It’s Victoria Azarenka v Kristina Mladenovic in the first round of The Montreal Open. In normal circumstances, this should be an easy win for the Belorussian, but she’s injured and this is Mladenovic’s chance to take advantage; or at least not to lose by too big a margin.
Prediction For This Game:
Victoria Azarenka played against Danielle Collins in the quarterfinals of San Jose four days ago. She won the first set 7-6, but at the start of second set, she had to retire in tears due to back problems. It’s quite possible that she hasn’t had enough time to fully recover and although Mladenovic doesn’t like playing on hard court, we believe that with the situation being as it is, she won’t lose by 5 or more games margin.
Former number 1, Azarenka, is making slow progress after giving birth; she is currently at number 95 in the WTA rankings but her score this year is only 11-8 (on hard 8-3). She still needs to regain the form she had three years ago and this back injury won’t help her scale the heights any time soon. She played her last tournament on hard court just four days ago, where she beat Katerina Bondarenko 6-3, 6-7, 7-5 and a totally out-of-form Anna Blinkova (6-1, 6-0) before retiring in the match against Danielle Collins.
Kristina Mladenovic is ranked 59th in the world, but with her, you never know what you are going to get. She has the talent to be in the Top 10 without any doubt, but her mental preparation for the matches seem to let her down most of the time. At the beginning of her career, she played her best matches on hard court; as years went by, her favourite court became the clay court. In the last three years, she has scored 17-21, 19-21 and 9-10 on hard; however, she played her last tournament in San Jose where she lost in straight sets in the first round to Timea Babos; Furthermore, in last five matches, she’s won only one.
Victoria Azarenka last 5 matches on hard:
Kristina Mladenovic last 5 matches on hard:
Victoria Azarenka v Kristina Mladenovic matches:
Reasons For And Against The Tip:
✓ Azarenka injured her back four days ago; she retired in the match against Collins.
✓ Azarenka is making slow progress after giving birth; she is currently only 95th in the world.
✓ Mladenovic has the talent to be in the Top 10.
✘ Mladenovic lost 4 out of 5 last matches on hard court.
Tip: Game handicap Mladenovic +4.5
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