[CR1] Serena Williams (USA) vs. [CR27] Victoria Azarenka (BLR)
The last time Azarenka defeated Williams was in 2013. She came very close to changing that this year in Madrid. Azarenka served for the match in the R16 and had a complete meltdown. Has she recovered from that mental collapse? Does that hurt her chances today, or will that memory be a powerful motivating factor?
Three times Azarenka has defeated Williams. All three times have been on hard court and in finals. Two of those three victories have gone to a third set. Can Azarenka break the hard court final jinx and defeat Williams today on clay? Is Williams up to the challenge? Williams leads their head-to-head, 15:3.
Williams has not been at her peak since winning her eight Miami title. She lost easily to Petra Kvitova in the semis of Madrid. She withdrew in the R16 of Rome, citing an injured right elbow. Where is Williams mentally and physically at the moment? She has proven that she can make some miraculous comebacks over the years. Unfortunately, she has also shown that she can lose horrendously and unexpectedly over the years. What will it be today?