UPSET! World No.106 Thrashes Victoria Azarenka at WTA Berlin 2021 Semifinals

Published 06/19/2021, 11:16 AM EDT
Tennis – Australian Open – Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia, February 9, 2021 Belarus’ Victoria Azarenka leaves the court to receive medical attention during her first round match against Jessica Pegula of the U.S. REUTERS/Jaimi Joy


No.7 seed Victoria Azarenka suffered a heavy defeat against World No.106, Ludmilla Samsonova in the semifinals of WTA Berlin 2021. The Russian will now face Belinda Bencic in the final whereas, Azarenka will have to rethink her strategy ahead of Wimbledon Championships 2021.

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Ludmilla Samsonova stuns Victoria Azarenka at WTA Berlina 2021

Samsonova broke Azarenka in the first game itself. The Russian had a solid start with high attacking output troubling a rather slow Azarenka. Samsonova then saved three break points to increase her lead to 3-1 and frustrate Azarenka. Samsonova’s backhand was on full flow as Azarenka’s unforced error count was increasing.

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Azarenka’s returns weren’t working, and either landed near the service line or over the baseline. Samsonova was also covering the court well and reading Azarenka’s shots. Serving at 5-3, Azarenka had double faults and unforced errors as Samsonova saw her first set points. Samsonova was hitting winners from everywhere, but Azarenka hung on, 5-4. Samsonova continued her disciplined game and served out the set, 6-4. The Russian had hit only three unforced errors in the set.

Samsonova continues her onslaught against out-of-sorts- Azarenka

The second set started in a similar fashion as Samsonova returned well and Azarenka failed to keep her forehand inside the court. Samsonova’s second serve was also hard to penetrate for Azarenka as the Russian took a 2-0 lead. Soon, Azarenka would lose her serve again as she kept sending her strokes over the baseline; Samsonova led 3-0.

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Liudmila Samsonova in action during her semi final match against Belarus’ Victoria Azarenka REUTERS/Annegret Hilse

Samsonova was flying with her cross-court backhand and forehand. Whenever the Russian hit a cross-court stroke, Azarenka had no replies to it. Azarenka’s serve was again under pressure at 4-0. Samsonova targeted the former World No.1’s second serve, however, Azarenka saved herself from being bageled, 4-1. Azarenka showed glimpses of brilliance, but she was late. Samsonova served for the match at 5-2 and won the match, 6-4, 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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