Australian Open 2013: Azarenka into round two despite ‘pedicure’ injury

Australian Open 2013: World No1 Victoria Azarenka plays down concerns over her fitness after easing past Monica Niculescu

victoria azarenka
Victoria Azarenka finished 2012 as world No1 Photo: Getty Images/WTA

victoria azarenka

Victoria Azarenka insisted that there were no lingering issues surrounding her “pedicure injury” after the world No1 eased into the second round of the Australian Open courtesy of a straight-sets victory over Monica Niculescu.

The Belarusian took just under 90 minutes to complete a 6-1 6-4 win against her Romanian opponent, quashing any concerns over her fitness.

Azarenka pulled out of the Brisbane semi-final earlier in January because she required a minor procedure on an ingrown toenail which the defending champion blamed on a “poor pedicure”.

“There is no point of hiding what happened,” said Azarenka, who will face Greece’s Eleni Daniilidou in round two.

“Everybody kept asking what it really was. I went to see the doctor who did my surgery, he said the ladies come at least once two weeks with that stuff.

“I was like, really? It’s the first time that it’s happened to me. I never really hear about that [type of injury].

“I was talking to Serena Williams that day. She had the same thing happen to her before. I now understand what it is, and I’m going to be really careful the next time.”

Azarenka also added that her preparation for 2013’s first Grand Slam has been no different to previous years, despite having the burden of being defending champion.

“It’s just a little bit more off-court activity, but the preparation is all the same,” she added.

“I don’t feel like there is something that I have to change, especially when it’s been working for me.

“The preparation is the same. Of course you are more careful on some details and you try to always improve and make things better.

“But preparation is always the same. I still dance before my match. I still spend all my time with my coach before the match. So it’s all the same.”

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