WTA Championships 2012: First Major gave me belief, says Azarenka

WTA Championships 2012: World number one Victoria Azarenka reveals winning the Australian Open gave her fresh belief

victoria azarenka
Victoria Azarenka won the Australian Open crown this year Photo: Marianne Bevis

victoria azarenka

Victoria Azarenka has revealed that winning the Australian Open title in January was a “relief” but also gave the world No1 fresh belief as she gears up for the WTA Championships in Istanbul.

The 23-year-old has enjoyed a breakthrough year, winning her first Grand Slam crown courtesy of a straight-sets victory over Maria Sharapova in the final in Melbourne.

Azarenka reached the fourth round at Roland Garros and made the last four at Wimbledon, before losing to Serena Williams in three sets in the US Open showpiece.

The Belarusian will face Angelique Kerber, Li Na and Williams in the Red Group at the WTA Championships, and Azarenka revealed the huge impact winning her first Major had on her performances in 2012.

“At first it gave me a little bit of relief – I felt like I was always playing on a pretty good level, but didn’t really make it to the top of the game,” Azarenka told the WTA’s website.

“When I won there, I felt like I achieved my potential a little bit better, and it set up a whole new set of opportunities and goals for me.

“It gave me great belief I could go to those further stages. It helps me be confident in myself in the key moments. It also helped me kind of discover myself better in those moments, because it was my first Grand Slam final.

“And all those experiences I lived through there were very memorable. It helped me grow as a player, and I’ve been growing all year.”

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