Cautious Azarenka returns at Indian Wells with less than a week's practice

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AP

Victoria Azarenka says she is coming into Indian Wells with limited practice after a foot injury that required wearing a walking boot for three weeks.

Speaking to reporters ahead of the tournament, Azarenka indicated she was glad simply to be playing again.

"Well, I'm here," she said. "When you hear for the first time from the doctor you've got to wear a boot for three weeks and the tournament is in four and a half weeks you're like, 'Okay, well, we'll see how it goes.'"

The injury, which troubled her at the Australian Open and has kept her off the tour since then, also means she is coming in with less than a week's practice.

"For me, it's a process of coming back," she said. "I tried to do the best job as possible and I think we're slowly achieving that."

Wearing the boot had been difficult, Azarenka added. "I'm always moving so for me to wear a boot is so unusual — I have different walk," she said gesturing a limp. "But it's something you have to do."

The Belarusian did hold a charity event during the weekend in which Serena Williams took part, allowing the two to catch up. "It was just fun, two people talking like regular people," said Azarenka.

But looking ahead to Indian Wells, the No. 3 seed was  cautious.

"What I expect for myself is to fight for every ball. The rest is a little bit of an unknown for me right now," Azarenka said. "The first match is going to happen. I’m going to go out there and I’m going to play. The most important thing for me is that my foot feels good."
 

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