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Yesterday 05:15 PM
Re: News and updates about Victoria Azarenka

Back Injury Forces Azarenka Out
News | WTA Tennis English

No.4 seed Victoria Azarenka joined the Mutua Madrid Open casualty list on Wednesday, pulling out ahead of her third round clash with Louisa Chirico because of a back injury.

Published May 04, 2016 12:15

MADRID, Spain - No.4 seed Victoria Azarenka has joined the Mutua Madrid Open casualty list, pulling out of her third-round meeting with Louisa Chirico because of a back injury.

Following the exits of Agnieszka Radwanska, Angelique Kerber and Garbiñe Muguruza, Azarenka was the highest seed left in the draw. However, after aggravating her lower back during morning practice the Belarusian elected to err on the side of caution.

"Unfortunately in my first match I think I tweaked my back a little bit. It was really cold, and, I don't know, I think it's much easier to get a little bit hurt when it's that cold," Azarenka said during a press conference. "And the second match obviously I was in a lot of discomfort. Having a day off I thought it was going to get better. Today before my warm-up it did feel better, but once I started hitting it came back.

"I don't feel that I'm able to compete today. I'm just trying to make the smart decision and see the big picture."

Azarenka's now faces a race against time to be fit for next week's Internazionali BNL d'Italia - her last chance to fine-tune her clay court game ahead of the French Open.

"We'll see how it goes. Really going to take it day by day and make sure my body is ready," she said when asked about her chances of playing in the Italian capital. "I don't know. I don't really have a particular answer why it happened. There could have been couple of things. I was really sick the week before that.

"I'm just trying to make the test, make sure there is nothing serious, and try to treat it as best as possible. My plan is to be ready for Rome, so hopefully I'll be able to do that."

Chirico, the youngest player remaining in the tournament, advances to her first quarterfinal at a WTA Premier event where she will face fellow surprise package, Daria Gavrilova.
Apr 23rd, 2016 11:47 AM
Re: News and updates about Victoria Azarenka

it was already gifed just hours after the match ended.
don't ya mess with angryrenka, crowds...
Apr 22nd, 2016 04:06 PM
Re: News and updates about Victoria Azarenka

Yeah, that gesture would probably get you a fine in almost any sport.

But let's face it. Vika's feistiness is why:

1. We love her.
2. She wins.

(Somebody needs to make a gif of that. But you didn't hear that from an admin).
Apr 22nd, 2016 03:04 PM
Break My Rapture
Re: News and updates about Victoria Azarenka

That seriously ranks as a rude gesture? We live in such a pissy world nowadays.
Apr 22nd, 2016 07:29 AM
Re: News and updates about Victoria Azarenka

mmm always in trouble....feisty character

Azarenka Fined $ 2,500 For “Rude Gesture" Towards Russian Fans
Apr 19th, 2016 03:09 PM
Re: News and updates about Victoria Azarenka

Виктория Азаренко: Хочу предоставить себе шанс быть лучшим игроком, которым только могу стать

Саша Бажин. Величие признаёт величие
Apr 18th, 2016 02:23 PM
Re: News and updates about Victoria Azarenka

Mixed fortunes for Russia and Belarus

By Richard van Poortvliet

Russia and Belarus will wake up on Monday morning in very different frames of mind. The Russians will start life outside of the Fed Cup by BNP Paribas World Group for the first time in almost 19 years, with Belarus replacing them amongst tennis’ elite for the first time in their history.

“This is a wonderful event for tennis in Belarus and something that the whole country can be proud of,” said the Belarus Fed Cup Captain, Eduard Dubrou.

Belarus’ ascension to the top tier of women’s tennis was not necessarily unexpected, especially considering they had world No. 5 Victoria Azarenka among their ranks.

The 26-year-old came into the tie in stunning form, winning back-to-back titles in Indian Wells and Miami; something only achieved by her hero Steffi Graff (twice) and Kim Clijsters. She also came to Moscow on a 12 match-winning streak in all competitions and was undefeated in the Fed Cup in over six years.

