2013 Women’s U.S. Open Tennis Championship: #1 Serena Williams vs #2 Victoria Azarenka
2013 Women’s U.S. Open Tennis Championship
#1 Serena Williams (-405) vs #2 Victoria Azarenka (+328)
All Odds Courtesy of 5 Dimes Sportsbook
USTA National Tennis Center – Flushing Meadows, New York
Arthur Ashe Stadium
Playing Surface: DecoTurf (Hard)
Sunday, September 8, 2013, 4:30 pm Eastern, TV: CBS
Serena Williams and Victoria Azarenka have separated themselves from the rest of the players in women’s tennis, including Maria Sharapova, Agnieszka Radwanska, Sara Errani and Na Li. Williams and Azarenka will meet in the finals of the U.S. Open Sunday for the second straight year. Each has won a major this year.
Azarenka is 24 from Belarus. She is 42-4 this season with titles at the Australian Open, Doha, and at Cincinnati right before the U.S. Open. She beat Serena Williams in both the finals at Doha and Cincinanti, and Li in the finals of the Australian. Knee and ankle injuries hampered her from February to June, but she did reach the semis at the French Open. She withdrew before her second round match at Wimbledon with a knee injury. Azarenka appears to be getting healthy at the right time. Azarenka has won the Australian Open twice and lost to Serena in the finals of the U.S. Open last year.
Azarenka beat Dinah Pfizenmaier in the first round, Aleksandra Wozniak in the second, #26 Alize Cornet in the third, #13 Ana Ivanovic in the fourth, and Daniela Hantuchova 6-2, 6-3 in the quarters. Azarenka dropped the first set against Cornet and Ivanovic, but came back in both matches.
Azarenka beat unseeded Flavia Pennetta from Italy in Friday’s semifinals 6-4, 6-2. Azarenka had no aces but did record 6 double faults. Pennetta had one and three respectively. Azarenka was 57% on first serves and 34% on second serves. Pennetta was 48% and 22%. Azarenka converted 8 of 13 breakers and Pennetta was 5/6. Azarenka had 15 winners and 25 unforced errors. Pennetta had 19 and 23. The match took 94 minutes to complete.
Serena Williams is 31 and will turn 32 later this month. Williams is 66-4 this season with 8 titles including her second French Open title. Two of her losses came in the Quarters of the Australian Open to Sloane Stephens when Williams was battling a severely sprained ankle and in the fourth round at Wimbledon when she drew grass court specialist Sabine Lisicki. The other two came to Azarenka in the finals at Doha and Cincinnati. Williams has won 16 majors with 4 U.S. Open titles. Only Margaret Court (24), Steffi Graf (22), Martina Navratilova and Chris Evert (both 18) have more.
Williams beat Francesca Schiavone in the first round, Galina Voskoboeva in the second, Yaroslava Shvedova in the third, #15 Stephens in the fourth, and #18 Carla Suarez-Navarro in the quarters 6-0, 6-0. It was the first time since 1989 that a women’s grand slam quarterfinal was decided love and love.
Williams beat #5 seed Na Li 6-0, 6-3 in the semifinals. Williams has not dropped a set so far and has only lost 16 games. In fact, Serena has five 6-0 and three 6-1 sets so far in the U.S. Open. Only Stephens won as many as 4 games in a set.
Against Li, Williams had 4 aces and one double fault. Li had no aces and 4 double faults. Williams was 76% on first serves and 45% on second serves, while Li was 50% and 42%. Serena was 5/11 on break points and Li converted 1 of 4. Williams had 19 winners and 20 unforced errors, and Li had 8 and 24.
Williams leads the series 12-3 against Azarenka, but two of Azarenka’s victories have come this season. Azarenka beat her in tight three set matches in the Finals at both Doha and Cincinnati. Each of those matches featured one set that went to a tiebreaker. Serena did beat her in straight sets in the finals at Rome on Clay. Before this year Serena had beaten Azarenka 9 straight times, including 6-2, 2-6, 7-5 in the Finals of last year’s U.S. Open.
Azarenka’s victories this year over Williams should give her some confidence, because before that Serena Williams had a nice summer home in Azarenka’s head. I Think Azarenka takes a set off Serena but Williams takes her 5th U.S. Open title in a very tight match.
Our award winning handicappers have winners available in all kinds of sports. Don’t miss out on these winners.