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‘I should not have gone on court today’ – Azarenka releases statement after bizarre retirement in Miami

Victoria Azarenka explains that personal issues led to her abrupt retirement from her third-round match on Sunday in Miami.

Victoria Azarenka left the court in a hurry on Sunday in Miami. The Belarusian, thoroughly outplayed by 16-year-old Linda Fruhvirtova, retired while trailing 6-2, 3-0, and quickly left the court, leaving the umpire stunned.

“Vika, we need to wait,” she said, hoping to call for physio so that Azarenka could receive treatment. But by then Azarenka had already left, with many (including the commentators – listen below) calling her out on social media for her hasty exit.

It was a deflating way for a 16-year-old to earn her first career top-20 win, but she handled it well, telling the crowd that she was a big fan of Azarenka growing up.

“Playing against Vika was definitely cool,” Fruhvirtova said. “She was one of the players I grew up watching and she was definitely one of the players to look up to for me, so it was an honor to be on the court with her.

“I saw it wasn’t her best tennis. Of course I didn’t want it to end this way, because Vika is one of the players I grew up watching and she is definitely one to look up to – I wish that she feels better as soon as possible.”

Azarenka – I should have never gone on the court today

Azarenka did not give a post-match press conference but did release the following statement through the tournament on Sunday evening.

“I shouldn’t have gone on the court today. The last few weeks have been extremely stressful in my personal life,” Azarenka said. “Last match took so much out of me, but I wanted to play in front of a great audience as they helped me pull through my first match. I wanted to go out there and try but it was a mistake.

“I hope to take a break and be able to come back. I’m sorry to the fans for what happened as you were great to cheer for me. It was the only reason I decided to step on the court. I always look forward to the challenge and pressure of competition but today it was too much. I have to and will learn from this.

“I would like to congratulate my opponent and wish her best of luck in this tournament and beginning of her professional career.”

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