World number one women’s tennis player Victoria Azarenka has lost her first match in the calendar year of 2012, bringing an end to a 26 match unbeaten streak from the start of the year in the first three months when she was beaten in straight sets by Frenchwoman Marion Bartoli in the Quarter Final match of the Sony Ericsson Open. The 26 match unbeaten streak that Azarenka accumulated in the first three months is the best winning streak by any female player on Tour since former world number one Martina Hingis went 37 matches without defeat at the start of the 1997 season.

Azarenka looked visibly tired during the match and did very little to hold off a determined Bartoli who is hungry for an A-list title, not having won one since ages. Her baseline shots made Azarenka look like a child and she made many uncharacteristic mistakes that no one expected of the 2012 Australian Open champion. Victoria Azarenka had a very unreliable serve throughout the match and the atypical mistakes that she made from the baseline all conspired to bring about her downfall and ending her winning streak.

Speaking in the press conference after the match, a visibly disappointed Azarenka stated that this loss might just be the inspiration that she needed, adding that she’s just human and not a superwoman. But she also stated that she is extremely proud of what she has done over the last couple of months and hopes that the next times, she’ll go much longer than just 26 games without defeat.

Victoria Azarenka is now looking for the start of the clay court season where she is hoping to grab the French Open title, something that she has dreamt of since her early days in tennis and feels this is the right moment for it.