When the draw came out, it seemed like there would be a battle of No.1 and former No.1 in the fourth round between Victoria Azarenka and Simona Halep. However, it was not to be as Agnieszka Radwanska advanced instead to renew her rivalry with the Belarussian. Radwanska won their last match in 2014 at the Canadian Open but it was a matchup she often struggled with as the 5-12 head to head proves.
Check out the Azarenka vs Radwanska H2H
Now 9-7 on the year, the Pole has not had a great time on court recently but showed great heart to come back from a set down to beat Halep 3-6 6-2 6-3. A surprisingly error prone Halep struggled to deal with the conditions, posting an ugly -13 winners/unforced errors differential. “I expected a tough match from Simona, so I’m just glad I could win a match like this,” Radwanska said afterwards. “There were pretty tricky conditions and some weird shots, but I’m very, very happy with the way I played, especially at the end. And to beat the No.1 in the world, obviously.”
Azarenka had a tough time of it early against Anastasija Sevastova but grew in stature as the match went on, eventually coming out on top 3-6 6-4 6-1. After failing to convert three set points on serve, there could have been a major momentum switch in the second set. Sevastova going up 40-0 seemed to further indicate it but the Latvian failed to close out the game, getting broken and seeing her chances of a win go up in flames. “I don’t feel like I played my best tennis, but those kind of matches are super important for me right now, to be able to find a way to go through. I have to build on from this, take confidence from this match, that I was able to figure it out.” she said afterwards.
“It feels forever ago (since they played). She’s a very good player, she’s a very tricky opponent, she reads the game really well. I need to be aggressive, I need to dictate, because she gets a lot of balls back, and she’s very good on the counter-attack.” Azarenka said of her opponent. Their matches throughout the early 2010s with Azarenka at her highest level saw a lot of lopsided matches including a 2012 that Radwanska went 0-6 in.
Prediction – Victoria Azarenka in straight sets