Victoria Azarenka French Open 2020

Azarenka defeats Kuznetsova at French Open in ‘always physical’ rivalry

Victoria Azarenka has defeated 2009 French Open champion Svetlana Kuznetsova to move on to the second round in Paris.

Victoria Azarenka overcame two-time Slam champion Kuznetsova 6-4, 2-6, 6-3 in exactly two hours on-court.

Azarenka served for the match at 5-1 in the deciding set, but failed to convert, before closing out the match on her next serve.

“Playing against [Kuznetsova] is always a battle,” Azarenka explained in her on-court interview. “Every time we play it’s gonna be very physical, it’s gonna be really mentally tough because we fight for every point.”

“I was juts excited to play against her, she’s a great test in the first round. [She’s a] former champion, so, it’s always a pleasure for me to play against her.”

Azarenka now holds a 7-4 winning record against the Russian, with their first tour matchup coming 14 years ago.

“Unfortunately I haven’t been able to play a lot this season. I’ve had a couple injuries that were really frustrating and discouraging, and coming to the French Open.

“I’ve been playing pain-free for the last three weeks, which has been a great boost energy-wise for me.”

Victoria Azarenka will next face world No. 90 Clara Tauson in the second round