Athlete Spotlight: Victoria Azarenka, Tennis Titan
Name: Victória Fyódorovna Azárenka
Height: 6’0’’ Weight: 147 lbs.
Date of Birth: 31 July 1989
Accomplishments: Two mixed doubles Grand Slam titles, World No.1 Player, Grand Slam singles title, Bronze medal
Victoria Azarenka, a Belarusian professional tennis player, is a former World no.1 tennis player. Currently, Azarenka holds No. 6 rank in the world. Azarenka was born in Minsk Byelorussian SSR, Soviet Union on July 31, 1989 in a middle class family. Steffi Graf, German former tennis player, is her tennis idol. Azarenka said in an interview that the Calendar Golden Slam of Graf in 1988 is her biggest motivation.
Azarenka moved to Arizona, United States, at age 15 to train. Nikolai Khabibulin, the National Hockey League goalie, and his wife helped her in moving from Minsk. Azarenka, who knows a little bit Ukrainian and French, is fluent in Russian, English and Belarusian. In 2011, she even considered taking a break from Tennis to concentrate on education but after a conversation with her grandmother, she decided to continue with the sport.
Between late 2012 and early 2014, the star player dated American musician Redfoo. Also, Azarenka talked about her experience of depression during her absence from the sport due to injury in 2014. She declared on July 15, 2016, that she was pregnant.
The star player is the only Belarusian player (male or female) who has a Grand Slam singles title. She has won two Australian Open singles titles in 2012 and 2013 respectively. In addition to this, the tennis player has won two mixed doubles Grand Slam titles – the 2008 French Open with Bob Bryan and the 2007 US Open with Max Mirnyi – and the singles Bronze medal at the 2012 Summer Olympics (London).
Forbes magazine named Azarenka the fourth most paid female player worldwide in August 2013. Azarenka, according to the famous magazine, had total earnings of $15.7 million between 2012 and 2013.
The star player plays an aggressive baseline style that highlights her mobility. She is popular for her return game, two handed backhand and taking the ball promptly. She is quite controlled during her game, taking out her aggression to hit relentless groundstrokes. Sloane Stephens, American tennis player, said once that Azarenka is just a really tough competitor.
Off The Field:
The endorsements done by Azarenka are equivalent to $9 million. On the list of WTA prize money leaders, Azarenka holds the fourth spot with$28.1 million in prize money. She is the youngest in the top ten players in the list. The star professional tennis player has made endorsement deals with American Express, Wilson, Six Star Pro Nutrition, Citizen Watch, Nike, and InstaForex. In January 2013, she entered into a deal with Red Bull that made her the first ever tennis player to sponsor for the beverage.
Azarenka shared the news of her pregnancy with her fans this year. The star tennis player is expecting her first child and she wrote that she and her boyfriend will become parents by the end of 2016. Also, Azarenka is recovering from her knee injury but hopefully, she will be back in the court in future and winning more titles.