Long before she ascended to the top of the WTA rankings and won back-to-back Australian Open titles, Victoria Azarenka attained her first major professional tennis exposure by playing Mylan World TeamTennis.
A year after winning two junior Grand Slam titles, Azarenka made her Mylan WTT debut in 2006 when she was just 16. While she possessed relatively little Tour-level experience and a ranking outside of the top 100, it was clear Azarenka was on the rise when she suited up for the Springfield Lasers. The fierce teenager would go on to post winning records in women’s singles and doubles en route to being named the Mylan WTT Female Rookie of the Year.
Now, eight years later, Azarenka has emerged as one of the most recognizable faces in women’s tennis. On July 15, the Belarusian will return to the Mylan WTT scene as a member of the Philadelphia Freedoms. (BUY TICKETS)
Tennis.com caught up with Azarenka to talk about playing for Freedoms’ owner Billie Jean King, making the most of social media and more…
Welcome back to the Mylan WTT family. What are you looking forward to in your third season and first since 2010?
I've always loved Mylan WTT as it is so enjoyable yet competitive. I have to say that I also love playing on the colored court. :)
What does it mean to play for Philadelphia Freedoms’ owner and Mylan WTT co-founder Billie Jean King, who helped pave the way for future champions like yourself?
To play for BJK's team means so much to me. If it wasn't for her, women's tennis wouldn't have what it has right now. I'm just really honored to be playing for her team.
In being a former Mylan WTT Rookie of the Year and having two Freedoms teammates who are playing their first seasons, give us your insight on what it takes to be successful in the WTT format.
You have to be ready to go as it's a quick format. You got to love playing the lets as well.
From Twitter and Facebook to Instagram and Vine, you appear to enjoy using all forms of social media. Why do you believe it’s important for athletes to utilize this outlet of communication?
I believe it is important as our fans want to interact with us and feel like a part of our lives… this is a way for them to stay connected to me. They see another side of me outside the court, too!
When you decide to treat yourself, what is your favorite food to eat?
Hmmm, if I had to choose, I would choose… cheesecake! I make a killer one.