Victoria Azarenka: “I take it as a progress. I think there are a lot of the positive things to take from here” - UBITENNIS
Connect with us

Interviews

Victoria Azarenka: “I take it as a progress. I think there are a lot of the positive things to take from here”

Avatar

Published

on

TENNIS AUSTRALIAN OPEN – 26th of January 2015. D.Cibulkova d. V.Azarenka 6-2, 3-6, 6-3. An interview with Victoria Azarenka

 

Q. You’re a glass half full kind of girl. Disappointing, but what do you take out of the whole Australian campaign?

VICTORIA AZARENKA: I take it as a progress. I think there are a lot of the positive things to take from here. It’s a good start. There was some good quality of tennis today, even though the result is not the one that I wanted and not what I was looking for. But I need to be realistic a little bit and keep working hard and try to sharpen my game. I need to be more consistent and I need to be able to take my opportunities when I have them. But overall, I can be pretty happy. But I’m such a perfectionist that I don’t want to be satisfied.

Q. You had a fall in the sixth and eighth game in the second set, did that affect you at all?

VICTORIA AZARENKA: The fall?

Q. Yeah.

VICTORIA AZARENKA: No, I just slided and it’s fine actually. I think the first time I ever did a split. So I heard a bunch of photos bursting like (indicating rapid clicking), so I want some pictures. If I did the full split that’s going to be legendary. Seriously.

Q. Is that something you’ve been working towards, the full split?

VICTORIA AZARENKA: Not really, but it surprised me.

Q. I know today must be disappointing, but would you say that this tournament has been the most fun you’ve had on the court in a while or could you compare this year to previous years?

VICTORIA AZARENKA: Definitely compared to last year it’s a big difference. But just overall, I think my attitude and my approach to matches, to tournaments, has changed. That’s more satisfying for me. I feel that I’m very honest with myself on my effort and I’m working really hard. I’m just trying to do my best, so there are things I can be pleased with. As I said, I want to be realistic and I want to do better. I don’t want to stop here and be, Okay, this was a good match. I want to strive for much better. I’m just going to work hard, try to analyze this match, this tournament, and keep working. I think that the direction where I’m heading is the right way. Just needs to — I just need to go there step by step.

Q. Nick Kyrgios won last night. Not sure how much of that match you watched. I know you developed an off-court friendship with him. What do you see in his game? Obviously he’s an up and comer not only here but on the men’s tour overall.

VICTORIA AZARENKA: I think he has a lot of potential. I think he has a great, I don’t know, hunger for success, and it’s really refreshing to see somebody so young being so confident with themself on the court. So that’s — I mean, for Australia I think it’s great to have such talent. I wish him all the best of luck. He did such an amazing job yesterday. Yeah, really proud.

Q. What is one of the best things about Dominika’s game?

VICTORIA AZARENKA: She really went for her shots today and was very fearless throughout whole match. She’s the type of player that sometimes you just get — she gets in that groove and it’s a little bit difficult to break that rhythm. But I think I still had my opportunities, and I really just didn’t — I wasn’t present enough today, and she was there. She jumped on those opportunities and really took control of that. So I think in that aspect, I have to give her a lot of credit.

Q. You don’t think her height is a disadvantage? She said she’s one of the smallest on the tour, so she has to work harder.

VICTORIA AZARENKA: Yeah, she doesn’t need to bend her legs that low as we do. So it’s 50/50. Yeah, their high balls might be a little bit tougher for her but lower balls are definitely easier.

Interviews

(EXCLUSIVE) Kim Clijsters Is ‘Done’ With Professional Tennis And This Is What She Wants To Do Next

The former world No.1 sheds some light on her future during an interview with Ubitennis at The All England club.

Avatar

Published

on

Kim Clijsters (image via twitter.com/wtainsider

It is her love for tennis that has spurred Kim Clijsters to continue playing as a professional player for as long as possible. 

 

The 39-year-old announced her third retirement from the sport earlier this year after her latest comeback. Troubled by injury and having her schedule affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Belgian played only five tournaments between 2020-2022 and lost her opening match at all of them. Although three of those matches went the full distance. 

Clijsters has returned to Wimbledon this year once again but officially as a member of the legends contingent. A group of former players who play in events designated for them.

So what is the future plan for a Clijsters who has rightfully embedded her name in the sport as one of the best in recent years? During her career, she has won 41 WTA titles, spent 19 weeks as world No.1 and is the only player to have defeated the Williams sisters at multiple events (2002 WTA Championships and the 2009 US Open). 

Speaking to Ubitennis at The All England Club, Clijsters hints that she may one day like to return to the Tour but not as a player….

