[CR1] Serena Williams (USA) vs. [CR27] Victoria Azarenka (BLR)
Williams comes back from the brink of defeat once again. Was it the line call that got her attention and turned the tide? Azarenka had the match in her hands for a second consecutive time, or did she? A line call that did not go in her favor threw off her focus completely. She never fully recovered from the anger at losing that point. Although she went up a break in the third, her emotional state was tenuous at best. She was emotionally distracted and it resulted in sloppy play in the third set.
Was it the match of the day? Yes, if drama was the objective. Azarenka came out playing much better tennis than Williams. Williams started the match poorly, her serve was off significantly. Is the elbow injury a real concern going forward? Azarenka should have won this match. Williams was too tense to move or think properly for most of the match; yet, somehow, she found a way to elevate her game when it was crucial. The last third of the match was brilliantly played by Williams. Williams elevated her game and Azarenka’s deteriorated, perhaps a result of the psychological injury caused by “that line call”. Williams won 3-6, 6-4, 6-2 and will meet [CR40] Sloane Stephens (USA) in the next round.