03/08 00:05 CST Victoria Azarenka falls in Indian Wells return
Victoria Azarenka falls in Indian Wells return
INDIAN WELLS, Calif. (AP) --- Third-seeded Victoria Azarenka tumbled out of the
BNP Paribas Open on Friday night in her first match in more than a month,
falling 6-0, 7-6 (2) to American Lauren Davis.
Azarenka, from Belarus, had been sidelined since the Australian Open because of
a left foot injury that required her to wear a boot for several weeks.
The two-time Australian Open champion, hampered by nerve damage between her
toes, limped visibly at times, had trouble serving, fell to her knees several
times, broke a racket after double-faulting to fall behind 4-3 in the second
set, and fought back tears.
"Basically, all I had was my fighting spirit," Azarenka said. "When I'm on the
court I try to give as much as I can, even on one leg. I try to do my best in
tough situations. That's part of our job."
She isn't sure if she'll try to play in the Sony Open in Florida in 10 days.
"I want to be pain-free because it's not to the most fun to be out there like
that," Azarenka said.
Most of the other second-round matches were routine. Second-seeded Agnieszka
Radwanska of Poland got it started by beating qualifier Heather Watson of
Britain 6-4, 6-3. Later in the day session, No. 6 Simona Halep, No. 7 Jelana
Jankovic, No. 9 Sara Errani and No. 10 Caroline Wozniacki were straight-set
winners. Two-time tournament champion Daniela Hantuchova of Slovakia, seeded
29th, fell to American Varvara Lepchenko, 6-3, 6-2.
Meanwhile, with the men finishing their first round, Roger Federer and
Stanislas Wawrinka, the 2008 Olympic doubles gold medalists for Switzerland,
teamed up again for a 6-2, 6-7 (4), (10-6) victory over Rohan Bopanna of India
and Aisam-ul-Haq Qureshi of Pakistan in a match played in the new 8,000-seat
"I don't know if it was sold out, but it felt like very, very full," said
Federer, a four-time singles champion at Indian Wells. "You're not probably
going to achieve that on center court (where capacity is 16,100) for a doubles.
But that was a perfect setup, a feeling, and we can thank the tournament and
(owner) Larry Ellison for building such a court so quickly.
"It's nice to see the game grow and seeing people coming out and enjoying it.
It's great. I really had a great time out there with Stan today."
Wawrinka is the Australian Open champion.
"It took me time to realize really what I did in Australian Open," said
Wawrinka, who is the No. 3 seed and could meet No. 7 Federer in the
quarterfinals and top-seeded Rafael Nadal in the semifinals. "Still when I'm
saying that I won a Grand Slam it's still strange for me, but that's why it was
good to be home during three weeks. It was good to be with the family, to take
more time for myself.
Wawrinka's second-round opponent will be Ivo Karlovic of Croatia, and Federer
will open his title bid against French qualifier Paul-Henry Mathieu. Wawrinka
and Federer both will play Saturday afternoon.
On Saturday night, Nadal will take on Radek Stepanek.
Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray, Juan Martin del Potro, Richard Gasquet and
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga are the other top-10 players competing in doubles.