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World No.161 Halts Victoria Azarenka’s Stunning Resurgence at French Open 2020

World No.161 Halts Victoria Azarenka’s Stunning Resurgence at French Open 2020

Slovakian tennis player Anna-Karolina Schmiedlova caused another massive upset at the French Open 2020. After defeating Venus Williams in her opening match, Schmiedlova stunned the in-form Victoria Azarenka 6-2, 6-2, in the second round on Wednesday.

The fact that she defeated two former Grand Slam winners in straight sets says a lot about her form going ahead in the tournament.

A fourth-round clash between Victoria Azarenka and Serena Williams was on the cards in Paris. However, Williams withdrew from her match earlier in the day. An Achilles injury she first suffered in the US Open 2020 semi-final led to her withdrawal. Ironically, she suffered that injury in the match against Azarenka.

Set 1: Schmiedlova conquers the return game of Victoria Azarenka

Schmiedlova started the match with a break of serve. She saved two break points in her first service game and held on to put Azarenka on the back-foot early on.

Azarenka, known as one of the best returners in the sport, applied the pressure again in the next game. But Schmiedlova saved another breakpoint. Both players then did not give much before Schmiedlova broke once again in the seventh game to earn another break for 5-2. She sealed the set 6-2.

Victoria Azarenka
Tennis – French Open – Roland Garros, Paris, France – September 27, 2020 Belarus’ Victoria Azarenka during her first round match against Montenegro’s Danka Kovinic. REUTERS/Christian Hartmann

Set 2: Azarenka fails to make a return

Azarenka started the second set much stronger behind her serve, and the set was on serve for the first four games. However, Schmiedlova once again demanded a lot out of Azarenka in the very next service game.

A poor drop shot unforced error from Azarenka gave the 26-year-old another break. She consolidated the break with little trouble to go 4-2 up.

A lengthy service game from Azarenka followed. The Belarusian just kept at it and tried to stay in the match. Azarenka saved one breakpoint, and had several chances to close out the game, but could not do so.

On her next opportunity, Schmiedlova wasted no time and played a wonderful rally, earning a second break of serve with a backhand winner. On the previous point, Azarenka felt undone by the net. She kissed the net sarcastically after the point.

Azarenka fought hard in the next game. She even brought up a breakpoint, but Schmiedlova was up to the task. She held on for the win. Azarenka’s 38 unforced errors led to her downfall.

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