Azarenka vows to bounce back stronger

Victoria Azarenka (AFP)
Victoria Azarenka (AFP)

Melbourne - Victoria Azarenka on Wednesday admitted she was gutted at failing to make the Australian Open semi-finals but said it will quickly be forgotten with her game heading in the right direction.

The former world number one was upset by Germany's Angelique Kerber 6-3, 7-5 to deprive the Belarusian of a crack at a third Melbourne Park title.

The 14th seed, in sensational early season form before hitting the Kerber roadblock, blamed herself for not taking her chances in a match in which she had many.

"I think I was a little bit too flat today. For me personally, it was a little bit 10 percent not enough of everything," she said.

"My footwork didn't have enough. My shots didn't have enough. I felt I did a little bit too many unforced errors in the key moments.

"I created a lot of opportunities, but then I was not enough on my opportunities. I didn't take them. I had plenty."

She added: "Mentally I didn't commit myself enough today. I didn't push myself into making a difference."

Despite being furious at herself for failing to show the killer instinct, the 26-year-old said it will be forgotten as she continues her return from the injuries and personal issues that have hampered her career over the past two years.

"I should be disappointed. That's fair enough to be disappointed after a match like this. But if it's going to carry on? No. It's going to be forgotten tomorrow," she said.

"I have improved so much from last year. Taking this three weeks (in Australia), you know, I have to keep working hard. There are things I still have to improve. It's very simple in my mind.

"There is work that has to be done. I'm in the right direction. I just need to keep going that way and work harder, be as professional as I am.

"I don't feel that I've done anything wrong in my preparation. It's just today I didn't push myself enough."

Azarenka, nicknamed 'Vika', had lost just 11 games in her four matches prior to meeting Kerber and was seen as the main threat to Serena Williams' relentless march to a 22nd Grand Slam crown.

But the German is a renowned fighter and made the most of her chances.

Asked what aspects of her game she wanted to work on, Azarenka said: "Everything.

"It's as simple as that. I want to be a better player overall. I want to be better physically. I want to play better. I want to be stronger.

"Every aspect of my game I have to work on. I have to work on my serve, I have to work on my returns, I have to be able to come in even more. Everything needs to be sharper still.

"That's the motivation behind it. I need to get better."

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