WTA Qatar Open 2021 Semifinal: Victoria Azarenka vs Garbine Muguruza Preview, Prediction and Head-to-Head

Published 03/05/2021, 3:26 AM EST
Tennis – Australian Open – Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia, February 9, 2021 Belarus’ Victoria Azarenka reacts during her first round match against Jessica Pegula of the U.S. REUTERS/Jaimi Joy


It will be the final before the final as two-time Grand Slam champion Garbine Muguruza plays World Number 14 Victoria Azarenka in a mouthwatering last-four clash at the ongoing WTA Qatar Open on Friday.

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What will make for an especially absorbing battle for the final is the fact that both players have enjoyed dominating runs in the tournament so far and scored impressive victories over heavyweight opponents to seal their last-four berths.

Azarenka and Muguruza beat heavyweight opponents on the way to reaching the last-four

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A two-time Australian Open champion, Azarenka routed Ukrainian World Number 5 Elina Svitolina 6-2, 6-4 to storm into the semi-final.

The veteran, who fought past Russian star Svetlana Kuznetsova in the opening round, was in her element against the Ukrainian as she rolled back the years and produced sublime tennis to outclass the latter.

Currently ranked 16th in singles, Muguruza, too, recovered from a mid-match loss of momentum, to down Belarussian World Number 8 Aryna Sabalenka to reach the quarters.

After losing the opening set, Sabalenka fought back brilliantly to edge out the Spaniard in the second-set tie-break.

Tennis – Australian Open – Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia, February 14, 2021 Spain’s Garbine Muguruza in action during her fourth round match against Japan’s Naomi Osaka REUTERS/Loren Elliott

However, Muguruza rediscovered her belief and form just in time to prevail in the bitterly-contested three-setter.

The Spaniard then took down rising Greek star Maria Sakkari in straight sets to cruise into the semifinal.

Victoria Azarenka and Garbine Muguruza are tied 2-2 in head-to-head battles

The head-to-head record shows why Azarenka and Muguruza make for one of the fiercest rivalries in contemporary women’s tennis.

They are currently tied 2-2 in four head-to-head battles, with Muguruza prevailing at the last meeting in the quarter-finals of the Rome Masters last year.

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The Spaniard also finished on the winning side of their last hard-court meeting, which was in the final of WTA Monterrey in 2019.

While current head-to-head form tips the scales slightly towards Muguruza going into the last-four clash tonight, Azarenka will be carrying the momentum from her quarter-final rout of Svitolina.

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So, expect an event contest with not an inch given and none taken.

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Priyabrata Chowdhury

835 articles

Priyabrata Chowdhury is a tennis author for EssentiallySports. He has been a print journalist for a decade, producing news pages for leading national dailies such as the Hindustan Times and The New Indian Express. His passion for sports eventually drove him to tennis writing.

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