Belarusian tennis star Victoria Azarenka admitted she felt the nerves early on in her Rome opener but she was glad she was able to find her best game and kick off her campaign at Foro Italico with a victory.
Azarenka, seeded at No. 16, saw off Swiss Viktorija Golubic 6-3 6-0 to safely progress into the Rome second round.
“The beginning of the match was a bit nervy, and the first game I missed a few easy balls,” Azarenka said after the match, per the WTA Tour website. “But starting the tournament is never easy to get into the groove. I’m glad I found my groove, stayed really focused and really disciplined. It’s not about how you start, it’s how you finish. I was thinking the conditions would favour her more than in Madrid, but I felt pretty comfortable out there.”
Azarenka sees off Golubic in straight sets
The match didn’t start well for Azarenka, who lost her service game in the opening game of the match.
Fortunately for Azarenka, she managed to break back Golubic in the second game and quickly get herself back into the set.
In the fifth game, Azarenka broke Golubic to take a 3-2 lead.
Azarenka got broken back in the sixth game but it didn’t impact her as she broke Golubic again in the seventh and ninth games to seal the first set.
After struggling on her serve in the first set, Azarenka absolutely dominated the second set as she broke Golubic three times and didn’t face a single break point to complete a straight-set win.
Azarenka knows what it takes to make a deep run in Rome as she was a finalist at the tournament in 2013.
Back then, Azarenka reached her first Rome final before losing in straight sets to Serena Williams.
Azarenka made her first Rome deep run in 2009, when she made the semifinal before losing to Svetlana Kuznetsova.