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Azarenka secures comeback win

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Originally published on 21/06/17 00:00

The former world No.1, who gave birth to her son Leo last December, saved three match points before defeating Japan’s Risa Ozaki 6-3 4-6 7-6(7) in a pulsating encounter that took two days to complete.

Ozaki was ready to serve for the match on Tuesday evening however play was stopped due to fading light. On the resumption, Azarenka showed the fighting qualities that helped her become a major champion and she battled back from the brink to secure a morale-boosting victory.

The Belarusian had initially planned to make her comeback during the North American hard-court swing in Stanford, but she felt ready to return ahead of schedule and she will be involved in the action at Wimbledon next month.

“I think I started the match really well, but my intensity dropped a lot and it got me into trouble,” commented Azarenka after her dramatic win. “I let her play more, and she’s such a fighter who brings so many balls back. It’s always tricky when you’re playing your first match in a while – that’s something I had to adapt to.

“I started today by breaking back, so I had good momentum. I’m still trying to find my range but mentally, I was there for every point. My experience helped me through, even at 40-0 down I was trying to find my way out of it."

The two-time Grand Slam champion will play Ana Konjuh in the second round on Thursday.

 

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