World No. 4 Victoria Azarenka will look to get her 2014 season back on track this week in Indian Wells, beginning with a second round encounter with American Lauren Davis. This marks the first time these two competitors will meet on the tour, adding to the intrigue of the match-up.
Third seed Victoria Azarenka has been absent since the Australian Open recovering from a foot injury. This marks her first tournament back since a quarter-final exit to Radwanska in Melbourne. Prior to that, she had reached the finals in Brisbane, where she lost to world No. 1 Serena Williams.
Having been sidelined recovering from a foot injury since the Australian Open, Azarenka stated this week that she purposely attempted to speed up her recovery to take part in this tournament – a decision that could affect her both positively and negatively. Considering she was maneuvering in a walking boot for the past several weeks, it will be interesting to see how the Belarusian handles her return on-court.
World No. 66 Lauren Davis opened up her campaign at Indian Wells with a 6-4, 6-3 victory over Chan to set up the second round match-up against Azarenka. She has had a strong season so far, having reached the quarter-final in Auckland and the third round of the Australian Open. The 20-year-old will be looking for the biggest victory of her career when she faces a potentially vulnerable Azarenka.
This is the first time these two will meet on the professional tour. Considering Azarenka is far more experienced in these tournaments and is also ranked 62 spots ahead of Davies, she will certainly be a considerable favourite, even with her uncertain state. While this match could potentially go three sets, Azarenka should manage it in straight sets if she is in form.
Prediction: Victoria Azarenka in Three Sets