Indian Wells | Azarenka triumphs over Watson
While the major focus of attention centred on recent mother making her comeback after being out of the game since last year’s Australian Open, it isn’t surprising that another former world number one making her own long-awaited, was side-lined somewhat.
Victoria Azarenka, playing her first WTA Tour match since Wimbledon last year, eased herself back into the game with a 6-4 6-2 victory over Britain’s No.2, Heather Watson.
It truly means the world to me to be here, to play and to enjoy myself Victoria Azarenka
Her absence can be blamed on a custody battle over her child Leo, which keeps her in California and therefore unable to travel but it would seem that she hasn’t lost her touch or voice.
Azarenka started as if she had never been away, racing into a 5-1 lead before Watson struck back to cancel the two breaks against her to get the match back on serve at 5-4 cancelled out her opponent’s two breaks to get the match back on serve at 5-4.
The Belarussian broke again to lead 2-0 in the second and saved seen break points at 4-2 on her way to claiming a place in the second round.
Azarenka said: “It truly means the world to me to be here, to play and to enjoy myself. Walking out on court I felt so much love and I almost had tears in my eyes. It’s such an amazing feeling to be back playing and having fun — I forgot what it’s like playing in different emotions.
“It was definitely tough, especially when you have been out of the game for a while. There were some moments that I lost my concentration from not playing so long, but it’s a pretty good start. I had my heart out playing here and that’s the most important [thing].”