A recharged Victoria Azarenka is refusing to get ahead of herself despite rocketing into Australian Open calculations with her first WTA title win since 2013.
The former world No.1 defeated Angelique Kerber of Germany 6-3 6-1 in the Brisbane International final on Saturday night at Pat Rafter Arena, a result that will send reverberations through women’s tennis at a time when many in the elite bracket are struggling to stay fit.
Azarenka, a two-time Australian Open winner who dropped out of the world’s top 40 following injury-wrecked years in 2014 and 2015, equalled the record for the fewest points conceded by a women’s singles champion at the Brisbane event and the overwhelming sense is she’s back to her lethal best.
But this new-model Azarenka also has it sorted out between the ears, regaling reporters this week of how, after the experiencing the depths of her injury hell, life improved once she decided to stop caring what other people thought of her and start living in the moment.
That’s why, instead of allowing herself to wonder what this resurgent period in her career could bring, she simply plans to wait and see.
“I don’t. I really don’t wonder,” Azarenka said.
“But I’m excited to follow my journey. I’m excited to live my journey.
“That’s a great feeling – stay in the moment, be present. I really enjoy this moment and I think it’s precious.
“So I just want to enjoy that and see how I feel tomorrow, what I want to do, and keep going.”
That tomorrow is the Australian Open, for which bookmakers have already installed her as second favourite behind Serena Williams on the back of her blistering Brisbane run.
“The focus is still there on the Melbourne,” Azarenka said.
“I’m going do everything I can next week to prepare and feel the most comfortable to start the tournament.
“I can’t wait to be in Melbourne. I love the city. Looking forward to that.”