Wimbledon 2019: July 5th Match of the Day – Halep vs. Azarenka


Simona Halep vs. Victoria Azarenka

These players share really good mobility on court.  Vika is a bit more error prone than Halep, but she also has a bigger game.   On a hard court, I’d give Azarenka the edge.  On a clay court, I’d give Halep the edge.  These two former world #1s and major champions meet on the neutral (?) surface of grass.

I think if Azarenka keeps her error count low, she should win in 2 or maybe 3 sets.  She has been playing pretty well recently and Halep is coming off of a failed defense of her 2018 Roland Garros title.  Azarenka has a bit more momentum heading into the match.

If coaching, I would say:

I would point out to Halep that many great movers have won Wimbledon.  Connors, Borg, Navratilova, Graf, Edberg, Sampras, Venus, Hewitt, Serena, Federer, Nadal, Kerber, and Djokovic all play a bit differently, but they were/are all great movers who have had successes at Wimbledon.   I would tell Halep to believe in her movement.  I would tell her holding serve can be easier on grass, and her return and movement can be weapons on grass.

I would tell Azarenka that she is re-climbing the mountain and this can be a big step.  I would say, “You are both great athletes, but you have more weapons.  Grass tends to rewards weapons.  Put pressure on her serve, don’t give her any cheap points from bad errors, and wait for your spots to hit big shots and force her into totally defensive postures during points.”


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