UBITENNIS: How does it feel to be back at Wimbledon?

CLIJSTERS: It feels great. It’s always a special place to come back to. I haven’t been here for a few years and a lot of the infrastructure has changed. For me to be back here and see the legends and players I remember watching when I was younger is so much fun. Once you stop playing there are not a lot of people who understand the life that you have had. Then when you come and see everybody it is so natural. This was my family for years and years. You don’t see it as a family then but as you get older you do. 

UBITENNIS: You recently retired from the sport. Is that you totally done now or is there still a temptation to come back?

CLIJSTERS: I’m done, done, done…. I do like to play legends tennis. I still love tennis and like to play every day if I can but with three kids it is a little complicated. It is still my passion and I love watching the sport. 

UBITENNIS: So now you’re retired, what’s next?

CLIJSTERS: I think I do (want to work in tennis). The passion started for me when I was a little girl and I still believe I can help here and there. Whether it is helping the younger players that are playing at this stage. 
There are definitely things I would like to do but with family life, traveling many weeks a year is complicated. But I do like to stay involved in tennis. 

UBITENNIS: Who would be your dream player to coach?

CLIJSTERS: That is a tough question. maybe a younger player…

UBITENNIS: Emma Raducanu?

CLIJSTERS: Yea, a younger player. Amanda Anisimova and the girls who want to get to that next stage. Those who you have a connection with personality-wise. It’s tough to pick one out of the hat right now but I think that trust and connection on a personal level are really important if you want to get to the next step (as a player). 

Continue Reading

Grand Slam

(EXCLUSIVE) Former Wimbledon Champion Marion Bartoli On Why Tennis Needs Nick Kyrgios

The former world No.7 spoke to Ubitennis about the Australian star who has sensationally been charged with assault.

Avatar

Published

on

Marion Bartoli (left) pictured at the 2022 Wimbledon Centre Court 100 year celebration - image https://twitter.com/bartoli_marion

Marion Bartoli believes tennis needs a ‘disruptor’ like Nick Kyrgios in order to break the trend of similar personalities on the Tour.

Bartoli, who won the 2013 Wimbledon title, spoke to Ubitennis during an hour-long media session that took place at The All England Club on Tuesday morning. A large talking point of the tournament so far has been the roller-coaster behavior of Kyrgios during two of his matches. In the first round, he was issued with a fine for unsportsmanlike conduct after arguing with officials and spitting in front of some members of the crowd who were ‘disrespecting him.’ Then during a dramatic third round clash with Stefanos Tsitsipas, he once again argued with officials and even questioned why his opponent wasn’t defaulted from their match after hitting the ball into the stands.

The Australian is undoubtedly a divisive character. However, Bartoli believes that is exactly what tennis needs. 

 

“You either like him or you don’t. He will not make you feel middle ranged about him,” Bartoli tells Ubitennis.
“We need people like this in tennis. Some sort of disruptor with a different character. I don’t think it is good to have everyone acting the same way.’

“The limit is when you start to go against the umpire but he brings something new and different which is exciting for the game.”

Although not everybody has the same viewpoint. During his press conference on Saturday night, Tsitsipas stunned reporters when he branded his peer a bully due to his antics. Something Kyrgios denies. The Greek has also said he supports some sort of intervention to address the behavior of the world No.40 if such an opportunity occurs. 

“He said what he felt on the court and that’s fair. You just have to respect that,” Bartoli comments on Tsitsipas.
“At the end of the day we know what Nick is bringing to the court and it is not really surprising. It was almost as if Stefanos looked surprised by that which for me is something I wouldn’t have expected from him.”

Controversy aside, Kyrgios is looking to be a major danger in the tournament as long as his shoulder holds up. It is the first time he has reached the last eight of the tournament since 2014 after beating Brandon Nakashima in five sets on Monday. In his section of the draw, he faces unseeded Cristian Garin next, followed by a potential clash with Rafael Nadal. 

It was Kyrgios’ latest performance which has drawn praise from Bartoli.

“I think he has been doing extremely well this year, tennis-wise. He got a lot of confidence playing well on the grass before Wimbledon and he just loves the show,” she said.
“He loves the center stage and the way he played (against Nakashima) was brilliant. He didn’t go out way too much into his extreme where he would talk out loud all the time. It was just about his tennis. He’s always so exciting and he’s a great addition to the championships.“

As our discussion about the tennis star took place, sensational news broke that Kyrgios has been charged with assaulting his ex-girlfriend. The Canberra Times has reported that the assault took place last year and he is set to go to court next month. If he is found guilty, he could go to prison. 

