It was a scary moment today, when we saw Victoria Azarenka--who was clearly suffering from some malady--suddenly just go limp and drop to the court surface during her first set against Gisela Dulko at the U.S. Open. Though it was very hot, it appeared from the beginning of the set that something else was bothering the 10th seed. It was easy to flash back to the 2009 Australian Open, when Azarenka--who had vomited incessantly the night before because of food poisoning--became exceedingly weak and had to retire, after winning the first set against Serena Williams.
Azarenka, who has now been discharged from a hospital, says that she not only felt weak--she had a headache and some vision problems. Those are symptoms of a concussion, and that's exactly what she has. Prior to beginning the second-round match, Azarenka fell and banged her head on the court when she fell while running a sprint in a training session.
Victoria Azarenka is either quite fragile, or she has a lot of bad luck. She retired during a Fed Cup match in February, saying she felt sicker than she had ever felt. She has also had a run of leg and thigh injuries this season.
Azarenka was among the players favored to win the U.S. Open. I hadn't counted her out at all, though--just last night--I remarked to someone that I thought Dulko might give her trouble. Instead, Dulko gave her ice as she lay crumpled on the baking hard court in Flushing Meadows. This is a most unfortunate turn of events, but the good news is that Azarenka is not seriously ill.