After struggling with her health and conditioning during the fall, world No. 2 Victoria Azarenka has hired a new fitness trainer, Christa Pryor, and two new physiotherapists: Stephanie Turpin, who is with her this week at the Brisbane International, and Fabrice Gautier, who will be with her at the Australian Open.
Azarenka claimed to be exhausted and suffering from a back injury during the WTA Championships, even though she only played a handful of matches after her U.S. Open final-round loss to Serena Williams. She blamed herself for not paying enough attention to her conditioning after New York, but she still decided to make changes to her team headed into 2014. Sam Sumyk is still coaching her.
“Because of a few things that happened last year I did have a different pre-season,” Azarenka said. “I changed my team a little bit. So that makes me feel a little bit more happy with what I've done. In the end of the season when you're not very well‑prepared, these things come up. I felt like I wasn't really prepared back then. You learn from your mistakes, mistakes or experience, and you just try to get better. That's what's exciting for a new challenge, for a new year, to see what can you do better. You will always have it a little bit different with a different trainer. I'm really happy with my team right now. I have a lot of girls on my team, which is awesome. We have great energy.”