Fan Fuel on WTA: Can Sharapova or Azarenka challenge Serena?

Fan Fuel's Wasim Parkar looks at some burning questions as we head into the North American leg of the WTA Tour. Who between Maria Sharapova and Victoria Azarenka will be the main challenger?


The women’s draw spectacularly threw up even more surprises than the men’s draw at Wimbledon this year. It’s time to look forward to the hard court season this summer by asking some burning questions about the North American leg of the WTA Tour:

Who between Maria Sharapova and Victoria Azarenka will be the main challenger?

The two ladies who have provided Serena with her toughest matches in her reign of dominance this past year, come into the summer not in the best of spirits.

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Sharapova tried her best to retain her French Open title won last year, but it was all in vain against an inspired Serena. She then followed it up by succumbing to Michelle Larcher de Brito in awful performance at the second round of Wimbledon.

Azarenka’s year has gone pretty much downhill since winning the Australian Open in January. A tough loss in the semis to Sharapova at the French was followed up by a withdrawal after slipping on Centre Court at Wimbledon. Azarenka hasn’t endeared herself with the fans lately, often making excuses when things haven’t gone her way.

Despite being ranked two and three, one can sense a frailty in both Sharapova and Azarenka at the current moment. Azarenka has to overcome some mental demons, while Sharapova’s serve is never far from a complete collapse. It wouldn’t be the biggest surprise if the Russian and Belorussian both have poor summers.

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