Last year’s US Open finalist Victoria Azarenka is in a vastly different position heading into the season’s final Grand Slam event but will still be one of the player’s to watch out for in New York. She will begin her campaign against Misaki Doi, whom she has never encountered previously on the professional tour.
The former world No. 1 spent a large chunk of her 2014 season recovering from a left foot injury that was responsible for her three-month banishment on the sidelines. She returned to action at the start of the grass court season, where she lost in the second round of the Wimbledon Championships to No. 45 Bojana Jovanovski. Prior to that, she lost her only match at Eastbourne to Camilla Giorgi.
Azarenka showed some positive signs several weeks ago in Stanford, where she appeared to be moving freely against Venus Williams but was ultimately failed to secure the victory. In Montreal, she reached the third round of the tournament and picked up wins over Alize Cornet and Heather Watson before losing to Agnieszka Radwanska in straight sets.
Having dropped out of the Top 15 in the rankings, this will be an important tournament for Azarenka. She holds a 10-7 record this season and is defending runner-up points from last year’s US Open final, where she lost to Serena Williams in three sets.
Yokohama native Misaki Doi will be faced with a tall task in the former finalist but she has an interesting season on the tour, winning 1 singles title, one doubles title and compiling a 17-17 record on the tour. So technically, she won more titles than Azarenka this year and has also played more matches than the Belarusian as well.
This is the first time these two competitors will meet on the tour and could make for an interesting match-up, although it is most likely to end in straight sets.
Prediction: Victoria Azarenka in Straight Sets