Victoria Azarenka ‘to take a break’ after retiring mid-match in Miami as she admits ‘it was a mistake’ to play
Victoria Azarenka admits she “shouldn’t have gone on the court” on Sunday after she retired midway through her match against Linda Fruhvirtova at the Miami Open.
Just under a fortnight after she posted an emotional message following her exit from the Indian Wells Masters, the former world No 1 returned to action in Florida.
Azarenka, who is playing under a neutral flag due to Belarus’ involvement in Russia’s invasion of the Ukraine, won a three-setter against Ekaterina Alexandrova in the first round to set up a clash against 16-year-old Fruhvirtova.
The wildcard from the Czech Republic dominated as she was leading 6-2, 3-0 when the two-time Grand Slam winner retired.
— Marty (@Svitoflopina) March 27, 2022
After her defeat to Elina Rybakina in Indian Wells, the Belarusian posted about the war and said “I am devastated by the actions that have taken place over the last several days – against – and in Ukraine.”
She also deleted her Instagram account.
Following her Florida exit, she revealed that she was not in a good space and should not have played.
“I shouldn’t have gone on the court today,” the 12th seed wrote.
“The last few weeks have been extremely stressful in my personal life. Last match took so much out of me, but I wanted to play in front of a great audience as they helped me pull through my first match.
“I wanted to go out there and try but it was a mistake. I hope to take a break and be able to come back.”
She added: “I’m sorry to the fans for what happened as you were great to cheer for me. It was the only reason I decided to step on the court. I always look forward to the challenge and pressure of competition but today, it was too much.
“I have to and will learn from this. I would like to congratulate my opponent and wish her best of luck in this tournament and beginning of her professional career.”
What titles has Daniil Medvedev won?
Daniil Medvedev is a feared opponent on hard courts all over the world.
What does John McEnroe think of Carlos Alcaraz?
Carlos Alcaraz has received the John McEnroe seal of approval.
Daniil Medvedev offers mock thanks to Indian Wells court after ‘toxic relationship’
Daniil Medvedev was in good spirits after losing the Indian Wells final.
Elena Rybakina finally gets one back in rivarly with Aryna Sabalenka
Elena Rybakina avenged her Australian Open defeat with a championship match triumph at Indian Wells.
Carlos Alcaraz savours ‘crazy’ Indian Wells triumph and return to No 1
Carlos Alcaraz is thrilled to be back on top of the world.
Why Elena Rybakina’s Indian Wells win could be a breakthrough moment
Elena Rybakina is emerging as the biggest threat to Iga Swiatek at the top of the women’s game after Indian Wells win.
Carlos Alcaraz banishes Novak Djokovic ‘asterisk’ snipe as he reclaims No 1 ranking
Carlos Alcaraz confirmed he was a worthy world No 1 after his stunning win against Daniil Medvedev in Indian Wells.
Miami Open draw: Emma Raducanu handed nightmare opener
British No 1 Emma Raducanu is set for a tough start to her Miami Open campaign after she was drawn against Bianca Andreescu.
Stefanos Tsitsipas impressed and inspired by Jim Courier
Stefanos Tsitsipas fanboys over Jim Courier’s commentary.
Stefanos Tsitsipas reveals what it means to be ‘In Flow’
Stefanos Tsitsipas said: ‘It felt like I was in a cage and someone decided to unlock the cage and I suddenly felt free.’