Victoria Azarenka Pummels Laura Siegemund to March Into Round-4 of WTA Qatar Open

Published 03/03/2021, 9:19 AM EST
Tennis – Australian Open – Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia, February 9, 2021 Belarus’ Victoria Azarenka in action during her first round match against Jessica Pegula of the U.S. REUTERS/Jaimi Joy


Two-time Grand Slam champion Victoria Azarenka progressed to the fourth round of the WTA Qatar Open on Wednesday after quelling a stiff challenge from the feisty German, Laura Siegemund.

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The World Number 14 clearly had a tough battle on her hands in early play, as the German was going toe-to-toe and was level 4-4 in the opening set. However, Vika, as the Belarussian is known on the women’s circuit, pressed Siegemund’s serve in the ninth and was up 30-40. She managed to cash in on her breakpoint to go 5-4 up.

Victoria Azarenka scored a crucial break to fight off the challenge from Laura Siegemund in the opening set

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Serving for the set, the 31-year-old sought to wrap up the game quickly. However, the German fought right back and leveled the score at 30-30. It then went to deuce.

Azarenka got herself a game point, but the German pulled it back to deuce. The two-time Australian Open champion then scored another game point and cashed in on it to go one set clear.

While there wasn’t much to separate the two players in the opening set, the 56th-ranked German trailed slightly in terms of the points won and had served two more double faults than Azarenka.

Interestingly, the two had played each other only once before going into the third-round clash on Wednesday, and it was in the first round of the 2019 Australian Open.

What’s more, the German had scored an upset three-set win over Vika, stunning the packed Melbourne Park into silence. However, from the evidence of the opening set in Doha, it didn’t look like there was to be a repeat of that on Wednesday.

All Victoria Azarenka in the second set

Azarenka opened the second set with a comfortable service hold, going 1-0 up. Determined to press for an early advantage, the veteran was up 30-40 in the next game. She capitalized on her eighth breakpoint to open up a 2-0 lead. With the veteran bossing the early exchanges and going up a break, it was a catch-up game for the German thereafter.

With a good head of momentum behind her, the Belarussian ran up a commanding lead in her next service game and closed it out in her favor, to 3-0 up.

ROME, ITALY: Victoria Azarenka of Belarus celebrates in her round one match against Venus Williams of The United States during day three of the Internazionali BNL d’Italia at Foro Italico in Rome, Italy. (Photo by Riccardo Antimiani – Pool/Getty Images)

With the pressure on the German to hold and stay in the contest, Siegemund fluffed her lines again as Azarenka put the squeeze on her serve to level the score at 30-30.

The veteran then brought up her ninth breakpoint and cashed in on it to extend her lead to an unassailable 4-0. It seemed all over bar the shouting for the German.

Victoria Azarenka went from strength to strength as fight went out of Laura Siegemund

The Siegemund serve was put to the test yet again as the score was level at 30-30. However, that was before Vika produced her 10th breakpoint and converted it to further strengthen her grip on the match.

All that stood between the Belarussian and a place in the fourth round now was a service game.

The German did open up a 15-30 lead on the Belarussian’s serve but the veteran pulled level. Not willing to throw in the towel, the German brought up her fourth breakpoint.

However, Azarenka took it to deuce, but Siegemund brought up her fifth breakpoint and converted it to stay in the fight.

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The German was pressed on serve again as the score was level on 30-30. However, it went to deuce as Azarenka looked to close out the contest.

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The Belarussian scored her 11th breakpoint, but the German drew level. She eventually managed to hold, reducing the deficit to 2-5.

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Wary not to let her guard down again, Vika played out a clinical service game to come away a comfortable 6-4, 6-2 winner.

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Priyabrata Chowdhury

825 articles

Priyabrata Chowdhury is a tennis author for EssentiallySports. He has been a print journalist for a decade, producing news pages for leading national dailies such as the Hindustan Times and The New Indian Express. His passion for sports eventually drove him to tennis writing.

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