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VICTORIA AZARENKA

Nationality:
Belarus
Height:
183cm
Age:
34
Points:
1591
RANKING
#30

Player history

Viktoria Azaranka was born in Minsk on July 31, 1989.

She was the world number one singles tennis player for the first time from January 30, 2012, following her first Grand Slam victory, to June 10, 2012. She claimed the first position on July 9 of the same year to keep it until February 17, 2013. With more than 35 million dollars earned in her career, she is the fifth tennis player, behind the Williams sisters, Maria Sharapova and Simona Halep to have grossed more money from prize pools offered by the Women's Tennis Association.

She has won twenty-one singles WTA tournaments, including two Grand Slam: consecutively, the Australian Open in 2012 and 2013. As a doubles player, however, both in women's and mixed, she boasts victory in twelve WTA tournaments, two of which 2007 and Roland Garros 2008), both in mixed doubles. She has represented Belarus in two editions of the Olympic Games, in the most recent of which, in London 2012, she won the bronze medal in women's singles.

Career

Introduced to tennis at age 7 by mother Alla, at 15 moved from hometown Minsk to train in Scottsdale, Arizona. In 2005 she won the girls’ singles titles at Australian Open and US Open and became the first Belarusian to be named ITF Junior World Champion. That same year, she made her WTA main draw debut in Kolkata and reached her first tour‐level semifinal at Guangzhou.

In 2007, her first top 30 season, she finished runner-up twice in Estoril (l. to Arn 26 61 76(3) in the final missing two match points) and Tashkent (l. to Parmentier in final) and became mixed doubles champion, at 2007 US Open (w/Mirnyi). In 2008 she won the same title at Roland Garros (w/B.Bryan) and finished as a runner-up at Australian Open in doubles (w/Peer).

2009 was her first Top 10 season as she finished No.7. She won her first three WTA titles in Brisbane (d. Bartoli in final), Memphis (d. Wozniacki in final) and Miami (d. S.Williams in final, clinching her first win over a reigning world No.1) where she claimed her first Tier I or Premier Mandatory event title. Azarenka also became the sixth teenage female singles champion in the history of this tournament, behind Steffi Graf, Monica Seles, Martina Hingis, Venus Williams, and Gabriela Sabatini. After that, she made her Top 10 debut. During the season, she also reached the semifinals at Indian Wells (l. to Zvonareva) and Rome (l. to Kuznetsova), and her first two Grand Slam quarterfinals at Roland Garros (l. to Safina) and Wimbledon (l. to S.Williams).

She posted five consecutive Top 10 finishes between 2009 and 2013, qualifying for the WTA Finals on each occasion, reaching the final in Istanbul in 2011 (l. Kvitova). That year, she reached the first of her two straight Wimbledon semifinals.

In 2012, she won her maiden Grand Slam title at Australian Open (d. Sharapova). After that success, she ascended to World No.1 and held the top spot for a total of 51 weeks. She began 2012 with 26‐match win streak, the best start since Hingis went 37‐0 in 1997. She won two medals for Belarus at 2012 London Olympics: bronze in singles and mixed doubles gold (w/Mirnyi), and reached the US Open final (l. to S.Williams). She went on to win tour‐leading 69 matches in 2012, season highlighted by six titles, finishing as WTA’s year‐end No.1.

In 2013, she defended the title at Australian Open (d. Li) but she was heavily criticized after her semifinal win against Sloane Stephens where she took a controversial 10-minute medical timeout citing over-exaggerating injuries blaming breathing difficulties and stress. A losing finalist at Us Open )l. to S.Williams) she completed her third straight Top 3 season.

Limited to a total of 23 events over 2014‐15 seasons due to variety of injuries

Posted 26‐3 record for first six months of 2016 with losses coming at the Australian Open (QF, l. Kerber), Rome (2r, l. Begu) and Roland Garros (ret. vs. Knapp w/right knee injury). After winning the title in Brisbane, she lifted up the trophy at Indian Wells where she became the first player to defeat Serena Williams in four finals (2009 Miami, 2013 Doha, 2013 Cincinnati and 2016 Indian Wells). Then she became only the third woman after Graf in 1994 and 1996, and Clijsters in 2005) to achieve the ‘Sunshine Double’ winning back-to-back titles in Indian Wells and Miami. That was her 20th and latest WTA title.

She ended 2016 ranked No.13, despite missing second half of season after going on maternity leave (announced pregnancy mid‐July). She gave birth to her son Leo in December 2016 and made her return to tennis in June 2017 in Mallorca, reaching the second-round (d. Ozaki, l. Konjuh). She followed this up with a round 16 showing at Wimbledon (l. Halep) bur she did not play any tournaments after Wimbledon due to personal reasons.

