Azarenka suffers match-point meltdown in Serena loss

Wed May 6, 2015 5:07pm EDT
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MADRID (Reuters) - Victoria Azarenka suffered a stunning meltdown and blew three match points against world number one Serena Williams before losing 7-6(5) 3-6 7-6(1) in the third round of the Madrid Open on Wednesday.

Azarenka served for the match at 6-5 and 40-0 in the third set but fell to pieces.

Williams fought back to 30-40 before Azarenka served three consecutive double faults to lose the game and was then defeated in the resulting tiebreak.

‘It just happens. It wasn’t just the serve,” Azarenka told a news conference.

“She played very well at that moment and really on the last match point the difference between winning or losing was less than a centimeter.

“I wouldn’t say I let myself down, just sometimes it doesn’t go your way.”

Williams eased through her first two matches but had a much tougher test against the hard-hitting Azarenka, ranked 31, who is rediscovering her form after an injury plagued 2014.

Both players had their serves broken in a tight first set before Williams came back from 5-1 down in the tiebreak to win 7-5.

The American looked in control as she broke in the fifth game of the next set but then lost her concentration.   Continued...

Serena Williams of the U.S. returns the ball to Victoria Azarenka of Belarus during their match at the Madrid Open tennis tournament in Madrid, Spain, May 6, 2015. REUTERS/Susana Vera