Just over a week or so ago I said Victoria Azarenka needed time to find some rhythm on the match court.
In Lexington a couple of weeks back she lost 3-6 2-6 to Venus Williams in round one but didn’t play bad at all. I referenced back to something she said in Melbourne last year “sometimes I need time, patience and a little support”. Vika was incredibly open that day and said she’s not giving up, she will continue but struggling is fine because it isn’t her giving up.
It has been a tough return to the tour for Vika, finding form and some off-field issues but this week at Flushing Meadows the temporary home of Cincinnati it was ‘Vintage Victoria Azarenka’ and I could not be happier for her!
To be honest, I was a little bit worried when I saw the draw and it was Donna Vekic in round one but Vika was on fire. She then went onto see off Garcia, Cornet, Jabeur and Konta in fantastic style. It was a shame the final didn’t get played but to win this title is well deserved!
Throughout the week I felt like we were watching a throwback to the level of 2012 and 2013 from Vika.
The forehand of the Belarusian was particularly strong. It was a theme of the week that players went big into the backhand of Vika but she turned it around with that initial slice and the opened up the court with her forehand.
She moved the ball around like artistry with her forehand, it was interesting to see Vika go for that flat forehand down the line and look to come in and dictate play.
The forehand did the talking and it has been Vika’s go to shot for many years.
Right here Vika is pushed back by Ons’ backhand but the forehand she hits is incredible. It is a sublimely difficult shot to make but she makes it down to her ability but also her belief and confidence right now. This is Vika digging deep and reaping the rewards.
Once again earlier on in the match against Ons Jabeur who has been one of the players of the year Vika goes for big on this forehand and crushes the winner up the line. She saved multiple set points and won in straight sets on route to the semi-finals.
The 2020 season has not been what we expected but to see Vika back out there playing fantastic tennis and winning her first title as a mum is great to see!