Top-seeded Victoria Azarenka dropped just a single game as she rolled into the fourth round of the U.S. Open in New York Friday. Azarenka beat China's Zheng Jie 6-0, 6-1 in a match that didn't even make it to the one-hour mark. Azarenka's beatdown of the 28th-seeded Zheng served as another notice to the field that she is in top form for the final Grand Slam of the year.
As would be expected in a match where one player won 12 of 13 games, the statistics were all comically lopsided Friday night. Azarenka won 50 total points to just 22 for Zheng. Azarenka had three times the number of winners as Zheng, and she was 8 of 8 in winning points in which she came to the net.
Azarenka has lost just six games so far in the tournament. She posted another 6-0, 6-1 score in her first-round win over Alexandra Panova of Russia. She is certainly looking every bit like the top seed in this tournament and the #1 ranked player in the world.
As a fan, what I'd really like to see, though, is a matchup of Serena Williams and Azarenka. Because of the goofy rankings system, Williams, dominant in winning both the Wimbledon singles title and the Olympic gold medal, is seeded #4 at the U.S. Open. The draw put her into the bottom half of the bracket, so we could see a Williams and Azarenka final.
Azarenka stormed through the start of the year. She won the first four tournaments she played in 2012, including capturing the Australian Open for her first Grand Slam title, before finally losing in Miami. She cooled off during the clay-court season, though, and retired in her first match in her only U.S. Open prep tournament.
The last two times Azarenka and Williams played it was in semifinal matches in major tournaments. Williams won in a close match in the semis at Wimbledon but blew Azarenka off the court in the semis of the London Olympic tournament, winning 6-1, 6-2.
The way Azarenka has played in her first three matches in New York, I look forward to another Azarenka-Williams match in the final of the U.S. Open.Brad Boeker has been a fan of professional tennis since the early 1980s. He coaches high school tennis in Illinois.
- Sports & Recreation
- Victoria Azarenka
- Serena Williams