Azarenka talks to Tuoi Tre readers (photo)
Updated : 09/19/2012 19:19 GMT + 7
The world number one Victoria Azarenka of Belarus attended a meeting with Tuoi Tre readers at the Ho Chi Minh City’s Lan Anh Club, and answered nine questions from them.
Azarenka started the meeting by saying, “I’ve heard many interesting stories about Vietnam. I used to think that I will visit Vietnam someday. And when invited, I accepted. I don’t have much time to explore Vietnam. I hope to find some before the match tomorrow.”
* Redfoo, member of the LMFAO band, had come to cheer for you at the semi and final during the US Open. Can you share with us how you met him, and how his presence at the stadium helped you in your competition? (Nguyen Minh Tuan Viet, 19, nguyenminhtuanviet@...)
- Victoria Azarenka: I’m always a fan of music, as he is a fan of tennis. We met during an interview after the 4th round of the US Open. We started to talk and become friends. We have a lot in common and talk together a lot. I was surprised and delight when Redfoo came to cheer for me. It really surprised me.
* Hi Vika! You are so beautiful. Does your shouting help create more power for your serves, or frighten your rivals? (Hai Vy, 25, nguyenxuanvi@...)
- Victoria Azarenka: I was an active child since the very early age, and I usually shouted when doing something interesting. It’s like an inside power helping the ball move fast. It’s part of natural. It’s a very personal matter.
* Many tennis players from Russia and the East Europe have emerged powerfully over the last few years. This is not what we had in the past. Why? (Tieu Nguyen, tieunguyen123@...)
- Victoria Azarenka: Over the past five years, we saw fewer Russian players, but more East European players as they have better condition for training trips. They are potential, and have many chances to play and compete.I hope the next youth generation will continue to develop and assert their talent to be present more at world tennis.
* In Vietnam, the expense for an athlete to pursuit tennis is far higher than that needed for studying abroad, and rarely will a youth accept stopping their studying to play tennis. So do you have any advice for Vietnamese youths who have passion to become a professional tennis player? (Hang Phi, phi.co@...)
- Victoria Azarenka: This is hard to answer. I never want to advise someone to quit studying to follow tennis, but you must do both at the same time as studying will help you stay mature in every stage of your career, and it’s one of the most important things in life. When you have an education background, you can play tennis better. I think Vietnamese government should have strategies to help the tennis talents.
* After achieving the single trophy at the Australia Open in 2012, you have become the first Belarusian player to win a Grand Slam, and that victory has enabled you to become the first player to jump from the third place to be the world number one without the need to stand at the second post.
To many people, such a success is indeed a peak that is hard to reach, in other words, it’s a dream that is almost impossible to be realized. So what do you think about this, and are there any heights that you want to achieve in your sporting career? (Pham Hien Chuong, 27, email@example.com)
- Victoria Azarenka: The world number one position is what you will always dream of when starting playing tennis. I was overwhelmed when achieving this. I’m in my happy time. My goal is to remain at the top post as long as possible, and achieve more Grand Slams.
* In 2010, there was time when you stopped playing to pursuit education. But after a talk with your grandma, you returned and earned good results. This shows your grandma has great influence on you. So what has your grandma told you that changed your mind? (Huynh Thi Hong Nga, 47, ngahuynh36@...)
- Victoria Azarenka: I want to make it clear that I have never wanted to quit schooling. I only wanted to stop playing tennis. But I have passion and always love and desire to play tennis. But I lost this for a couple of years. With grandma, I told her many things. She knew and sympathized for me. She advised me not to give up my passion. She played me many movies, and I did smile. I got my passion back.
* I know of the beautiful love story between you and Budka when you first met at New York. You are more famous than your boyfriend. So how do you deal with this? (Thanh Bình, 43, thanhbinh43@...)
- Victoria Azarenka: I didn’t meet him in New York. I knew him for long when we both played at the junior series. I really do not want to talk much about my personal life. Please sympathize. But believe that it’s a beautiful love story.
* To you, who is the greatest women tennis player of all time? What do you learn from them? (Thanh Phuc, 21, phucnt1990@...)
- Victoria Azarenka: There are so many great players and it’s hard to choose. But in the regards of the number of trophies, it will be Steffi Graff. She’s my idol since early age and I always follow her path. It’s also difficult to say what ‘special plays’ I learned from her as tennis constantly changed.
* Have you ever fallen in a disappointed circumstance? During these hard times, who would you share and talk to first? What will you do to overcome those disappointments to strike for success? (Minh Huy, 36, huyphan76@...)
- Victoria Azarenka: Those moments of disappointment and discouragement will help you stronger and reach for success. In those hard times I would talk to my family as it’s them who always support me. Thanks to their encouragement, I overcame and achieved my dream. I treasure those moments because if life was only full of success, you would never fully feel all of your successes.
Below are some photos taken at the airport by Tuoi Tre: