Former World No.1 Victoria Azarenka continued her amazing form with a gritty win over 20th seed Karolína Muchová to advance into the quarterfinals of US Open 2020.
In her post-match press conference, Azarenka commented on the rule change that had allowed Tsvetana Pironkova to take a longer break from the Tour due to her pregnancy. While Azarenka had returned just 7 months following the birth of her child, a change in WTA rules in 2019 allowed Pironkova a three-year break.
“No, I don’t think so. I don’t think I would change anything for me personally. I’m glad that our women have this protection. I’m not the only one who fought for that, but one of the players who fought for this rule that we are more protected and feel more comfortable because it’s such a life-changing experience that you have.”
Azarenka has reached her first Grand Slam quarterfinal since 2016 and also her first Grand Slam quarterfinal since giving birth. Going into the quarters of the US Open, Azarenka joins other fellow mothers in Serena Williams and Tsvetana Pironkova. This is the first time in Grand Slam history that three mothers have made it through to the quarterfinals.
Azarenka also pointed out the hardships involved in coming back on the tour from childbirth and is proud to have such support for the players.
“To find that balance to be able to go out there ready to play, physically be ready, mentally be ready, I think it’s just a better opportunity for players to take that break if they want to, if that’s their choice. I’m pretty proud that we have that protection for players. I hope it was beneficial to her. Seems like it is.”
Azarenka will play Elise Mertens in the quarterfinal tomorrow. The winner of this match will play against the winner of the match between Serena Williams and Tsvetana Pironkova.