WATCH: When Serena Williams and Victoria Azarenka Played Tennis Left-Handed

Published 01/25/2021, 1:00 AM EST
NEW YORK, NEW YORK – SEPTEMBER 10: Victoria Azarenka (R) of Belarus talks with Serena Williams (L) of the United States after winning their Women’s Singles semifinal match on Day Eleven of the 2020 US Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on September 10, 2020 in the Queens borough of New York City. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)


From the list of WTA rivalries, Serena Williams vs Victoria Azarenka will be among the biggest. In addition to being great opponents, they are also great ambassadors of tennis. In an exhibition match, the American and the Belarusian professional showed their ambidextrous skills, entertaining the crowd.

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From 2008 to 2017, Madison Square Garden hosted the BNP Paribas Showdown. It was a part of World Tennis Day and was later expanded to London and Hong Kong. The Showdown worked as the curtain-raiser for the North American Tour of tennis.

In the 2013 edition, the great rivals Serena Williams and Victoria Azarenka enrolled in the exhibition match. The crowd knew the potential of the game, but what hit they saw was even better.

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Serena Williams and Victoria Azarenka playing left-handed tennis

NEW YORK, NEW YORK: Serena Williams of the United States returns the ball during her Women’s Singles semifinal match against Victoria Azarenka of Belarus on Day Eleven of the 2020 US Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in the Queens borough of New York City. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

Both the former World No. 1s surprised the whole Garden with their switch of hands. It was the 2-time Australian Open champion Azarenka’s idea to do so. Being a great sport, as usual, Serena also placed the tennis racket in her left hand.

Surprising enough, Victoria served perfectly well even with her recessive hand. And although Serena was not ready, she successfully transferred the ball to the other side of the net. The point went to the 4-time Olympic champion as the Belarusian hit the net.

However, the American was not done and asked to replay the point. Following that, Victoria yet again delivered a perfect serve. The duo then carried a 17-shot rally ending with Serena hitting the net this time.

Eventually, the 7-time Wimbledon champion won the match 6-4, 6-3, and the crowd carried home with them one of the most entertaining games of tennis.

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Williams and Azarenka ready for the Australian Open 2021

ROME, ITALY: Victoria Azarenka of Belarus celebrates in her round one match against Venus Williams of The United States during day three of the Internazionali BNL d’Italia at Foro Italico in Rome, Italy. (Photo by Riccardo Antimiani – Pool/Getty Images)

Playing against each other for more than a decade, the Williams-Azarenka pair has produced some great tennis matches. They have battled nine times in the finals of a tournament; today, their tally stands at 5-4 with Serena leading.

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In the Australian Open 2021 bubble, World No. 11 Serena and World No. 13 Victoria are quarantining in different cities. While the former is in Adelaide, the latter is in Melbourne.

They last met in the semi-finals of the US Open 2020, where Azarenka beat Williams 1-6, 6-3, 6-3. Hopefully, they will lock horns in the much-anticipated Australian Open 2021.

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Purav Joshi

946 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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