Victoria Azarenka defeats Latvian to edge closer to history at Indian Wells
Victoria Azarenka completed an impressive comeback to down a spirited Jelena Ostapenko at Indian Wells and edge closer to history.
The former world number one, who racked up two titles in the Californian desert in 2012 and 2016, defeated the talented Latvian 3-6, 6-3, 7-5.
The number 27 seed had to fight back from a set and a break down to earn a hard-fought victory and book a meeting with Paula Badosa in Sunday’s final.
“I thought the most important [thing], I would say today, was my fight, that I can be really proud of,” Azarenka said, in her post-match press conference.
“Analyzing the game, it was a lot of probably things that I could have maybe done a little bit better.
“Overall she was playing really incredible in the first set, not giving me much to do. I was just trying to find opportunity, actually create opportunity, for me to get back into the match, to take a little bit more control in the match, really fight for every ball.”
Previously, Azarenka defeated Maria Sharapova in the 2012 final and Serena Williams in 2016, and should she conquer Paula Badosa, she will become the first woman to lift the Indian Wells trophy on three occasions.
Despite a dominant showing in California, the Belarusian opened up on what has been a difficult season for the world number 32.
“I think my season has been tricky,” Azarenka added. “There were parts where I physically couldn’t necessarily bring that extra level, extra fight, which was very frustrating.
“Then there were parts where I felt that I was looking for something to add, and I didn’t necessarily know what it was. It was a lot of searching in the season, a lot of kind of stepping into unknown.
“I feel like right now I’m a bit more settled with a bit more structure, a little bit more discipline, which makes it not necessarily easier but a bit clearer what I need to do.
“So it doesn’t take extra energy on that, so I can kind of focus my energy more on the fighting for every ball.”
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