Victoria Azarenka backhand

Azarenka on transition from hard court to clay: ‘It’s challenging, but you just have to play matches’

Victoria Azarenka has admitted that it has been ‘challenging’ to transition from hard courts to clay court tennis in such a short period of time.

Azarenka was one of the stars of the US Open, losing the final to Naomi Osaka in New York just a few days ago.

However, she was straight on a plane and heading for Rome where she faced, and beat, Venus Williams in her first match.

If it looked easy, though, it certainly wasn’t.

“Obviously playing on a different surface was definitely challenging, but I feel like I have adapted pretty well,” Azarenka said after her 7-6 (9-7), 6-2 win.

“I knew it wasn’t going to be easy. I knew I wasn’t going to play a perfect game.

“But it was all about trying to find the right intentions to do today. I think it worked out okay.

“I think the best way to transition is to play matches.

“I know physically it’s quite challenging, on your body it is quite challenging but I wanted to do this.

“I knew I was going to come no matter what.” She stated.

“I’m very happy that I did. I think there is no better way to adapt than playing matches.”

Michael Graham, Editor, has been a professional sports journalist for his whole career and is especially passionate about tennis. He's been the Editor of for over 5 years and loves watching live tennis by visiting as many tournaments as possible. Michael specialises in writing in-depth features about the ATP & WTA tours.