2009 LA Womens Tennis Championships
Carson, CA, USA - August 5, 2009
Editorial courtesy of the LA Womens Tennis Championships
Photography by David Burrows.
In an intriguing second-round match, Maria Sharapova grinded out a two-hour, 32-minute win over Belarussian Victoria Azarenka, 6-7 (4), 6-4, 6-2. In their only other meeting, the recently turned 20 Azarenka beat Sharapova in Moscow in 2007 in straight sets.
"She's had a great year and I'm happy with the way I stayed with her," said Sharapova of Azarenka, who beat Serena Williams to win the Sony Ericsson Miami tournament in April. "I think
that was sort of the difference. I think I've done a really good job of playing different opponents and working on the things that need to be adjusted."
Sharapova will next play Thursday in the third match against Alona Bondarenko of the Ukraine, a player she lost to in her first match back this year in Poland after 10 months off the circuit because of shoulder surgery.
"I don't like losing to the same person twice in a row," Sharapova said. "I lost to her in Poland my first match back so I'm looking forward to playing her tomorrow."
Post match quotes
"I had so many chances to win the first set and chances to close games and I didn't. I had a break point
in the first set and she hit a 79 mile per hour pea shooter and I hit it inside the service line and she took
control after that. I was able to win the second and play a solid third.
"You expect that against her because she's a great retriever. I had to come in with a good game plan and
needed to change a few things and did a good job adjusting. It was important to take those things and
use them to my advantage.
"I knew that going in to this match that I was going to have to dig deep and just hang tough and stay in
there. I learned a great deal, gave myself another chance to play tomorrow.
"She's had a great year and I'm happy with the way I stayed with her. I think that was sort of the
difference. I think I've done a really good job of paying different opponents and working on the things
that need to be adjusted.
"Being in LA it feels great. I have a great support system here and it feels like home."
I just let go of the beginning of both sets. It was too many mistakes and tough to come back from when
you're not playing real well. My game wasn't there today.
"It's tough to enjoy it out there when you're not playing well. It was a close match, I just have to learn
"For me every match is a big deal. Every tournament, every match is serious. I'm very disappointed. I
just have to work hard and play more.
"She's a great player. She still has her game. It doesn't matter she was out for a year."
Maria Sharapova (RUS) def. Victoria Azarenka (BLR) 67(4) 64 62
Earlier Columns from this Event:
August 4, 2009 LA Womens Tennis Championships Coverage: Ivanovic, King
August 3, 2009 LA Womens Tennis Championships Coverage: Sharapova, Bondarenko, Shaughnessy, Groth
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