Victoria Azarenka is sympathetic to Novak Djokovic after a 10-year struggle with anxiety


Two-time Australian Open champion Victoria Azarenka says she sympathizes with Novak Djokovic after he spoke out about injury speculation.

Djokovic spoke to Serbian media after defeating Alex de Minaur in the fourth round on Monday night. he was treated unfairly, claiming that his hamstring injury wasn’t as bad as he thought.

Then Azarenka spoke booked her semi-final berth with a straight sets win over world number three Jessica Pegula, He said he understood what Djokovic was going through.

She was referring to the controversy that followed her 2013 Australian Open semi-final win over Sloane Stephens.

After losing five match points while serving at 5-3 in the second set against Stephens, Azarenka took a medical break to receive treatment for what she described as a rib injury.

The match was delayed for about 10 minutes and after resumption, Azarenka broke Stephens’ serve and won 6-1, 6-4.

Azarenka, who faced the media after the match at the time, fiercely defended the move amid suggestions she had used a medical break to disrupt Stephens’ concentration as a matchmaker.

Victoria Azarenka of Belarus speaks to medical and Australian Open officials at the 2013 tournament.
Victoria Azarenka speaks to Australian Open officials during her semifinal match against Sloane Stephens in 2013.(Getty Images: Julian Finney)

Azarenka won the final and won her second Australian Open title in a row.

The former world number one said it took her a decade to emotionally recover from what she felt was an unfair media scrutiny.

“It was one of the worst things I’ve ever had in my professional career,” Azarenka said after her win over Pegula on Tuesday night.

“How I was treated after that, I had to explain myself until 10:30 p.m. because people didn’t want to believe me.”

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