Azarenka Wins As First Round Wraps Up
Published August 27, 2013 12:04
It wasn't as easy as the score would indicate, however. Pfizenmaier extended many of the rallies with some promising shot variety and impressive retrieving skills - she even had 11 game points in the match. But at the end of the day the No.2-seeded Azarenka saved them all and breezed on through.
"I'm proud of the commitment I made in those games," Azarenka said. "There were a lot of close games, a lot of advantages, and I was down 40-0 in a few games too. For me it was important to stay in that moment even though I made a couple of unforced errors, just raise the level when I needed to.
"That's what happened. There are things I feel should be better, but overall it was a good start."
It was a start Azarenka was really waiting for - they were, after all, the last first round match.
"I couldn't wait to go out there and play because it was kind of a long wait for me," Azarenka said. "But now the first match is out of my way. Now I can just focus on the next one, and focus on coming out tomorrow and working a little bit on my game. And then I'll come back again for the next round."
What will the World No.2 work on for the next one? "Everything - I always find things that I want to do better," she said. "I think my game should be a little bit sharper. A few mistakes there and there - the execution should be a little bit more the way I want it, just directing the game a little bit better.
"But it's a good start. Definitely a good start. Mentally, it was important to stay tough, to stay focused. That's the most important thing. The game is there; just need to shape it up a little bit, really."
Next up for Azarenka is Aleksandra Wozniak, who won a tight two-setter against Vesna Dolonc earlier in the day, 75 76(5). Azarenka leads Wozniak in their head-to-head series, 3-1, though they have only played once at WTA main draw level, a competitive 64 64 win for Azarenka at last year's French Open.
"I haven't played her in a while," Azarenka said. "She's a great player. She had a lot of big wins before. We know each other so well since juniors. Not too many surprises out there - but I know what she's capable of. I have to be better than I was today for me, personally, and really execute my game."
Wozniak's win was a special one, as it was her first in a long time - she played just one match in the 11 months between mid-September 2012 and mid-August this year due to a right shoulder injury, making a full comeback to the tour last week in New Haven. The Canadian has some major credentials too, winning the Premier-level title at Stanford in 2008 and making it as high as No.21 during 2009.
Other favorites winning through were No.4 seed Sara Errani, No.6 seed Caroline Wozniacki, No.10 seed Roberta Vinci and No.14 seed Maria Kirilenko (read more here) and No.7 seed Petra Kvitova and No.13 seed Ana Ivanovic (read more here). No.11 seed Sam Stosur wasn't so lucky (read more here).