Tenaciously Tennis

What Azarenka Can Learn from Djokovic

Posted in Uncategorized by Ben on January 30, 2012
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Victoria Azarenka recently pulled off a big win over Maria Sharapova to claim her first Grand Slam title at the Australian Open. Meanwhile, Novak Djokovic edged Rafael Nadal in the longest major final of the Open Era.

But for Azarenka, it might be just a little more tricky to hold on to that euphoric feeling that comes after a huge win. That is, if the past year’s female champions prove to be an example. While Kim Clijsters, the Aussie Open’s 2010 titlist, made good with a semifinal loss to Azarenka, Li Na, Petra Kvitova, and (especially) Sam Stosur all failed to make much of a dent in the major tournaments after their victories. Vika needs to put the blinders on and push forward. She needs to follow the example of Djokovic, whose win she watched the next day.

Winning the three Grand Slams in a row could be in Azarenka’s future. A lot of things need to happen in her favor, including the continued poor form of Serena Williams. It’s still unclear whether Kvitova, who might prove Azarenka’s biggest rival, will get back the game that claimed her a Wimbledon crown, along with the WTA year-end championships. If so, the storyline might just develop into a Chris Evert and Martina Navratilova type deal, which would be extremely helpful to the WTA.

With the Williams sisters already on a downward spiral, or at least their typical roller coaster ride, they’re in danger of becoming quickly irrelevant. Meanwhile, Sharapova’s proven she’s back, having made the Wimbledon and Aussie Open finals. Yet does she have that extra fight to take her game one step further? Her loses in those championship matches were pretty huge. But if her serve continues to show staying power, she should find herself in the second weeks of many more majors to come.

Back to Azarenka. She needs to be composed as the newest World No. 1. Everyone may be thinking to the case of Ana Ivanovic, whose win at Roland Garros also propelled her to the highest height in the ranking. Of course, it also sent her game to low levels and a loss of confidence. Azarenka seems to have the fight in her, and it does appear similar to Djokovic’s own slightly abrasive personality.

As long as she keeps it going and doesn’t lose herself in the process, the upcoming hard court season is hers for the taking.


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