Frosty Azarenka powers through in Paris

Victoria Azarenka beat Danka Kovinic 6-1, 6-2 amidst chilly conditions in their first round clash at the French Open.

Victoria Azarenka

Victoria Azarenka speaks with a match official during her first round singles match against Danka Kovinic during day one of the French Open on Sunday.   -  Getty Images

Former world number one Victoria Azarenka complained about the playing conditions at the French Open amid light drizzle and low temperatures during her 6-1, 6-2 first-round victory on Sunday.

The US Open runner-up, who entered court Suzanne Lenglen wearing a thick pink puffer jacket, and her opponent Danka Kovinic walked off the court after play was suspended with Belarusian Azarenka leading 2-1.

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“No, it's eight degrees, I live in Florida, I'm used to hot weather,” a furious Azarenka told the supervisor who asked her to wait on court until a decision was made on whether the match should continue.

Speaking to her opponent from Montenegro, Azarenka said: “Do you want to wait on court?

“No,” Kovinic replied.

“No, it's ridiculous, it's too cold. What's the point? Sitting here like ducks,” said Azarenka, who wore a wind jacket on court.

The players returned after a delay of about 50 minutes and Azarenka immediately broke her opponent's serve before wrapping up victory in front of nine spectators.

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“I'm happy I managed to finish early now I can watch the others play,” she said in a courtside interview.

The French Open is usually played in May-June but this year's tournament was pushed back to late September due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The weather in Paris is therefore colder than normal for the Grand Slam event with the claycourt conditions much heavier and slower than the players are accustomed to.

Greek 20th seed Maria Sakkari also braved incessant drizzle to complete a 6-0, 7-5 win over Australian Ajla Tomljanovic.

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