MELBOURNE, Australia, Jan 15 – Former world number one and two-time champion Victoria Azarenka was dumped from the Australian Open at the first hurdle Tuesday, throwing away a one-set lead against Laura Siegemund.
The Belarusian, who has tumbled down the rankings since the birth of son Leo and a messy custody battle afterwards, slumped out 6-7 (5/7), 6-4, 6-2.
Germany’s Siegemund trailed 4-2 in the second set before finding her second wind to come out on top of the almost three-hour marathon.
“I played a good first set and even though I was up in the tiebreak, I let go a little bit and she was right there,” said the world 110.
“I kind of reset myself and knew I was playing a good match, and I just had to close in those situations.”
The win was her first at a major since the 2016 US Open, as continues to work her way back from a major knee injury in early 2017.
For Azarenka, it was her worst performance at Melbourne Park since a first-round exit on her debut in 2006.
She won the title in 2012 and 2013, but missed the last two tournaments because of giving birth and the custody battle.