To see detailed h2h stats and predictions for Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova vs Victoria Azarenka, see our Stevegtennis head to head prediction here.
Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova will continue her comeback in Dubai, playing just her tenth match since the start of 2022 due to a lengthy absence with a knee injury. Her opponent, Victoria Azarenka, is probably the toughest of them so far. She holds a 2-5 record against the Belarussian, with one of those wins coming due to retirement while a set down.
Pavlyuchenkova evidently is still rusty with no main draw wins yet in her 2023 return. She did win a qualifying match in Linz against Viktoria Kuzmova but couldn’t win the follow up losing in three to Viktoriya Tomova – the kind of opponent she would confidently beat when at her best. She has at least been able to pick up a few wins in doubles with Elena Rybakina, including one against Kirsten Flipkens and Laura Siegemund here.
While she has been unable to maintain it consistently, Azarenka has displayed some of the form that showed why she was a top player prior to giving birth. She has an Australian Open semi final to her name and really should have added another top 10 win to her record in Doha, holding a 6-1 4-1 lead over Belinda Bencic before losing in three sets. Azarenka has been a finalist here before although that was way back in 2010 before her initial peak on the tour.
For Pavlyuchenkova, this will be largely about getting another match under her belt and testing herself against an opponent that is still strong at the highest levels. Azarenka will know tougher matches await this week with the Dubai field always one of the most stacked outside of mandatory tournaments. Amanda Anisimova will be waiting for the winner after the American beat Vera Zvonareva in her opener.
Prediction – Victoria Azarenka in straight sets
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