Azarenka called that a "really miserable ... moment." Instead of folding, she fought her way into the match, starting with an ace on a second serve that brought the score to deuce. There would be another break point to save seconds later, and Azarenka did so with a drop shot.
It's the latest sign of a more mature Azarenka, one who has the skill to stay near the top of tennis for years, so long as she keeps her wits about her.
At the 2009 French Open, in the first Grand Slam quarterfinal of Azarenka's career, she was the one who let a big lead slip away against the top-seeded woman, Dinara Safina, falling apart with some double-faults and flashes of temper. After taking the first set 6-1, Azarenka lost the next two.
The next year at Roland Garros, Azarenka lost 6-1, 6-2 in the first round, then was fined $4,000 for failing to attend a news conference afterward.
During Monday's rough patch, her newest mentor, 2006 Wimbledon and Australian Open champion Amelie Mauresmo, sat calmly in the player's guest seats at Court Philippe Chatrier. Almost motionless, she was watching and presumably waiting for Azarenka to take control.
When Azarenka finally ended it, only then did Mauresmo rise from her seat and punch the air and let out a yell of excitement.
"She managed to turn the match around at the last minute," Mauresmo said, "by digging deep and finding the resolve to win."
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