Victoria Azarenka is back in a Grand Slam final.
This is a sentence I did not think I would use a few weeks but I could not be happier to put those nine words into a sentence.
Vika trailed the head to head with her good friend Serena 4-17, it has mostly been all Serena but their battles have always been a classic and this was another one of them. It was historic for Vika, it was in fact her first ever win against Serena Williams at a major having lost their previous ten meetings at majors.
The 7 year and 5 day wait on from making the 2013 final is the second longest wait to be in another major final after Venus Williams in 2017 following what was a 7 year and 207 day wait for the American.
Serena was quick out of the blocks which has been a slight problem for her in her last few matches coming from a set down but this time at 6-1 she looked in cruise control.
I didn’t think her level dropped dramatically during the match but the level of Victoria Azarenka was quite fantastic.
Throughout the last three weeks it has been like watching ‘Vintage Vika’. The tennis that propelled her to greatness in 2012 and 2013 but this feels like a major chapter in her career.
Writing this gives me goosebumps, I am lost for words but in awe of what Vika has achieved in the last few weeks and the journey to this moment. I remember being in Melbourne and seeing her press conference last year, it was heartbreaking to watch her struggle but she said she wouldn’t give up.
People rumoured retirement, could she come back? The Belarusian went almost a year without winning a match and now has eleven wins in a row. Absolutely fantastic!
The way she turned the match around was the way she has been playing all week. She played a high standard and knew what parts of her game were working well and grew into it. Her serve looked like it might get the nerves but served two aces to win the match and her backhand and the defensive backhand slice really stood up to pressure.
Vika’s best shot is her forehand and we have seen some incredible forehands from her but players will look for that backhand and the fact that has stayed strong has given her game confidence and she has played with intensity and a bit of swagger on the baseline playing her game and winning!