INDIAN, WELLS CALIFORNIA – Third-seeded Victoria Azarenka tumbled out of the BNP Paribas Open on Friday night in her first match in more than a month, falling 6-0, 7-6 (7-2) to American Lauren Davis.
Azarenka, from Belarus, had been sidelined since the Australian Open because of a left foot injury that required her to wear a boot for several weeks.
The two-time Australian Open champion, hampered by nerve damage between her toes, limped visibly at times, had trouble serving, fell to her knees several times, broke a racket after double-faulting to fall behind 4-3 in the second set, and fought back tears.
“Basically, all I had was my fighting spirit,” Azarenka said. “When I’m on the court I try to give as much as I can, even on one leg. I try to do my best in tough situations. That’s part of our job.”
She isn’t sure if she’ll try to play in the Sony Open in Florida in 10 days.
“I want to be pain-free because it’s not to the most fun to be out there like that,” Azarenka said.
Most of the other second-round matches were routine. Second-seeded Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland got it started by beating qualifier Heather Watson of Britain 6-4, 6-3. Later in the day session, No. 6 Simona Halep, No. 7 Jelana Jankovic, No. 9 Sara Errani and No. 10 Caroline Wozniacki were straight-set winners. Two-time tournament champion Daniela Hantuchova of Slovakia, seeded 29th, fell to American Varvara Lepchenko, 6-3, 6-2.
Meanwhile, with the men finishing their first round, Roger Federer and Stanislas Wawrinka, the 2008 Olympic doubles gold medalists for Switzerland, teamed up again for a 6-2, 6-7 (4-7), (10-6) victory over Rohan Bopanna of India and Aisam-ul-Haq Qureshi of Pakistan in a match played in the new 8,000-seat Stadium 2.