Victoria Azarenka The Hard Way Home

30 Jun 2009 by Hiland in Wimbledon 2009

Victoria Azarenka action against Nadia Petrova at the Wimbledon Tennis championships 2009When beautiful 19-year old Victoria Azarenka wins the 2009 Wimbledon Championship, she will have prevailed over the most difficult draw in women’s tennis history. There, I have said it. I have said that Victoria will prevail and win the championship. I have said the draw was stacked against her.

You might remember that I also said Melanie Oudin would be Wimbledon’s Cinderella. She was. But, Victoria Azarenka is not too far behind. When she hoists the silverware, she will have earned the right, believe me.

Many of the Brits do not like Victoria. She grunts, groans and moans her way through points and matches. Apparently, these Brits are unfamiliar with LaMaze. Women’s tennis today sounds like a maternity ward. But, that’s the way it is. It is far easier to count the touring non-grunters than to count the grunters.

As Victoria recently said, “I have been doing it since I was 10 years old. I wasn’t really strong and that was what helped me to accelerate more, to put more power to the ball.” You know what, Victoria, if it works for you, it works for me. But, please don’t do it when you hoist the Championship Trophy.

Victoria Azarenka Celebrating victory over Nadia Petrova at the Wimbledon Tennis championships 2009On a day where my other Cinderella, Melanie Oudin, succumbed to the effects of too much media, too much hype and forgot that this was another match against another girl that she could beat, Victoria Azarenka overcame a very stubborn Nadia Petrova in three tense sets.

On a day where Venus beat Ana into submission and where Serena lost just four games and where the surprising Elena Dementieva looks ready to snap out of her slump and move past Elena Vesnina, Victoria Azarenka was out there a long time, working hard, hitting one gorgeous drive after another and moving gracefully across the court. We were blessed to see her play.

And, Nadia Petrova had it working. The Russian 10 seed, served powerfully, hit beautiful shots of her own and used a devastating drop shot to counter every move Victoria made. Victoria was soon grunting and surging, groaning and reaching and winning.

You may remember that Victoria had Venus on the ropes at Melbourne before all sorts of unusual things happened. You may remember that Victoria reached the quarters at Roland Garros. You may forget that she is a very nice, very elegant 19-year old. She is, trust me. You would like to have her over for dinner.

She is also trying to fend off a well-traveled group of American and Russian hierarchy. The Brits have made sure it was a full time job. In the 3rd round, she drew the testy Sorana Cirstea, of Paris fame, today Petrova, tomorrow Serena, Thursday Elena and most likely Venus in the finals. Wow! Could it be any more difficult?

Take for example Dinara Safina. She overcame hard playing Amelie Mauresemo and now plays Sabine Lisicki. Dinara may choke again, but could it be an easier?

Venus draws Odin conquerer, Aggie Radwanska, who I am sure is very pleasant despite not being welcome at my house anymore. Elena, who has yet to lose a set and is quietly and quickly moving through the draw plays unseeded Francesca Schiavone. Elena has some choking issues of her own, but really how does that happen? How are all these talents at the bottom of the draw sheet?

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Hey, if you looked at Victoria’s draw, you would grunt and groan too. So, instead of being a typical tennis frontrunner, come on over to the world of Victoria Azarenka and see how it is in the real world of a non-prima donna tennis champion. You see that is what Azarenka is all about. That is why she has so many fans. She is a hard-working, grind-it-out player that leaves nothing on the court. When Victoria walks off the court, she is spent, emotionally and physically.

After Azarenka took the first set from Petrova in a tiebreaker, Nadia needed a timeout to get some ice on her legs and have her blood pressure checked. These things happen when it is going well for Azarenka.

Petrova recovered. You knew she would. She stormed through the second set at 6-2. The Russian’s serve was dominant and it looked like the cooled off Azarenka would not avenge last year’s loss.

In the third set, there were five breaks but Victoria captured the key one at 4-3. In the final three games, Victoria lost just three points. Yes, she groaned, yes she grunted and yes she played like a champions for 2 hours and 35 minutes in the grueling heat.

Victoria Azarenka, your time has come. Remmeber what you did to Serena in Key Biscayne this year. Take no prisoners. Play like a champion and grunt as loud as you like. You are the best!



  • Or not.

    Comment by Sigil — June 30, 2009 @ 4:15 pm

  • Or is

    Comment by Craig — October 13, 2009 @ 6:05 pm

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