Victoria Azarenka beat Sloane Stephens in the semifinals of the Australian Open on Thursday in Melbourne, but she used some highly questionable tactics in the process.
Azarenka blew five match points while she was serving up 5-3 in the second set against Stephens. During the side change, Azarenka called the trainer and doctor over and pointed at her chest a few times. Not only was she treated, but she even left the court and didn’t return until several minutes later. Stephens, who had just broken serve and had some momentum, was forced to sit and wait until Azarenka was ready to continue.
Stephens was wearing Azarenka down, fought off five match points, and outlasted Azarenka in a game that took over 12 minutes. But Azarenaka’s timeout allowed her to recover and refocus, and she broke Stephens to win the match 6-1, 6-4.
When asked after the match about her medical problems, Azarenka said she took the break because she was overcome by nerves and nearly had a panic attack.
“I almost did the choke of the year,” Azarenka said. “At 5-3, having so many chances, [I] couldn’t close it out. I’m glad I could turn it around. I just felt a little bit overwhelmed realizing that I’m one step away from the final. Nerves got into me for sure.”
Azarenka was asked if she was happy with her performance.Google+