LA QUINTA, Calif.—Serena Williams and Victoria Azarenka have staged some memorable on-court battles throughout their careers. There was the classic 2012 US Open final, won by Serena, 7-5 in the third. There was the dramatic 2013 Cincinnati final, won by Vika, 7-6 in the third. Just a few weeks later, they tangled in another final, at Flushing Meadows, which featured a stirring comeback by Azarenka and a definitive riposte by Williams. Serena was the ultimate champion, Vika was a valiant runner-up, and a rivalry continued to blossom.
The last time Serena and Azarenka met, two years ago, it was met right down the road from Tuesday's Desert Smash at La Quinta Resort, at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden. (Azarenka took that match in straight sets to end a five-match losing streak to Williams.) They'll both return to Indian Wells for their first tour matches of 2018 and their first tour matches since becoming mothers.
But why wait until Indian Wells for a possible look at the Azarenka-Williams rivalry? They both stepped on the court at Desert Smash for another competition—quite possibly the most competitive of the day—a dance-off:
Serena's return to tennis is something we've all been waiting for. She spoke about her busy comeback—the 23-time Grand Slam champion flew to Indian Wells after last night's Tie Break Tens exhibition in New York City—and life as a pro-tennis playing mother with Tennis Channel's Brett Haber.
Azarenka was then asked about one of tennis' greatest rivalries, which tends to bring out the best in both players:
Whether its electric slides or electric forehands, the more we can see Serena and Azarenka opposing each other on court, the better.
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