Victoria Azarenka might have lost her Australian Open quarter-final on Wednesday, but the two-time winner in Melbourne feels that she is finally nearing her best again after an impressive time Down Under.
After battling with a foot injury for more than two years, as well as other off-the-court issues, the Belarusian had seen her ranking plummet after being a regular in the top five.
Before the start of the season’s first grand slam, the 26-year-old produced some great tennis and after winning in Brisbane, some tipped the Belarusian to win in Melbourne for the third time.
In Melbourne, she lost just 11 games in her first four matches, before facing Angelique Kerber – whom she beat in the Brisbane final – in the quarter-finals.
“I think I’ve been playing pretty well,” Azarenka told reporters following her defeat.
“Three weeks of good tennis, you know, solid effort.
“I’m in the right direction.”
Azarenka put her 6-3, 7-5 loss on Wednesday down to “a bad day at the office”, but though it can be argued that two hot streaks by the seventh-seeded German was just equally pivotal in the result.
Kerber had opened up a 4-0 lead in the first set and even though Azarenka got one break back, the damage had already been done.
In the second set, Azarenka led 5-2 and 40-love when serving for the set, before Kerber hit a sequence of winners to win the next four games and with that, ultimately the match.
Azarenka admitted that she may shed a tear or two or break something in a fit of anger in the aftermath of her defeat, she added that the result would be something of the past by Thursday.
“It’s going to be forgotten tomorrow. I have improved so much from last year,” Azarenka said.
“Taking this three weeks I have to keep working hard. I’ve shown good signs. I’ve shown good quality, way more consistent, physically much better.
“But there is work that has to be done.”
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