Catching Up With... Victoria Azarenka
by Matt Fitzgerald|
At 21 years of age, Victoria Azarenka is one of the most accomplished players competing on the WTA.
She’s reached the quarter-finals at three of the four majors, been ranked inside the Top 10 in both singles (No. 6) and doubles (No. 7) and has qualified for the WTA season-ending championships the past two seasons.
The eighth seed at this year’s Sony Ericsson Open, the Belarusian native bounced back from a first set loss yesterday to get past Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 3-6, 6-1, 6-3, advancing to the quarter-finals. Azarenka will play the winner of Kim Clijsters and Ana Ivanovic tomorrow.
We caught up with “Vika” after she answered questions from Twitter followers earlier today.
You’re coming off a quarter-final appearance at Indian Wells. All three of your matches here have gone three sets, and in the last two, you rallied from a set down. How do you feel like you’re playing?
VA: I feel like I’m playing better. I didn’t start the season as well as I wanted to, but I think I’m starting to find my game. I’ve had some good wins here and am ready to keep improving, one match at a time.
Your win here in 2009 was a big breakthrough. You beat Serena in the final handily to win your first WTA Premier Mandatory title. Can you reflect on that run for us, and how does it feel to be one of three former women’s champions in the draw… the other two being Clijsters and Kuznetsova?
VA: It was two years ago so it’s not something I think about all the time… I look at my success tournament by tournament with a fresh outlook. Obviously my win here was an important moment in my career and I have great memories playing here in Miami.
Some tennis fans may not be aware that you’ve won two mixed doubles titles and reached three major women’s doubles finals. Where do your doubles achievements rank alongside your singles accomplishments?
They’re all great and wonderful in their own way. The win with Max was special because we’re both from Belarus and it was well received back home. The Grand Slam doubles finals are all big accomplishments. Although I focus primarily on singles, I am proud of all of my tennis successes.
We’re going to put you on the spot. You’re an avid Tweeter – describe the Sony Ericsson Open using a standard Twitter post in 140 characters or less.
VA: It’s a great atmosphere. Fans get into it. Nice venue, but sometimes it can be really hot and humid… but I like playing here! :)
The Last Time You…:
Traveled To A Tournament By Car: Indian Wells (from Scottsdale)
Cooked A Meal For Yourself: Last night!
Stayed At Home For More Than Week: After the event in Doha
Went To The Movies: Last week… I saw “Just Go With It”
Played A Sport Other Than Tennis: Soccer tennis in practice – if that doesn’t count, then basketball.
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