Top seed Victoria Azarenka (Player Bio) returns to action in the WTA Tokyo tournament after a US Open final loss to Serena Williams – this time against her sister, Venus Williams (Player Bio). Check out the Azarenka vs Williams H2H.
The Belarusian star is coming off a disappointing three-set loss to Serena at the Flushing Meadows final – the second consecutive year she lost to Williams at this Grand Slam. Apart from that loss, Azarenka is having a successful season with an Australian Open title and a 42-5 win/loss record this season, which includes a 31-2 hard court record in 2013. Having received a bye in the opening round of the tournament, Vika will have an tricky test in Venus Williams.
The American needed only 1 hour, 4 minutes at Ariake Colosseum to overpower Germany’s Mona Barthel 6-3, 6-1 on Sunday to make the second round of the tournament.
Williams leads the head-to-head 2-0, with wins over Azarenka in the 2008 Olympic Games as well as Dubai in 2010. Considering the Belarusian’s rise to the top of the women’s game over the past couple of years, it is unlikely that that stat will play a factor in tomorrow’s match-up. The two competitors are currently on vastly different career trajectories: Azarenka currently an elite competitor while Venus is on the downslope of her storied career.
Since their last encounter was three years ago, Williams says she has been watching tape on Azarenka and has been studying her game, particularly in big matches.
“I’ve watched many of her matches,” Williams said. “Especially the big matches against Serena. Watching them at the U.S. Open was awesome, and hopefully that will help me.”
Azarenka is currently in 2nd place in the Race to Istanbul, with no likelihood of finishing the year as World no. 1. While this is the case, she could still close the gap on Williams over the next couple of months and set the pace early for the upcoming season.