Azarenka Eliminated Already In 2nd Round At Libema Open

Azarenka Eliminated Already In 2nd Round At Libema Open

by Evita Mueller

Victoria Azarenka had a good start into the grass-court season, but couldn't follow up on it in her second match at the 2023 Libema Open.

In her opening match in 's-Hertogenbosch, the third-seeded Belarusian outplayed Natalija Stevanovic from Serbia, who proved to be a challenging opponent for the former World No. 1.

But after Azarenka succeeded in her opener, and delighted fans by distributing tennis balls with her son Leo, it was expected that she will gradually improve match by match as she was one of the favourites of the 2023 Libema Open.

But in the second round of the WTA 250 tournament, the Belarusian met Ashlyn Krueger, World No. 152, who was determined to stop the two-time Grand Slam champion before the quarterfinals of the tournament.

The two met once before, and it was a three-set victory for Azarenka when she outplayed Krueger 6-1, 4-6, 6-2 at the 2022 US Open in the Flushing Meadows before making the fourth round at the tournament.

But this time, their meeting was much different, especially the start of the first set. Krueger seemed to be unstoppable, while Azarenka couldn't find her footing and after a few minutes, the American led 5-0 against the experienced 33-year-old opponent.

But Krueger knew it won't be an easy match as Azarenka was able to recover one of the breaks, giving herself a chance to come back at 5-3. But the American didn't fold under the pressure, serving out the first set to love, winning it 6-3.

In the second set, the Belarusian knew that this time, she can't miss the start of it, but that didn't happen. Once again, Krueger sprinted into a one-break lead and after adding another break in the seventh game, nothing stopped the World No. 152 from winning the match 6-3, 6-2 and taking care of the biggest surprise of the 2023 Libema Open so far.

The 19-year-old will now need to prepare for her quarterfinal match as she can meet another Grand Slam champion. She will face either the sixth-seeded Bianca Andreescu from Canada, or Viktoria Hruncakova from Slovakia.


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