Victoria Azarenka, who is through to the semifinals of the Australian Open, has voiced her support for fellow tennis player Novak Djokovic, pleading that players should not be treated as ‘Villains’.
Many fans have been questioning the severity of Djokovic’s supposed hamstring injury during the first week of the tournament.
In support of the Serbian player, Azarenka said:
“We are regular human beings that go through many, many things.”
“There is sometimes, I don’t know, an incredible desire for a villain and a hero story that has to be written. But we’re not villains and we’re not heroes.”
This is in response to Djokovic saying that he was an “easy target to be the villain”.
Djokovic’s medical timeouts have been questioned, including during his second-round match against French player Enzo Couacaud.
He had been wearing heavy strapping on his left thigh throughout the tournament. He later said that his injuries were being doubted saying that:
“Only my injuries are questioned. When some other players are injured, then they are the victims, but when it is me, I am faking it.”
Azarenka has been in a similar position. Back in 2013, the validity of the medical time-out against Sloan Stephens was questioned.
This was during a semifinals match and Azarenka took a long time-out during a crucial point of the match.
“It was one of the worst things that I’ve ever gone through in my professional career, the way I was treated after that moment,” she said.
“The way I had to explain myself until 10:30 pm because people didn’t want to believe me.
“I actually can resonate what Novak said the other day.”
She also continued to say:
“I’ve been called that I’m cheating, that I’m faking, that I was trying to throw people off their game. It’s everything that is so wrong about my character if somebody actually knows me.”
“At some points, I’ve heard that, ‘she has this thing that is bad or this thing is bad’. At some point you’re like: ‘Really? Am I?’ Those doubts starts to creep in.”
“Now I just don’t care. I am more and more confident in what I know about myself, and I’m at peace with that. Those comments, judgments, they’re there. I notice them. But I don’t care.”
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