Azarenka’s teammate in the Fed Cup team, Aliaksandra Sasnovich, who claimed the crucial fourth rubber win over Margarita Gasparyan in three sets, said what a physiological boost it gives the team, having some one as potent as the 26-year-old amongst their ranks.

“It is really good to have a player like this and she has a lot of experience. She is able to pass on this experience to our team and we can look at how she is practicing and how she is playing,” said Sasnovich.

The Belarus No. 1 had an excellent weekend. She dispatched Gasparyan in the opening singles on Saturday with a minimum of fuss, before battling past Darya Kasatkina in a tough three-set battle.

Azarenka was delighted at helping her country into the World Group for the first time, while she also had a rare opportunity to play in front of her whole family, who had made the short trip to Moscow from Minsk, though she did admit it was “a little bit nerve-wracking.”

For Kasatkina, this was something of a baptism of fire. The precociously talented 18-year-old was overlooked for live singles action two months ago when Russia surprisingly lost to the Netherlands, but the Tolyatti native was thrown in at the deep end against Belarus.

‘Dasha,’ as she is called by her teammates, picked up her first singles point by beating Sasnovich in three sets, but the match against Azarenka in the reverse singles proved a bridge too far. Never-the-less, the World No. 5 from Belarus was mightily impressed by what Kasatkina had to offer.

“I really love the passion and the fight that she plays with and I think that it will give her opportunities to get good results and I really love that approach to the game,” Azarenka said of Kasatkina, who has reached a career high 32 in the world rankings.

Russia will now have to contemplate life outside of the Fed Cup World Group for the first time since 1997. This is very much a side in transition, with captain Anastasia Myskina emphasizing the need to put their faith in youth.

“We brought a completely new team, a different team from the past and you have to start somewhere,” she said adding that “we’ll have to pick ourselves up again,” after being knocked out of the World Group.

However, for Belarus, exciting times now await this group of players who gain immense pride from representing their country, while the emergence of 17-year-old Vera Lapko, who like Azarenka before her, won the Australian Open junior girls title, is likely to give captain Dubrou even more options in the future.

“We have a very small country where only 9.5 million people live and the fact that our voice can now be heard around the whole world is a wonderful achievement,” Dubrou concluded.

Apr 17th, 2016 09:18 PM
Re: News and updates about Victoria Azarenka

Belarus scale new heights after win in Moscow

By Richard van Poortvliet

MOSCOW, RUSSIA: Belarus have made history by reaching the Fed Cup by BNP Paribas World Group for the first time in the country’s history after taking an unassailable 3-1 lead in their tie against Russia in Moscow, following victories for Victoria Azarenka and Aliaksandra Sasnovich on Sunday.

Sasnovich got the all-important third point for her country after coming from a set down to beat Margarita Gasparyan and she sent the hundreds of Belarus supporters in the stands into raptures, as she sealed victory when her opponent could only send a forehand into the net. The result meant that Russia drop from the World Group for the first time in almost 19 years.

"This means so much for our country, for Belarus and it is really big. It is something special to get into the World Group for the first time in history and we are all really happy about his," a jubilant Sasnovich said.

The 22-year-old didn’t do things the easy way, as she dropped the first set to an impressive Gasparyan, who had never played a more important Fed Cup match in her life.

However, the Belarus No. 2 decided to throw caution to the wind in the second set and take more risks – a move that paid dividends.

"I started to play my game in the second set, while in the first set I was nervous a little bit I think and in the second and third set I played my game, so I won," Sasnovich added.

Gasparyan had no answers to her opponents attacking play as the Minsk native crucially managed to cut out the unforced errors from her game to take the second set 61.

Chants of 'Belarus, Belarus' filled the Luzhniki Small Sports Arena as the visiting fans sensed their player was on the cusp of victory. She would eventually seal the decider 75 and wrap up the win in two hours and 45 minutes.

