Victoria Azarenka has suffered a shock first-round defeat to Germany's Laura Siegemund at the Australian Open on Tuesday.
The former world number one and two-time champion in Melbourne lost 7-6 (7-5) 4-6 2-6 to compound a miserable return after two years away from the event due to pregnancy and a lengthy custodial battle.
Since her return, she has struggled to find her best form and the defeat in Australia even brought the Belarusian to tears in the post-match press conference, confessing she is "struggling" at this point in her career.
Azarenka said: "I’ve been through a lot of things in my life and sometimes I wonder why I go through them, but I think they’re going to make me stronger, I want to believe that and I’m going to work hard for it."
"Sometimes I just need a little time and patience and a little support. ‘Right now is just a harder struggle for me. I can continue to repeat this word, that I’m “struggling” right now."
Azarenka continued "I think it’s pretty obvious. It’s okay. I don’t think, sitting here today, that I failed. But I’m struggling. Failing is when you give up and you don’t try again. But I’m struggling.
"If I’m going to continue to struggle, and to get out of that, that’s what I’ve got to do, then that’s what I’m going to."
You can see the moment it all got a little much for the 29-year-old towards the end of the video below.
A very honest and emotional press conference from Azarenka, who is likely to get a lot of support from her team and the wider tennis circle after seeing how hard she is fighting not just on the court but off it.
What will give her following a lot of encouragement despite the hard press conference is how she is willing to continue fighting in tennis.
It would seem a lot of hard work will go on behind the scenes to get her back to her former best and she still has plenty of years among the elite to look forward to.News Now - Sport News