Victoria Azarenka seems like a rejuvenated player in what can be termed as a fresh lease of life for her tennis career. The former world number one sealed the Western and Southern Open title on Saturday, just two days before her US Open campaign begins. A walkover from Naomi Osaka gave her the title, but Victoria Azarenka was almost flawless all week.
The 31-year-old seems to be reinventing her career, as she shed light on what keeps her going despite all the difficulties of the last few years. In late 2016, Azarenka gave birth to her son Leo. While there were personal and professional difficulties that she had to overcome thereafter, the two-time Grand Slam champion is now well and truly back.
— Western & Southern Open (@CincyTennis) August 29, 2020
Victoria Azarenka reveals her biggest motivation
She expressed that Leo was the biggest motivation for her to push harder as he trained for a comeback. Azarenka said he wants to set an example for her son to follow in his life.
“It gives a different perspective. Obviously, with having Leo, there were a lot of things that happened outside of that. But the way I look at is I want to be an example to my child that when you work hard, when you do things right, when you be a good human, things work out. That’s what made me push a little bit more,” Azarenka said on the sidelines of the event.
This is Azarenka’s first title since becoming a mother. She last won the Miami Open in 2016. Having Leo by her side after winning a title is a new feeling for Azarenka. “[This achievement] is pretty significant. It’s my first title as a mom. I haven’t even thought about it. So that makes it special. That part is special for me,” Azarenka said.
Winning is a bonus for Azarenka
She also expressed that she is so glad to be back playing and competing, that winning a tournament ‘feels like a bonus’. “You know, I work hard to win matches, but I’m so much enjoying the process of playing and the battling that winning is like, I guess, the bonus, you know? Winning a tournament is a bonus,” Azarenka said.
Azarenka starts her US Open campaign on Tuesday against Barbara Haas.