"I have never seen that she [Sasnovich] has played this well," Gasparyan admitted. "She had a good match yesterday against Dasha [Darya Kasatkina] and today with me."

Sasnovich was able to complete the victory for Belarus after Victoria Azarenka had produced an excellent display of tennis to beat the talented Russian teenager Kasatkina.

Azarenka had not lost a match in the Fed Cup in over six years and by the way she started it looked as that record was in no threat of being broken. Kasatkina struggled to stay with the sheer power and precision of her opponent: she clenched her fists and tried to contain a shout of 'come on' when she netted another powerful serve to give the world No. 5 the first set.

Azarenka seemed to be in control, but errors started to creep into her game and a rejuvenated Kasatkina managed to draw the match level at a set apiece.

"I gave her the chance to be a little bit more aggressive and she definitely used it," Azarenka said. "I really love the passion and the fight that she plays with and I think that it will give her opportunities to get good results and I really love that approach to the game."

Unfortunately Kasatkina did not start the deciding set well as she dropped her serve in her opening service game for the third consecutive set. However, she ran Azarenka close in a marathon second game, the world No. 5 just about squeezing through.

Azarenka wobbled when serving for the match in the eighth game, but Kasatkina’s serve was equally unsure and the Belarus No. 1 broke back to win the match as the Russian teenager sent a backhand down the line long.

"I think today was a very difficult challenge in front of me. It was the crowd, it was the court, it was the opponent, but I am glad that I stayed strong and found a way, even when you are not playing your best, to give yourselves opportunities and I have done that and can be proud of that," Azarenka admitted.

Delight for Belarus, which reaches the heights of the World Group for the first time. Russia, however, begin start life out of the World Group for the first time since 1997, but - given the potential of their new generation of players like Kasatkina and Gasparyan - don’t expect Anastasia’s charges to spend too long out of the Fed Cup top flight.
Apr 16th, 2016 07:52 PM
Re: News and updates about Victoria Azarenka

Russia and Belarus finely poised in Moscow

By Richard van Poortvliet

MOSCOW, RUSSIA: Russia and Belarus are level at one rubber all in their Fed Cup by BNP Paribas World Group play-off following an entertaining day of opening singles in Moscow.

Daria Kasatkina managed to battle her nerves to produce an excellent deciding set to see off Aliaksandra Sasnovich, while Victoria Azarenka showed why she is one of the best players on the planet to dispatch Margarita Gasparyan.

Azarenka has not lost a Fed Cup match in over six years and apart from a couple of minor hiccups when she dropped her opening service game in both sets, the world No. 5 was largely untroubled.

“The most important thing is not how you start, but how you finish, and I managed to finish both the ends of the sets strongly,” Azarenka confessed.

The 26-year-old admitted that she suffered from a few nerves as her whole family was watching her from the stands for the first time in her career, but she added that she was soon able to hit her stride. This was also Azarenka’s 13th consecutive win and she has not lost since the end of February, which looks ominous for the Russians for the rest of the weekend.

“I feel like I am doing well on a daily basis and I am improving and that is very important to me,” Azarenka said, who sealed victory in an hour and 13 minutes when her opponent dumped a backhand into the net.

Gasparyan, who was playing in her first ever live rubber, put up a spirited challenge in the first set, but was ultimately let down by 17 unforced errors, which were far too many against a player of Azarenka’s class. She battled hard in the second, but the gap in class between the two players showed.

“It was a very tough match. I thought I played well today, but Victoria played really good,” Gasparyan said, adding that she thoroughly enjoyed the experience of playing in front of her home crowd, despite the scoreline.

Earlier, Kasatkina, who has reached a career high 32 in the world rankings, produced an excellent display to put Russia on the board as she overcame Sasnovich in an exciting three-setter, despite suffering a wobble in the second set.

Kasatkina acknowledged that she was feeling nervous throughout the majority of her match, though the Russian bench was offering her constant support, something the 18-year-old said “helped her a lot.”

