Former world No. 1 Victoria Azarenka made a positive start to her Indian Wells Masters campaign as she handed a 6-3 7-5 loss to Astra Sharma. Azarenka didn't have the greatest day at the office as she was broken once in the first and also lost her serve twice in the second set but still managed to escape with a straight-set win.
Azarenka lost her serve three times during the match but also broke Sharma three times in each set. "I felt that I played good in important moments," Azarenka told reporters after the match. "I think there were a little bit ups and downs in some games where I felt like I could be a bit more decisive.
But again, I haven't played in a while. I have to get that match rhythm. "Today was a good start to play against an opponent who gives a lot of different balls. I played actually I thought really well. I'm glad that I was able to handle myself and turn it up when it was important."
Azarenka shares a strong message
Azarenka also touched on the Russia and Ukraine war as she noted that we need less violence and more compassion.
"One thing that's missing in the world is compassion toward each other, empathy. It's something I feel I can offer. I hope that others start to implement that because we're all humans. It's the most important, is to take care of each.
That's what life is about," Azarenka said. "I know it's a wishful thinking sometimes. But I think the core foundation of humanity shouldn't be lost in any conflict. Violence is never justified in any case. Never will be in my eyes. I hope we can grow more to avoid situations and conflicts happening in the world."