Victoria Azarenka is likely disappointed after being knocked out of the French Open, but she has to be excited with how well she has played up to this point of the 2013 season, and she should be getting ready to make a deep run in the final two Grand Slam events.
Although Maria Sharapova was not playing at the top of her game, she was still able to defeat Azarenka in three sets, winning 6-1, 2-6, 6-4. Azarenka was in it for the most part, but simply wasn’t able to get it done.
Despite the loss, this year has been great up to this point for Azarenka.
The loss in the semifinals at Roland Garros may have hurt, but it was actually the best finish at the French Open in Azarenka’s career. She had reached the quarterfinals twice back in 2009 and 2011, but this was her first appearance in the semifinals. She had struggled at the event in the past, with a career record in the event of 19-8 and three exits in the first round.
Azarenka has looked good in her other events as well. She was able to win the Australian Open back in January, defeating Li Na in the finals. It was her second Grand Slam title win, with the first happening at the Australian Open last year.
In February, Azarenka was able to win the WTA Qatar Total Open. Not only that, but she defeated Serena Williams in the finals.
She came back in May in the WTA Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome and made it to the finals, this time unable to top Williams for the title.
When it comes to rising tennis stars, you want to see them show signs of improvement. For the 23-year-old Azarenka, she has been doing just that, particularly in Grand Slam events over the past few seasons.
During her first three seasons in 2006 through 2008, Azarenka had a combined record in Grand Slam events of only 18-12, with four exits in the first round and zero appearances in the quarterfinals or further.
Since 2011, Azarenka has looked much better. She’s had a combined record of 47-8 with one appearance in the quarterfinals, three in the semifinals, one in the finals and two title wins.
Sure, Azarenka wasn’t able to win the French Open, but there are some very bright times ahead for this rising tennis star.