Azarenka suffers match-point meltdown in Serena loss
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...