Australian Open: Victoria Azarenka 'struggling' but will 'come back stronger' after loss

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Watch: Azarenka emotional after Australian Open exit
Australian Open 2019
Venue: Melbourne Park Dates: 14-27 January
Coverage: Daily live commentaries on the BBC Sport website, listen to Tennis Breakfast daily from 07:00 GMT on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra and watch highlights on BBC TV and online from 19 January.

A tearful Victoria Azarenka said she will come back stronger following her Australian Open first-round exit.

Azarenka has struggled for form since returning from maternity leave in 2017 and missed last year's Australian Open because of an ongoing custody dispute.

She lost 6-7 (5-7) 6-4 6-2 to 110th-ranked Laura Siegemund on Tuesday.

"I've been through a lot of things in my life. Sometimes I wonder why I go through them," Azarenka, a two-time champion in Melbourne, said.

"I think they're going to make me stronger. I want to believe that and I'm going to work hard for it.

"Right now is just a harder struggle for me. I can continue to repeat this word, that I'm struggling right now. I think it's pretty obvious."

Former world number one Azarenka returned from maternity leave in June 2017 after giving birth to her son, Leo.

Her appearances and travel were limited in 2018 because of a custody dispute, which Azarenka later said she "wouldn't wish on anyone".

She went out in the first round of the WTA tournament in Auckland prior to the Australian Open and is currently 53rd in the rankings.

"Sometimes I just need a little time and patience and a little support," Azarenka said.

"If there's a store where you can buy it, I'll go purchase it."

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