(23) Victoria Azarenka vs Kristina Mladenovic
Victoria Azarenka faces her toughest test thus far at SW19 in 2015 when she takes on Kristina Mladenovic for spot in the fourth round. Mladenovic is a serial giant-killer at Grand Slams and should always be considered a dangerous opponent.
Victoria Azarenka has cruised through her opening two matches at the All England Club. The Belarusian thumped Anett Kontaveit 6-2 6-1 in the opening round before dismissing Kirsten Flipkens with a comfortable 6-3 6-3 victory.
Azarenka has twice reached the semifinals at Wimbledon, in 2011 and 2012, the former world number 1 certainly possess a game that can be very effective on the quicker surface. After an injury interrupted 2014 season, Vika is now back to her best and will be very hard to beat over the next fortnight.
Kristina Mladenovic’s 2015 resurgence has continued in the United Kingdom. Mladenovic arrived at SW19 full of confidence having defeated Eugenie Bouchard, Barbora Strycova and Simona Halep on route to the semifinals at Birmingham a couple of weeks ago. The Frenchwoman possesses a powerful game that can be very effective on the grass.
Mladenovic thumped Dulgheru 6-2 6-1 in her opening round match this week before being made to work a little harder for a 6-4 7-5 victory over Jelena Ostapenko in the second round. Mladenovic is now into the third round at Wimbledon for the first time in her career but will need to produce a stunning performance on Friday if she is to advance any further.
This will be the first career meeting between Vika and Kiki, it will be interesting to see how this one pans out. Mladenovic has a big game, she can hit most players off the court. However I don’t think Azarenka is one of those players.
Vika thrives off pace, that’s why the Belarusian has been able to compete with Serena Williams over the years and why she has a good record against Sharapova. Mladenovic isn’t consistent enough to trouble a solid Azarenka. The former world number 1 should be too solid for Mladenovic, expect her to come through this one relatively comfortably.
Prediction: Vika Azarenka to defeat Kristina Mladenovic in 2 sets