Former world no. 1 and two-time Australian Open winner Victoria Azarenka


Former tennis world. no. 1 defeats Japan’s Risa Ozaki in Mallorca Open


JAPAN – After taking a break from the sport for more than a year, former world no. 1 and two-time Australian Open winner Victoria Azarenka of Belarus showed everyone that she still has what it takes to win a tournament.

Looking fit and healthy, the 27-year-old Azarenka beat Risa Ozaki of Japan at the Mallorca Open on Wednesday – her first appearance on the court since May 24 last year when she decided to take a break to have baby.

Azarenka gave birth to a boy she named Leo last December.

The first-round match between Azarenka and Ozaki on Tuesday was stopped as darkness set in and resumed on Wednesday. Azarenka had to save three match points when the game resumed to oust Ozaki from the Spanish tournament – 6-3, 4-6, 7-6 (7).

“There were a lot of ups and downs, good shots and then easy mistakes. That’s something to expect after a long break, but definitely something I need to work on,” Azarenka said.

“It was definitely complicated, having to stop and come back for a short amount of time. But it was really intense because it was the end of a third set. I definitely felt better on the tennis court, especially playing-wise. I wouldn’t say I had the best preparation coming to this tournament, but mentally it’s better to go through this kind of a match,” she also said.

Azarenka’s next opponent will be Ana Konjuh of Croatia.

Before she became pregnant, Azarenka was supposed to compete at the 2016 French Open but had to withdraw due to a knee injury. GAC/Expat Media


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