Azarenka pulls out from Wuhan Open

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Belarusian tennis player Victoria Azarenka (ranked No.23) has withdrawn from the Wuhan Open (China), failing to end the match against Brit Johanna Konta (No.66).

Azarenka was leading 6-4, 1-0 at the time of the retirement.

“I don't know if it was the right [decision] to play that long because I started feeling it right in the beginning of the match and obviously in the first match,” Azarenka said. “I wanted to try my best, especially for the fans. They were out there cheering so hard. It was just difficult to just walk away from the court."

“But coming in a little bit not healthy, it's not easy definitely. But it's the end of the year. It's been a tough year. I just need to push a little bit more through,” Victoria admitted.

The last 20 months have been really complicated for Azarenka, who suffered a lot of injuries and moved down in the WTA rankings.

“The year has been tough, not just on the court. It's been still a lot of good experiences for me. But, as I said, just frustration. I guess my mind is not totally here right now. I'm just thinking a little bit ahead. But I got to try to stay present a little bit and give my best in my next two tournaments,” Azarenka added.

“It's going to be my first off‑season with my new team,” Azarenka said, referring to coaches Wim Fissette and Sascha Bajin, who took over coaching responsibilities after Sumyk in February.

“That's something I didn't have an opportunity this year to work on. I didn't have a time slot that I can just dedicate to work on specific things. It's just been like a little bit there, a little bit there. That's resulted in a little bit of inconsistency from me right now. The important thing for me is to get my body fit 100%, on a consistent basis. I have a lot of work to do. That's why I think my mind is a little bit thinking too much for the next year because I have a plan what to do already in my off-season. I guess that kind of distracts me a little bit,” the Belarusian specified.

Victoria Azarenka has been pleased with her strength and endurance this season, but acknowledged a lack of speed and agility through the rallies: “I believe I need to get faster. I need to get a little bit more mobile. I lost that, the first one‑two step movement that I had before,” the World No.23 admitted.

“The game is getting better. Even though I couldn't move today, I served really well. So there are positive things. I just need time to make sure that I put a really good amount of work in and dedicate myself and focus on fitness, focus on few things, and I'll be fine,” she concluded.

Let us remind that earlier Russian Maria Sharapova was forced to pull out from the tournament due to forearm injury. The Russian tennis player’s season was also disappointing for tennis fans. Sharapova hasn’t competed since Wimbledon and had to withdraw from the US Open due to her leg injury.

About Wuhan Open

The Wuhan Open is staged in China on 27 September – 3 October. The tournament prize money is $2,212,250. The reigning champion is Petra Kvitova of the Czech Republic.

The Wuhan Open was one of three WTA events in China new to the calendar in 2014. It is also one of two Premier-level stops in China.

Sandwiched in between Premier events in Tokyo and Beijing during the WTA's Asian swing, the Wuhan Open takes place at the Optics Valley International Tennis Center.

Wuhan, the capital of Hubei Province and the most populous city in Central China, is often referred to as the country's economic and geographical center. It is also the hometown of two-time Grand Slam champion Li Na.

Text and pictures by wtatennis.com