Victoria Azarenka has not fared well since her runner-up performance at the US Open. The current Australian Open champion lost to Venus Williams in her first match of a tournament in Tokyo last week. This week, Azarenka was unable to defend her win last year at the China Open, losing to Andrea Petkovic 6-4, 2-6, 6-4.
Azarenka displayed uncharacteristic talents during the match, committing 15 double faults and 44 unforced errors during the 2 hour and 22 minute contest. Azarenka was also broken 5 times by Petkovic, who reached the finals of the China Open in 2011.
“It was an awful match and a very bad performance from me, so there’s not much to say about it. It happens once, twice a year to every player, and it happened to me today,” stated Azarenka, despite turning in two poor performances in a row.
The 43rd ranked German, Petkovic, felt great following her performance: “I’m very happy with my performance. I was happy with my movement and my serve for the most part, and I managed to get a lot of balls back very deep and very strong. Parts of the match were a really, really good level — some parts I lost a bit of energy, but overall I’m very happy.”
Azarenka looked shaky in the first set, but seemed to pull things together in the second set, when her opponent was struggling with some health issues. Petkovic had to ask for a medical timeout in the second set, going on to lose 7 of the next 8 points and allowing Azarenka to force a third set.
Azarenka is no stranger to feeling ill during this Asian tour. During her match with Venus Williams last week, Azarenka asked for a fan due to feeling feverish.
At 4-4 in the third set, however, Azarenka double-faulted to give Petkovic the break point, allowing her German opponent to serve for the match.
It was at this moment that Azarenka took advantage of being a Belarusian in a foreign country, outwardly voicing her disappointment while on the court: “I was saying a lot of things. I’m not going to repeat them… there was a lot of emotions and frustration that I let myself get into because I wasn’t doing the right thing.”
Azarenka attributed her poor play to bad time-management, stating that “If I’m going to be doing it again, I probably should have taken a longer break (between tournaments) and just prepared myself. I don’t feel like I was ready to play… It’s just my mistake for not paying much attention after the US Open how I managed my time and how I managed my health.”
Azarenka has plenty of time to rest up for the Australian Open, which starts January 13. Azarenka, currently ranked No. 2 in the world, is the defending champion of the Australian Open.
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