‘It’s really disrespectful’ – Former world number five blasts ‘bizarre’ Victoria Azarenka retirement
Daniela Hantuchova has slammed world number 16 Victoria Azarenka for the manner in which she retired from her Miami Open third round match against Czech 16-year-old sensation Linda Fruhvirtova.
Azarenka was being beaten handily 6-2 3-0 by her 279th ranked opponent when the 32-year-old abruptly retired from the match.
Most surprisingly, the Belarusian did not appear to give the chair umpire any explanation as to why she was retiring, leaving fans in the stadium confused.
Hantuchova said on Prime Video; “There was already a lot of mental baggage in the first set and I guess [Azarenka] just completely lost it.”
Azarenka shouted towards her box multiple times in the match, including outwardly questioning her coach as to why she was even on court.
Hantuchova then expanded and roundly condemned Azarenka for her manner of retirement.
She said: “The most disrespectful thing about this is how she walked off the court without really giving a reason [for retiring].
“I think the WTA will really have to look into this.
“This one for me is really bizarre and really disrespectful to the crowd, to the umpire and most importantly to Linda (Fruhvirtova).
“I think Vika (Azarenka) just knows if she kept going this way she would be off the court anyway very shortly.
“But just the way she’s done it, it’s not nice behaviour.”
Azarenka is having a tumultuous time on and off court in recent weeks.
In March alone she has been made to play under a neutral flag as have all Russian and Belarusian players on tour; has expressed her heartbreak at the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine; was seen crying midway through a game in her last match at Indian Wells; and deleted her social media following her exit from the Californian WTA 1000 tournament.
On the flip side of Azarenka’s exit, Fruhvirtova is loving life in Miami and feeling “unbelievable” as her run continues.
With this victory the Czech became the youngest WTA singles player to reach the fourth round of the Miami Open since Tatiana Golovin all the way back in 2004, a year before Fruhvirtova was even born.
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