Victoria Azarenka’s Life Changes Direction – WTA Star is Pregnant

Azarenka made a special announcement on Friday, one that will take her away from tennis for quite some time.

Victoria Azarenka, currently the 6th-ranked player on the WTA Tour, made a shocking announcement on Friday via Facebook and Twitter. The two-time Grand Slam champion revealed to her fans that she is pregnant. The Belorussian had been enjoying a successful season to date, however in very recent tournaments her efforts had been stopped due to injuries. She referenced one of those injuries in her pregnancy announcement.

“While recovering from the knee injury that I sustained at Roland Garros, I received news from my doctor that my boyfriend and I are going to become parents at the end of this year. We couldn’t be happier and feel very blessed to begin this exciting journey of building a family together.”

While Azarenka communicated very positive feelings about the pregnancy, what it will mean for her tennis career is certainly not clear. She mentioned that she plans to “return to the very top” of her sport in the future and, with a precedent to consider, it’s definitely something that she could do. For example, Kim Clijsters gave birth in 2008 and she was able to return to the WTA Tour in 2009. A year and a half after returning, Clijsters had added three Grand Slam titles to her former career totals.

However, with so much career time already lost to injuries, Azarenka’s pregnancy will certainly cut into a big portion of her remaining prime playing years. The Belorussian will turn 27 years old on July 31st and cannot be expected to be a force on tour again any time soon.

Ahead of her announcement, she was the 4th favorite to win the Rio Olympics with many sportsbooks, the 2nd favorite to win the US Open, and the 2nd favorite to win next year’s Aussie. The shock of the news is best highlighted by the fact that she actually appeared in a same-day WTA article that profiled the players that were competing for spots on the year-end event on tour.

“At present,” the article read, “Angelique Kerber, Garbiñe Muguruza, Serena Williams…and Victoria Azarenka, who competed <sic> the rare Indian Wells-Miami double, are the mid-season pacesetters on the leaderboard” for the WTA Tour Finals.

Azarenka might still be on that leaderboard, however players will be jumping over her in the months ahead now. It’s hard to picture Azarenka competing in a Grand Slam before the 2017 French Open.

 

Shane Lambert