Azarenka wins Roland Garros opener in 'ridiculous' cold

Agence France-Presse . Paris | Published: 18:25, Sep 27,2020 | Updated: 21:15, Sep 27,2020


Belarus' Victoria Azarenka serves the ball to Montenegro's Danka Kovinic during their French Open women's singles first round match at the Suzanne Lenglen court at Roland Garros in Paris on Sunday.— AFP photo

Former world number one Victoria Azarenka reached the French Open second round Sunday despite being forced to ‘sit like a duck’ in the ‘ridiculous’ rain and cold of Roland Garros.

The 31-year-old 10th seed eased past Danka Kovinic, the world number 74 from Montenegro, 6-1, 6-2.

Azarenka, the runner-up at the recent US Open, needed just over an hour to secure her win in a tie played out on a crowd-free Court Suzanne Lenglen due to coronavirus restrictions.

However, she had been unhappy earlier in the tie when rain fell steadily, adding to the misery of playing in 10 degrees (50F).

‘This is getting a little ridiculous. It's eight degrees. I'm not waiting,’ said Azarenka, refusing to hang around courtside ‘sitting like ducks’ as the supervisor came out to inspect conditions.

‘It's too cold. I live in Florida, I'm used to hot weather.’

After just 15 minutes, play was suspended.

However, the Belarusian regained her composure when the match resumed even if she did complete it wearing black leggings and a tracksuit top.

She will face 40-year-old Venus Williams or Anna Karolina Schmiedlova for a place in the last 32.

‘I am glad to get it finished so I can watch the others struggle in this weather and rain,’ said Azarenka.

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