‘I hope that my best performance lies ahead’
Victoria Azarenko fails to win the prestigious Qatar Total Open in Doha
In the decisive match, the best Belarusian tennis player (occupying 48th position in the world rankings) played against the Czech Lucie Safarova (15th in the WTA rating) and failed to show her best, losing two sets. At the start of the final match, it took a while for Victoria to feel comfortable in the game and, as a result, she was defeated by her rival 0:2 and 1:3. The Belarusian seemed to rally in the final set and won three games in a row making the score for the set 4:3. It appeared the Czech had been mastered but Safarova reacted strongly with several superb serves. Victoria was not ready for the renewed pressure, thus losing the first set. The second set was not a success for Azarenko: initially, she won her serve but then again lost three games putting the Czech in the lead. Safarova, playing to Victoria’s weakness, won this set. Meanwhile, Azarenko had previously defeated the Czech tennis player in the six matches they’d played.
Azarenko praised her opponent; “I’d like to congratulate Lucie on her brilliant performance in Doha. I played to the best of my capabilities at this time. That was not enough to win the finals but I think I played well and hope I’ll return to Qatar next year.”
Before her disappointment in the finals, Victoria had defeated Germany’s Angelique Kerber, Ukraine’s Elina Svitolina, the American Venus Williams and Denmark’s Caroline Wozniacki. After beating Venus in the semi-finals, Azarenko joined the ranks of the few players who had ever managed to outplay both of the Williams sisters.
This was the first time that the Belarusian had played under the guidance of her new coach, Belgian specialist, Wim Fissette. He has previously achieved success with the Belgian Kim Clijsters and Romania’s Simona Halep. Victoria’s former coach, the Frenchman Sam Sumyk, is currently working with Eugenie Bouchard, of Canada.
By Yegor Glebov