Victoria Azarenko: ‘When I come to Minsk, my grandmother babies me’

On meeting fans at Minsk’s Palace of Tennis, the famous Belarusian sportswoman comments on her way to prepare for matches, admits that she not always obeys her mother and says that dreams of reading Dostoyevsky
On meeting fans at Minsk’s Palace of Tennis, the famous Belarusian sportswoman comments on her way to prepare for matches, admits that she not always obeys her mother and says that dreams of reading Dostoyevsky



The chances of Russians to defeat the Belarusian team in a home match of the Fed Cup have decreased after it was announced that one of the strongest tennis players of the planet — Victoria Azarenko — will play for the team (Belarusians then defeated Russians — 3:2). Victoria spoke of her decision to go to Moscow while talking to fans in Minsk. The hall at the Palace of Tennis was overcrowded, with some fans failing to find places on tribunes — sitting on the floor.

“I am 26 year old and I do not always obey my mother — though I should have,” Victoria admitted. “As regards my grandmother, my health is her major focus. She all time repeats that I’m too slim. When I come to Minsk, she cooks many different delicacies for me to eat. It’s impossible to reject them! I come home just to have a rest jointly with my family. I organise master classes or meetings of the kind not for a façade: I truly appreciate them.”

Who braids you?

You might fail to believe, but I do this myself. In the childhood, my grandmother braided but — when my hair became too long — I had to learn doing this on my own.

How much training is needed to achieve success on court?


It’s not so important how much time you spend on training. Its efficiency is the key. It’s better to train qualitatively for just two hours than to simply kick a ball with the racket for 5-6 hours.

How are you preparing emotionally for matches?

Everything depends on what sort of match is planned, on my state and the time when it is played. If a match is scheduled for the evening, I would watch a comedy or some new musical clips. I usually listen to music. Warms-up are accompanied with dances. This is how I’m emotionally preparing.

A doping scandal with Maria Sharapova’s participation has created much stir. What is your attitude?

I’ve not investigated the details, so I’d make no conclusions. Anyway, I can asset that each athlete has their own methods of preparation which should not be viewed categorically.

Who is your main rival today?

It’s more difficult to play against Serena Williams. However, we are rivals on court only; outside it, we enjoy excellent relations.

Which book have you read recently?


I mostly read articles on medicine and especially psychology. I need this for the sport. The latest book — which I have read — is authored by my friend, volleyball player Gabriel Rees. I’d love to read Dostoyevsky but lack time. He is a serious writer and it’s important to get prepared for reading his works.

By Kristina Khilko
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