Friday, March 1, 2024

Victoria Azarenka: Two-time Grand Slam champion says she wants to be a role model for her son

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Victoria Azarenka says she wants to continue to be a good role model for her son, as she seeks a third title at the Qatar Open, live on Sky Sports.

Azarenka, who won in Doha in 2012 and 2013, gave birth in 2016 and returned to tennis seven months later.

“I love that I’m able to communicate with Leo and with my nephew, who also plays tennis, when you can’t talk too much, they see it and you explain it to them in those deep conversations that we have, even though he’s seven.

“It’s priceless to me and tennis plays such a big part of that. I’m very grateful for it.”

Having reached the semi-finals of last year’s Australian Open, Azarenka could only make the fourth round of this year’s tournament where she was beaten by Dayana Yastremska.

The former world No 1 got off to a winning start in Doha on Monday, claiming a three-set victory over Magdalena Frech.

“On the court I’m a fighter. I’ve always said I play with my heart and when my heart is wounded you will definitely see that on the court as well because it’s hard for me to fake it,” Azarenka told Sky Sports Tennis.

“I’ve had few heart-breaking moments on the court and the whole world witnessed that but I would never change it because it made me grow.

“It made me become more aware because when as a young girl coming on the tour and I was so focused on myself. But now I’m much more aware of my surroundings, about what’s going on, I pay a lot more attention to the sport and outside it. I want to be a good role model to my son.

“It’s hard for me sometimes when you want to let those emotions out, I feel like I need to control myself and sometimes it actually works against you.

“But I’ve kind of learned that I would rather have those tough conversations with him. If something happens on the court, I’ll explain that sometimes things happen and you deal with that.

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