(Reuters) - A deluge of double faults coupled with bad time management left Victoria Azarenka cursing her luck as she floundered in the first round of the China Open following a 6-4 2-6 6-4 defeat by Germany’s Andrea Petkovic on Monday.
Azarenka’s 15 double faults, to go with 44 unforced errors, mirrored the defending champion’s erratic display over two hours 22 minutes against Petkovic who appeared to be feeling dizzy in the second set.
“It was an awful match and very bad performance from me, so not much to say. It happens once, twice a year to every player, and happened to me today,” the Australian Open champion, who has endured a miserable run in Asia as she suffered a second-round exit in Tokyo last week, told reporters.
”If I‘m going to be doing it again, I probably should have taken a longer break (between tournaments) and just prepared myself. I don’t feel like I was ready to play.
“It’s just my mistake for not paying much attention after the U.S. Open how I managed my time and how I managed my health.”
On Monday, it was Petkovic who appeared to be less than 100 percent fit in the second set as she needed a medical time out. The German seemed to be a spent force as she lost seven straight games and allowed Azarenka to level and take the contest into the decider.
The defending champion traded breaks with Petkovic to level at 4-4 in the third set but her 15th double fault on break point left Azarenka in a foul mood as the German served for the match.
“I was saying a lot of things. I‘m not going to repeat them... there was a lot of emotions and frustration that I let myself get into because I wasn’t doing the right thing,” said the U.S. Open runner-up.
“I just feel from my part there was no execution. There were too many unforced errors and too many double faults.”
Reporting by Amlan Chakraborty and Pritha Sarkar in New Delhi, editing by Clare Fallon and Alison Wildey