“Elena [Vesnina] has been watching a lot of my matches at the last few tournaments and she has been talking to my coach, who is also my brother, so she knows everything that I need [to do] during the match, so she helped me a lot today,” Kasatkina admitted.

The match was evenly poised going into the final set, but Kasatkina had other ideas as she raced to take an early double break. There was to be no way back for Sasnovich who looked tired out on the court, as the 18-year-old won in just under two hours, sealing victory with a fine cross court forehand.

“I am very excited because I won my first ever singles match in Fed Cup and I am very happy that I won the point for my team and for my country,” Kasatkina said.

Given the amount of skill and composure the teenager managed to show out on court, this is likely to be the start of what should be a fantastic Fed Cup career for what could well be the latest Russian tennis star.
Apr 15th, 2016 05:30 PM
Re: News and updates about Victoria Azarenka

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Apr 12th, 2016 05:15 PM
Re: News and updates about Victoria Azarenka

Q&A with da fans
Apr 12th, 2016 04:12 PM
Queen Victoria
Re: News and updates about Victoria Azarenka

Reading her statement I'm not sure if she should become an author or a model after her career... Goddamn she can become whatever she wants to
Apr 12th, 2016 03:57 PM
Re: News and updates about Victoria Azarenka

^ so she herself officially confirmed to play fed cup against russia this weekend. slay them all!
Apr 12th, 2016 02:32 PM
Re: News and updates about Victoria Azarenka

Apr 12th, 2016 03:38 AM
Re: News and updates about Victoria Azarenka

Originally Posted by Exordes View Post
Azarenka: Reflecting on the first months of the 2016 season
Azarenka: Reflecting on the first months of the 2016 season |

Posted: Mon Apr. 11, 2016

From the Players' Box is a series on which gives you a front row seat to all of the action in a professional tennis player's life—from training, to traveling and more—straight from a player's point of view. Each month, From the Players' Box with Victoria Azarenka will give the 26-year-old Belarusian a platform to discuss issues on Tour, practices, her life off of the court and more.

As the first three months of the 2016 season come to a close, my team and I are taking some important time to reflect on the highs and lows of the year and acknowledge what we, collectively, can do better going forward. I want to share some of these reflections.

A few months ago, I wrote about the hard work I put in during the preseason. From the very first training session, we focused on the process of getting better each and every day. As I traveled to Brisbane for my first event of the year, I vowed to take each day as a step towards improving my game: getting fitter, faster and stronger. A lot of athletes tend to concentrate on the results but I’ve focused on the process. Each day I set a mini goal to get better in some way. By doing that, I’ve learned that the titles and then ranking will take care of themselves.

Even after all of the hard work I did during the preseason, I still felt uncertain heading into Brisbane in January. I didn’t know if it was going to translate into performance. I felt good in practice and I was ready, but what happens on the court during a match is always unknown. Would all of the pieces fall into place when I needed them to? How many matches could my body sustain? Last year I wasn’t able to string together two or three matches in a row without feeling the physical consequences. None of this uncertainty stemmed from fear—it was what I’d describe as a combination of nerves and excitement, because I honestly didn’t know what was going to happen.

​​This year I’ve made a decision to try my best to live in the moment and not think too far ahead. It’s not easy—it’s not like you can flip a switch and make it happen. It’s a daily challenge to stay focused on the present and not allow my mind to wander and think about possible results in the future.

One of the toughest parts of playing in Brisbane was rediscovering how my body feels and moves during matches and learning to accept the recovery process. For the first time in a long time I started to trust my body again—this time not just in practice but also in high-pressure situations. Knowing that I could handle the pressure psychologically gave me a lot of confidence. I started seeing my hard work pay off; I was getting better from match to match. I was able to let go of that unknown factor and just enjoy competing out on the court. Brisbane was a great tournament for Team Vika.

