Azarenka on space travel, Halep and Pegula on weddings

Throughout a memorable BNP Paribas fortnight, a number of WTA Tour gamers opened up on sundry points from house journey to wedding ceremony planning. Listed below are a few of their greatest bits:

Azarenka stays grounded

Star Trek actor William Shatner’s real-life house voyage was a scorching subject of dialog final week. It did not impress eventual runner-up Victoria Azarenka a lot, although.

The Belarusian clarified that it was “fairly cool from an engineering standpoint.” However she identified that humanity ought to have extra urgent considerations.

“Me personally, I sort of like Planet Earth,” she stated. “I hope we as society will take higher care of it earlier than shifting to a different planet. That is sort of the place I stand.”

Badosa bounces again from teaching change

Paula Badosa’s run to the championship had some additional significance for the Spaniard.

She had raced up the rankings within the first half of 2021, a surge for which she was fast to credit score coach Javier Marti. Then they abruptly cut up following the Tokyo Olympic Video games – “a change that got here from in the future to a different,” as Badosa put it. Early-round losses to Rebecca Marino and Varvara Gracheva adopted in August.

“It was powerful, as a result of I needed to play the U.S. swing alone,” the 23-year-old stated.

For that cause, this event – by which she defeated Coco Gauff and Barbora Krejcikova en path to the title – was “the one I am most pleased with,” she informed the press.

“It means loads for me. In fact, a change, all the time it is scary. Perhaps despite the fact that that issues are going nicely, if you change, typically you lose a bit of little bit of confidence. Once I was coming right here, I bear in mind I used to be a bit of bit afraid of what might occur. However I am joyful I went via all that. Mentally I am robust once more.”

Badosa is now working together with her childhood coach, Jorge Garcia.

“He was my coach earlier than once I was 15 years previous,” she stated. “He is aware of me loads. We’ve a superb relationship and that is necessary. He is serving to me and I am pleased with my choice.”

Swiatek x Murray

A gathering between Iga Swiatek and Andy Murray has been on the playing cards for some time now. Throughout Roland Garros, the previous ATP World No.1 praised the defending champion’s recreation, and he or she rapidly responded with a request for some grass-court follow forward of Wimbledon.

It did not occur then, however after her debut win at Indian Wells, Swiatek named the Briton as her dream follow associate. This time, Murray responded within the affirmative. So how did it go down?

“I used to be speaking a bit of bit extra together with his coach, as a result of he was late for his follow,” Swiatek stated. “Mainly I talked together with his coach about how Andy does it, [when] he is continually speaking to himself between factors and it is figuring out nicely and he is like pumping him[self] up. As a result of often once I speak to myself, I’m going on court docket and I am indignant, you understand. I actually would like to find out how he does that.”

The Pole nonetheless acquired what she got here for – despite the fact that it was troublesome.

“And I used to be speaking with Andy about my grass-court expertise. In order that was a tough subject.”

Fernandez turns entertainer

Throughout Leylah Fernandez’s run to the US Open remaining final month, the Canadian teenager’s exhortations to the gang to point out their pleasure after standout factors turned a signature of her matches. This continued within the California desert, significantly in her 2-hour, 41-minute comeback over Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova within the third spherical.

In New York, Fernandez solid herself as a born entertainer, saying huge crowds have been one thing she had envisioned from an early age.

“I’ve imagined myself enjoying on each event, each Grand Slam, on the greatest stage,” she informed press then. “Once I was youthful, since I used Justine Henin as a terrific instance, I’d think about myself enjoying in opposition to her. I’d additionally think about myself enjoying in opposition to Serena and Venus, and the previous few years enjoying in opposition to Osaka in an enormous event.”

It’s kind of extra sophisticated than that, although.

“I’m an individual who’s an introvert, likes puzzles,” Fernandez stated in Indian Wells. “I like figuring issues out – Sudoku, Rubik’s cubes, issues.”

It seems that regardless of her childhood goals, Fernandez’s realisation that she might feed off the gang was a revelation even to her.

“Once I was youthful I all the time imagined myself enjoying in an enormous crowd, however I by no means knew how I’d react understanding how I’m off the court docket, how I used to be rising up,” she stated. “The way in which that I reacted in New York, the way in which that I used to be reacting right here in Indian Wells – utilizing their power, having enjoyable on the court docket, as an example interacting with the gang, too, with my tennis. It has undoubtedly shocked me as an individual; has undoubtedly helped me and my tennis recreation to go for it, to only belief my recreation.”

Sasnovich a eager scholar of Azarenka

All-Belarusian encounters are uncommon on the WTA Tour, particularly on the greatest tournaments. When Victoria Azarenka clashed with Aliaksandra Sasnovich within the fourth spherical, it was solely the sixth time she had performed a countrywoman at WTA 1000 stage or above.

Naturally, 27-year-old Sasnovich had grown up watching her illustrious compatriot. However she’s continued to review Azarenka for causes past nationwide pleasure. Sasnovich considers the two-time main champion a helpful tactical instance to observe.

“She has a pleasant plan with every participant she performs,” Sasnovich stated after upsetting Simona Halep within the third spherical. “For instance, if I have to do plan – like I play tomorrow in opposition to Cirstea, I’ll watch how Azarenka performed in opposition to her. As a result of, for my part, she has the very best plan [for] how she must play in opposition to [other] gamers.”

Azarenka accepted the praise graciously.

“That is very nice of her to say,” she stated. “I am honoured to listen to that. Particularly when any individual from my nation is sort of trying as much as me, it is actually superior, makes me really feel good.”

Whereas she acknowledged that figuring out the correct techniques was “one thing that I can do actual nicely,” Azarenka stated that her drawback had been deviating from them anyway.

“I create these difficulties for myself the place I am not being rational and I am making an attempt to be cussed, sort of show to myself that I can do it despite the fact that possibly it is not the correct approach. I’ve been many instances making my life tougher than I ought to do. …  I believe it does in a approach come pure to me. However one factor is analysing that, and the second factor is definitely doing it. These two issues, once they come collectively, that is a talent.”

In Azarenka’s opinion, the 2 gamers who’ve greatest demonstrated that talent in opposition to her have been Kim Clijsters and Serena Williams.

Pegula and Halep take laissez-faire strategy to wedding ceremony planning

It is wedding ceremony season on the WTA Tour. Simona Halep arrived in Indian Wells as a newlywed. She married Toni Iuruc lower than a month earlier than in her hometown of Constanta. In the meantime, quarterfinalist Jessica Pegula was utilizing the event as a warmup to her personal wedding ceremony with Taylor Gahagen on Nov. 22.

One factor they each had in widespread: a hands-off strategy to planning any of it.

“I have never been that a lot of a Bridezilla,” stated Pegula, whose wedding ceremony had initially been deliberate for 2020 however was delayed because of the pandemic. “I picked a pair issues. There is a couple issues I wished. Aside from that, it is sort of been all my mother. My mother, actually, likes to plan something, occasions, events. Actually she’ll be there. I do not know the place she finds the time, however she’ll be there until 3 a.m. gluing stuff, printing issues out. She actually does issues by hand.”

In the meantime, Halep additionally let others take care of the main points.

“My husband took care of the marriage, so I did not transfer one finger for it,” she stated. “I simply stated that I need white flowers, so he knew what I like and he did every part. So due to him I did not should stress myself for the occasion. I simply loved it. Many individuals got here, my household, my associates. After two days, I went to the health club – I used to be again very quick to do the coaching after the marriage.”


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