Fixture: (12) Victoria Azarenka vs Kateryna Kozlova
Date: 29 June 2021
Tournament: The Championships, Wimbledon
Round: First round (Round of 128)
Venue: London, Great Britain
Category: Grand Slam
Prize money: £17,066,000
Live telecast: USA - Tennis Channel | UK - BBC TV & Radio | India - Star Sports / Disney+ Hotstar VIP
Victoria Azarenka vs Kateryna Kozlova preview
12th seed Victoria Azarenka will take on World No. 157 Kateryna Kozlova in the first round of the 2021 Wimbledon Championships on Tuesday.
Azarenka advanced to the fourth round of the French Open earlier this month and has carried that form into the grass swing. The two-time Wimbledon semifinalist made it to the semifinals in Berlin and followed it up with a quarterfinal appearance at Bad Homburg.
Needless to say, the former World No. 1 heads to SW19 with loads of confidence.
Her first-round opponent, Kateryna Kozlova, has been a mainstay on the tour for quite a few years, with her ranking peaking at No. 62. The 27-year-old Ukrainian has a disappointing 8-7 win-loss record for the year and has failed to reach a single quarter-final.
Her best showing came at Nottingham, where she won three matches to reach the Round of 16 from the qualifying stages.
Facing an in-form Azarenka first up at Wimbledon, Kozlova has her work cut out.
Victoria Azarenka vs Kateryna Kozlova head-to-head
Victoria Azarenka and Kateryna Kozlova have never crossed paths on the tour before, so their head-to-head currently stands at a 0-0 deadlock.
Victoria Azarenka vs Kateryna Kozlova prediction
By dint of her ranking and form, Victoria Azarenka is the heavy favorite to come through this contest. The Belarusian has been striking the ball confidently over the past few weeks and will be hoping for a smooth passage into the next round.
Kozlova's serve is not the biggest on tour and against a returner of Azarenka's caliber, that shot could come under serious pressure. For Kozlova to have any chance of pulling off the upset, she will need to engage the two-time Australian Open champion in long, grueling rallies and try to wear down the 31-year-old.
However, Azarenka is in fine form and should be able to ease into the second round.
Prediction: Victoria Azarenka to win in straight sets.