Fixture: (14) Victoria Azarenka vs Magda Linette
Tournament: China Open 2023
Round: First round (Round of 64)
Venue: Beijing, China
Category: WTA 1000
Prize money: $1,500,000
Live telecast: USA – Tennis Channel | UK – Amazon Prime Video
Victoria Azarenka vs Magda Linette preview
Former World No. 1 Victoria Azarenka will be keen on reaching the second round of the 2023 China Open when she takes on Poland’s Magda Linette.
Azarenka has won only 23 of her 40 matches in 2023 thus far. The three-time Major winner had a great start to her season in Melbourne, where she lost in the semifinals to Elena Rybakina. She has failed to make waves on the WTA tour since then, though.
The 34-year-old has struggled to win back-to-back matches due to her deteriorating physical conditioning. Having said that, she gave a respectable account of herself at the recent WTA 1000 tournament in Guadalajara, where she beat the likes of Veronika Kudermetova and Dayana Yastremska en route to reaching the last eight.
Linette, meanwhile, has also put together an mediocre season in 2023, managing to win just 22 of her 42 matches. Having said that, the Pole had been in a slump ever since making the last four in Melbourne earlier this year. She finally experienced a reversal in fortunes at the 250-level event in Gangzhou last week.
The World No. 25 dropped only one set en route to reaching the final, where she lost to China’s Xiyu Wang by a one-sided scoreline of 0-6, 2-6.
Victoria Azarenka vs Magda Linette head-to-head
Azarenka leads Linette by a margin of 3-1 in their head-to-head meetings on the WTA tour. The Belarusian has defeated the Pole at the 2023 Canadian Open, the 2021 BNP Paribas Open and the 2016 Miami Open, while having dropped a three-set match to her at this year’s 1000-level event in Miami.
Victoria Azarenka vs Magda Linette odds
(Odds will be updated when they are released)
Victoria Azarenka vs Magda Linette prediction
At her best, Azarenka is one of the most consistent shotmakers on the WTA tour. The Belarusian has a solid backhand, which she can hit both cross-court and down the line with relative ease. She is also capable of opening up the court with her forehand up-the-line.
Linette, for her part, is one of the best neutral baseliners in the women’s game. While the 31-year-old can be aggressive with her groundstrokes, she often sits deep in the court. She also has a tenacious slice, which helps her move opponents around.
The key for both players in this match-up will be enduring long rallies. Although Linette is less consistent with her groundstrokes, she is perhaps fitter than her older opponent — which bodes well for her chances during their first-round encounter in Beijing.
Pick: Magda Linette in three sets.