Well it turns out I was overly ambitious, expecting Petra to win about 6 games today, but still a solid performance.
Of course, Azarenka is in a totally different league, no doubt about that, but Petra made her work for the win, and you have to respect that. The worst thing for me about tennis is handing down a win to your opponent, instead of at least making them earn it. Commentators on Eurosport also had a lot of praise for Petra and her effort today, which certainly adds value.
When it comes to problem areas, apart from the obvious inability to do any sort of damage with the backhand slice, Petra's lapses in concentrations were probably the most obvious. It was not so much sheer frustration, as you would expect of her several years ago, but sudden drift away from the court mentally, and that's definately something she should focus on. She definately should come to the net more often, cause her touch and overall net skills are too good to end up neglected. Her movement is not too bad and when teamed up with serve, forehand and confidence, it can help her make an impact, even against some of the very best.
Azarenka was pretty standard today, used Petra's occasional nervous episodes or laps of concentration to utilize on them, which is what any top class player would do in her shoes. She became obviously restless in the second set, and kudos to Petra for making that happen by keeping her focus and keeping the pressure in serveral games for extended periods. It's a shame that she couldn't win more of those games where she made it to 30 or 40, but I guess it's all a learning experience.
I don't know what Petra's plans are for the rest of the year, but it would be really good IMO to see her on a strong ITF next, something like 100k. After this experience and a surge of confidence, not to mention all the match play that she got in this week (still to play semi of doubles tomorrow), she'd sweep through an average 100k field and got to valuable points. Really hope her camp is thinking in that direction.
All in all, a great week - that is still not finished - and a nice foundation for 2013. Good job Petra