When the Lexington draw came out there was a air of excitement but also the realisation a top player looking to find form would be going home and sadly that was Victoria Azarenka.
It was a tough match for the Belarusian who fell 3-6 2-6 to Venus Williams and it’s a case of back to the drawing board for Vika who is without a win in 2020 and just three wins in ten dating back to Wimbledon last year.
Even before lockdown Vika didn’t have a 2020 season. For some reason she opted out of the Australian Open in December but there wasn’t really too much info on what was going on just personal reasons. We know since Vika gave birth to her son Leo her time on court was limited as she wasn’t allowed to travel outside the USA with Leo on court order during a custody battle.
The first time this year we saw Vika was in Monterrey a week before Covid-19 was declared a Global Pandemic and lost 2-6 2-6 to Tamara Zidansk which was her first singles match in 6 months since her round one exit at the US Open.
I think it’s too easy to look at it and just say 3 wins in 13 months and pretty unfair. Vika has played two tournaments in the last year and of course almost 6 months of that was the Covid-19 Pandemic.
Vika needs time. She hasn’t been able to build momentum for one reason for another but she never gives up. All that has gone on she continues to fight and there will be tough matches.
I’ll never forget the Australian Open last year, it was a tough time for Vika who was a two time former champion at Melbourne Park but it just didn’t work for her and it was heartbreaking to see her break down in tears in her press conference and watching it was a realisation of how a former champion was struggling and how we are all human and need time and support.
“Sitting here today, I failed but I’m struggling. Failing is when you give up and you don’t try again but I’m struggling, if I’m going to going to struggle to get out of that, that’s what I’m going to do.”
“I’ve been through a lot of things in my life, sometimes I wonder why I go through them but I think they’re going to make me stronger. I want to believe that and I’m going to work hard for it.”
“Sometimes I just need a little time and patience and a little support”
Vika right now needs a run of tournaments to build momentum. As do a lot of players, the fact that Vika was playing much before the lockdown doesn’t help the situation.
I do think she can get back to a high level, never rule anything out in the sport and sometimes things have to get worse before they get better. I didn’t think she played that bad against Venus who was on one. Sometimes those defeats give you more momentum to go forward and improve and I do hope it happens for Vika.
I imagine having played in Kentucky she will play Cincinnati and the US Open and it will be a perfect time to kick start her season and build momentum before potentially moving onto clay.