Azarenka wants to forget her ruins in Rome
Victoria Azarenka is shifting her focus straight to Roland Garros following a disappointing opening round defeat to Naomi Osaka in Rome on Monday.
The former world No. 1 lost 6-0, 6-3 to the 21-year-old Osaka in what was Azarenka’s fourth tournament of the season.
Playing just her second event in more than eight months, Azarenka made an impressive run to the semi-finals in Miami in March. After her return from maternity leave on grass last year in June, the Belarusian only played two tournaments – Mallorca and Wimbledon – before she was forced to stay away from competition due to a custody dispute with the father of her child.
In Madrid last week, Azarenka confirmed she will be playing through Wimbledon but her clay preparations for Roland Garros took a hit in Rome with her heavy defeat to Osaka.
“Nothing was working well for me today. It was a really poor performance on my part. Even though I created some opportunities in the second set, I did not take any of them. Today was a really, really bad day,” Azarenka told Sport3600 of her match against the Japanese.
Osaka is enjoying a stellar season in which she clinched a maiden WTA title in Indian Wells in March and has posted wins over the likes of world No. 1 Simona Halep, Serena Williams and now Azarenka.
“It’s hard for me to judge her game today as I think I couldn’t find any really things that would work well for me. But she’s a powerful player, she has big shots and she used them pretty well today. But it’s hard for me to judge based on today,” said Azarenka of Osaka.
Azarenka has played just three matches on clay in the past two years but despite that, she isn’t planning on entering a tournament next week before the French Open.
“No I’m not going to do that,” she said of the suggestion.
Azarenka’s best appearance at Roland Garros came in 2013 when she made the semi-finals.
The two-time Grand Slam champion is currently ranked No. 84 in the world.
“It was a really poor performance on my part”
Setback: Victoria Azarenka.