The US Open 2020 has its first two semi-finalists, in the women’s draw, with Naomi Osaka and Jennifer Brady safely through. Two more spots remain open and an interesting battle for one of those spots will take place on Wednesday. Victoria Azarenka and Elise Mertens will face off in a battle between a champion player and a rising star.
The US Open 2020 has been a tournament to remember for the mothers in tennis. But the event is turning out to be a lot more for one of those moms, Victoria Azarenka. The 31-year-old admitted recently that she had mulled retirement from tennis just months ago. She is now on an unbeaten run of 10 matches, winning the Western and Southern Open in the process.
Azarenka has dropped just two sets so far in the US Open Series. At the US Open, the two-time finalist has looked in supreme touch, winning her first three matches in straight sets.
She had dropped a set in her 4th round match against Karolina Muchova but showed her grit to overcome the set deficit. Azarenka looks confident, cheerful, and more importantly, is enjoying her time on the court.
Her quarter-final opponent, however, promises to be her biggest test yet. 16th seed Elise Mertens has not dropped a set so far in the tournament. Her biggest win came in her previous match, against second seed and Australian Open champion Sofia Kenin. All in all, she is in the middle of a supreme run of form.
Since the WTA Tour’s resumption, Mertens has reached the final of the Prague Open and the semi-finals at the Western and Southern Open. She lost to Naomi, but not before fighting hard. The Belgian is one of the more solid players on Tour and is tipped to be a future star.
This will be their first meeting on the WTA Tour.
This match has all the ingredients of an epic clash. Both players possess a solid game and the ability to attack when needed. Mertens’ current form holds her in good stead to tackle what comes her way, and Azarenka will have her work cut out if Mertens can attack the way she did against Kenin.
Expect many long rallies with heavy groundstrokes from both players. If the match goes deep, Azarenka’s biggest weapon will be her big-match experience over her 24-year-old opponent.
Prediction: Victoria Azarenka to win in three sets