Shouldn’t have played today, says Victoria Azarenka after leaving Miami
Victoria Azarenka says her personal life has been “extremely stressful” in recent weeks and she shouldn’t have played at the Miami Open on Sunday after the former world number one retired against the Czech from 16 year old Linda Fruhvirtova.
Wildcard Fruhvirtova was leading 6-2 3-0 when Azarenka, 32, informed the chair umpire that she was finished and left the field.
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“I shouldn’t have gone on the pitch today,” Azarenka said later in a statement.
“The last few weeks have been extremely stressful in my personal life. The last game asked a lot of me, but I wanted to play in front of a great audience because they got me through my first game.
“I wanted to go out there and try but it was a mistake.”
Azarenka, who won the Australian Open in 2012 and 2013, had a year-long maternity break in 2016-17. A split with his partner and a custody battle over his son Leo which was only settled in 2018 have also hampered his career.
The Belarusian, who is playing on the Tour without her country’s name or flag following sanctions linked to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, broke down in tears when she lost to Kazakhstan’s Elena Rybakina in Indian Wells this month.
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She defeated Russian Ekaterina Alexandrova in a tiebreak in her previous round at the WTA 1000 event in Miami.
“I hope to take a break and be able to come back,” added Azarenka.
“I always look forward to the challenge and the pressure of competition, but today was too much. I have to learn and I will learn from it.”