“My Consistency Was The Key” – Victoria Azarenka on Steam Rolling Over Sofia Kenin at Italian Open 2020

Published 09/17/2020, 5:08 PM EDT
Tennis – WTA Premier 5 – Italian Open – Foro Italico, Rome, Italy – September 17, 2020 Belarus’ Victoria Azarenka during her second round match against Sofia Kenin of the U.S. Pool via REUTERS/Clive Brunskill


As two Grand Slam champions, Victoria Azarenka and Sofia Kenin, took the center-court in Rome for the night session match on Thursday, the fans expected some rollercoaster tennis from both sides of the court. Contrary to these expectations, Azarenka wrapped up the match 6-0, 6-0 in 61 minutes at Italian Open 2020.

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Azarenka didn’t give Kenin any breakpoint opportunity as she dismantled her friend and doubles partner. Notably, Azarenka has been almost unbeatable after the tournament in Lexington.

Last week, she defeated 23-time Major champion, Serena Williams, in the semifinals of US Open 2020. On Wednesday, she stormed past her sister Venus Williams in her opening round match in Rome. Her victory against the reigning Australian Open champion Kenin has further solidified her dominance.

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Tennis – WTA Premier 5 – Italian Open – Foro Italico, Rome, Italy – September 17, 2020, Sofia Kenin of the U.S. in action during her second-round match against Belarus’ Victoria Azarenka Pool via REUTERS/Angelo Carconi

Victoria Azarenka on defeating her doubles partner Sofia Kenin

Vika credited her consistency for her phenomenal tennis on Roman clay. That helped her pull off a victory in an hour against a top-five player.

“I think my consistency was the key to the scoreline,” Azarenka said after her one-sided win. “I feel like I played really smart tennis today,” she added.

“I was able to use a lot of court, I was able to use a lot of different pace. So I’m very happy with that. But the key was definitely being able to maintain the level that I started with. I think I used my serve smart today. I went for bigger serves when I needed, I went for variety when I needed. It was great, and I wasn’t feeling that great in the warmup, so it worked out in the match.”

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The US Open 2020 finalist placed 89 percent of her first serves in. She produced ten winners and only four unforced errors. Furthermore, her victory against Kenin was her first Top 5 win since defeating Karolina Pliskova at Stuttgart Open 2019.

“I was really more focused on what I can do today on the court, than on what she does well. So I think that was the difference, I was able to insist on my level and insist on my pace,” Azarenka added.

Tennis – WTA Premier 5 – Italian Open – Foro Italico, Rome, Italy – September 17, 2020, Belarus’ Victoria Azarenka with Sofia Kenin of the U.S. after winning their second-round match Pool via REUTERS/Clive Brunskill

Now, Azarenka will take on qualifier Daria Kasatkina, who earlier defeated Katerina Siniakova 6-2, 6-3 at the Italian Open 2020.

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Mahalakshmi Murali

1905 articles

Mahalakshmi Murali joined EssentiallySports in 2018 as a tennis author and has gone on to pen more than 1800 engaging articles, probing into various aspects of the sport and its illustrious players. With her expertise on the sport, Mahalakshmi has interviewed stalwarts from the sport such as Serena WIlliams’ coach Patrick Mouratoglou and Kevin Anderson’s physio, Carlos Costa. Equipped with her vast experience and a keen understanding of the sport, Mahalakshmi now co-heads the tennis department.

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