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Azarenka vs Tan WTA San Jose Preview, Predictions and Live Streaming: Azarenka plays qualifier Tan in San Jose opener

Leye Aduloju in WTA Tour 30 Jul 2019
  • Victoria Azarenka vs Harmony Tan is live from San Jose on Tuesday, 30 July from 6:00pm local time/ 11:00pm BST
  • First meeting between Azarenka and Tan
Victoria Azarenka (PA Sport)

Former world No. 1, Victoria Azarenka begins her campaign at the Silicon Valley Classic in San Jose when she takes on French qualifier, Harmony Tan.

(geo restrictions apply; funded account required or to have placed a bet in the last 24 hours to qualify) 

Azarenka is playing in San Jose for the second straight year, after reaching the quarter finals last season, when the tournament was first staged in the city.

The Belarusian defeated Kateryna Bondarenko and Anna Blinkova, but was forced to retire from her last eight tie against Danielle Collins due to a back injury. The two-time major winner had won the first set on a tie break, but she called it quits while trailing 3-0 in the second as her injury worsened. She was champion in 2010 when the tournament was still held in Stanford.

Azarenka remains without a title since winning the Miami Open in 2016. A lot has happened since then- she has gone on maternity leave, had a protracted custody dispute with her ex-lover, which prevented her from touring, and has also been held back by several injury problems. 

It was not until Indian Wells last year that Azarenka returned to having a semblance of a consistent run on the tour, jumping back to the brink of the top 50 after finishing the previous season outside the top-200. A semi-final run in Miami played a major role in that leap, but she struggled elsewhere, reaching just two other quarter finals in San Jose and Tokyo. She retired from both of those quarter finals matches, against Collins and Camila Giorgi respectively, and the latter spelt the end of her season, as she ended the year after Tokyo in September citing personal reasons.

The Belarusian has played regularly in 2019, but she has not quite found her world No. 1 best, amassing an 18-13 record for the season. Her best result was a runner-up finish in Monterrey, where she again had to retire from the final against Garbine Muguruza, while she made quarter finals in Rome, Stuttgart and Acapulco in her other noteworthy results of the season.

She will hope to go a few steps better in San Jose, where she begins against Harmony Tan on Tuesday.

Tan has never won a tour-level main draw match, losing to Eugenie Bouchard on her main draw debut last season, and falling in Strasbourg and Roland Garros, to Saisai Zheng and Amanda Anisimova in her main draw appearances in 2019.

The 21-year-old has come through the qualifying rounds in San Jose, beating Eri Hozumi and Priscilla Hon to take her place in the main draw. Tan's record on the lower tier ITF Tour hasn't exactly been splendid- she reached a final in Grenoble and made a trio of semi-finals in Shrewsbury, Montpellier and Perigeux, but she has also had a number of early exits, falling inside the first two rounds on eight occasions.

Tan has ended four of the last five seasons inside the top 400, but she didn't break into the top 300 until January this year, when she reached the quarter finals at the WTA 125K event at Newport Beach. The Frenchwoman is currently operating at a career-high ranking of 244th, and by qualifying for the San Jose main draw, she is almost guaranteed to improve that ranking at the start of next week.

However, she is unlikely to get that first main draw win in San Jose, as she crashes into former world No. 1, Azarenka in the first round on Tuesday.

There's a gulf in class between the two players, and I think that differential will be very evident in the outcome of Tuesday's encounter.

Victoria Azarenka vs Harmony Tan is live from San Jose on Tuesday, 30 July from 6:00pm local time/ 11:00pm BST


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Azarenka vs Tan WTA San Jose Preview, Predictions and Live Streaming: Azarenka plays qualifier Tan in San Jose opener

Former world No. 1, Victoria Azarenka starts her San Jose bid against qualifier, Harmony Tan on Tuesday. Read our preview, predictions and stream the match live online.

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