Victoria Azarenka

Victoria Azarenka is a Belarusian tennis player and one of a few players who reached the pinnacle by becoming world No. 1.

Date of Birth: 31 July 1989
Birthplace: Minsk, Belarus
Residence: Boca Raton, Florida, United States
Height: 6'0" (183 cm)
Weight: 148 lbs (67 kg)
Plays: Right-handed (two-handed backhand)
Turned Pro: 2003

Victoria Azarenka was born in Minsk, Byelorussian SSR, Soviet Union, to Alla and Frydor Azarenka, and she also has a brother named Max. Her mother, Alla, introduced her to tennis at the age of seven. Azarenka moved to Scottsdale, Arizona, United States, to train and live full-time to aid her tennis career.

She was supported with this by the National Hockey League Goalkeeper Nikolai Khabibulin, who was a friend of Azarenka’s mother. That move proved to be wise, and Azarenka started to make huge progress.

After making her debut on the ITF Junior Circuit in November 2003, she reached the semifinals of the 2004 Wimbledon Juniors, losing to future French Open champion Ana Ivanovic. Azarenka developed even further in 2005.

She won the Australian Open and US Open Junior titles and ended that year as the junior world No. 1. The Belarusian also progressed to a maiden semifinal on the WTA main tour in Guangzhou. The following years saw Azarenka continue to get better and better.

After losing her first four WTA finals in 2007 and 2008, she claimed a maiden title in Brisbane at the start of 2009. A few months later, she won the first WTA 1000 at the Miami Open, with a victory over Serena Williams in the final.

2011 brought another title in Miami and then their first Grand Slam semifinal at Wimbledon, where she lost in three sets to eventual champion Petra Kvitova. But it was the following season that was the best of Azarenka’s career.

The Belarusian had an incredible run to the Australian Open title in 2012. It included victories against the defending champion Kim Clijsters in the semifinal and against five-time Grand Slam champion Maria Sharapova.

Azarenka also became the world No. 1 after this success. Another Grand Slam final followed a few months later at the US Open, but this time, she lost a dramatic contest in three sets against Serena Williams.

Azarenka also won three WTA 1000 crowns and six titles in total in 2012. 2013 was a similarly successful season. Azarenka defended her Australian Open title to become a two-time Grand Slam champion. She recovered from a set down in the final against Li Na to achieve this.

Azarenka also reached the US Open final for a second consecutive year, but once again, she was thwarted by Williams in three sets. The hard court specialist managed two more WTA 1000 titles in Qatar and Cincinnati in 2013.

Two quieter years followed those successes, but 2016 saw a return to strong form. Azarenka won a second title in Brisbane and then claimed her second and third titles, respectively, in Miami and Indian Wells.

By 2020, Azarenka had not seriously challenged for a Grand Slam since 2013. However, after triumphing in Cincinnati again, she then had a memorable run to the final of the 2020 US Open. Sadly, history repeated itself, and she lost the final in three sets again, this time to Naomi Osaka.

Azarenka may now be past her prime, but she is still a great competitor capable of strong results. She showed this with a run to the 2023 Australian Open semifinal.

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