2016 champion Victoria Azarenka looks better with each match and now has to be a title contender going into the quarter-finals. She will play Karolina Pliskova in the Tuesday night session with the winner playing either Sloane Stephens or Angelique Kerber.
Check out the Azarenka vs Pliskova H2H
Pliskova advanced after her opponent Zarina Diyas retired in the second set, although she was already well in control by the time the match was called to an end at 6-2 2-1. “I felt good in my tennis, much better than my last match,” Pliskova said afterwards, referring to her struggle against Su Wei Hsieh in which she was taken to a final set tiebreak by the Chinese Taipei player.
Things went as usual in the Azarenka-Agnieszka Radwanska matchup with the former No.1 dominating her foe 6-2 6-2 to extend her record to 13-5. “I played my game, and I was doing what was working,” Azarenka said post-match. “I was aggressive, I was using my opportunities to step up, and I put pressure. I’m pretty happy that I was able to play consistent throughout the whole match.”
“[Pliskova] is an amazing player, a Top 10 player, been pretty consistent with high results. In the end, she’s a great ball striker, heavy ball, and very big serve. For me, it’s a challenge to see how I can approach that and how I can progress from that match. It’s perfect. I wouldn’t ask for anything else.” Azarenka said on the threat of her next opponent. Pliskova may well be the type of player that even an elite returner like she can’t break at will, putting more pressure on her still weak serve. However, the Belarussian continues to grow in stature and probably could be named the favourite to win this match.
Prediction – Victoria Azarenka in three sets