Pick for the women’s final

As for the women’s draw, Bartoli has her money on two particular individuals. Although it is Tunisia’s Ons Jabeur who she is tipping to win the title. The second seed is yet to contest a Grand Slam final in her career. 

Meanwhile, 2019 champion Simona Halep is gaining momentum in the tournament. After struggling with injury and confidence issues in recent months, the Romanian is yet to drop a set in four matches played. 

“Ons Jabeur is playing great tennis. She was my pick to win the Wimbledon title. I think Simona Halep has been extremely impressive, the way she won against Badosa was really quite something. Those two should be the ones going through to the final but in this year’s championship there have been so many upsets you never know.” Bartoli commented.

Bartoli is playing in the mixed-doubles legends draw at Wimbledon alongside Nenad Zimonjic. On Sunday she was one of many former champions to take part in a special ceremony marking the 100th anniversary of Center Court. 

“It feels amazing. I get to be back on center court with my fellow other champions. That was definitely the highlight of my championships so far,” she said.
”To see roger, Rafa, Novak, etc, all the lineup of incredible champions, for me to be part of that group picture was something I would never forget.“
“Wimbledon is by far my favorite place in the world. For me, every year to wear my purple badge and walk through those gates is absolutely amazing.”

Continue Reading

Interviews

(EXCLUSIVE) Mats Wilander on Sinner’s Chances of Beating Alcaraz, Kyrgios’ Antics At Wimbledon

Ubitennis caught up with the former world no.1 for a brief chat on Sunday morning.

Avatar

Published

on

Mats Wilander says changes should be made to the rules following a controversial third round meeting between Nick Kyrgios and Stefanos Tsitsipas at Wimbledon. 

 

The Saturday night encounter was marred by controversy with the Australian arguing with the umpire and swearing. Meanwhile, his Greek rival received a point penalty for hitting a ball into the crowd out of anger. Following their clash, Tsitsipas sensationally accused his rival of bullying. 

Wilander spoke about the incident during a discussion with Ubitennis’ founder Ubaldo Scanagatta where he also previewed Jannik Sinner’s clash with Carlos Alcaraz at SW19. 

The full interview can be read below:-

UBITENNIS: What do you think about the chances of Jannik Sinner against Carlos Alcaraz?

WILANDER: First of all, I thought Jannik was going to have a much bigger problem with John Isner. Then I saw his match and he is playing unbelievably well. He’s incredibly aggressive and doesn’t make mistakes. 

UBITENNIS: But Alcaraz is also very agressive?

WILANDER: Yes, he is serving well and moving better than Jannik. But Jannik is older and we don’t know what the thing is between them. Just like Stefanos Tsitsipas and Nick Kyrgios. We don’t know what it was when they were like 10,11, 12.. in practice. 

Maybe Jannik use to beat Alcaraz all the time in practice? This psychology is way more important than tennis (in their upcoming match), in my opinion. 

This is exactly what happened with Tsitsipas and Kyrgios, Zverev and Kyrgios. He (Kyrgios) beats them almost all the time because they have this respect and he is a couple of years older. 

UBITENNIS: Carlos has more variety than Sinner

WILANDER: He is more inconsistent, he is a little bit faster and has more options. But more options are not how Novak Djokovic won Wimbledon. The fewer options you have in big matches the easier it is to play your game. So for Alcaraz, can he get the drop shots right? Can he get the serve and volley right? Can he hit the right forehand at the right time? 

(But) Jannik goes in at the right time. So if Alcaraz played great he’s the favorite but when have we seen him play great in a big match (at Wimbledon)? We don’t know yet that he has only played two-out-of-three set matches. Maybe he did against Tsitsipas at the US Open but this is a different level.

UBITENNIS: Who was right in the Tsitsipas and Kyrgios argument? 

WILANDER: They both have a point, to be honest. Kyrgios said that Stefanos must be a bit soft mentally if he gets that bothered by him being himself. 

I would say the one to blame is the officials. They are playing within the rules we have now so you can’t blame them, they are trying to win a tennis match. This is what Kyrgios plays like, this is what he does. If you fall for it, then you need to improve your mental stability. At the same time, I would have also felt as Stefanos did. 

I think (the problem) lies with the official situation. I am not saying they could have done anything (during the third round match) but we need to put rules in place so they can’t do this. We don’t have tennis matches that look like that. I know the crowd loved it but tennis needs to be a sport where you can take your five-year-old and not worry about them getting hit with a tennis ball or hearing a player swearing loudly 20 times. The sport needs to be like that otherwise the sport is becoming entertainment and that is not what tennis is. it is a sport, it’s educational and inspirational more than entertainment. 

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

Trending