Donna Vekic vs Victoria Azarenka: Cincinnati Open Preview and Prediction

15th seed Donna Vekic takes on two-time Grand Slam champion, Victoria Azarenka in the Cincinnati Open tonight. 

It has not been smooth sailing for Vekic in 2020. Her season has gone downhill after she reached the third round of the Australian Open. She suffered early exits in St.Petersburg and Qatar before the pandemic struck. 

Once the tour resumed, the Croat took part in the Palermo Open, where she lost in the pre-quarterfinals. 

On the other hand, Azarenka has looked a pale shadow of herself. Having begun her season with a loss against Tamara Zidansek in the Monterrey Open, a long break enforced by the pandemic should have rejuvenated Azarenka. 

However, the Belarusian was thrashed 6-3 6-2 by Venus Williams in the Lexington Open. With just a few more years left in her career, the World number 59 needs to turn back the clock. 

Strengths of Vekic

Her fast gameplay, booming groundstrokes and a strong first-serve are her biggest strengths. 

The World number 24 has used her forehand effectively to rack up most of her points. She needs to improve her court coverage though. While her aggressive game has won her a lot of fans, it can sometimes go overboard leading to a huge number of unforced errors. 

Strengths of Azarenka

Victoria Azarenka      credits: Tennis World

Her solid backhand can put any opponent on hold. Though she does not have a big-serve, Azarenka has used her massive experience to aid her excellent footwork. 

While her baseline game is renowned across the tour, her forehand can sometimes be inconsistent. 

Head to Head record 

Vekic has won both her clashes against Azarenka in straight sets. They last played each other in the round of 32 in the Cincinnati Open. 

While Vekic would be the favourite to clinch the match, Azarenka will aim to upset her plans. She needs to display solid defense and serve out her games effectively. 

Prediction - Victoria Azarenka to win in three sets

Featured image credits: Getty Images 

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