Originally Posted by Rerun
do not understimate the horrible Vika, she can be very challenging imho if she starts understanding her skills on this surface too
Ordinarily, I would agree with you. If Azarenka had been healthy all year and continued with her high level of play heading into the clay, I would have considered her a serious threat to Maria and anybody else. I think she will be a threat to win the French and other clay tourneys in the years to come. But with her slow to heal injury combined with her considerable time away from real match action and her lack of past clay proficiency, I don't see her bothering Maria on this surface in 2013.
Clay isn't something you can suddenly make a quantum leap on in terms of progress. It's a gradual process, as we saw with Maria. Vika has yet to have a real clay breakthrough and it will still take some time and commitment on her part to get there. She may make a semi or a final, but she won't be beating Maria, Serena, Li, or even maybe Errani in that situation. I think Stosur or Petra could give her problems as well.