The Italian Open 2020 is all set to host a fiery first-round match. Ashes of an age-old rivalry will come back to life when Venus Williams and Victoria Azarenka will lock horns in Rome. Azarenka’s present form will give her the extra push, while records favor Venus Williams.
Venus Williams and Victoria Azarenka are old competitors. Though Venus holds a 6-2 lead in terms of head-to-head results, the match in Rome won’t be easy for her. Azarenka is flying high with her recent form. After coming to tennis after the COVID-19 break, she reached two consecutive finals.
The form of the players going into the Italian Open 2020
Azarenka’s classic form astounded many as she stormed into the finals of the Western and Southern Open. She received the Championship Trophy without going in the finals, as Naomi Osaka pulled out due to discomfort in her left leg.
Two weeks later, Azarenka found herself in the finals of the US Open 2020. Defeating Serena Williams, she was confident about her Grand Slam title. But Naomi Osaka awaited her on the other side.
In a grueling finale, Azarenka found herself defeated in the hands of the youngster. Despite the defeat, her exquisite touch and fierce returns in the matches reminded everyone of her prime time. Her recent record saw her climb thirteen places to occupy the 14th rank in WTA.
Venus Williams, on the other hand, is having a tough time. Participating in both the tournaments, Venus failed to make a mark in the tournament. She lost to Dayana Yastremska of Ukraine in the round of 64 in a three-set thriller. Facing Karolina Muchova in the first round of the US Open 2020, she surrendered as the player from Czech took the game in straight sets.
Clearly, Azarenka is a few steps ahead of Venus in terms of recent form. Therefore, she’ll be going in as the favorite.
The records speak differently
Venus leads the race with six wins to Azarenka’s two. Interestingly, only one of these matches was played on the clay court, where Azarenka defeated Venus for the second time in Madrid. Considering the clay-court record, Azarenka holds the edge, whereas Venus takes the overall lead.
Azarenka is here for the win. She’s hungry for the win, she is showing some real intent in every stride she takes, in every shot she delivers. For the 40-year-old Williams, the challenge will be greater as she seems to be on the slower side of late.
Keeping up with the Belarusian will be tough for the seven-time Grand Slam winner. Even though the match will be an interesting watch, Azarenka will be setting foot on the red court as the favorite.