Victoria Azarenka will look to continue her winning streak on Day 6 of the US Open, taking on the highly rated Pole Iga Swiatek. Azarenka made back to back finals in New York, losing to Serena Williams on both occasions in three set thrillers. Since then, things haven’t gone to well for the Belarussian with two quarter-finals the best she has done since then.
Watch the Azarenka vs Swiatek Live Stream Here.
Swiatek plays a more offensive style than many of the other prominent Poles on the tour in recent times. The 2018 Wimbledon Girls’ champion does look like she will be a strong contender in years to come, already making two fourth rounds in five attempts at slams in her short pro career. She was far from convincing in her three set win over Shelby Rogers, hitting 69 unforced errors to just 51 winners in the match.
The Western & Southern Open title win was Azarenka’s first since giving birth and she has kept that form going into the US Open. A dominant win was expected against Barbara Haas but less so against Aryna Sabalenka. As it was, she was in control from the get-go against her fellow Belarussian with a very measured performance in the 6-1 6-3 victory.
The tour shutdown looks to have done wonders for her, with time to reflect and practice in a pressure free environment. “I have changed the way I do practice,” she said. “I took the fear of failing away from myself, which has been really powerful for me to progress. In terms of am I hitting forehand the same way or I’m hitting backhand the same way, I think those things are pretty similar. But I think the way I approach the court, the way I approach doing fitness, you know, everything related to my job has been changed in the way of the perception that I feel. And, you know, COVID has been a terrible thing, but for me, it got me to pause and really overview a lot of things for myself.”
Having kept it clean against Sabalenka, Azarenka will be confident of putting in a similar performance against an opponent who won’t be on court long if she is as error strewn as she was in round two. The former No.1 could become a contender for the title all of a sudden with a run to at least the semi finals not too outrageous of a suggestion right now.
Prediction – Victoria Azarenka in straight sets