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  Topic Review (Newest First)
Jun 19th, 2017 11:44 AM
Re: News and updates about Victoria Azarenka

Victoria Azarenka's return from maternity leave begins this week in Mallorca and the former World No.1 is eager to start a new chapter of her illustrious career.

'I think I can be better' - Azarenka lays down gauntlet on return | WTA Tennis
June 19, 2017

MALLORCA, Spain - Former World No.1 Victoria Azarenka returns from maternity leave at the Mallorca Open this week - and yesterday she laid down a gauntlet to her rivals, saying that she can be even better than before.

"I think I'm more competitive - that quality never left me," the 27-year-old said in a press conference. "I really feel I haven't reached my potential yet and I think I can be better."

This was also behind her decision to bring her comeback forwards: originally scheduled for the American hard-court swing in July, Azarenka announced last month that she would be returning sooner than expected on grass.

"I thought I was tired of practicing - I needed something to practice for," she revealed. "It was not more about how I was ready physically, but whether I was ready mentally to go out there and get back into travelling with the team, to adjust everything."

To prepare for her comeback, Azarenka has been working as hard as ever - "a lot of blood, sweat and tears," she joked - but also more smartly.

"We had more than the time of the off-season, and were able to implement some of the things that when you play are hard to change," she explained. "So I worked a little bit on changing my technique, the biomechanics, to make sure that I can prolong my career."

What hasn't changed is Azarenka's attitude. "I always have the mentality of being really focused and to put everything I have on to the tennis court, and that didn't go anywhere," she declared.

The Mallorca Open is Azarenka's first tournament since her first-round loss at last year's Roland Garros, and she will open against World No.74 Risa Ozaki in her first match here. Currently unranked, she has been hitting the practice courts in Mallorca - while also finding time for some mother-son bonding in the spectacular setting of the Spanish island.
May 30th, 2017 01:30 PM
Re: News and updates about Victoria Azarenka

The two-time Grand Slam champion sat down to discuss her comeback, motherhood, the state of the game and her surprise appearance in Paris.

May 30, 2017
Azarenka on playing again: 'If I didn't love it, I wouldn't have come back' | WTA Tennis

Former World No.1 Victoria Azarenka stopped by "Live at Roland Garros" on Monday to chat with host Nick McCarvel about her imminent return to tennis, which is set to take place in three weeks at the Mallorca Open.

Though she is not competing in Paris, Azarenka made a surprise appearance at Kids' Day prior to the start of the second Grand Slam of the season.
"It was amazing - I was a little bit nervous actually because they said you have to hit targets, and I was like, 'Oh my god, in front of all these people,'" the two-time Australian Open champion said. "Once I stepped on the court, it felt like home, so I was very happy to be there."

Now there's a smile we've missed! 😊

Two-time Major champ @vika7 dropped by Chatrier (with a few of her friends) to help celebrate Kids Day.
— Roland-Garros (@rolandgarros) May 27, 2017
Azarenka will make her return to the tour after the birth of her son Leo in Mallorca ahead of Wimbledon, ahead of her previously announced return date of July 18 at the Bank of the West Classic.

"It's not really a comeback for me, it's more starting a second part of my career," Azarenka said. "It's different, it just feels different. The competition, I've been training and...I need to go out and play, I need to play matches, I need to be in front of the crowd, so I'm happy I'm going to start playing in a few weeks. Before I started to practice, I wanted to make sure I could accomplish some of the goals [I had] with training. That's why we said hard courts, [which] give us a lot of time to work.

"They told me like a month ago, 'You should go out and play,' and I said, 'I'm not sure, I don't know, I wanted hard courts,' but then I started playing more, some sets and stuff, and I just want to go...compete.
She added: "[Motherhood] kind of just puts tennis matches into a less serious mode, and it's just something that you enjoy more. I just love playing, and that's the only reason why I'm playing again. If I didn't love it, I wouldn't have come [back]."
In the meantime, the former World No.1 has been taking in the sights and sounds of Paris - something she said she never got much of a chance to do while in the routine of the tour.

Thank you for coming on Vika! Hear from @vika7 tonight on Live at Roland Garros from 7pm @rolandgarros @NickMcCarvel 🙌🎾
— Gigi Salmon (@gigi_salmon) May 29, 2017
"I came here for one of my best friend's weddings, and while I was here, I was like, 'Well, I would love to do a Kids' Day,'" she said. "The tournament's always been so nice to me, and I wanted to give back and I love Kids' Day in general. Then my trainer came and is like, 'Well, you might as well just train, and you can still have some of your free time, but we should put some work in.'

