Victoria Azarenka lost her first match in more than three months in the first round of the Aegon Championships on Tuesday.
She lost 4-6, 6-3, 7-5 to Camila Giorgi of Italy after three grueling hours of play.
That's saying something since Giorgi had already beaten top ten players Dominika Cibulkova and Maria Sharapova this season.
Azarenka won the first set from 4-2 down. Giorgi, a relative newcomer reaching the fourth round at Wimbledon as a qualifier in 2012, nabbed a 5-0 lead in the second, saving five break points at 4-0.
In the grisly final set, Giorgi failed to serve out the match at 5-4, but she broke again at 6-5 when Azarenka netted her backhand.
Is Azarenka upset? Not really. She fully met her expectations of herself, and that's what matters most to her.
"That's exactly what I wanted,'' Azarenka said. ''I wanted to have a competitive match. I wanted to test myself, to play for a long time, see how my body is going to react."
She added, ''I'm pretty pleased with what happened. Obviously the result is the result, but that's a beginning. It's a starting point. There are a lot of positive things that I can take from what happened today.''
That's a great sportsman's attitude!
"I had the desire, it was so important to see where I'm at and what I have to work on. I need to work on timing, reaction and decision-making, things that you miss when you are away for a long time."
The former number one played especially well considering she has recently recovered from a foot injury and hasn't played since early March. Azarenka even feels like she's not done yet and is ready to compete in more challenging scenarios.
''I was really happy that I was there for every single moment, for every single ball,'' she said. ''I felt that my level of concentration was really high. I just have to get into that rhythm.''
Congrats to Victoria Azarenka on all that she learned from her loss!
Image via YouTube