Like Kvitová or Serena Williams (39), the Minsk native does not want to relinquish the position of the next generation without a fight, although seven of the last eight grand slams have been won by players under 23 years of age.
Ranařka Azarenková prefers harder surfaces, so after the defeat in the 2nd round of the clay Roland Garros with Slovenská Schmiedlová, she stayed in France and was preparing for the Ostrava indoor tournament.
“It’s definitely my last event this year,” said one of the favorites, who has a free ticket for the first round. In the second, he will face the winner of the Czech duel between Barbora Krejčíková and Tereza Martincová.
What matches are you looking forward to? ???? pic.twitter.com/OewsDKuhAs
— J&T Banka Ostrava Open 2020 (@JTBankaOpen) October 17, 2020
This is not the first time that Azarenková has been in the Czech Republic. Since 2005, she has raced regularly at the Prague Open in Štvanice, where in 2008 she defeated 18-year-old Kvitová and 16-year-old Karolína Plíšková on her way to the finals. Only in the fight for the title did she lose to Russia’s Zvonareva.
In 2012 and 2013, Azarenka was number one in the world for a total of 51 weeks, now she holds the 14th position and is definitely one of the players who have benefited from the ‘coronavirus break’.
— Jimmie48 Photography (@JJlovesTennis) October 17, 2020
She won her 21st career title in Cincinnati right after her and was close to triumphing at the US Open, but did not keep pace against Naomi Osaka in the final.
“I wouldn’t say that my form surprised me in any way. I know what I have and believe in my abilities,” said Azarenková in Ostrava, who has been led by coach Dorian Descloix since February. He was recommended to Belarus by Patrick Mouratoglou, Serena Williams’ coach.
“It’s weird because we (with Dorian) had to communicate a lot at a distance due to quarantine and restrictions. I had more responsibility for my performances because of that,” said Azarenka, whose tennis is always a great attraction for spectators. This year, at least through television broadcasts.
“I’m used to the bubble in New York and Paris, so it’s the same here in Ostrava. We all have to deal with it somehow,” Azarenka said.