Reigning champ Azarenka out of China Open


Victoria Azarenka AFP PHOTO

BEIJING: Reigning China Open champion Victoria Azarenka lamented her lack of preparation after crashing out of Beijing in the first round on Monday (Tuesday in Manila)—her second early exit in a week.

The world No. 2 also blamed her mental fragility for the 6-4, 2-6, 6-4 loss to Andrea Petkovic, a match in which she was often seen cursing to herself as she committed a staggering 15 double faults.

The second seed had earlier in September lost the US Open finals to world number one Serena Williams before losing to her sister Venus in the second round of the Pan Pacific Open last week, a match in which she claimed to have felt ill.

The Belarusian said her defeats in Tokyo and Beijing could be attributed to her tough schedule as the season draws to a close.

“I probably should have taken a longer break and just prepare myself,” the 24-year-old told reporters after her latest defeat.

“I don’t feel like I was ready to play,” she said, adding that “the preparation wasn’t there enough, so I cannot deny that.

“It’s just my mistakes for not paying much attention after the US Open, how I managed my time and how I managed my health.”

Azarenka admitted she felt frustrated in the match against the 2011 finalist, which was held at Beijing’s National Tennis Centre.

“In terms of emotions, yeah there was a lot of emotions and frustration that I let myself get into because I wasn’t doing the right thing,” she said, responding to questions about her muttering to herself during the match.

“And with the serve, you know, trying new things, working it during the tournament . . . it was just off rhythm.”

Azarenka rarely showed glimpses of the form which helped her claim the title last year, at times appearing sluggish against the German, who is ranked 43rd in the world.

Petkovic needed medical attention after appearing to be dizzy during the second set, but regained her composure in the third set when a double fault from Azarenka left her serving for the match.

Fifth seed Sara Errani had no problems in her second-round match, defeating her Japanese opponent Misaki Doi 6-3, 6-2.

China’s Zhang Shuai continued her sizzling form, defeating compatriot Peng Shuai 6-3, 6-3 to set up a second-round match against tenth seed Roberta Vinci.



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