Focusing on joy, not expectations, Azarenka looks forward to LexingtonBy Aug 09, 2020
Doubles Take: Mahut, Herbert hoist Queen's Club trophy for the first time since 2016By Jun 22, 2021
Best Tweets of the Week: Del Potro hits the gym, Murray at Queen's ClubBy Jun 20, 2021
Berlin & Birmingham
Garbiñe Muguruza ousts Rybakina in grass-court clash, Jabeur survives Fernandez in BirminghamBy Jun 17, 2021
Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova returns to Roland Garros quarterfinals with milestone Azarenka upsetBy Jun 07, 2021
The Social Net: Federer shares cleverly-edited Eiffel Tower photoBy Jun 06, 2021
Three to See, Roland Garros Day 8: Serena, Azarenka and Medvedev vie for quarterfinal berthsBy Jun 06, 2021
Three to see, Roland Garros Day 7: Serena's heating upBy Jun 05, 2021
Five women’s first-round matches to watch at Roland Garros: Serena, Kenin, Venus tested earlyBy May 28, 2021
Ash Barty survives a “real tussle” with Victoria Azarenka in MiamiBy Mar 29, 2021
Focusing on joy, not expectations, Azarenka looks forward to Lexington
The Belarusian will join Serena Williams, Aryna Sabalenka and other pros in a stacked field.
Published Aug 09, 2020
Victoria Azarenka hasn't competed in a WTA match since falling to Tamara Zidansek in her Monterrey opener in March, and before that, it was at the 2019 US Open. It's hard to believe almost a year has gone by, and the world No. 58 has just two tour matches under her belt. However, Vika's long hiatus will soon come to an end, for the Belarusian who is gearing up for next week's Top Seed Open.
The two-time major champion will join Serena Williams, Aryna Sabalenka and other top names in Lexington on Monday. Although the tour has been shutdown for months due to the ongoing pandemic, Azarenka has not gained a new appreciation for the game she's always loved.
"I miss the competition. I don't know if I have a new appreciation for tennis," Azarenka told TENNIS.com. "I feel like my love for tennis has never really gone away. Motivation is something that can go up and down, and it went down a lot."
Azarenka spoke about the challenges of finding the motivation and energy to practice with no end in sight, and nothing to look forward to during the five-month drought. The 31-year-old is overjoyed to get back into a competitive mindset and is not fazed by playing without fans; in fact, she welcomes the new normal.
"Personally I really like it. It felt kind of good." Azarenka said of her experience playing in the Credit One Bank Invitational in Charleston without fans.
In a positive headspace, Azarenka believes her time in Lexington will also be a good experience overall.
"I just want to do my best. I don't want to have any expectations at all," Azarenka said. "Anytime I go on the court, I want to win, I give my 100 percent. But, right now I want to focus on things that have been working for me the last months or so and that joy that I have on the court. "
Taking it one day at a time, Azarenka is focusing on staying healthy and testing out the overall experience of playing in these new conditions, before deciding to compete at this year's French Open, which will follow the US Open.
"I do want to see how the US Open turns out, for me it's a testing experience; how the new normal will work," Azarenka said before ending the interview.
The Lexington WTA event will kick off on August 10.