Azarenka looks to bounce back

2012-09-22 11:28
Victoria Azarenka (Gallo Images)
Tokyo - Victoria Azarenka is hoping to bounce back from her heartbreaking defeat at the US Open final and cement her place at the top of the world rankings at the Pan Pacific Open in Tokyo starting Sunday.

The Belarusian, who was left in tears after losing to Serena Williams at Flushing Meadows earlier this month, said she has turned her focus to the $2.17 million title in a strong field, including Maria Sharapova and Agnieszka Radwanska, the world numbers two and three.

"I am looking forward to starting this tournament," the 23-year-old top seed said. It features 19 of the top 20 seeded players, with just fourth placed Serena Williams absent.

When asked whether her physical and mental fitness has improved since the New York tournament, the Australian Open winner responded: "I don't think so. It's been too quick."

She added: "It was a great tournament for me, the US Open. It was so close. I had a great experience there, absolutely no regrets. But I cannot wait to play these last tournaments as well as I can."

Crowd favourite Sharapova, the French Open winner and silver medallist at the London Olympics, will be looking to avenge her US Open semi-final defeat to Azarenka and win back the title she held in both 2005 and 2009.

"To be back here... healthy and as the number two in the world, (I am) really looking forward to it," she said.

Radwanska returns to the Japanese tournament as the defending champion, after reaching her first Grand Slam final this year at Wimbledon, where she also lost to Williams.

Petra Kvitova, the 2011 Wimbledon champion and world number five, also said she will be looking to regain the form she showed earlier in the year when she reached the semi-finals of the Australian and French Open.

Chinese star Li Na and two compatriots are also in Tokyo despite tensions between China and Japan that have seen players pulling out of badminton and table tennis competitions citing safety fears.

While Japan-China ties have soured over a territorial row in the East China Sea, Li's more immediate worry will be her fitness.

The 30-year-old has a cold, an organiser said. Only three weeks ago Li said she needed to take a break from the sport after a shock defeat to British teenager Laura Robson at the US Open.



Read News24’s Comments Policy publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.
Live Video Streaming
  • Blitz
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @00:00
  • SS1
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @01:00
  • SS2
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @02:00
  • SS3
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @03:00
Sport Talk

Live scoring

Love 2 Meet
Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter


30 of the world's greatest golfers will be heading to the Gary Player Country Club for this year's Nedbank Golf Challenge - now in its 35th year. For all the latest news, player profiles, hole-by-hole descriptions and past winners, be sure to check out Sport24's dedicated section.

Latest blogs

Which is your favourite Grand Slam of the year?

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.