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Azarenka suffers seedings blow

January 05, 2015 13:45:04 UK

Two-time champion Victoria Azarenka will be unseeded at the Australian Open after her comeback from injury ended in defeat at the Brisbane International.

The 2012 and 2013 Melbourne champion was the beaten finalist in Brisbane 12 months ago and her 6-4 6-7 4-6 first-round loss to Karolina Pliskova means that she will drop down from her current world ranking of 31.

I think her motivation is pretty good, but I don’t want to get too excited or say too much.

Sam Sumyk

Former world number one Azarenka had hoped to make a strong return to the court at the beginning of the New Year, having seen her 2014 campaign ruined by foot and knee injuries.

However, she will now become a dangerous floater in the Melbourne draw, with the Belarusian holding a 32-7 winning record in her previous nine appearances at the Australian Open.

Azarenka can be backed at 8.00 to win the Australian Open for a third time, with Serena Williams 2.87 and Caroline Wozniacki 11.00.

Meanwhile, Azarenka’s French coach, Sam Sumyk, has urged caution about the immediate prospects of glory, although he is confident that his player is in the right frame of mind to succeed eventually.

He told reporters: “I think her motivation is pretty good, but I don’t want to get too excited or say too much, because at the same time last year I thought 2014 would be a great year for her.

“All the lights were green and look what happened.”

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