The scene is set for an epic third round clash between Victoria Azarenka and Ana Ivanovic on Wednesday at the Mutua Madrid OpenYou can watch and bet on Azarenka v Ivanovic live for free at bet365 > live tennis
Victoria Azarenka is arguably the favourite to win this year’s Mutua Madrid Open, though she didn’t have the easiest of matches on Tuesday against Andrea Hlavackova in round two. The Belarusian had been poised to finish the contest at 6-3, 5-3 up, but was met with a fierce Hlavackova resistance, and ended up clinching victory in a second set tie-breaker (6-3, 7-6(2)).
“I feel like I lost a little bit of my concentration,” admitted Azarenka after her win. “I don't think I adjusted well to some of the obstacles that happened, but I'm glad I could turn it around pretty quickly and finish the match. Sometimes you can have those rollercoasters and Andrea is one of those players who doesn't give you a rhythm - I'm glad I finished it, and there's room to improve.”
Azarenka will now face former world No. 1 Ana Ivanovic in what should be a crowd-pleasing third round showdown. Ivanovic made a slow start in her second round clash against Nadia Petrova, but eventually pulled through in straight sets (7-5, 6-1).
“It was a great first set - Nadia started really well, and I didn't do much wrong either,” said Ivanovic. “In the second set I started serving better and putting more pressure on her with my forehand, which I think was the big difference.”
“I love clay. I grew up on it,” added the Serb. “The blue clay is a little more slippery, but it's the same for everyone, so you just have to stay focused as usual.” The slippery nature of the surface was also noted by Caroline Wozniacki earlier in the week.
Ivanovic holds a 2-1 head to head record against Azarenka prior to this matchup, but she’s aware of the improvements made by the current world No. 1. “Vika has been playing extremely well lately, and it's a challenge for anyone against her,” remarked Ivanovic.
“When I saw the draw I really wanted to get to this round and challenge myself against the World No.1. I hope I can bring the same level as I did today. I'm going to compete and we'll see how it goes.”