|Petra Kvitova during a promotional, in Beijing, on Monday
Beijing: A deluge of double faults coupled with bad time management left Victoria Azarenka cursing her luck as she floundered in the first round of the China Open following a 4-6, 6-2, 4-6 defeat by Germany’s Andrea Petkovic on Monday.
Meanwhile, Somdev Dev Varman recorded yet another come-from-behind victory as he defeated higher-ranked Italian Paolo Lorenzi to qualify for the main event.
Azarenka’s 15 double faults, to go with 44 unforced errors, mirrored the defending champion’s erratic display over two hours 22 minutes against Petkovic who appeared to be feeling dizzy in the second set.
“It was an awful match and very bad performance from me, so not much to say.
“It happens once, twice a year to every player, and happened to me today,” the Australian Open champion, who has endured a miserable run in Asia as she suffered a second-round exit in Tokyo last week, told reporters.
“If I’m going to be doing it again, I probably should have taken a longer break (between tournaments) and just prepared myself. I don't feel like I was ready to play.
“It’s just my mistake for not paying much attention after the U.S. Open how I managed my time and how I managed my health.”
On Monday, it was Petkovic who appeared to be less than 100 percent fit in the second set as she needed a medical time out. The German seemed to be a spent force as she lost seven straight games and allowed Azarenka to level and take the contest into the decider.
The defending champion traded breaks with Petkovic to level at 4-4 in the third set but her 15th double fault on break point left Azarenka in a foul mood as the German served for the match.
“I was saying a lot of things. I’m not going to repeat them... there was a lot of emotions and frustration that I let myself get into because I wasn't doing the right thing,” said the US Open runner-up.
Ranked 97, Somdev recorded a 3-6, 7-6(5), 6-3 win over his rival, who is placed 12 places above Somdev, in the second and final round of the qualifying event. Somdev had beaten world No. 60 Robin Haase 2-6, 6-4, 6-0 in the opening round.
However, Somdev faces an uphill task in the main draw as he has drawn world No. 31 Fernando Verdasco as his first round opponent in the hard court event.
And if Somdev manages to get past the formidable Spaniard, his next opponent could be world No.1 Novak Djokovic of Serbia.