Wimbledon 2013: Second seed Victoria Azarenka survives injury scare to reach the second round

 

Second-seeded Victoria Azarenka overcame a right knee injury from a scary fall for a 6-1, 6-2 victory over Maria Joao Koehler in her Wimbledon opener.

Follow game-by-game coverage of Andy Murray's first match of Wimbledon 2013 against Benjamin Becker

The second seed in the women's singles, who has been a losing semi-finalist in each of the last two years, was a set and a break ahead of Portugal's Maria Joao Koehler when she fell awkwardly at the back of the court.

It appeared she had suffered a leg injury that might end her involvement in the tournament, but after a long period of treatment the Belarusian ploughed on and clinched a 6-1 6-2 win.

Azarenka hobbled and winced through much of the second set, but Koehler was unable to take advantage of a weakened opponent.

It looked a glum situation for Azarenka when she slipped on the grass by the baseline at 6-1 1-0 in front.

She lay on the court receiving treatment for several minutes before taking an official injury time-out once back in her chair.

After having her right leg massaged and then strapped up, Azarenka put thoughts of abandoning the match out of her mind.

It looked worrying for th 23-year-old Monte Carlo-based player when she immediately served two double faults and had her serve broken to be hauled back to 1-1 in the second set.

But left-hander Koehler often made it too easy for Azarenka, failing to move her around the court as much as she might have.

A third successive break went in Azarenka's favour and from that point she was barely troubled, apart from by the leg problem which was proving more awkward than the player on the opposite side of the court.

Koehler sprayed a forehand wide at 5-2 to present Azarenka with a match point she seized, and Elena Baltacha's conqueror Flavia Pennetta awaits in the second round.

Discussing her injury, Azarenka told the BBC: "I was in such pain at the beginning. I don't know what happened.

"I almost slipped once before that. I'll have to be more careful.

"I'm going to do the best I can just to be ready for the next match. We'll see what happens."

Azarenka explained it was her right knee that was the chief concern.

"It happened so quick in the second that my leg just kind of collapsed," she said. "I felt like my knee just turned to the other way, and it was just so nasty.

"I was in such shock. For two minutes I had such a consistent pain that it just completely freaked me out.

"I didn't think about what was going to happen with the tournament. I just hoped I was okay."

She hopes to be able to carry on in the tournament, but said: "I still have to do some more check-ups to make sure. It's good to have tomorrow to recover. But I still need to make the final assessments.

"I just wanted to give everything I had on that court even though I knew it could get worse. I just wanted to play and try my best.

"At one point I couldn't see the ball. All I could think about is what happened."

Follow game-by-game coverage of Andy Murray's first match of Wimbledon 2013 against Benjamin Becker

PA

Suggested Topics
News
i100 In this video, the late actor Leonard Nimoy explains how he decided to use the gesture for his character
Arts and Entertainment
Secrets of JK Rowling's Harry Potter workings have been revealed in a new bibliography
arts + ents
News
Robert De Niro has walked off the set of Edge of Darkness
news The Godfather Part II actor has an estimated wealth of over $200m
Arts and Entertainment
Fearne Cotton is leaving Radio 1 after a decade
radio The popular DJ is leaving for 'family and new adventures'
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?
How we must adjust our lifestyles to nature: Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch

Time to play God

Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch where we may need to redefine nature itself
MacGyver returns, but with a difference: Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman

MacGyver returns, but with a difference

Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman
Tunnel renaissance: Why cities are hiding roads down in the ground

Tunnel renaissance

Why cities are hiding roads underground
'Backstreet Boys - Show 'Em What You're Made Of': An affectionate look at five middle-aged men

Boys to men

The Backstreet Boys might be middle-aged, married and have dodgy knees, but a heartfelt documentary reveals they’re not going gently into pop’s good night
Crufts 2015: Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?

Crufts 2015

Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?
10 best projectors

How to make your home cinema more cinematic: 10 best projectors

Want to recreate the big-screen experience in your sitting room? IndyBest sizes up gadgets to form your film-watching
Manchester City 1 Barcelona 2 player ratings: Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man?

Manchester City vs Barcelona player ratings

Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man at the Etihad?
Arsenal vs Monaco: Monaco - the making of Gunners' manager Arsene Wenger

Monaco: the making of Wenger

Jack Pitt-Brooke speaks to former players and learns the Frenchman’s man-management has always been one of his best skills
Cricket World Cup 2015: Chris Gayle - the West Indies' enigma lives up to his reputation

Chris Gayle: The West Indies' enigma

Some said the game's eternal rebel was washed up. As ever, he proved he writes the scripts by producing a blistering World Cup innings
In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare and murky loyalties prevails

In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare

This war in the shadows has been going on since the fall of Mr Yanukovych
'Birdman' and 'Bullets Over Broadway': Homage or plagiarism?

Homage or plagiarism?

'Birdman' shares much DNA with Woody Allen's 'Bullets Over Broadway'
Broadchurch ends as damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

A damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

Broadchurch, Series 2 finale, review
A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower: inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

Inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower