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China's tennis fans impress

Updated: 2013-10-03 07:45
( China Daily)

Greetings to everyone in China! I am Victoria Azarenka from Belarus, and I am currently ranked No 2 in the world.

I know a lot of my fans are disappointed about my loss to Germany's Andrea Petkovic in the first round of the China Open last weekend - and I have no excuse. It was an awful match and a very bad performance by me, but that's tennis. It happens once or twice a year to every player, and this time it happened to me.

Despite my early exit from this year's China Open, I still have the great memory of winning the tournament last year, and the growth of the whole tennis atmosphere in China has amazed me again. There has been more interest in the sport with every tournament, especially after the success of Li Na at the French Open.

China's tennis fans impress

The fan support in Beijing is very impressive. There were so many people outside the practice court just to catch a glance of their favorite players, and its exciting to see how loyal the fans are even when you lose. It's a fun and motivating atmosphere.

Another great memory for me from this season was the final of the Australian Open, where I defeated Li in a very tough and impressive match for both of us. Li twisted her ankle twice in the match but continued fighting.

I went through a lot over the two days before that final, including a medical timeout during the semifinal against Sloane Stephens, when I experienced some breathing difficulty.

Winning the final was so intense for me. After it was over, all the emotions came out naturally. You never know how you will react in any circumstance, win or lose. It just comes from your heart.

Although I had some unfortunate injuries this year, I think I came back strong - especially in the two victories I had over Serena Williams, in Doha and Cincinnati.

People keep asking me what's the key to be able to beat Serena. Actually, there is no recipe for that; it's always a battle every time you face her. You have to bring your best game, fight really hard. push and be brave.

Winning comes from a combination of things that you have to go through and knowing when to do them, like when to take risks and how to be consistent.

(China Daily 10/03/2013 page12)