By Yuri Kovalev
Following the Australian Open Grand Slam event (the first tournament of the season), Azarenko has kept her ninth place singles ranking. On the Melbourne courts, Belarus’ number one seed defeated German Kathrin Woerle, Czech Andrea Hlavackova and Chanelle Scheepers from the South African Republic. In the quarter-finals, Victoria lost to China’s Na Li, who went on to lose to Belgian Kim Clijsters (now ranked second, up from third) in the finals. Top position in WTA ranking continues to be held by Denmark’s Caroline Wozniacki.
In the doubles, Victoria partnered Russia’s Maria Kirilenko, reaching the finals, where they lost to Argentina’s Gisela Dulko and Italian Flavia Pennetta. Victoria is now ranked 25th worldwide for her doubles skills, up from 44th.
Meanwhile, our Belarusian tennis players proved successful in the first round of the Fed Cup (Europe/Africa Zone Group I), winning every set. On the first day, they defeated the Austrians, while beating the Croatians on the second. On the third, they crushed Greece.
In the match to reach the World Group II play-offs, the Belarusians defeated Poland easily, with Olga Govortsova beating Magda Linette and Belarusian team leader Victoria Azarenko defeating Poland’s top seed, Agnieszka Radwanska, after a tough struggle.
The Belarusian team now goes through to face whoever loses World Group II of the Fed Cup, playing from April 16th-17th.