Victoria Azarenka’s ‘too many mistakes’ doom her at Wimbledon

Victoria Azarenka stumbled in her attempt to work her way back from a January foot injury on Wednesday with a disappointing second-round exit at Wimbledon to Bojana Joavanovski.
Bojana Jovanovskiof Serbia knocked out Victoria Azarenka on Wednesday at the 2014 Wimbledon Championships. Al Bello / Getty Images / June 25, 2014
Bojana Jovanovskiof Serbia knocked out Victoria Azarenka on Wednesday at the 2014 Wimbledon Championships. Al Bello / Getty Images / June 25, 2014
Victoria Azarenka admitted Wednesday she has her work cut out if she wants to reclaim the world number one spot.

The Belarusian, playing just her third match since March after sustaining a left foot injury in January, was beaten 6-3, 3-6, 7-5 by Serbian world number 45 Bojana Jovanovski in the second round at Wimbledon.

And the eighth seed said she was going to have to be tough on herself to restore her place in the tennis pecking order.

“It’s consistency. It’s not enough. It’s a little bit too many mistakes, like not closing the opportunities, not being sharp enough. There are a lot of things that still have to be tuned and practiced. It basically goes down to back to work,” said the two-time Australian Open winner.

“I had to start from somewhere. It didn’t really matter where it is. I had to start playing and see if I can play pain-free.

“It’s a build-up and I’m going to have to just work hard. I have a lot of work to do. It’s as simple as that. It’s just work and play and practice.

“I have to be realistic. I cannot sit here and say it’s all great, because there’s no moving forward from there. I’m going to be hard on myself just because I want to be better.”

Azarenka is going to throw herself into the North American hard court season in the build-up to the US Open at the end of August.

Asked if she thought it would be harder to reclaim the world number one spot than it was to reach it in the first place, the Belarusian said: “I don’t care. I’m ready to work.”

Australian Open champion Li Na, a three-time quarter-finalist, swept to a 6-2, 6-2 victory over Austria’s Yvonne Meusburger, hitting 33 winners to just four from the world No 38.

Second seed Li, 32, goes on to face Barbora Zahlavova Strycova of the Czech Republic, who upset 32nd-seeded Elena Vesnina 6-4, 6-2.

Five-time champion Venus Williams, 34, and playing in her 17th Wimbledon, defeated Japanese Kurumi Nara 7-6 (7/4), 6-1 in a battle of little and large on Court 3.

The American, who is the oldest woman left in the draw, stands at an imposing 1.85m (6ft 1in) compared to Nara’s 1.55m (5ft 1n) and the difference in stature – both physical and sporting – eventually told despite the world No 41 breaking early in both sets.

Williams will now face 2011 champion Petra Kvitova in the third round after the sixth seed topped Mona Barthel of Germany in a 6-2, 6-0 cruiser.

Polish fourth seed Agnieszka Radwanska, the 2012 runner-up, also went through with a 6-4, 6-0 win over Australia’s Casey Dellacqua and next meets Portuguese qualifier Michelle Larche de Brito who knocked out Maria Sharapova last year and scored her second-round victory on Wednesday over Jarmila Gajdosova in three sets.

The major upset of the day fell on 12th-seeded Italian Flavia Pennetta, who dropped out to American Lauren Davis 4-6, 6-7 (4/7).

Most other seeds easedalong, including No 10 Dominika Cibulkova (d Alison Van Uytvanck), No 16 Caroline Wozniacki (d Naomi Brady), No 22 Ekaterina Makarova (d Misaki Doi) and No 23 Lucie Safarova (d Polona Hercog).

American Coco Vandeweghe, a first-time WTA title winner at least week’s ‘s-Hertogenbosch Open and a first-round winner over No 27 seed Garbine Muguruza, dropped out to Tereza Smitkova of Czech Republic 3-6, 6-7 (4/7). Britain’s Tara Moore also made it 0-for-2 on the day for locals with Brady, dropping a third-set tiebreak heartbreaker to Russian Vera Zvonareva 4-6, 7-6 (7/3), 7-9.

China’s Peng Shuai beat Maria Kirilenko, who had earlier knocked out Sloane Stephens, 6-0, 6-3, and Ana Konjuh topped Yanina Wickmayer, who herself had knocked out Samantha Stosur in the first round, 3-6, 6-2, 6-2.

Meanwhile, 1997 singles champion Martina Hingis appeared at the All England Club for the first time since 2007 but she and Russia’s Vera Zvonareva lost their women’s doubles opener 6-2, 6-4 to fourth seeds Cara Black and Sania Mirza.

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Published: June 26, 2014 04:00 AM

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