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Victoria Azarenka turns tables on Jon Wertheim in Think About It interview
The former world No. 1 welcomed the esteemed sports journalist onto the second season of her podcast to discuss the importance of correctly telling an athlete’s story.
Published Sep 27, 2022
WATCH: Think About It, Season 2 Teaser
The fourth episode of Victoria Azarenka’s Think About It podcast may be her most personal yet as the former world No. 1 welcomes journalist Jon Wertheim onto the second season of her podcast to discuss the relationship between athletes and media.
“My fear was always about how fair journalists would be to actually tell my story,” Azarenka opens. “It does happen where you open up and people spin what you’re trying to say and it goes into a negative space, and the next time you feel more guarded.
“Later on in my career, I started to understand the dynamic better, of journalists and the importance of it. That helped me navigate later on with my relationship with media.”
Indeed, Azarenka had often been on guard in post-match press conferences only to make a sharp turn around 2015, taking the Wimbledon press corp to task over questions about grunting and equal prize money. While the Victoria Azarenka press experience has become a can’t-miss event, Wertheim concedes athletes don’t always undergo the same evolution.
“Some athletes want the world to know who they are, and there are sometimes commercial pressure to be about more than forehands and backhands where, ‘You’re your own brand and you have a story to tell.’
“I think it’s important for the media to realize that these are people with different ages and coming from different cultures, at different points of their career with different commercial pressures and what’s an acceptable topic for Player X may not work for Player Y.”
Check out the full episode as Wertheim discusses his new book Glory Days: The Summer of 1984 and the 90 Days That Changed Sports and Culture Forever, along with the evolution of sports media over the last four decades.
Stream all episodes of Think About It—available on multiple domestic and international Tennis Channel platforms.