Born in Minsk, Byelorussian SSR on 31st July 1989, Victoria Azarenka (full name : Victoria Fyodorovna Azarenka) is a Belarussian professional tennis player of age 26, who plays right-handed / two-handed backhand. A former World No. 1, she is currently No. 16 as of 2016. The following is her bio in brief.
Born in a middle-class family with an elder brother before her, Azarenka moved to Scottsdale, Arizona in the US from Belarus for training at the age of 15, aided by her mother's friend Nikolai Khabibulin (a National Hockey League goalie). She turned into a full fledged pro-player in the year 2003. She did consider in 2011 to take a break from tennis and focus on education, but upon her grandmother's insistence – whom Azarenka regards as the key inspiration to her achievements and developments in the sport of tennis - she decided to carry on with the sport. She moved to Monaco in 2012 and bought a house in Los Angeles, California in 2013.
Known for including grunting into her playing, Azarenka makes use of an aggressive baseline style to facilitate her mobility, strong 2-handed backhand, return game and taking the ball early. She forces her opponents to move around the court to return to her strategic placement of shots, as well as relentless groundstrokes. Her greatest rivals on the court have included Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova, and these 3 players have met each other at least 15 times. She is the only Belarussian player to have won a singles title in the Grand Slam, and 2 Australian Open singles titles (in 2012 and 2013). She also has to her credit the bronze medal at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, two mixed doubles Grand Slam titles (2007 US Open with Max Mirnyi, and 2008 French Open with Bob Bryan), and the gold medal with Max Mirnyi in the mixed doubles event at the 2012 Summer Olympics. Her absence from professional tennis in 2014 due to injury caused her to suffer from depression, about which Azarenka has often spoken openly.
Fluent in Belarusian, Russian, English and limited amount of French and Ukranian, Azarenka is 6 feet tall in height. She was named the 4th highest paid female athelete in the world by Forbes magazine in August 2013, earning between $15.7 million 2012 – 2013. She has won over $ 24.4 million in prize money, therefore she is 4th in the list of WTA prize money leaders, and the youngest in the top 10 category. She has been endorsed by Nike, Wilso,. American Express, Six Star Pro Nutrition, InstaForex, Citizen Watch. She became the first tennis player to sponsor for the sports and beverage giant Red Bull in January 2013. Her boyfriend for a period between late 2012 and early 2014 was the American musician Redfoo.
Introduced by her mother to tennis at the age of 7, Azarenka's favourite shot is backhand and she loves playing on hardcourt surfaces. Her hobbies and past-times include surfing, paddle boarding, cooking, comedy and karaoke. She admires Roger Federer both as a tennis pro and a person, for his professionalism both on the court and in the outside world. Azarenka has over 720 thousand followers on her twitter page.