“If You Gonna Beat Me…”: Victoria Azarenka Issues Stern Warning to Paula Badosa Ahead of Indian Wells 2021 Final

Published 10/16/2021, 4:31 AM EDT
Oct 10, 2021; Indian Wells, CA, USA; Victoria Azarenka (BLR) celebrates after winning a game against Petra Kvitova (CZE) at Indian Wells Tennis Garden. Mandatory Credit: Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports


Two-time champion Victoria Azarenka had a quiet 2021 season. However, the beast woke up in her last tournament of the year, cruising into the finals of the Indian Wells Open. Notably, this is the third time the Belarusian will play for the Indian Wells title. Now, inches away from lifting the trophy, she issued a stern warning to her fellow finalist, Spaniard Paula Badosa.

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Remarkably, the 32-year-old put on a stunning fight to turn around the semifinal clash against 2017 French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko. What was most interesting is that Azarenka saved three break points in the final game and endured 49 winners to reach the final. Indeed, she finally put her champion spirit on full display.

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Victoria Azarenka on her fiery battle in Indian Wells SFs

From the start of the match, Jelena Ostapenko controlled the points, whereas Victoria Azarenka struggled to find her rhythm. However, as the battle progressed, the Latvian professional began to lose her grip, and her opponent took full advantage of it. However, it was not as easy as said.

“She came out firing winners,” Azarenka exclaimed. “I had to run like a rabbit here and try to get the balls in. I had to find some way to turn it around, try to take control because she was playing so well, she was playing deep, and she didn’t really let me into the match.”

Oct 10, 2021; Indian Wells, CA, USA; Victoria Azarenka (BLR) hits a shot against Petra Kvitova (CZE) at Indian Wells Tennis Garden. Mandatory Credit: Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports

Eventually, the two-time Australian Open champion found her way in the tight battle and sealed the deal at 3-6, 6-3, 7-5. After that, she revealed what Spaniard Paula Badosa would need to do to win over her in the final.

“I’m going to fight until the end. If you gonna beat me, you have to beat me all the way,” Azarenka concluded. In response, the fans in attendance gave her a resounding cheer. 

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Azarenka and Badosa to lock horns in Indian Wells 2021 title match

In the other semifinal, Paula Badosa outclassed her counterpart Ons Jabeur comfortably in straight sets 6-3, 6-3. Hence, she is now more confident about her game on the Indian Wells tennis court than ever.

Aug 9, 2021; Montreal, Quebec, Canada; Paula Badosa of Spain serves against Viktorija Golubic of Switzerland (not pictured) during first round play at Stade IGA. Mandatory Credit: Eric Nolte-USA TODAY Sports

Conclusively, the two finalists will aim to bring their best on Sunday. Who do you think will come through, the confident Azarenka or the fearless Badosa?

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Purav Joshi

1352 articles

Purav Joshi is a Senior Tennis author at EssentiallySports. Having a degree in Films, Television and Media Production, he guided his passion for writing and journalism into the sport of aces and rallies. With over 2 years of experience as a copywriter, Purav has authored over 1000 tennis articles.

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