Practice makes perfect for top seed Azarenka
Top seed Victoria Azarenka, who is riding a season long 20-0 win streak, says she's not about to take the peddle off the accelerator anytime soon.sports Updated: Mar 14, 2012 09:14 IST
Top seed Victoria Azarenka, who is riding a season long 20-0 win streak, says she's not about to take the peddle off the accelerator anytime soon.
Despite her success, which has seen her rocket to the No 1 ranking in the world this year for the first time in her career, Azarenka says there is no easing up and when she gets on the practice courts it is all about trying new things and getting better every day.
"If I relax my butt but a little bit, someone is going to come along and kick it," said Azarenka following her dominating 6-3, 6-1 win over Julia Goerges at the WTA Indian Wells tennis tournament on Tuesday.
Azarenka struggled in her opening match at Indian Wells, barely scraping past rising German star Mona Barthel but then raised her game to another level with a straight-set victory over former US Open champ Svetlana Kuznetsova.
She has won 20 consecutive matches for the best start to a WTA Tour season in nine years when Serena Williams went on a 21-0 streak. Martina Hingis has the all-time Tour record of 37 straight match wins.
Asked if she has a chance of stretching her win streak to 41 matches like men's world number one Novak Djokovic did last year, Azarenka said, "I am definitely going to try."
Azarenka celebrated her win over Goerges with an ace on the final point of the 69-minute match on centre court.
Goerges was only able to hold serve twice in the match and won just 33 percent of her first serve points.
Azarenka said her success this year is because she is healthy and in better shape than previous years.
"The thing that stands out is my physical condition and I'm pleased with that," said Azarenka who started the year by winning the Australian Open. "But I feel like there is so much more room to improve on that. I'm trying to keep pushing and pushing myself."
Azarenka advances to the quarterfinals, where she will play number five-seeded Agnieszka Radwanska, who won her match when Jamie Hampton retired with a cramping problem in the third set.
Azarenka and Radwanska have met 11 times previously and this will be their fourth contest in 2012. Azarenka won all three matches this year and has an eight to three lead in career meetings dating back to 2006 at Wimbledon.
"I think it's gonna be a tough match, as usual," Azarenka said. "We have really tough battles. I'm really looking forward to play her again.
"She's a good challenge for anybody to play."
First Published: Mar 14, 2012 09:13 IST