Two-time champion Victoria Azarenka defeated 19th seed Jessica Pegula to reach the WTA 1000 Indian Wells 2021 semifinals. Although she was the favorite from the start, the match could have ended either way. But ultimately, the 32-year-old Belarusian pulled up her socks and booked the semifinals spot 6-4, 6-2. So far, it was the best result for Azarenka in 2021. Hence, it begged a question: What changed for her in Indian Wells?
After the match, Azarenka revealed that she implemented some new changes in her game. Moreover, she admitted that it took her so much time because her game style had been successful over the years.
“I’m trying to be a little bit more aggressive. The game is faster. There’s not that many rallies. Trying to use that into my advantage as well,” the Belarusian said.
Victoria Azarenka vs. Jessica Pegula, Set 1: Indian Wells 2021
From the start of this match, both Victoria Azarenka and Jessica Pegula put everything behind each point. However, when it came to crucial points and decision-making, the Belarusian professional had a massive lead against the 27-year-old American.
Oct 10, 2021; Indian Wells, CA, USA; Victoria Azarenka (BLR) hits a shot against Petra Kvitova (CZE) at Indian Wells Tennis Garden. Mandatory Credit: Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports
Hence, even though Pegula played each game well, Azarenka got the break and dominated their control on big points. At 5-3, the 32-year-old even got the first set point on her opponent’s serve in only 37 minutes.
— wta (@WTA) October 13, 2021
Following that, Azarenka got the second set point on her service at 5-4. This time, she made it through, leading the match at 6-4.
Azarenka vs. Pegula, Set 2: Indian Wells 2021
In the second set, the 27th seed got the break in the first game itself. After that, all Azarenka had to do was hold her services. However, the 19th seed Pegula recovered immediately after and leveled the set at 1-1.
Oct 10, 2021; Indian Wells, CA, USA; Jessica Pegula (USA) hits a shot against Jasmine Paolini (ITA) at Indian Wells Tennis Garden. Mandatory Credit: Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports
Afterward, at 2-2, the Belarusian again got ahead, converting the fifth breakpoint in that game. It also proved that while Pegula did nothing wrong, Azarenka made those right choices in the right moments.
In no time, the two-time Australian Open champion rose to a 4-2 lead in the second set, and it was now and never for her opponent. However, it was too late for Pegula as she gave a double break lead to Azarenka.
Ultimately, the Belarusian served to make it in the semis and saved two break points before closing it at 6-4, 6-2. So far, she is looking great for the title.
Because I’m happy
— wta (@WTA) October 14, 2021
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