Victoria Azarenka has a chance of making tennis history at this year's Australian Open as the Belarusian is two wins away from setting the longest gap between two Grand Slam victories on the women's side in the Open Era, per Ben Rothenberg.
Azarenka, 33, captured her second Grand Slam title when she successfully defended her Australian Open title in 2013.
If Victoria Azarenka wins the #AusOpen, it will have been 10 years (3,654 days) between her Slam women’s singles titles, by far the longest gap for any player in the Open era between major wins. — Ben Rothenberg (@BenRothenberg) January 24, 2023
Now, Azarenka has been through to the Australian Open semifinal and she is just two wins away from winning her first Grand Slam title in exactly 10 years. Also, Rothenberg noted that Azarenka would have set the record in 2020 as well, had she defeated Naomi Osaka in the US Open final.
Azarenka rediscovers her best tennis
For the first time since the 2020 US Open, Azarenka has gone beyond the round-of-16 of a Grand Slam.
After beating Jessica Pegula in the Australian Open quarterfinal, Azarenka revealed what was holding her back in the last few years. "My tennis wasn't bad, but I wasn't really mentally there. I played with a lot of fear, a lot of anxiety.
It really was difficult to be brave and to make the right choices on court in important moments when you feel anxious and hesitant;" Azarenka said after beating Pegula, per the WTA website. Also, Azarenka admitted that she reached the point where she figured out that she needed to change certain things in order to achieve more success.
"I worked a lot on my mindset, challenging myself on things I wouldn't do before. When you achieve great success, sometimes you become conservative and hesitant to try new things. I was like, 'You know what, I'll be open-minded, try new things, keep my head down and work,'" Azarenka explained.
In the Australian Open semifinal, Azarenka plays against Elena Rybakina. Rybakina is the reigning Wimbledon champion and Azarenka certainly has a very tough task ahead of her.