Matchups We Want To See In Canada

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Victoria Azarenka vs. Petra Kvitova

Jul 7, 2015; London, United Kingdom; Victoria Azarenka (BLR) reacts during her match against Serena Williams (USA) on day eight of The Championships Wimbledon at the AELTC. Mandatory Credit: Susan Mullane-USA TODAY Sports

Projected Meeting: Second Round

How has it been 4 years since Azarenka and Kvitova last met?

No, that’s not a typo. The final of the 2011 WTA Championships marked the last time that the two played each other. And based on that match, we’ve been missing out on a fabulous rivalry. The match was a three-set thriller that featured an intriguing dialogue between Kvitova’s mammoth serve and groundstrokes, and Azarenka’s world-best return game.

Kvitova went on to defeat Azarenka for the third time that year, further stoking what seemed to be a flourishing rivalry on the WTA tour.

Now, there is every chance that this rivalry will be revisited in Canada in the second round. Kvitova, as the third seed, will receive automatic entry into the second round. To see her there, Azarenka will have to defeat Elina Svitolina in the first round. With a world ranking of no. 15, Svitolina is by no means an easy out for the Belarusian. Yet many tennis fans have already erased Svitolina’s name for the draw in anticipation of an Azarenka-Kvitova meeting.

A lot has transpired since their last encounter. The Czech went on to claim her second Wimbledon title, while firmly implanting herself in the world’s top ten. Meanwhile, Azarenka would go on to claim her first two grand slam titles at the 2012 and 2013 Australian Open, and claim the world number one ranking. An unfortunate run of injuries has now seen her ranking fall to 21.

As she’s sitting just outside the top 20, Azarenka really needs to get some big wins under her belt before the US Open. Given Kvitova’s dwindling form of late, punctuated by a startling early loss at Wimbledon, a victory for the Belarusian wouldn’t be out of the question.

Even still, what a thrill it would be to see two of the world’s very best finally square off again.

(Premature) Prediction: Azarenka in 3.

Next: Wawrinka vs Kyrgios