‘Proud’ Victoria Azarenka battles through the pain to beat Elina Svitolina at Qatar Open
In the battle of the former world No 1s, Victoria Azarenka was too strong for Elina Svitolina as she moved into the semi-final where she will meet Garbine Muguruza.
While the 6-2, 6-4 scoreline suggests a straightforward match, Azarenka was hampered by a back problem and required medical treatment.
The Belarusian broke three times in each set, although the top-seeded Svitolina managed one break in the opening set and two in the second.
Fighting like a WARRIOR 🤺
— wta (@WTA) March 4, 2021
“In the warm-up, I just felt a very sharp pain and I was very worried,” Azarenka said. “I tried my best. I really tried to just focus on what I could do, and not think about anything else, and try to find solutions and use every opportunity I had to play.
She continued: “I just tried to play point by point and not think about the score, how long it’s going to take to play, if it’s going to be two sets or three sets. I’m really proud of the way I handled it mentally and how I approached this match.”
The two-time Grand Slam winner will face another former world No 1 in Muguruza after the Spaniard beat Maria Sakkari 6-3, 6-1 in just over an hour.
Muguruza broke three times in the first set and twice in the second.
Watch out for @GarbiMuguruza in Doha 🚨
— wta (@WTA) March 4, 2021
“Probably when I had the opportunity, I took it,” Muguruza said. “I just went for the point and converted those break points and could close the match when I had the moment for it.”
Petra Kvitova moved into the last four with a 6-3, 3-6, 6-2 victory Anett Kontaveit with American qualifier Jessica Pegula standing in her way of a final appearance.
Pegula, who reached the Australian Open quarter-final a fortnight ago, upset second seed Karolina Pliskova 6-3, 6-1.
A match of firsts for Emma Raducanu as she beats Polona Hercog in Cluj for maiden win at WTA Tour level
It’s a first win at WTA Tour level for Emma Raducanu.
Red-hot Cameron Norrie sees off Marton Fucsovics in Austria to set up clash against Felix Auger-Aliassime
The British number one claimed his seventh consecutive win.
Preview: Emma Raducanu back in action as she headlines the Transylvania Open
The WTA Tour rumbles on in Romania as Emma Raducanu looks to return to winning ways.
Emma Raducanu’s Best Moments On and Off The Court: From Wimbledon to the US Open, Met Gala and James Bond premiere
A pictorial of Emma Raducanu’s whirlwind few months.
Andy Murray on playing in the Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic era: ‘I feel lucky to have played against them’
“They allowed me to improve by setting the bar so high.”
‘I believe it will [get crazier] for Serena,’ says auctioneer after signed Serena Williams rookie card sets record
“Serena will be included in those products long after she’s retired.”
‘I still struggle, but I am super confident next year will be better,’ says Simona Halep
“I still love the sport and love being on the court,” says Simona Halep.
Victoria premier sticks to his guns over double-vaxxed stance for Australian Open as he criticises double standards
Victoria Premier Dan Andrews refuses to change his mind.
Andy Murray highlights key reason for his ability to chase more balls down after upset win over Hubert Hurkacz
“It was a good win in tough circumstances,” says Andy Murray.
Andy Murray finally delivers a knockout punch against a top-10 player as he beats Hubert Hurkacz in Vienna
The pieces continue to fall into place for Andy Murray as he finally gets a win over a top-10 player.