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Victoria Azarenka to make her comeback at Stanford in July

  • Azarenka had won the event in 2010.
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Modified 11 Apr 2017, 17:46 IST
Victoria Azarenka
Azarenka’s return is a much welcome news

What's the story?

Much to the delight of tennis fans, two-time Australian Open champion Victoria Azarenka will be making her comeback at the Bank of the West Classic scheduled to be held in Stanford, USA from July 31-August 6. The former World No. 1 will thus be resuming competitive play seven months after giving birth to son Leo.

“I am very excited to be returning to the WTA at the Bank of the West Classic,” Azarenka told wtatennis.com. “Becoming a mother has been the most rewarding thing that has ever happened to me and really puts things in perspective. I am looking forward to beginning this new stage of my career,” the 27-year-old added.

In case you didn’t know...

Azarenka was in impeccable form last year before she took a sabbatical after announcing her pregnancy in July. She started the 2016 season with a title at Brisbane and then became just the third woman to complete the elusive Sunshine Double when she triumphed back-to-back at Indian Wells and Miami. 

She won this event in 2010, beating Maria Sharapova 6-4, 6-1 in the final.

The heart of the matter

It was only in March this year that Azarenka started full-fledged training after hiring Sharapova’s former coach, Michael Joyce and a new fitness trainer. 

Last month, she had expressed her intention of rejoining the Tour during the 2017 US Open Series in an interview to The Tennis Channel and had also made it clear that she actually wants to be the best again.

Parallels from history

Azarenka will definitely be looking for inspiration from Kim Clijsters. The very popular Belgian, who came back to the Tour in 2009 after the birth of her daughter Jada, enjoyed a very successful few years. Her second stint saw her capture the US Open twice, her maiden Australian Open crown and reach the pinnacle of the rankings yet again.

Author’s take

Azarenka’s return is a much welcome news. Known as one of the fiercest competitors on the Tour, there has never been any doubt about her determination or her fighting spirit. 

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Considering she is only 27, she still has a lot to offer. And with Maria Sharapova’s suspension getting lifted in April itself, the WTA Tour is set to be pretty exciting in the coming few months.

Published 11 Apr 2017, 17:40 IST
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