2013 French Open Profiles: Victoria Azarenka

by: Tennis.com | May 24, 2013

Share to Facebook Share to Twitter Email
Share to Facebook Share to Twitter Email

The French Open is the only Grand Slam at which Azarenka has never reached the semifinals. She reached the quarterfinals at Roland Garros in both 2009 and 2011. (Susan Mullane/Camerawork USA)

Remember Vika? She’s the latest proof that tennis may be the ultimate “What have you done for me lately?” sport. For the past few months, while former No. 1 Azarenka was nursing a sore right ankle, Maria Sharapova and Serena Williams sucked up all the headlines—and rankings points. Now Williams and Sharapova are No. 1 and No. 2 respectively, and Azarenka is one beat behind at a time of year when she hasn’t traditionally played her best: She lost to No. 16 Dominika Cibulkova last year at Roland Garros, and in 2010 she crashed out in the first round against No. 45 Gisela Dulko. Azarenka’s problem appears to be that the bing-bang-boom game that works so well on hard courts just doesn’t translate easily to red clay.

What to Like:
Azarenka has modulated that once wild hit-or-miss game, as well as her explosive temper. Plus, she’s coming into the French Open with fresh legs and, presumably, the confidence she gained with a win over Serena Williams in Doha early this year.

What Not to Like:
Azarenka hasn’t played enough high-quality tennis against elite players in recent months to find the right balance between aggression and the patience demanded by red clay for players who hit like Sharapova or serve like Williams.

What to Expect:
The two women ranked above Azarenka have towered over the WTA field. Given Azarenka’s well chronicled frustrations in Paris and the opportunities opponents will have to tee off on her serve, it’s hard to see her beating either Sharapova or Williams.

2013 French Open Profiles:

Serena Williams | Rafael Nadal | Maria Sharapova | Novak Djokovic | Victoria Azarenka | Roger Federer | Agnieszka Radwanska | Jo-Wilfried Tsonga | Sara Errani | Tomas Berdych | Li Na | David Ferrer

Share to Facebook Share to Twitter Email

More Stories

Juan Carlos Ferrero believes there will be more competition in 2018

Ferrero is currently Zverev's trainer, and the 20-year-old should be a force next season.

No. 6 of '17: Ailing del Potro pulls off miracle comeback versus Thiem

The Argentine rallied from a two-set deficit and saved match points at the US Open.

#AskNick: What does it take to be a leader?

Legendary coach Nick Bollettieri is here to tell you about leadership.