joi, 24 noiembrie 2011

Succes 2011: Victoria Azarenka, professional tennis player, world no. 3 in WTA. Famous for the noise she makes when hitting the ball. In Wimbledon 2011 she grunted at 95 decibels. Her average screams were recorded to last 1.5 seconds

Victoria Azarenka is a Belarusian professional tennis player. Her career high and current ranking is world no. 3, which she first achieved on 12 September 2011. She became the highest-ranked Belarusian player ever, surpassing Natasha Zvereva by two spots.
Azarenka has won two mixed doubles Grand Slam titles: at the 2007 US Open with Max Mirnyi and at the 2008 French Open with Bob Bryan. She has won seven singles titles, including the Sony Ericsson Open in 2009 and 2011 and has made one Grand Slam semifinal appearance at the 2011 Wimbledon Championships and five quarterfinal appearances overall.At 14 years old, Azarenka moved to Scottsdale, Arizona, in the United States, from Minsk, Belarus to be able to train in better conditions. At this time, she was aided by National Hockey League goalie Nikolai Khabibulin and his wife, who is a friend of Azarenka's mother.

Azarenka began her year at the Medibank International as the seventh seed, where she lost to Kim Clijsters in the quarterfinals, 3-6, 2-6. At the 2011 Australian Open Azarenka was seeded eighth. She lost to the ninth seed and eventual finalist, Li Na, 3-6, 3-6, in the fourth round. Azarenka partnered with Maria Kirilenko in the women's doubles event, but the pair lost to Gisela Dulko and Flavia Pennetta in the final.
Azarenka then travelled to Israel to compete in Fed Cup. Belarus beat Croatia, Austria, and Greece in the group stage, without losing a match. The Belarusian team then defeated Poland 2–0 to qualify for the World Group II play-Offs in April where they played Estonia.
Azarenka's next tournament was the 2011 Dubai Tennis Championships, where she was seeded 7th. She lost to Flavia Pennetta in the third round. Azarenka then competed at the 2011 Qatar Ladies Open as the sixth seed, but lost to Daniela Hantuchová in the first round in three sets, 6–4, 1–6, 2–6.
Azarenka's next event was the 2011 BNP Paribas Open, where she competed as the eighth seed. She retired in the quarterfinals against world no. 1 Caroline Wozniacki, whilst trailing 0-3, due to a left leg injury. She also became the second person to defeat both Radwańska sisters in the same tournament.
Azarenka then competed at the 2011 Sony Ericsson Open as the eighth seed. She reached her second final at the event, where she defeated sixteenth seed Maria Sharapova, 6–1, 6–4 to win the title.

At the 2011 Andalucia Tennis Experience, Azarenka was the top seed and dropped only fourteen games on her way to the final. She defeated Irina-Camelia Begu, 6–3, 6–2, in the final. Azarenka's victory, and Samantha Stosur's inability to defend her points at Charleston, ensured that Azarenka would reach a career high of world no. 5. She then participated in Belarus' 5–0 win over Estonia in the Fed Cup, registering a 6–2, 6–0 win in her singles rubber. In her next tournament the 2011 Porsche Tennis Grand Prix, Azarenka retired after the first set of her first match, having won the first set 6–4 against Julia Goerges, ending her 12-match winning streak. Ironically, Julia went on to win the tournament.
At the 2011 Madrid Masters, Azarenka was seeded fourth. She lost in the final in straight sets to Petra Kvitová, but still rose to a career-high world no. 4. Azarenka then reached the quarterfinals of the Internazionali BNL d'Italia in Rome, where she was up a set before retiring to eventual champion Maria Sharapova.Azarenka was the fourth seed at the 2011 French Open. She beat Andrea Hlaváčková in the first round, Pauline Parmentier in the second round, 30th seed Roberta Vinci in the third round, and Ekaterina Makarova in the fourth round to reach her fourth career Grand Slam quarterfinal. She lost to Li Na in the quarterfinals.
Azarenka was the fourth seed at the 2011 Wimbledon Championships. She beat 25th seed Daniela Hantuchová in a three-set third-round match, before beating Nadia Petrova. She followed that up with an easy victory over Tamira Paszek, advancing to the semifinals of a Grand Slam for the first time. Azarenka was beaten by Czech player and eventual champion Petra Kvitová, going down in three sets, 1–6, 6–3, 2–6.
Her next tournament was the 2011 Bank of the West Classic, where she was the defending champion and top seed. Azarenka was ousted by 124th-ranked Marina Erakovic from New Zealand in the second round. Despite her 'horrible match' in singles, Azarenka claimed the doubles title with partner Kirilenko.
The next tournament Azarenka played was the 2011 Rogers Cup, where she was seeded fourth. After a bye, Azarenka crushed Stephanie Dubois, Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez, and Galina Voskoboeva, before being stopped by Serena Williams in the semifinals, 3-6, 3-6. Azarenka reached the doubles final with Kirilenko, but the team was forced to withdraw because of a hand injury to Azarenka.
Azarenka pulled out of the 2011 Western & Southern Open with the same injury.
Azarenka's next tournament was the 2011 US Open, where she was seeded fourth. She made it to the third round, where she was defeated by Serena Williams, 1–6, 6–7(5). Despite the early loss, she reached a new career high of no. 3 in the world.
Azarenka reached the semifinals of the 2011 Toray Pan Pacific Open, losing to eventual champion Agnieszka Radwańska. In doing so she qualified for the year-end championships in Istanbul.
The Belarusian participated in the China Open, the last of the four mandatory events for 2011, as the second seed. She defeated Polona Hercog in the second round, after receiving a first-round bye. She then withdrew from the tournament citing a right foot strain.
Azarenka would win her third title of the year at the 2011 BGL Luxembourg Open, defeating Monica Niculescu in the final.
Azarenka was placed in the White Group at the 2011 WTA Tour Championships. She beat Samantha Stosur 6-2, 6-2 and Li Na 6-2, 6-2 in her first two Round Robin matches. She secured the move to the semifinals despite her loss in three sets, 7-5, 4-6, 4-6, to Marion Bartoli, a substitute for Maria Sharapova. She then beat Vera Zvonareva 6-2, 6-3 to move to the final where she lost to Petra Kvitova 5-7, 6-4, 3-6.

Azarenka has been criticized by ex-professionals for the noise she makes when hitting the ball. During the 2010 Australian Open quarterfinal between Azarenka and Serena Williams, ex-pro Pam Shriver, who was providing court-side commentary, noted that Azarenka's screams were so long that she was still yelling when Williams returned the ball. She has also been noted for her tendency to lose her temper during matches. In Wimbledon 2011 she grunted at 95 decibels, which caused the chief executive of the All England Lawn and Tennis Club Ian Ritchie to raise the issue with the press. He issued the following statement – "Officials would prefer to see less grunting". Her average screams were recorded to last 1.5 seconds.

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