Victoria Azarenka: War and peace

Who is Vika. I am starting to see her as I see Andy Murray. They both have the same number of slams and similar positions on their tour. They aren’t the dominant contender but they are firmly up there with good records against the top players.

What really makes them similar in my eyes is that I am getting to like them more as they mature and learn to open up. They have both seemed very shy up to now and not particularly been fan favourites. Both also are known for their decibel level. Vika just screams when she hits. Andy just screams at himself. It’s not pretty but it’s who they are .

I really warmed to Andy as I heard him start to open up. We all know about the Wimbledon 2012 and 2013 finals but I also saw an earlier, less well known on court interview where he let us in though I can’t find it any where. It is these rare glimpses behind the mask that expose a human on a journey worth supporting.

Now I am learning more about Vika I am starting to like what I see because I see a human being. The story makes sense to me. Now I feel I understand the young woman I’ve been watching on court. I see now that she is a shy person doing what she can to survive in the cut throat theatre of sport. Just like Sam Stosur she doesn’t look that comfortable in the lime light and now I feel I understand why. This I can understand and accept.

One particular article has changed my view of Vika and led to this post. It is Victoria Azarenka: War and Peace. By evoking her past, the life lessons that have formed her character this article has helped me fit some of the pieces in the puzzle of what I have been seeing. At times Vika has appeared cold, selfish and unsportsmanlike. As I learn more I can separate the aggressive professional athlete from a young woman exploring who she wants to be learning how to channel her intense drive and emotions. Something that clearly consumes her more than most.

I had a brief insight into the direction she appears to be taking before the 2013 US Open when I heard how involved she got in her visit to harlem coaching local kids. The video of vika coaching is where I saw it for my own eyes. That is what I want to see from sports stars. Building the game through inspiring others.
This is a side of Vika that I want to see more of. Just like what I saw in Rafas work in nowhere land.

What I also like is seeing people at the top having fun with each other. I loved it when I saw Rafa and Fed laughing around and I like it when I see Azarenka v Williams: training, playing and messing about

These articles and videos have an impact in my interpretation of a players actions. After seeing these sides of Vika I really want her to win. Before I was trying to warm to her but it was hard. Now I see the human inside the bubble she wraps around herself I can admire how much she has achieved at such a young age and appreciate how much determination she has. She doesn’t seem fazed by Serena who she beat in a tour final for the first time this year and took her close in both the 2012 and 2013 US Open finals, that’s exciting.

To see that she is finding a wider mission than just winning for herself is what I like most. She genuinely seems to believe that it is better to give than to receive. She wants to inspire others with her success. To give back through her achievements. That is a champion I can root for.

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