By Jake Davies
- The Bank of the West Classic in Stanford announced that Victoria Azarenka would make her tour return there
- We look at five reasons to be excited for the eagerly anticipated return of the two-time Grand Slam winner in singles.
Victoria Azarenka has announced her return to the WTA – she will be back at the Bank of the West Classic in Stanford.
Five Reasons to look forward to Victoria Azarenka’s return
After learning that the two-time Australian Open champion Victoria Azarenka will be returning to professional tennis at the Bank of the West Classic in Stanford, one of the tuneup tournaments leading into the US Open, we looked at five reasons why Azarenka’s return should get every tennis fan excited.
1) The need for consistency in the women’s game
At the moment what we are experiencing in the WTA are a lot of surprising winners at the conclusion of many of the big events on tour. With the absence of Azarenka, Maria Sharapova and Serena Williams, many unlikely winners are claiming titles, but not necessarily on a consistent basis. One could argue the case that Azarenka’s return at the highest level of the WTA would encourage a higher level of intensity but more importantly a greater level of consistency across the board.
2) A player that can truly challenge Serena Williams for Grand Slams
The game is crying out for a true contender that not only gets the victory over the 23-time Grand Slam winner, but someone who mentally believes they can topple arguably the greatest player in tennis’ history. The greatest attribute to Azarenka’s game that set her apart from a lot of her counterparts was her mental superiority and the fact she believes she could beat anyone on any given day. The two-time Grand Slam champion was one of Serena’s toughest rivals, particularly on a hard court.
3) Azarenka is chasing history
If Azarenka was to win a third major title, she would become just the fourth mother in the Open Era to win a Grand Slam title following motherhood. The three previous players to achieve this feat are Margaret Court in 1973, Evonne Goolagong in 1980 and Kim Clijsters at the 2009 US Open.
4) Effortless transition to the net
I think one of the things that often does not get talked about enough in relation to Azarenka’s strengths is her ability to choose the right moment and the right time to swiftly move from the baseline to the net. Also the Belarusian has one of the most lethal drive volleys in the game.
5) Renewing of rivalries among the elite
The rebirth of rivalries among the top tier WTA players is something that the WTA have lacked in 2017. In 2012, Azarenka, Serena Williams and Sharapova were virtually untouchable on a hard court and were regularly contesting at the business end of many WTA events. The reestablishment of these rivalries can only be a good thing and should create a buzz around women’s tennis.
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