“Felt Like I Walked Out Rusty”: Victoria Azarenka Crushes Angelique Kerber to Set a Clash Against Ashleigh Barty at Miami Open 2021

Published 03/27/2021, 4:55 PM EDT
Tennis – Australian Open – Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia, February 9, 2021 Belarus’ Victoria Azarenka reacts during her first round match against Jessica Pegula of the U.S. REUTERS/Jaimi Joy


It was the night of an epic clash at the Miami Open 2021 as World No.15 Victoria Azarenka was up against former Worlld No.1 Angelique Kerber. The round of 32 proved to be an exciting contest that was ultimately captured by Azarenka. She completely thrashed Kerber in straight sets and earned a ticket to the pre-quarters. The final scoreline of the match was 7-5, 6-2.

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In the post-match interview, Victoria Azarenka talked about her comeback in the first set where she managed to win despite trailing 1-4 at one stage.

“Yeah, I feel like I didn’t really start well like with my rhythm but she started they’re aggressive she was playing well… I felt like I walked out a bit, a bit rusty, but then I picked it up and I thought that I played really solid I surfer smart today which was very helpful,” said Azarenka.

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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)

She also expressed joy over her return and said that the presence of some fans in the stadium gave her some confidence as well.

“I’m really happy to be back… I’m just glad that in this time we’re able to play tennis, we’re able to have some fans obviously not all the fans that we want, but some fans,” added the two-time Grand Slam winner.

Set-1: Victoria Azarenka makes a phenomenal comeback

Serving first, Angelique Kerber made too many unforced errors and didn’t win a single point. As a result, Victoria Azarenka broke in the first game. However, the German gave it back to Azarenka as she broke in the subsequent game to level the scoreline. She won the next game quite comfortably and was leading 2-1 at this point.

Kerber broke yet again and took her lead to 3-1 at the end of the fourth game. The World No.26 player saved two-break points in the next game and further widened the margin of her lead to 4-1. However, the Belarusian player showed some fighting spirit in the sixth game and reduced the lead to 4-2 after winning it. She broke in the subsequent game and brought the scoreline to 4-3 after some beautiful forehand winners.

Azarenka managed to level the scoreline but Kerber took the lead once again. Both players were playing really well and nobody was ready to lose. However, Azarenka showed her dominance and won three back-to-back games after that to seal the set 7-5.

Set-2: Azarenka seals the ticket to the pre-quarters

Vika yet again broke in the first game of the second set and that really frustrated Kerber. The German was leading 40-0 but lost the game due to poor execution of her shots. The Belarusian carried forward her momentum and extended her lead to 2-0 in no time.

Belarus’ Victoria Azarenka reacts during her first-round match against Jessica Pegula of the U.S. REUTERS/Jaimi Joy

Azarenka broke yet again the third game and it looked that it was going to over soon for Kerber. The German had lost her touch and was committing too many double-faults.

Kerber somehow managed to find momentum and brought the scoreline back to 3-2 after winning two consecutive games. However, Azarenka didn’t allow her to regain her form as she won the next game and broke in the next-to-next one. She was now just one game away from winning the match.

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Azarenka didn’t take much time and won the match in the next game by winning the set 6-2. She’ll next face Ashleigh Barty in the round of 16 of the Miami Open 2021.

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Anshul Singh

786 articles

Anshul Singh is a tennis author at EssentiallySports, currently pursuing Journalism Honors from Delhi University. Having significant experience with content, Anshul has authored over 500 tennis articles. He has previously worked as a writer and an editor for DU Express, penning riveting articles on sports, politics, and culture.

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