Madison Keys v Victoria Azarenka live stream | Australian Open 2023 preview

Jonathan Davies in Australian Open 19 Jan 2023
Madison Keys reacts (Credit Image: © Chris Putnam/ZUMA Press Wire)

Madison Keys and Victoria Azarenka go head to head in an enthralling Australian Open Third Round clash on Friday.

The crowd should be in for a treat on Rod Laver Arena, where the two-time semi-finalist takes on the two-time champion for a place in the last 16.

Though seeded 10th and 24th respectively, Azarenka may hold a slight psychological advantage having won all of their previous three meetings on the WTA Tour.

A champion at Melbourne Park in 2012 and 2013, the 33-year-old certainly has momentum as she aims to book her place in round four for the 10th time in 15 appearances.

Indeed Azarenka, who reached the Adelaide International quarter-finals earlier this month, has reeled off four sets without reply. After putting 2020 winner Sofia Kenin to the sword 6-4, 7-6, she then comprehensively swept Nadia Podoroska aside 6-1, 6-0.

She will be desperate to continue in that vein, but knows she faces her sternest test of the week so far in Keys.

Fresh from helping Team USA to glory at the inaugural United Cup, the 10th seed is now gearing up for her seventh successive appearance in the third round here.

Keys enjoyed a brilliant run in Melbourne 12 months ago, dropping just one set on the way to reaching her second semi-final – seven years after the first.

However, the 2017 US Open runner-up’s dream of a maiden slam was shattered by eventual champion Ash Barty, who prevailed 6-1, 6-3.

Nevertheless, she will be confident of another deep run this year, and enjoyed a relatively smooth passage to this stage courtesy of a 6-3, 6-2 win over Xin Wang.

The winner of this match will play either Maria Sakkari or Zhu Lin in the Australian Open fourth round.

Play gets underway at 8am GMT on Friday and will be contested over the best of three sets on Rod Laver Arena.

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