Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Top seed looks resilient in error-filled match

Victoria Azarenka says at one point during her first-round match she thought, “Forget it. I don’t want to do it.” She made 60 unforced errors.

Associated Press

Victoria Azarenka says at one point during her first-round match she thought, “Forget it. I don’t want to do it.” She made 60 unforced errors.

PARIS — Only 22, just recently a Grand Slam champion and ranked No. 1 for the first time, Victoria Azarenka is still learning to think like a top player.

So trailing by a set and one point from being down 5-0 in the second at the French Open on Monday, Azarenka's mind was filled with "a mix of things."

"Sometimes I felt it was not my day," she explained. "Sometimes I thought, 'Yeah, maybe I still fight, I still have a chance.' Sometimes it was like, 'You know what? Forget it. I don't want to do it.' "

And yet she did do it, beginning the climb back from a daunting deficit with a gutsy second-serve ace. Showing how far she has come from the petulance of earlier in her career, Azarenka took 12 of the final 14 games to beat Alberta Brianti 6-7 (8-6), 6-4, 6-2.

"Before, maybe I would just give up and go home. I was kind of thinking there was a flight straight to Minsk," said Azarenka, who was born in the capital of Belarus. "But I didn't want to leave too soon."

She certainly did not want to become the only top-seeded woman to lose in the first round since the tournament started allowing foreign entrants in 1925. But she needed every bit of fortitude to overcome a whopping 60 unforced errors.

The top-seeded man, Novak Djokovic, limited his miscues to when he spoke to the crowd in French after a victory Monday, never facing a break point while beating Potito Starace 7-6 (7-3), 6-3, 6-1.

"It wasn't that successful," Djokovic said — referring to his on-court postmatch interview, not his play.

"I'm trying to take it slowly. I'm running out of words," he said. "Who knows? Maybe (in the) next two weeks, I'll learn something more."

Other winners included defending champion Li Na and No. 3 Agnieszka Radwanska.

Roger Federer dealt with a few blips, getting broken once in each set, including when serving for the match for the first time. But he defeated Tobias Kamke 6-2, 7-5, 6-3.

Fish has heart procedure: Mardy Fish recently had a medical procedure to correct a heart problem.

Fish hasn't played since late March after being diagnosed with fatigue. He told USA Today he had a procedure called cardiac catheter ablation Wednesday to deal with misfiring electrical pulses in his heart. He is recovering at his home in Los Angeles.

"It has been so scary," Fish told the paper for a story posted on its website Monday.

Fish, who at No. 10 is the highest-ranked American on the ATP Tour, said he can resume light training soon and hopes to play at the grass-court tuneup for Wimbledon that begins June 11.

.FAST FACTS

French Open

Where: Roland Garros, Paris

Top results: Men — No. 1 Novak Djokovic d. Potito Starace 7-6 (7-3), 6-3, 6-1; No. 3 Roger Federer d. Tobias Kamke 6-2, 7-5, 6-3; No. 10 John Isner d. Rogerio Dutra Silva 6-3, 6-4, 6-4. Women — No. 1 Victoria Azarenka d. Alberta Brianti 6-7 (8-6), 6-4, 6-2; No. 7 Li Na d. Sorana Cirstea 6-2, 6-1

Today's top matches: Men — No. 2 Rafael Nadal vs. Simone Bolelli; No. 4 Andy Murray vs. Tatsuma Ito; Women — No. 2 Maria Sharapova vs. Alexandra Cadantu; No. 5 Serena Williams vs. Virginie Razzano; No. 9 Caroline Wozniacki vs. Eleni Daniilidou

Today on TV: 5 a.m., ESPN2

Details: rolandgarros.com

Top seed looks resilient in error-filled match 05/28/12 [Last modified: Monday, May 28, 2012 10:41pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Tampa Bay Super Bowls: A brief history and some predictions for 2021

    Bucs

    At last, Tampa will host a Super Bowl again. It used to be that the Cigar City would host one a decade, but by the time February 2021 rolls around, it will have been 12 years since the epic showdown between the Steelers and Cardinals. Because it has been awhile, let's revisit those past Super Bowls while also peering …

    Santonio Holmes hauls in the game-winning touchdown in the Steelers' 27-23 Super Bowl XLIII victory over the Cardinals in 2009, the last time Tampa hosted a Super Bowl. [JAMES BORCHUCK | Times]
  2. Rays bats go silent in second straight loss to Angels (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Sure, Alex Cobb was to blame for the Rays' 4-0 loss on Tuesday.

    Derek Norris strikes out with the bases loaded as the Rays blow a golden opportunity in the seventh inning.
  3. Marc Topkin's takeaways from Tuesday's Rays-Angels game

    The Heater

    RHP Alex Cobb made mistakes on back-to-back pitches to the first two Angels hitters Tuesday, allowing homers to Cameron Maybin and Mike Trout, but otherwise gave the Rays another solid outing, working into the eighth and scattering seven hits.

  4. Rays journal: Brad Miller won't return from DL when eligible

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — 2B Brad Miller (left abdominal strain) will not return from the 10-day disabled list Friday as he hoped. While he took ground balls Tuesday, he has yet to resume running.

    Rays second baseman Brad Miller, left, with infielder Tim Beckham, says he’s letting his left abdominal strain “cool down” before testing it by running.
  5. USF baseball rallies to beat Tulane in AAC tournament opener

    College

    CLEARWATER — With Tulane runners on first and second and two out in the top of the ninth inning Tuesday, USF's dugout watched as burly American Athletic Conference co-player of the year Hunter Williams' fly to left went deep.

    USF outfielder Chris Chatfield is congratulated by third-base coach Chris Cates after hitting a three-run homer in the third inning, tying the score at 3.