simona Halep meet in the quarterfinals of the 2015 US Open.
Victoria Azarenka is coming off a straight sets win over Varvara Lepchenko and has played nine sets this tournament. Azarenka is winning at least 56 percent of her first serve points and 45 percent of her second serve points. Azarenka has combined for six aces, 86 winners and 70 unforced errors in her last three matches. Azarenka has seriously struggled at times with her service game and is clearly still trying to find her elite form. However, Azarenka has just 21 or less unforced errors in three of her four matches and has to be gaining confidence each match considering she hasn’t played her best. Azarenka hasn’t made the semifinal of a grand slam since the 2013 US Open. This is Azarenka’s seventh grand slam quarterfinal appearance since 2013.
Simona Halep is coming off a three set win over Sabine Lisicki and has played nine sets this tournament. Halep is winning at least 56 percent of her first serve points and 39 percent of her second serve points. Halep has combined for five aces, 50 winners and 56 unforced errors in her last three matches. Halep has played a clean game, committing no more than 14 unforced errors in each of her first three matches. However, Halep was extremely sloppy in her last match and could have easily lost. Halep is clearly fighting through a leg injury. This is Halep’s fifth grand slam quarterfinal appearance since 2014. This is by far Halep has ever been in the US Open.
These two have played each other twice in the past, and Azarenka has won both meetings back in 2012. Azarenka has won both matches in straight sets, and Halep has won just six games overall in two matches. This will be the third time Halep and Azarenka play on hard court.
I put zero stock into their previous history given they took place three years ago and Halep has turned the corner over the last couple of seasons. However, I question Halep’s leg and if she can continue to go against an even better opponent.
Healthy, Halep wins this match. Banged up, Azarenka will take advantage and cruise.
Based on what we just saw, I have no choice but to side with Azarenka.