Victoria Azarenka battles past Stephens in Rome

Thursday, 11 May 2023 at 12:52
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Victoria Azarenka is through to the next round of the Rome Open after beating Sloane Stephens 6-4 6-3 in a very competitive and interesting match.
Azarenka didn't have a good singles run in Madrid but she won the doubles event with Beatriz Haddad Maia. Some of that good rhythm translated to the Italian capital as she was able to battle past a very solid Sloane Stephens in two sets. It was a competitive match and it was far from a perfect match for the Belarusian but she got it done.
The first set opened with Stephens giving her a lot of trouble. The American went up 2-0 and then it was 2-2 and then 3-2 for Stephens once more. Azarenka broke back to make it 3-3 and eventually outplayed the American down the stretch to take the opening set 6-4. The second set was very similar.
Stephens broke early once more but then fell behind 2-4. She broke back to make it 3-4 but Azarenka once again found a way and went up 5-3 closing it out 6-3. Just a really solid performance from her against a very motivated opponent who played really well at times.

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