We are on the second day at the Australian Open 2021, and the competition is already heating up at the Grand Slam. The Belarusian former World No.1 Victoria Azarenka challenged American Jessica Pegula in the first round of the tournament. And after a brawny two sets, Pegula caused a major upset, defeating the two-time Australian Open champion.
Going in the match, Azarenka was confident of clearing the opening match. Previously, she played in the lead-up WTA 500 Melbourne went but withdrew prioritizing the Happy Slam.
On the other side, Pegula caused a big upset in the previous tournament, defeating World No.4 Sofia Kenin in three sets. However, winning a Grand Slam match requires a different kind of mental and physical strength.
Victoria Azarenka and Jessica Pegula fight hard for Set One
The two-time Australian Open champion started the match with a substantial lead. She wasted no time in bagging easy points against Jessica, who was still adjusting her tune.
The crowd roared in unison as Victoria Azarenka kept climbing up the scoreboard. But the American got her tune set just before she had given away the first set.
Taking complete control over the game, Pegula fought her way back into the game with sheer raw power. She was down 2-5 in the first set and facing a set point against the 31-year-old Belarusian.
But from that point, she dragged the set to 5-5 before going on to clinch the set 7-5.
Pegula gears up to cause Victoria a major upset
The American continued her good touch and started the second set on the front foot. Also, it seemed like Vika was under some physical stress coming into the set. Taking full advantage, Pegula took the lead and sat comfortably at 4-2.
Following that, a significant blow for Belarusian came in the seventh game as she took a knee in the shaded corner of the stadium. This was a not at all a good sign for Vika; she took a medical time out, passing the match at 5-7, 2-4, 40-0 with the Belarusian serving.
From here on, the challenge for the reigning US Open finalist grew taller, as Pegula already had a set lead. But as tennis fans know, the 31-year-old always fights her best. However, she couldn’t manage to stay alive in this particular match.
Pegula won the match 7-5, 6-4 causing one of the biggest upsets of the Australian Open 2021. However, Vika’s first-round exit could indeed be linked to the hard lockdown of the players prior to the Major. But nothing can change the final result, and fans will undoubtedly miss the Vika power in the tournament.
Pegula will play the second round in Melbourne Park, whereas Azarenka has a long way home. There will be many more upsets to come our way in the coming days. Who do you think can cause the biggest one?
Also Read: ‘Shocked Me’: Naomi Osaka Reflects on Mental Impact After Losing to Coco Gauff at Australian Open