Moving forward to the Australian Open—a two-week event and the first Grand Slam of the year—and there was a lot more at stake. There is always a lot happening at Grand Slams off the court and after a long break away, I had to relearn how to manage my energy. I had to adapt to the environment all over again in order to deal with all of the hype surrounding such a big sporting event. I tried to trust how my body was feeling by managing my workload during the tournament. This approach is ultimately what helps me play my best. But looking back, I didn’t do the best job of this at the Australian Open, which ultimately led me to a match where I didn’t have enough—both mentally and physically—to beat a great opponent.

In the important moments of my match against Angelique Kerber, I should have raised my level and found the power inside me, but I just didn’t have enough when I needed it. I was really disappointed with the way I handled the match because I believe I had many chances that I didn’t take advantage of and, with the high expectations that I’ve set for myself and the determination that I have, it was a very painful experience. In life, we have the opportunity to learn from situations that don’t quite go our way. The lesson here was not to overreact but to think it through and have the ability to turn a bad situation into a positive one. I gave myself a bit of time to feel the disappointment, but focused on setting new priorities and set new mini goals that I could achieve each day between the loss and the next two big events in Indian Wells and Miami.

After Melbourne, I took a six-week training period and readjusted my fitness routine. My team and I worked on specific areas that we felt were missing from my Australian Open performance and needed to be improved. I really used my time to fix those small errors, and by the time Indian Wells came around, I felt prepared. I knew that going onto the court I had to apply everything I had been doing in practice—this may have meant trying and failing, but I knew I had to stick with it.

This time all of the pieces fell into place. Don’t get me wrong—it wasn’t a smooth ride. Every day during the month of March was a battle for me. I had some extremely tough matches and had to face some high expectations put on me by the media. Access to information is so easy with social media all around us, and being questioned by the media on a regular basis makes it difficult to disconnect. It’s hard to escape even when I pay little attention to it. Regardless, I felt 100% prepared and never doubted my abilities and it was exciting for me to go on the court and push myself to reach new levels physically. I also vastly improved my match statistics in areas such percentage of service points won.

By the time the Miami Open quarterfinals came around, there were higher expectations and more noise surrounding my matches. I think it’s good for the fans to make predictions and have those conversations because it helps the sport, but it doesn’t make any difference to me who people think is going to win a match. Whether people predict that I will come out on top or not doesn’t affect me. I am the one who has to face reality, go out on court and play the match.

The most exciting moment for me so far this year was playing in the final of Indian Wells against Serena. I want to play against the best player in the world—it’s the reason I play the game. I really do live for moments like that. I want to challenge myself and my game. No matter what round of the tournament you’re in, you have to beat the best if you want to win big titles and I’m looking forward to a lot more of these battles. I am sure there are many more to come.

People always ask me what my goals are. This year I had a goal of making smart decisions. I play the tournaments I want to play, and I go to places I want to go instead of doing what others think I should do. Over the years of being injured, I always felt like I had to play more tournaments, more matches and push my body to the limit. But now I’ve realized: that approach is not the best one for me. In the past, I felt like my body was constantly playing catch up and I always had to will myself to do what I thought I had to do to win. I wasn't listening to what my body needed.

Reflecting back on an amazing March and now looking forward to the upcoming clay court season ����
— victoria azarenka (@vika7) April 7, 2016

The other exciting part of these first few months of the season was how well I was able to recover from day to day. I was able to connect and listen to my body. I focused on the small details, corrected the mistakes from January and as a result, I made better priorities, adjusted to training and played less tennis. I actually felt the ball better—kind of ironic, don’t you think!?

Reflecting on the past three months, it has definitely been a good start to the year and an amazing feeling to win the Sunshine Double.

But it has only made me hungry for more. Now it’s time to get back to work. See you on the clay!
Really nice article. Some of it is a bit surprising honestly but whatever she is doing seems to be working. It's funny how she LIVES for matches against Reehanna, which she says there too .
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