Make us your home page

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.


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


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

  1. Tampa Bay Downs full of high-paying races this season


    OLDSMAR — Tampa Bay Downs is green like never before.

  2. Astros rout Yankees to force Game 7 of AL Championship Series


    HOUSTON — Justin Verlander pitched seven shutout innings to outduel Luis Severino for the second time, and the Astros bats came alive in their return home as Houston routed the Yankees 7-1 Friday night and forced a decisive Game 7 in the American League Championship Series.

    The Astros’ Brian McCann, who has struggled during the ALCS, breaks a scoreless tie with an RBI double during the fifth inning off Yankees starter Luis Severino.
  3. Fennelly: What's not to like about Lightning's start?

    Lightning Strikes

    BRANDON — No one is engraving the Stanley Cup. No one has begun stuffing the league MVP ballot box for Nikita Kucherov.

    The Lightning, with a win tonight, would match the best start in franchise history, 7-1-1 in the 2003-04 Cup season.
  4. Quarterback Jameis Winston will start Sunday for the Bucs


    TAMPA — Jameis Winston hadn't thrown in practice since he injured his right shoulder in Sunday's loss at Arizona, and with that uncertainty, a wide line of TV cameras and reporters' cellphones were all out Friday morning, recording the moment as Winston tested his shoulder with his first throws early in …

    Despite a sore shoulder, Jameis Winston will be making his 38th consecutive start since being drafted first overall in 2015.
  5. Bucs journal: LB Kwon Alexander ready to return from injury


    TAMPA — LB Kwon Alexander, sidelined by a hamstring injury since the second quarter of the Bucs' season opener against Chicago, will finally make a healthy return Sunday against the Bills.

    Linebacker Kwon Alexander needs “to get my stats back up” after being out since the opener.