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US Open 2020: Victoria Azarenka vs Iga Swiatek preview, head-to-head & prediction

Victoria Azarenka faces Iga Swiatek in third round of the US Open
Victoria Azarenka faces Iga Swiatek in third round of the US Open
Mihir Gawade
Modified 05 Sep 2020, 09:14 IST

Match details

Fixture: Victoria Azarenka vs Iga Swiatek

Date: 5 September 2020

Tournament: US Open 2020

Round: Third round (Round of 32)

Venue: Flushing Meadows, New York, USA

Category: Grand Slam

Surface: Outdoor hardcourt

Prize money: $39,024,000

Match timing: 5.30 pm EDT, 3 am IST


Live telecast: USA - Tennis Channel / ESPN | India - Star Sports / Disney+ Hotstar VIP

Victoria Azarenka vs Iga Swiatek preview

Two-time Grand Slam champion Victoria Azarenka will face Polish teenage sensation Iga Swiatek on Saturday, in the third round of the 2020 US Open.

Azarenka faced her compatriot Aryna Sabalenka in the previous round, and many expected that to be a tight contest. But the 31-year-old barely broke a sweat in producing one of the finest displays of the tournament so far, thrashing Sabalenka 6-1, 6-3 win.

Azarenka has been in stunning form over the past couple of weeks. She won the Western & Southern Open on Sunday and has carried that momentum over to the US Open.

The Belarusian now looks for a second-week appearance at a Slam for the first time since Wimbledon 2017, but the super-talented Iga Swiatek looms as a significant hurdle.

Swiatek has had some incredible results for her age, reaching the fourth round at the 2019 French Open as well as this year's Australian Open. The Pole is now within one match of repeating those results in New York too, after beating Sachia Vickery to book a place in the third round.

Iga Swiatek continues her great results at Slams
Iga Swiatek continues her great results at Slams

In a match played over two days due to a rain delay, the 19-year-old outlasted her more experienced opponent over three sets. Swiatek now has an opportunity for another second week appearance at a Slam, by going up against the in-form Victoria Azarenka on Saturday.

Having played two sets on Friday, Swiatek is running on a day's less rest than Azarenka. That could potentially be a factor in the match.

Victoria Azarenka vs Iga Swiatek head-to-head

The head-to-head between Victoria Azarenka and Iga Swiatek currently stands at 0-0, as the two players have never faced before.

Victoria Azarenka vs Iga Swiatek prediction

Victoria Azarenka is easily one of the best returners in the women's game today. She looks to dominate her opponents by neutralizing their serve and pushing them on to the backfoot with her depth, especially off the backhand wing.

Azarenka was all over her Fed Cup teammate from the very beginning of their second round match, never allowing Sabalenka a look. If she brings that kind of play to the court again on Saturday, she will be very hard to beat.

Victoria Azarenka blew Aryna Sabalenka off the court
Victoria Azarenka blew Aryna Sabalenka off the court

Iga Swiatek still lacks experience compared to the veteran Azarenka, and will have to shake off some early nerves when she takes on the former World No. 1. But once she settles in, Swiatek will look to use her offensive style of play and strong serve to gain some momentum.

The match promises to be an intriguing first-time encounter between a past champion and a future champion, and should be among the favorite Day 6 matches of most bookmakers.

Prediction: Victoria Azarenka to win in straight sets.

Published 05 Sep 2020, 01:41 IST
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