"I don't have that routine pressure, where you don't have to sleep at a certain hour, to eat and recover so I'm able to communicate with players and other people, which is great."

Watch the full interview with Azarenka below!

May 25th, 2017 03:39 AM
Re: News and updates about Victoria Azarenka

May 24th, 2017 01:09 PM
Re: News and updates about Victoria Azarenka

Azarenka set to return at Mallorca Open
Azarenka set to return at Mallorca Open | WTA Tennis

The former World No.1 Victoria Azarenka is set to play her first tournament in over a year at the Mallorca Open.
May 24, 2017

Former World No.1 Victoria Azarenka is set to play her first tournament in over a year at the Mallorca Open.
Earlier this week, Azarenka confirmed her intention to return to the tour during the grass season in time for Wimbledon.
The Mallorca Open begins on June 19th.

Who is coming to the @MallorcaOpen? YES! @vika7 #Azarenka! ������#dontcallitacomeback

— MallorcaOpen (@MallorcaOpen) May 24, 2017
The Mallorca Open will be Azarenka's first tournament since the 2016 French Open, where she was ranked at No.5. The two-time Australian Open champion subsequently announced she was expecting her first child and gave birth to a boy named Leo in December.

Since then, she has been working hard to get back on tour, with an initial return date scheduled for the Bank of the West Open in Stanford, California on July 18th.

In addition to Azarenka, the Mallorca Open will also be the site of Sabine Lisicki's return to competition. The 2013 Wimbledon finalist has not played a tournament in 2017 due to a shoulder injury.
May 22nd, 2017 07:09 PM
Re: News and updates about Victoria Azarenka
May 22nd, 2017 02:34 PM
Re: News and updates about Victoria Azarenka

Yes yes YES!!!
May 22nd, 2017 01:44 PM
Re: News and updates about Victoria Azarenka
Apr 24th, 2017 07:07 AM
Re: News and updates about Victoria Azarenka

Fed Cup - Sabalenka sends Belarus through to first Final
Fed Cup - State of play: Belarus 3-2 Switzerland

Fed Cup - Draws & Results
Apr 21st, 2017 09:10 AM
Re: News and updates about Victoria Azarenka

What The WTA Special Ranking Rule Means For Serena, Azarenka

Learn more about what the WTA's Special Ranking rule means in maternity cases like Serena Williams and Victoria Azarenka.

Published April 20, 2017 12:15
News | WTA Tennis English

With Serena Williams' announcement that she is expecting her first child this fall and new mom Victoria Azarenka returning to action later this summer, here's how the WTA's Special Ranking Rule applies to both players and in all maternity cases:

To be eligible, a player must be out for a minimum of six months, maximum of two years and be ranked inside the Top 300 (or Top 200 in doubles) at time she stopped playing. The Special Ranking application and supporting medical documentation must be submitted within six months after the last professional tournament played.

For maternity cases, players must be ready to play their first tournament within 12 months of birth.

The Special Ranking will be the ranking earned immediately after the points of the last tournament she played have been added to the WTA Rankings:
-For Serena Williams, her Special Ranking would be No.1
-For Victoria Azarenka, her Special Ranking is No.6

Upon return, a player may use her WTA Special Ranking to gain entry (not for seeding) into eight tournaments within one year of her return date. The Special Ranking can be used at a maximum of two Premier Mandatory Tournaments (Indian Wells, Miami, Madrid, Beijing) and two Grand Slams.

In addition, any player who is a past singles champion of a Grand Slam or WTA Finals will be allowed an unlimited number of Singles Main Draw Wild Card nominations.

The complete details can be found in the 2017 WTA Rulebook - Special Ranking Rule: pg. 218-225; Singles Main Draw Wildcards: pg.67
Apr 19th, 2017 09:16 PM
Re: News and updates about Victoria Azarenka

"Эдуард Дубров: "Вика встречалась с командой накануне. Очень просила нас выиграть, потому что хочет сыграть в финале". Belarus @ fedcuptennis
Captain says @ vichka35 asked team to win because she dreams to play in final
#tennisby #FedCup #BLRSUI #GoBelarus"

Mar 24th, 2017 11:24 AM
Re: News and updates about Victoria Azarenka

She's back!
Mar 16th, 2017 05:20 PM
Break My Rapture
Re: News and updates about Victoria Azarenka

That was a nice interview. So a return in the grass season might be in the cards.
Mar 16th, 2017 08:23 AM
Re: News and updates about Victoria Azarenka


By Barry Buss March 13, 2017 - New Victoria Azarenka coach Michael Joyce talks to Tennis.Life -

INDIAN WELLS – Coaching on the women’s tour has become a game of musical chairs in recent years. But every once in a while, there’s a blockbuster move that stands out.

