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. Rays have their chances, but end up with another loss (w/video)

    The Heater

    TORONTO — The litany of games the Rays have given away this season is long enough, arguably too lengthy. So the only way to get to the postseason is make up for some of those losses by grabbing some wins when the opportunity is presented, especially at this time of year when the margin is diminished and the stakes …

    Associated Press
  2. Marc Topkin's takeaways from Wednesday's Rays-Blue Jays game

    The Heater

    You wonder if the scouting reports and/or workload are catching up to rookie RHP Jake Faria. The bottom line wasn't bad again, three runs in 51/3 innings, but he's having to work harder to get there.

  3. Rays journal: Chris Archer eager for eventful final stretch

    The Heater

    TORONTO — RHP Chris Archer takes the mound today for the Rays as they head into the final 40 games of the season with little margin for error as they battle for an American League playoff spot.

    Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Chris Archer (22) takes a moment on the mound in the second inning of the game between the Milwaukee Brewers and the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Sunday, August 6, 2017.
  4. Tim Tebow's slump continues, as does fan support

    Sports

    CLEARWATER — On July 29, playing against the Charlotte Stone Crabs, Tim Tebow smacked a mammoth three-run homer, helping the St. Lucie Mets cruise to a 10-3 victory at Charlotte Sports Park.

    St. Lucie’s Tim Tebow, shown Monday at Spectrum Field, struggled at the plate Wednesday against the Threshers.
  5. Rays at Blue Jays, 4:07 p.m. Thursday

    The Heater

    Today: at Blue Jays

    4:07, Rogers Centre, Toronto

    TV/radio: Fox Sports Sun, 620-AM, 680-AM (Spanish)

    Rays info: Toll-free 1-888-326-7297

    Probable pitchers

    Rays: RH Chris Archer (8-7, 3.84)

    JAYS: RH Chris Rowley (1-0, 1.69)