by LIAM RICHNER
The recent form of Victoria Azarenka should worry the likes of Angelique Kerber and Serena Williams at the top of the women’s world rankings.
The Belarusian is back with a vengeance after a series of injuries sidelined her for a majority of the 2014 and 2015 circuit.
Wins at Brisbane and Indian Wells have seen her catapult up the rankings ladder.
The 28-year old has also made it through to the Miami Open final
Azarenka has impressed a lot of pundits and fans alike this year, and her performance against Johanna Konta in the quarter finals typified the amount of effort she has put in during the close season.
She made just 14 unforced errors in 119 points, and saved five break points against the constantly improving Briton.
Her attitude on the court is much better. No longer does she seem deflated staring at defeat. Instead, there is a determination to turn the match in her favour. It’s a title and Grand Slam winning mentality.
As a result, Azarenka will brake into the top 5 of the WTA rankings for the first time in two years on Monday. She is also well on the way to becoming just the third women to ever complete the ‘sunshine double’ (winning both Indian Wells and the Miami Open).
Should she win the final against Svetlana Kuznetsova, it will set the Belarusian up well for the clay court season.
Azarenka feels she is in the best form of her life, even better than when she was top of the world rankings in 2012. This should get the ladies above her in the rankings on their toes.
Serena Williams and Angelique Kerber, world number one and two respectively, have already tasted defeat to Azarenka this year.
What has made her difficult to beat his her fantastic serving which is both accurate and deadly. Her opponents find themselves on the back foot straight away due to the power and velocity of the ball once it leaves her racket.
Her improved health can only ooze more confidence out of the former world number one’s body. She has looked as physically fit as she did back in 2012, and has seemingly improved her stamina and endurance.
What’s it going to take to beat her? A lot of skill, determination and fight. Azarenka won’t go down easy, especially in the form she is in.
The 2-time Australian Open winner will set herself the objective of improving her record on clay and at the French Open. She has never made it past the semi-finals at Roland-Garros, her only appearance in the last four of the competition coming in 2013.
That record will change if she keeps this momentum going, and could well make a serious challenge to William’s throne at the top of the tree, something no one has come close to doing for a while.