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A first-round match in a Premier 5 tournament couldn't be much more prominent. A total of nine Grand Slam titles gathered in the duel between Victoria Azarenka and Venus Williams on the Campo Centrale in Rome.
And the well-known meeting kept what it promised. US Open finalist Azarenka was able to prevail 7: 6 (7), 6: 2 against the 40-year-old American after a tough exchange.
Azarenka closes the sack after trembling
The first sentence in particular was tough. The Belarusian needed 62 minutes to win the tough wrestling. Azarenka had already been in the front 5: 3 and a set point at 5: 4 before Williams forced the tie-break with great fighting spirit. There "Vika" led again 5: 2, lost the next four points and still had the better end for himself in the end. After parrying a set ball from the American, Azarenka closed the sack.
The 14th world ranking was able to show that she succeeded in switching to the red ashes surprisingly quickly. also document in the second pass. While Venus was often one step late, Azarenka showed no signs of fatigue. Despite the 4-1 lead, the two-time Australian Open winner found it difficult to finally shake off Venus in the second set. Only after the hard-earned break to 5: 2 was the fair read.
Next hit against Sofia Kenin
The next touchstone awaits Azarenka in lap two. The Belarusian has to play a little more consistently against the reigning Melbourne winner Sofia Kenin in order to expand her run of success in the Eternal City.
(Image (c) USTA / Pete Staples 2020)
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