Stubborn struggle on Madrid courts

Victoria Azarenko comes close to beating Serena Williams at Premier series tennis tournament

If you haven’t seen the match between Victoria and Serena, find it online and watch. Despite being played under the ‘roasting’ midday sun, the old rivals displayed excellent tennis. Many fans had lamented the two having failed to meet for 16 months, making the match long awaited. Meanwhile, the organisers must have regretted that the match occurred in the third round, rather than the final. Fans saw aces, beautiful serves, powerful shots and, most importantly, the keen struggle between strong characters.

In the first set, neither broke the other’s serve, resulting in a tie-break; Vika took the lead 5:1 initially but then made several mistakes, losing 5:7 and the whole set. Some would have surrendered after such a turn of events but Azarenko is a true fighter. She won the second set (6:3) but lost three match points in the third, resulting in a score of 6:5.

Ms. Williams has now qualified for the tournament’s quarterfinal, while Ms. Azarenko has left Madrid. Nevertheless, it’s clear that Vika is back on form and should soon be back in her rightful place, among the top-10. She boasts the character of a champion.

Victoria Azarenko lost to Serena Williams by just one point (112-113), showing her readiness, and for the coming clay court season in particular. Serena admitted that Vika ‘has returned to her former level’. Speaking at the after-match press conference, she added, “It’s nice to see a champion like Vika playing so well. I’ve always supported her in her matches. What she’s doing in order to return really deserves respect.”

By Yegor Glebov
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