Victoria Azarenka beats Angelique Kerber reaching first final in three years
Victoria Azarenka utilized her excellent serving and brutal groundstrokes to beat Angelique Kerber 6-4 4-6 6-1 to advance to the final of the Monterrey Open.
In a clash of former world champions in singles, Kerber dominated the beginning of the first set by playing smart tennis and was soon leading 3 to 1. The power, however, shifted in Azarenka’s way quite early in the third set just after Kerber did two double faults in a sloppy service game to give Azarenka a 2-0 lead. Azarenka seized the chance, coming back stronger in the next game and finally cruising until the end to earn her first final in over three years.
Azarenka had quite a competition in Mexico, but successfully managed to zip past Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, Zarina Diyas and Miyu Kato in straight sets. Kerber, gave her the biggest challenge, but she, however, won past that too and will be facing Garbine Muguruza, the defending champion.
First WTA Tour Final in Three Years
Azarenka will compete in the first singles final for the first time in three years, which will take place on Sunday in Mexico after juggling a difficult tour as well as her personal life. The former number one last competed in a singles final in April 2016 when she won both the Indian Wells and Miami during a period of two weeks.
She announced her pregnancy a short time later and gave birth to her son Leo in December. The following summer, the 29-year old returned to play competitively but has been involved in a custody battle with the father of her child and this has affected greatly on her tennis.
When asked to comment after her win, she was very pleased with her performance and said that she is getting back used to playing and she is trying to make better choices and better decisions under pressure adding that it is all about taking one-step at a time.
Azarenka’s Successful Tennis Career
The 29-year-old Belarusian is a former world number one in singles and in 2012, she was the year-end number 1. The mother of one made her debut in tennis in Israel back in November 2003 on the ITF junior tour and has since won the WTA singles title 20 times, WTA doubles title 7 times as well as the mixed doubles title 3 times.
In both 2012 and 2013, she won Australian Open singles titles breaking the record of the only player from Belarus – male or female; to secure a Grand Slam singles title. Her other major accomplishments include winning 6 Premier Mandatory tournaments as well as securing a gold medal at the 2012 Summer Olympics’ mixed doubles together with Max Mirnyi.
Win Moves Azarenka up to the 60th Position in the WTA
Azarenka’s comeback from maternity leave has been quite a difficult journey than a lot of people might have expected but she was able to showcase a good performance in Monterrey winning over both Anastacia Pavlyuchenko and Angelique Kerber.
Azarenka’s victory saw her move up on the WTA’s list to the 60th position. Before, the Belarusian was at position 67. She now holds 1,001 points. This shows she is headed in the right direction once again after falling out of the Top 50.
Azarenka will Face Spaniard Muguruza in the Final
Azarenka will play Spain’s Garbine Mugurunza in the final on Sunday in Mexico. Earlier, Muguruza easily booked her ticket to the finals by beating Slovak Magdalena Rybarikoza 6-2 6-3.
Azarenka has faced Muguruza only once before back in 2016 on the hard courts in Miami in a hard-fought battle in which she won 7-6(6) 7-6(4).
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