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
Arts and Entertainment
Kirk Cameron is begging his Facebook fans to give him positive reviews
film
Sport
premier leagueMatch report: Arsenal 1 Man United 2
Arts and Entertainment
Jason goes on a special mission for the queen
tvReview: Everyone loves a CGI Cyclops and the BBC's Saturday night charmer is getting epic
Sport
Jonny May scores for England
rugby unionEngland 28 Samoa 9: Wing scores twice to help England record their first win in six
PROMOTED VIDEO
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.

Terry Venables: Wayne Rooney is roaring again and the world knows that England are back

Terry Venables column

Wayne Rooney is roaring again and the world knows that England are back
Michael Calvin: Abject leadership is allowing football’s age-old sores to fester

Abject leadership is allowing football’s age-old sores to fester

Those at the top are allowing the same issues to go unchallenged, says Michael Calvin
Four years of excruciating seizures caused by the 1cm tapeworm found burrowing through a man's brain

You know that headache you’ve got?

Four years of excruciating seizures caused by the 1cm tapeworm found burrowing through a man's brain
Travelling to work by scooter is faster than walking and less sweaty than cycling, so why aren’t we all doing it?

Scoot commute

Travelling to work by scooter is faster than walking and less sweaty than cycling, so why aren’t we all doing it?
Paul Robeson: The story of how an American icon was driven to death to be told in film

The Paul Robeson story

How an American icon was driven to death to be told in film
10 best satellite navigation systems

Never get lost again: 10 best satellite navigation systems

Keep your vehicle going in the right direction with a clever device
Paul Scholes column: England must learn to keep possession and dictate games before they are exposed by the likes of Germany and Brazil

Paul Scholes column

England must learn to keep possession and dictate games before they are exposed by the likes of Germany and Brazil
Michael Dawson: I’ll thank Spurs after we win says defender as he prepares to return with Hull

Michael Dawson: I’ll thank Spurs after we win

Hull defender faces his struggling former club on Sunday ready to show what they are missing. But he says he will always be grateful to Tottenham
Frank Warren column: Dr Wu has big plans for the professionals yet he should stick to the amateur game

Frank Warren column

Dr Wu has big plans for the professionals yet he should stick to the amateur game
Synagogue attack: Fear unites both sides of Jerusalem as minister warns restoring quiet could take 'months'

Terror unites Jerusalem after synagogue attack

Rising violence and increased police patrols have left residents of all faiths looking over their shoulders
Medecins sans Frontieres: The Ebola crisis has them in the headlines, but their work goes far beyond West Africa

'How do you carry on? You have to...'

The Ebola crisis has Medecins sans Frontieres in the headlines, but their work goes far beyond West Africa
Isis extends its deadly reach with suicide bombing in Kurdish capital

Isis extends its deadly reach with suicide bombing in Kurdish capital

Residents in what was Iraq’s safest city fear an increase in jihadist attacks, reports Patrick Cockburn
Underwater photography competition winners 2014 - in pictures

'Mysterious and inviting' shot of diver wins photography competition

Stunning image of cenote in Mexico takes top prize
Sir John Major: Negative West End portrayals of politicians put people off voting

Sir John Major hits out at theatres

Negative West End portrayals of politicians put people off voting
Kicking Barbie's butt: How the growth of 3D printing enabled me to make an army of custom-made figurines

Kicking Barbie's butt

How the growth of 3D printing enabled toy-designer to make an army of custom-made figurines