After a short-lived pregnancy stop in 2017, she returns to play. In the new season she participates in only two tournaments: in Mallorca and Wimbledon. In Mallorca, after getting a bye, she defeated Risa Ozaki with many difficulties (6-3 4-6 7-6(7)), to then leave the scene in the third round against the 7th seeded Ana Konjuh, who overcame her clearly with a score of 1-6 3-6. At Wimbledon, after defeating Catherine Bellis (3-6 6-2 6-1), Elena Vesnina (6-3 6-3) and Heather Watson (3-6 6-1 6-4), she lost in the fourth round against the 2nd seed, Simona Halep, for 6(3)-7 2-6. She also participates in mixed doubles paired with Nenad Zimonjić, leaving the scene immediately being defeated by 3-6 4-6. She announces her withdrawal from the current year's competitions due to legal problems with her child's custody. This stop makes it slip to the 208th seeding position.

In 2018, she re-entered the Top 60 and finished at Wimbledon in mixed doubles. 2019 is an important year for her, as she returns to play in a WTA final and reaches five hundred career victories.

In 2020, after four years, she returned to winning a title. She won the Western & Southern Open, exceptionally played in the New York bubble, during the Covid Pandemic. she took advantage of a walkover from Naomi Osaka, to win her 21st career title.

In 2021 she lost the Indian Wells final against Paula Badosa, while in 2022 and 2023 she had no particular positive results.

Style of play

Viktoryia Azarenka plays mainly from the baseline with a very aggressive style. She is very quick and tends to hit the ball diagonally with topspin, although she can hit slice variations. Having played doubles, she also has good net skills. She is not a foul player and she very often manages to win very long rallies, tiring the opponent. Since recovering from the serious foot injury in 2014, the tennis player has focused her training on improving her footwork, which has reached an excellent level for a player of her height (183 cm).

The serve is considered to be her weak point: in fact, she is unable to serve very fast first serve (the average speed of the first serve in 2015 was 154 km / h, the second 135 km / h) and often performs double faults. However, progress was seen in the first tournaments of 2016, also highlighted by the WTA.

The average speed of the first serve was 161 km/h, while the second was 138 km/h. However, it was the percentage of points won with the first serve that changed significantly: 66% in 2016, compared to 55% in 2015. This increase is due, according to the tennis player, to a greater confidence that she has developed over time on the court, which allowed her to remain more relaxed and cynical during her rounds of duty.

On a character level, she is a very combative, determined tennis player and remains focused for the duration of the match.

Private life

Azarenka and her ex-boyfriend Billy McKeague have a son, born in 2016. Soon after Wimbledon 2017, they separated and became involved in a custody battle over their son. Azarenka then withdrew from the remaining 2017 tournaments. In January 2018 Azarenka won a first round of US custody proceedings when a Los Angeles County Superior Court judge ruled that the custody case of her U.S.-born son United was not supposed to take place in Los Angeles, but in Belarus. In April 2018 Azarenka toured again, competing in Europe. In December 2018, the California Courts of Appeal ruled that the Los Angeles County Superior Court had jurisdiction over the case, overturning the initial decision of the Los Angeles County Superior Court in Belarus.

In March 2022, Azarenka released a statement on Twitter to declare her broken heart at the actions that took place and stated her dismay and great sadness at the events in Ukraine, saying, "I always saw… Ukrainian and Belarusian people and nations… friendly and supportive of each other. It is hard to witness the violent separation that is currently taking place instead of supporting and finding compassion for each other."

Net Worth and Endorsement

Azarenka has signed numerous endorsement deals throughout her long but successful career. She is currently sponsored by Nike, American Express and Red Bull. Previously, she had contracts with Citizen Watch and Six Star Pro Nutrition. According to Forbes, Azarenka was the fourth highest paid female athlete in 2013.

Victoria Azarenka's net worth is $20 million in 2023. In professional tennis, she has earned a total of $34,449,618 in prize money.

Since her 2022 run, she has earned approximately $700,000 by winning 17 singles and 4 doubles matches. She is ranked 6th on the WTA career money list. However, most of the Belarusian athlete's income comes from sponsorship deals.

Titles and Career Record

Singles

Highest Singles Ranking: 1 (January30, 2012)
Current Singles Ranking: 26 (August22, 2022)

Best Grand Slam Singles Performances

Australian Open - W (2012, 2013)
French Open - SF (2013)
Wimbledon - SF (2011, 2012)
US Open - F (2012, 2013, 2020)

Other Singles Tournaments

Tour Finals - F (2011)
Olympic Games - Bronze (2012)

Doubles

Highest Doubles Ranking: 7 (July 7,2008)
Current Doubles Ranking: 238 (August22, 2022)

Best Grand Slam Doubles Performances

Australian Open - F (2008, 2011)
French Open - F (2009)
Wimbledon - QF (2008)
US Open - F (2019)

Grand Slam Mixed Doubles Performances

Australian Open - F (2007)
French Open - W (2008)
Wimbledon - F (2018)
US Open - W (2007)

Other Mixed Doubles Tournaments

Olympic Games - W (2012)

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