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Former champion Azarenka dumped from Open at first hurdle

The Belarusian, who has tumbled down the rankings since the birth of son Leo and a messy custody battle afterwards, slumped out 6-7 (5/7), 6-4, 6-2.

Belarus' Victoria Azarenka reacts after a point against Germany's Laura Siegemund during their women's singles match on day two of the Australian Open tennis tournament in Melbourne on 15 January 2019. Picture: AFP

MELBOURNE - Former world number one and two-time champion Victoria Azarenka was dumped from the Australian Open at the first hurdle Tuesday, throwing away a one-set lead against Laura Siegemund.

The Belarusian, who has tumbled down the rankings since the birth of son Leo and a messy custody battle afterwards, slumped out 6-7 (5/7), 6-4, 6-2.

Germany's Siegemund trailed 4-2 in the second set before finding her second wind to come out on top of the almost three-hour marathon.

"I played a good first set and even though I was up in the tiebreak, I let go a little bit and she was right there," said the world 110.

"I kind of reset myself and knew I was playing a good match, and I just had to close in those situations."

The win was her first at a major since the 2016 US Open, as continues to work her way back from a major knee injury in early 2017.

For Azarenka, it was her worst performance at Melbourne Park since a first-round exit on her debut in 2006.

She won the title in 2012 and 2013 but missed the last two tournaments because of giving birth and the custody battle.

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