“Quite Disastrous”: Victoria Azarenka on Rain Troubles at French Open 2021 Following Her Victory Over Madison Keys

Published 06/04/2021, 8:02 AM EDT
Tennis – French Open – Roland Garros, Paris, France – May 30, 2021 Belarus’ Victoria Azarenka reacts during her first round match against Russia’s Svetlana Kuznetsova REUTERS/Christian Hartmann


Former World No.1 Victoria Azarenka stormed to a straight-set victory against Madison Keys in the third round of French Open 2021. She will now play 3rd seed, Aryna Sabalenka’s conqueror Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova in the fourth round.

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Victoria Azarenka in action at French Open 2021. REUTERS/Christian Hartmann

Before the day’s play began at Roland Garros, there were fresh showers in Paris. Hence there was confusion as to what would the conditions be. There were a lot of variables for Azarenka to think about. As she was scheduled to play on Court Philippe-Chatrier, there was a possibility that she might have had to play in indoor conditions with the roof closed.

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“Well, this morning, in terms of organization it was quite disastrous so I just tried to stay focused on my game because there was way too many things happening that were not very comfortable. So in terms of adaptation, I was just trying to stay focused,” she said during the post-match interview.

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Victoria Azarenka on adaptability

Azarenka dealt well with the changing conditions and that showed on the court. Her game plan was to not let Keys settle. Early on the American was doing the right bits, but as Azarenka understood the conditions, she became the favorite in the match.

“I wasn’t sure what this is going to be isn’t going to be raining. We’re gonna play with the roof of what’s going to happen so I try not to think about too many things and just focus on myself.”

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The first set was tightly poised until 2-2. Azarenka then started returning very well and hence captured the first break of the match. From 2-1 down, Azarenka won five games in a row to seal the first set 6-2. Madison Keys had hit 15 unforced errors in the set as Azarenka’s disciplined game allowed only five.

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Azarenka had to continue her good work in the second set. In under 13 minutes, Azarenka had picked up a 3-0 lead with two breaks of serve. However, Keys was starting to hit more winners and took a break back from the Belarusian. But Azarenka again changed gears and forced Keys to find the lines. In the process, the American hit 18 unforced errors in the second set and Azarenka captured the match – 6-2, 6-2.

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Bhavishya Mittal

1226 articles

Bhavishya Mittal is a tennis author for EssentiallySports, who is currently pursuing his Bachelor's degree in Journalism from Manipal University. A former sports editor for The Manipal Journal, Bhavishya has also worked for The New Indian Express. He has a keen eye for many sports but he is a particularly ardent follower of tennis, with a zest to create riveting articles on the ever-evolving sport.

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