Victoria Azarenka: How Tirade on Olympic Judge Will Affect Tennis Star's Image
Victoria Azarenka is usually in complete control of her opponents, but she struggled to keep control of herself in her Olympic match.
In her opening-round match against Irina-Camelia Begu, the No. 1 player in the world looked like it by dominating the first set. She lost only one game and finished in 24 minutes.
However, the top-ranked player started to unravel in the second set. Begu made a clean serve that was originally called a fault but was eventually reversed. Azarenka did not like this ruling and clearly yelled at chair umpire Julie Kjendlie (via Bravo network):
Are you kidding me or what? This is against the rules, what are you talking about? What the [expletive] are you talking about, do you know the rules or not? Is this your first time? You always mess up. Can you frickin' learn a little bit?
While Azarenka's argument might be legitimate, there is no excuse for showing up a judge like she did.
The 22-year-old has steadily been improving her game to the point where she reached the top spot in the world rankings. She peaked at the Australian Open, as she won her first-career Grand Slam tournament. She can jump to an even higher level by winning gold in the London Olympics.
Did Victoria Azarenka go over the line with her rant?
Unfortunately, she has not been embraced as a household name just yet. Casual fans cannot name many female players past Venus and Serena Williams, Maria Sharapova and possibly Kim Clijsters. The Olympics provide a venue for athletes to showcase themselves to a wide audience, but this is not the way she should do it.
These Games are about the purity of athletics, but Azarenka is making news for all the wrong reasons.
The Belarusian eventually defeated her overmatched opponent, despite 13 double faults and 24 unforced errors. Still, this type of out-of-control play will not get her far in the highly competitive tournament.
If she calms down and focuses on her play, she has the potential to dominate. Unfortunately, the way she behaved showed that she has a lot of maturing to do before she becomes an all-time great.
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