Victoria Azarenko dreams of Steffi Graf’s record
By Dmitry Baranovsky
This season, Victoria has maintained her unbeaten record, winning a major tournament in Indian Wells (USA). The victory brought her $1m in prize money, following her defeat of Maria Sharapova of Russia — 6:2, 6:3 (seeded second).
The match began with Azarenko serving first. The pair managed to break each other’s serves for the next five games until the score reached 4:2, when Victoria broke Sharapova’s serve and took the set. In the second set, Azarenko led 3:0 and took the set, before finally pushing her opponent to lose the final set, by breaking her serve. Since the beginning of the 2012 season, Azarenko has won 23 singles matches in a row! However, she still has some way to go to beat Martina Hingis’ 38 matches in 1997. Steffi Graf’s record of 45 victories seems even more unreachable.
Azarenko’s achievements are outstanding for contemporary women’s tennis, especially as she has defeated almost the whole elite. Only the queen of last season, Serena Williams, has remained unbeaten, as has the ‘thunderstorm’ of modernity, Petra Kvitova. At present, Serena and Petra are recovering from injuries but are due to meet Azarenko before too much longer. She has established herself as the current leader of world tennis, so the matches should be extremely memorable.