The Belarussian has a lot on her plate, but still relishes the progress she makes each week on the tour. It wasn’t the Wimbledon Victoria Azarenka wanted, but even the impetuous superstar knows that however impatient she may be at heart, some things take time.
After her 6-3, 6-3 loss to Karolina Pliskova that dropped her to 9-7 on the season, the 28-year-old shared her thoughts with media, saying that her life is a little more complicated now that she has a son and has been involved in a custody battle that has limited her time on court significantly in 2018.
“I think a lot of people don't really know on the daily basis what things that I have to go through, and that's okay,” she told reporters on Wednesday at Wimbledon. “But I think physically I'm very fit right now. Probably better than I have ever been before. But to be able to connect that with my tennis, it's been challenging and a little bit frustrating in a way, because, you know, sometimes when you're unfit or something, you're late to the ball or you're not making up steps or whatever. And for me it's the opposite and too early, I'm way too early to the ball, and then I have so much time that I'm thinking too much sometimes.”
It hasn’t been easy for Azarenka, a former World No.1 with two majors to her name, to get her once legendary game to click, but she believes it’s a process that will eventually work its way to fruition.
“That connection needs to happen at some point,” she said. “In practice, I'm able to manage it better, but in matches, it has to happen. But I think there is a progress from match to match, especially comparing my previous matches in Mallorca there is definitely a step forward, but it's not a finish line, for sure.”
Azarenka, much like Williams, is still trying to process the demands of motherhood and seamlessly weave it into the fabric of an elite tennis career. It hasn’t been easy, and they may not be the worst thing. Both Williams and Azarenka have expressed that they sometimes feel guild when they are pulled away from their children to practice or carry out the numerous other activities that a professional tennis player must complete.
Victoria Azarenka brought adorable little Leo to work today. pic.twitter.com/GnH2rU3GSh
— Tennis.Life (@tennislifenews) July 1, 2018
“The challenge is still to find the balance where I'm able to take some time for myself, which I don't like to do, and when I go out and practice or go out and play to be okay that I'm not spending this time with my son,” she said. “So I think it's still a balance that I need to do better at, but I'm learning.”
Azarenka will stay in London to compete in the mixed doubles tournament, pairing with Great Britain's Jamie Murray. After that she’ll play the Mubadala Silicon Valley Classic at San Jose, California, from July 30 to Aug 5.