rediff.com

NewsApp (Free)

Read news as it happens
Download NewsApp

Available on  

Rediff News  All News 
Rediff.com  » Sports » Azarenka thriving on pressure as she chases hat-trick at Australian Open

Azarenka thriving on pressure as she chases hat-trick at Australian Open

January 16, 2014 19:52 IST

Azarenka thriving on pressure as she chases hat-trick at Australian Open

     Next

Next

Victoria Azarenka said the prospect of winning a third straight Australian Open title is an inspiration, not a pressure, after booking her place in the third round on Thursday.

Playing under the roof on Rod Laver Arena, the Belarussian saw off Czech Barbora Zahlavova Strycova 6-1, 6-4.

"I don't think I feel pressure," the number two seed told reporters.

"I like pressure because I think it motivates you to be better.

"I know that I won here twice before but this is completely a new year for me and I always take it one at a time.

"I know it's a long road where I only just played the second round. I just really want to focus on one game at a time."


Image: Victoria Azarenka
Photographs: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

     Next

'I had to adapt and try to refocus my game'

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

Azarenka admitted she struggled in the second set to deal with an opponent who rushed the net at every opportunity.

"She's a very tricky player and obviously can do a lot of things," she said.

"I felt like she was really brave to do anything, like coming to the net on a second serve. She went for her shots.

"So I had to adapt and try to refocus my game, trying to control and move her around myself."


Image: Victoria Azarenka
Photographs: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images
Tags: Azarenka

Prev     Next

'I'm glad that in important moments I'm finding my rhythm'

Prev     More
Prev

More

Azarenka said she was thankful she did not have to play in the heat of the day, when temperatures reached 43.3 degrees Celsius, causing play on the outside courts to be suspended.

"I didn't feel the heat. I didn't get sunburnt. I was in the perfect conditions today."

After two straight-set wins, Azarenka said she is satisfied with the state of her game.

"I felt I played pretty good," she said. "I had two very different opponents I played. I'm glad that in important moments I'm finding my rhythm and I'm able to raise the level."


Image: Victoria Azarenka
Photographs: Mark Kolbe/Getty Images
Tags: Azarenka

Prev     More
Source:
© Copyright 2013 Reuters Limited. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of Reuters content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Reuters. Reuters shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.