World No. 15 and the 13th seed at the ongoing 2022 Indian Wells Open, Victoria Azarenka had a good win in the second round of the tournament after having received a bye in the first round because of her seeding. Azarenka was up against Australia’s Astra Sharma and went on to win the match 6-3, 7-5 in 1 hour and 43 minutes.
The win takes Azarenka into the third round at Indian Wells for the 10th time from her 13 main-draw appearances. The 2-time former champion was the runner-up at the 2021 Indian Wells Open and has begun well in her campaign to win the 3rd Indian Wells title and become the most successful women’s singles champion at the tournament with Azarenka currently one of the 9 players to have won the tournament twice.
While the score suggests a straight-set win for the Belarusian player, the match was quite evenly contested. Azarenka finished with 2 aces, 5 double faults, 5 out of 11 breakpoints converted and finished with 80 points in the match while Astra hit 1 ace, 4 double faults, and could convert only 3 of the 7 breakpoint opportunity she had for herself against the former World No. 1.
“For me, a lot is about how people carry themselves. Everybody can hit the ball pretty well. I’ve seen so much talent who are incredibly gifted with their hands. But it’s about how to find a solution, how to go about a routine that is pretty difficult, the grind. People impress me with who they are as human beings.
“I think what the person brings behind that, the legacy that they can bring, what they can bring to inspire new generations, that’s what impresses me. I always look for people who have more than just a good tennis game” Azarenka said after the match hinting that talent alone does not win you the matches, in comments reported by journalist Mario Boccardi.
Victoria Azarenka to take on Elena Rybakina next
Continuing in her hunt for the first title of the season, Azarenka will now be up against 17th seeded Elena Rybakina in the third round. Elena similar to Victoria had a bye in the first round and then defeated Alison Van Uytvanck 6-1, 7-5 to start the tournament with a straight-set win and set up a blockbuster clash in the third round.