Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Wimbledon - Second Round (I)

Victoria Azarenka's season, never mind tournament, looked like it might be in danger on Monday when she slipped during her first round match. If you haven't seen the footage and a very distressed Azarenka you can do so in the video below.

Fortunately, despite clearly not being at full strength, Azarenka was able to recover from the sudden fall and the shock to complete a straight sets victory. Before the slip occurred Azarenka was not playing to the standard we've come to expect from her. Despite the lop-sided scoreline the match was far from routine for much of the encounter. Double faults were common, particularly early on and it wasn't until the injury came that the world number two started to think more clearly about her game plan.

How will Azarenka recover for tomorrow? That's hard to say. She was visibly in pain during the latter stages of the match and her movement clearly impeded. It's unlikely she will be at the height of her powers on Wednesday even if she is healthy enough to compete and ultimately win.

Flavia Pennetta came through her first round encounter with Elena Baltacha and looked good doing so. Pennetta has plenty of experience against top ranked opponents and is a former top 10 player. Her current ranking is a distortion of her true ability having been injured for over 6 months before returning to the tour early this year. The Italian has enough nous to take advantage of a generous +6.5 handicap given the circumstances surrounding Azarenka's health.

4* Flavia Pennetta +6.5 beat Victoria Azarenka at 10/11 (Ladbrokes)

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