‘Nervous’ Azarenka beats Stephens in Rome


New beginning of doubles title in Rome – Madrid, Victoria Azarenka Loses on red clay courts to advance his singles career at the Italian Open Sloane Stephens 6-4, 6-3 in their first match on Thursday.

Stephens was coming off a singles title at a smaller clay-court event in St. Malo, France, while Azarenka lost her singles opener in Madrid.

“I was definitely very nervous before the match,” Azarenka said. “I felt like I didn’t have too many matches under my belt and Sloan won the tournament so I knew he was in good form, so I just tried to focus on myself.”

The strategy worked, as Azarenka battered Stephens with baseline winners, as well as a drop shot winner midway through the second set to end a lengthy rally when she was broken for a 4–2 lead. .

Azarenka is making her 14th appearance at the Foro Italico, after reaching the final in 2013, when she lost Serena Williams,

“It feels like it was a long time ago,” Azarenka said. “Time goes by fast. I try to appreciate every moment on the court. I’m not sure how long I’ll be playing, so I want to enjoy it. But I still think I’m very competitive.” I can.”

This year Azarenka has reached the semi-finals of the Australian Open and won the doubles title last week. Beatriz Haddad Maiawith whom she is again partnering in Rome.

Also, 2019 Rome champion and two-time runner-up Karolina Pliskova was eliminated by the Hungarian qualifiers anna bonder 7-6(5), 6-2; Wang Ziyu beats Madrid quarterfinalists Irina-Camelia Begu 6-4, 7-5; and ranked 11th veronika kudermetova Beat nuria parizas diaz 7-5, 6-2.

In men’s action, German qualifiers Daniel Altmayer beat the italian wild card giulio zapieri 7-6(3), 4-6, 6-0 on the picturesque statue-lined Pietrangeli court; And Jason Kubler Defeated Mark-Andrea Heusler 6-7(6), 6-4, 6-2.

Rome is the last big warm-up before the start of the French Open at the end of the month.

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