Victoria Azarenka won Sydney, then the Australian Open, and now in Doha she comfortably reached the semifinals with a 6-0 6-4 victory over Yanina Wickmayer, which is her 15th consecutive match win this year. What do you think of her way of claiming and confirming her No.1 ranking?
In all her three Doha matches, against Mona Barthel, Simona Halep and now Yanina Wickmayer, the top-seeded Azarenka was dominant. The first set of the quarterfinal Azarenka even called “a perfect set”, while the second set wasn’t far from great either, as even though Wickmayer broke her two times to get the match back on serve, Azarenka kept striding forward and closed out the match with a love service game.
In the semifinals Azarenka will play fourth seed Agnieszka Radwanska, who defeated Christina McHale 6-1 6-1. The other semifinal will feature third seed Samantha Stosur and fifth seed Marion Bartoli. Stosur made her way past Monica Niculescu 6-2 2-6 6-3, and Bartoli also went through in three sets, against Lucie Safarova 7-5 4-6 6-1. (photo: Johan Rivera, follow him on Twitter @HobbiesPlus)
I wonder if the silence on the last two posts, concerning Azarenka’s victoria’s (excuse the multilingual pun), has to do with her victorious ways… I, for one, hope it does – for, methinks, the last thing women’s tennis needs is “Vika” as a role-model.
I think you’re reaching a little Tulp. Vika, is and always will be a divisive figure, but I think the hard work she’s put into improving her attitude, fitness, movement and overall game is pretty admirable actually. She was positively beaming in the on court interview after the Wickmayer match and definitely looks like she’s embracing her new status so far.
Having said that, I think it’s too early to really make any judgements about her performance as number 1. How she comes back after having a bad tournament (which will happen at some point) will be the thing to watch out for.
Oh, well, yuki… None of the reasoning you’re putting forth actually addresses my questioning of “Vika”‘s becoming a role-model. The question is not “her performance as number 1” and/or “How she comes back after having a bad tournament (which will happen at some point)”. My odium concerns her on-court behaviour, in light of which I cannot but doubt her “beaming” post-match interviews, sentimental stories about her grandma (who, I have no reasons to doubt, may truly be a great person), etc. For, what really counts is said on-court behaviour: remember the arrogant attitude towards the ball-kids, or the blasé performance, accompanied by appropriate face-expressions and body-language, at the WTA Tour Finals last year, when the result of the last round-robin-phase match result did not count and when she, deservedly, got booed by the audience? Add to it all her appalling, 100-decibels-plus strong, hooting practices, designed, obviously, only to disturb the opponent, and you’ll have a better idea of why she should not be a role model for the little players growing up around the world. And, sadly, that’s exactly what she will be, for many of them – just as Monika Seles (the “inventor” of “hit as hard as you can and scream yet harder” concept) was, and then her followers such as the Williams Sisters, Sharapova, etc. Winning by all means is by no means all that matters – or at least should not be.
I wouldn’t dream of denying that Vika’s prone to melodrama and arrogance on court, because that’s clear to see, but I was making the point that she’s worked extremely hard to improve herself in pretty much all ways, including her attitude, which IS worth applauding.
Sport is basically just entertainment, performed in a high pressure environment to boot, and not everyone can, or should be expected to be, the perfect role model or put on a pedestal.
I think all the players you’ve mentioned have their admirable qualities and not so admirable ones and people have to make their own decisions about which qualities they want to emulate.