Williams is 16-3 against Azarenka, a former No. 1. The 25-year-old has played Williams twice this year, losing in three sets at Madrid, after holding three match points, and at the French Open, where she led by a set.
In their last two meetings on grass, Williams beat Azarenka 6-3 (6), 7-6 in the 2012 Wimbledon semis; a few weeks later, Williams again prevailed at the All England Club, in the Olympic semifinals, 6-1 6-2.
“Close is not good enough. I need to go out there and prove myself, and that's it,” Azarenka told TENNIS.com. “To talk about it is pointless for me. I need to go and do my work on the court.”
Azarenka, who admitted that she was depressed in 2014, during which she missed a substantial amount of time due to injury, says that she has improved this year. While she hasn't won any tournaments, she has only lost to players ranked in the Top 20.
“It's actually something that I quite enjoy, in a way,” Azarenka said. “It's a weird enjoyment, because it's a huge challenge in front of me. But that's something that also motivates me every day, to go through difficult hurdles and see how far I can push myself. So it's been very hard for me the last two years. I think nobody had it harder than me probably, in a way. But I'm here today, and I'm really enjoying myself on the court. I'm really working hard. That part I enjoy.”