When former No. 1 Victoria Azarenka returns from maternity leave this summer, she’ll have an experienced guide at her side in Michael Joyce, the longtime coach of Maria Sharapova. Joyce has had two coaching jobs since 2004. First came a 6 1/2-year run with Sharapova, then a five-year stint with American Jessica Pegula. Barry Buss reached out to Joyce to find out what precipitated the change, in this Tennis.Life exclusive.

TL: I saw the news come through yesterday of your hiring. First of all, congratulations. Can you share with us how your pairing with Victoria Azarenka came about?

MJ: It came about pretty randomly. I was speaking with her agent in January about something entirely unrelated, when he mentioned Vika was cranking up her training in order to come back sometime later this year. In the course of the conversation, he asked in passing if I might be interested in working with her. Initially I said no, that I was happy where I was with Jessie. But then I started giving the opportunity some thought. We spoke again. I came out to California to talk to Vika and hit some balls with her. I was immediately impressed by how focused she was and how hungry she was to get back to playing. But pulling the trigger was really tough. I’m incredibly close with Jessie and her family. I agonized pretty hard about the decision. It wasn’t easy at all.

TL: You’d been with Jessie for five years. Where is she at in her career?

MJ: She’s had some real tough luck. She’s been knocking on the door of the top 100 three separate times the last few years, only to get hurt and have to take time off. Last summer she was playing some of her best tennis. She made the semis of Washington, beating Stosur along the way. But her back and hip were giving her trouble. She kept trying to play but it was getting harder and harder for her. Her doctor said she’s going to have to get surgery at some point, so we shut her down in January where she got her hip operated on. She has a protected ranking, and I plan to help her with her transition to make sure she’s in the best hands possible. If all goes well with her recovery she’ll be back playing again by summer, we hope.

TL: Does Victoria have a time table to return to competition?

MJ: No, she doesn’t. Right now she’s gradually picking up her training. I’ll be joining her in Europe in a few weeks to kick it up another level. But there’s no set date, and more importantly, there’s no rush. We talked optimistically about being back for the grass courts season with maybe Wimbledon as a target, but realistically, more likely sometime during the summer hard-court season.

TL: There’s precedent for new mothers to come back strong and get right back to the top again, with Kim Clijsters as the most recent example. Have you discussed what goals you have for the partnership?

MJ: Absolutely. As I said, her hunger to get back to the top of the women’s game was what made working with her attractive. The fact that she’s won two Slams before and been number one, yet is driven to work even harder to get better than she ever was before. That really impressed me. And the fact that I have experience coaching at that level during my time with Maria. I think I can really help her achieve her goals.

TL: In the coaching world, you are the exception, having two relationships that lasted more than five years. What is it about your style that allows you to develop these long-term bonds?

MJ: Couple things. I see every player as different with unique needs. One style can’t fit all. I’ve worked very hard at remaining flexible with my players. Coaches have to understand their players intimately first and foremost, and work within that understanding. A mistake a lot of coaches make is they have success with a player doing things a certain way. Then they get a new student and apply that same style with an entirely different player and person. That rigidity doesn’t always work. Hence a lot of the high turnover.

Secondly, if I’m trying to get a player to do a certain thing and its not happening for whatever reason, I’m not afraid to bring in outside help. I think my players appreciate that, that its not all about me and my job security. That their best interests always come first and that I’m willing to do whatever it takes to help them become their best.

TL: Ok. Now for the important question. You’re a new father yourself. Who’s baby is cuter, your Maya or Vika’s Leo?

MJ: Ha. They’re both adorable. And big! Two big kids. I think we have some good tennis DNA between us. I see a future mixed Slam in their futures.

TL: All joking aside. You both are new parents. Do you think that will enhance your working relationship?

MJ: Absolutely. You know how it is. There’s a lot of downtime in coaching. You can only talk about tennis so much. Now we share this awesome experience of being new parents, so there’s so much more now that connects us than just the tennis. Its uncharted territory for us both. We can exchange tennis and parenting tips with each other and help each other along.

TL: I was one of your coaches as a junior, and now you’re coaching Vika. Does that make me her grandcoach?

MJ: Ha. Only if you babysit and spoil them silly.

TL: Thanks for your time. And best of luck to you both.
Mar 11th, 2017 01:00 AM
Re: News and updates about Victoria Azarenka

Mar 8th, 2017 02:16 PM
Re: News and updates about Victoria Azarenka

I guess this was a false alarm, no sign for Vika or Aga either......the Bryan Brothers were probably the most famous tennis players there.

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