Azarenka advances to Rome quarterfinals as injured Kasatkina leaves in tears


Victoria Azarenka moved into the quarterfinals of the Internazionali BNL d’Italia, but the way she progressed is absolutely devastating — after a big battle in the first set that included eight breaks of serve, things were supposed to be decided in the tiebreak, but after just one point Daria Kasatkina badly rolled her ankle and was forced to retire.

The world No.14 Azarenka opened the match with a 3-1 lead, but qualifier Kasatkina quickly leveled to 3-3 and from then on we had six consecutive breaks of serve, with the Belarusian catching up. After 69 minutes of play, the first set between two Nike stars, both wearing the pink Fall NY Slam Tank and Fall NY Slam Short, was to be decided in a tiebreak.

Tension was high and we were all looking forward to the resolution, but in the end we got a huge anticlimax. Playing the second point in the tiebreak, Kasatkina rolled her ankle and fell on clay. Soon afterwards it became obvious that the injury was severe and that she wouldn’t be able to continue.

Kasatkina was in pain, devastated. Azarenka immediately approached her, brought her ice to heal the injury, brushed off the clay from her back and tried to console her. Kasatkina couldn’t step on her foot and as Azarenka kissed her on the head during a medical timeout, it was evident that the match was over.

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