Cincinnati Open 2021 R3: Ashleigh Barty vs Victoria Azarenka Preview, Prediction, & Live Stream

Published 08/18/2021, 11:29 PM EDT
Aug 18, 2021; Mason, OH, USA; Ashleigh Barty (AUS) acknowledges the crowd after defeating Heather Watson (GBR) during the Western and Southern Open tennis tournament at Lindner Family Tennis Center. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports


Top seed Ashleigh Barty and 14th seed Victoria Azarenka will deliver a popcorn match at the Cincinnati Open 2021. The pair will battle one another to book a place in the quarterfinals of the event.

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Notably, Azarenka, a two-time Australian Open champion, is also the defending champion of the tournament. On the other side, Barty will be looking forward to lifting her second WTA 1000 title in 2021 after Miami.

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Ashleigh Barty vs Victoria Azarenka: Preview, Head-to-Head, & Predictions

Both Barty and Azarenka have versatile gameplay and a variety of shots, especially on hard courts. Comparatively, the Australian ace might edge over in the brain, whereas the Belarusian will be up ahead in muscle.

Indeed, being two of the best tennis players on the WTA Tour, they will put in their 100% effort to win this match. However, the result will heavily favor the one who manages to adapt to the Cincinnati conditions quickly.

Aug 18, 2021; Mason, OH, USA; Ashleigh Barty (AUS) returns a shot against Heather Watson (GBR) during the Western and Southern Open tennis tournament at Lindner Family Tennis Center. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

So far, Barty and Azarenka have had three meetings in their professional career. While the Belarusian won in the 2018 Tokyo Open, the Australian won in the next two meetings, Fed Cup 2019 and Miami Open 2021.

Accordingly, the former World No.1 has a considerable opportunity to level the head-to-head against the current World No.1. But considering Barty’s form in 2021, it will need something extraordinary from Azarenka to take her down.

To overcome the Barty test, Azarenka would require to uphold consistency throughout the match. For this, a considerable first-serve percentage is essential.

Aug 13, 2021; Montreal, Quebec, Canada; Victoria Azarenka from Belarus serves against Aryna Sabalenka from Belarus (not pictured) during the quarterfinals at Stade IGA. Mandatory Credit: Jean-Yves Ahern-USA TODAY Sports

To sum up, while Azarenka has the game to take down anyone, Barty is in the best form of her career. Thus, the result of the match, on paper, favors Australian talent.

Prediction: Barty def. Azarenka in three sets.

Cincinnati Open 2021: Live Streaming, When and Where to Watch

To watch the Cincinnati Open 2021, fans in the States can tune into the Tennis Channel. For UK & Ireland, Prime Video will telecast the WTA 1000 tournament.

Furthermore, Australian fans can catch live-action on beIn, whereas TVA Sports, DAZN, TSN channels are available in Canada.

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In China, tennis fans will see Cincinnati Open on iQIYI; Central and South America will broadcast the event on ESPN.

All in all, fans would not want to miss the exciting encounter between Barty and Azarenka. Only the best player on the day would conquer.

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Purav Joshi

1139 articles

Purav Joshi is a Tennis author at EssentiallySports. Having a degree in Films, Television and Media Production, he guided his passion for writing and journalism into the sport of aces and rallies. With over 2 years of experience as a copywriter, Purav has authored over 500 tennis articles.

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