Re: *Vika Azarenka Cheering Thread* - Vikalume 4.
I think the mental fatigue makes sense. She fought SO, SO hard in the US Open final (to quote a post I read in GM, "like a bat of hell") which we kind of forget now. No one else on tour could've wont the second set from the position she was in, and then losing in the third was a huge blow and made it the effort all the more taxing because she still couldn't get the reward. I was exhausted watching it! On top of that, this match was at the end of a summer where she worked extremely hard first to recover from an injury and then a HUGE fight to beat Reehanna in Cincy and then she didn't exactly have an easy road to the US Open final. She fought and fought all summer and was physically and mentally exhausted after that, but the rivalry was on her mind, so she said she felt guilty not practicing even though she needed a rest.
The problem is that instead of taking a break then she tried to keep training even though she wasn't feeling it because she knew she wasn't playing her best, and that sort of half-assed practice, and getting sick, led to shitty play in Asia and now here she's not playing well, hasn't had good practice, and that has caused her to lose motivation. Instead of getting proper recovery from her huge efforts this summer, she wore herself out even more in the fall, even if she didn't play that many actual tour matches, and now checked out of the season. That's why she keeps talking about better scheduling. I think after the YEC, though she will need to seriously work her ass off in the off season to prepare for next year, she'll want to take a little bit of time off to rediscover the motivation she felt after the US Open, while also allowing herself to be fresh enough physically to be able to put in a productive level of training.
My biggest worry is that it seems she feels a bit complacent as number two. She wants to beat Reehanna, but also knows that she just isn't as good. Meanwhile, the rest of the tour is furious to take her number two spot, but Vika has been so consistent the past two years that she's gotten very used to being at the top, and hasn't always had her best to stay there. Hopefully she can use the rivalry to motivate herself to really put in some intensive work in the off season so she can bounce back physically strong and mentally hungry next year.
My number one: Victoria Azarenka
ATP: Novak Djoković
Crazy Frenchies! Gilles Simon Alizé Cornet