EASTBOURNE, England (AP) — Victoria Azarenka was reasonably satisfied after losing her first match in more than three months, a three-setter in the first round of the Aegon Championships on Tuesday.
Azarenka, the former No. 1 recovered from a left foot injury, lost 4-6, 6-3, 7-5 to Camila Giorgi of Italy after 2 hours, 46 minutes.
"That's exactly what I wanted," Azarenka said. "I wanted to have a competitive match. I wanted to test myself, to play for a long time, see how my body is going to react.
"I'm pretty pleased with what happened. Obviously the result is the result, but that's a beginning. It's a starting point. There are a lot of positive things that I can take from what happened today."
Third seed Jelena Jankovic of Serbia was also beaten, going down 6-3, 6-3 against American Madison Keys, and second seed Petra Kvitova also struggled before beating fellow Czech Lucie Safarova 6-1, 5-7, 7-6 (4), winning the last five points to claim victory on her third match point.
Giorgi had previously demonstrated her grass-court skills by reaching the fourth round at Wimbledon as a qualifier in 2012, and she was a third-round finisher last year.
Azarenka won the first set from 4-2 down. Giorgi took a 5-0 lead in the second, saving five break points at 4-0. In the final set, Giorgi failed to serve out the match at 5-4, but broke again at 6-5 when Azarenka netted a backhand, and closed out the match at her second opportunity.
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