Victoria Azarenka won her eighth straight match as she beat Pole Iga Swiatek 6-4, 6-2 in an hour and 38 minutes to reach the fourth round of the 2020 US Open, her first since 2015. To start the match, Swiatek broke Azarenka to quickly gain a 2-0 lead but was broken back by the Belarusian a couple of games later.
The set featured five service breaks in total but five minutes short of the one-hour mark, the Belarusian held the lead in the match. The second set progressed relatively quicker and although it was the teenager who once again broke her opponent, she couldn’t extend her lead for her long.
Capitalising on her erroneous shots, Azarenka closed out the match by dropping merely two games in the second set. Speaking in her post-match media conference, Azarenka said it has worked to her advantage that the Western & Southern Open, and the US Open are being held consecutively at the same venue.
“I feel like a quick turnaround of this tournament being in one place, it's a pretty good advantage I would say for me. I'm playing a lot of matches, kind of getting better and better from one match to another,” she noted.
“So, I've been really happy that I've been able to play so many matches because that's where I feel like I can progress the most. I practiced a lot. I worked a lot on my game. But really to bring it up, I needed to play a lot of matches”.
The 31-year-old also complimented her opponent for pushing her to find her best. She said, “She has a beautiful game, very smart… I was really pleased with her attitude on the court, trying to find solutions, and very positive.
I hope she continues to work really hard. I'm sure we'll see a lot more of her”. Azarenka’s next opponent is the Czech Republic’s Karolina Muchova. The 20th-seeded Muchova beat Sorana Cirstea 6-3, 2-6, 7-6(7) in their third-round match.
2020 US Open: Maria Sakkari, Tsvetana Pironkova reach week 2
Earlier, the first winner of the day was Greece’s 15th seed Maria Sakkari. Sakkari played a near-flawless match against American Amanda Anisimova to clinch a 6-3, 6-1 win in just 55 minutes.
Consequently, the 25-year-old has set up a rematch of the Western & Southern Open pre-quarter-finals against Serena Williams. Bulgaria’s Tsvetana Pironkova continued making merry on her comeback trail at the 2020 US Open.
The 32-year-old notched another upset, this time over 18th seed Donna Vekic, to reach the second week at Flushing Meadows. Pironkova won 6-4, 6-1 after 64 minutes. Photo Credit: Brad Penner/USTA