Celebrations were long and noisy for the world number one after her win over Li Na in Saturday’s eventful final, when she overcame a hostile crowd and a host of distractions to successfully defend her title.
Belarus’s Victoria Azarenka poses for photographers in Melbourne yesterday. Pic/AFP
After a night on the town with her boyfriend, colourful LMFAO musician Redfoo, the World No 1 had just four hours’ sleep before confidently telling media she believes she can “make it happen” at any major. “Every one,” said the tall blonde, 23, when asked which Grand Slam tournament she would most like to win this year. “I mean, you cannot prefer any because they are so different, so special. So it’s really, really hard. I don’t rate my chances. I just make it happen. I don’t rate, I don’t look at statistics. I just make it happen.”
Saturday evening started bleakly for Azarenka when, extraordinarily for a Grand Slam final, she was subjected to jeers and boos at Rod Laver Arena, and near-silence when she won important points. Azarenka had raised suspicions of gamesmanship in her semi-final against Sloane Stephens, when she took a medical timeout after blowing five match points, and then returned and broke for victory.
Azarenka won six titles in 2012, including the Australian Open, to become world number one, a position she has defended from Williams with Saturday’s victory.