Miami musings -Saturday April 4


Originally published on: 26/02/10 15:55

“Telephone call for Miss Azarenka…”
So, there you have from the ladies. Victoria Azarenka has etched her name on the 2009 Sony Ericsson Open trophy, beating top seed, defending champion and world No.1 Serena Williams in straight sets 6-3 6-1.

Now it may well be that Serena was nursing an injury she arrived on court with a heavily strapped left thigh – but it would not be the first time the American had won hurt, especially in what many regard as ‘her’ tournament.

tennishead also noted that the five-time champion was sporting the same Sony Ericsson Open orange kit (complete with orange nails) as the spectators in their bright orange Sony Ericsson caps. But S.E.(rena) Open or not, it was not to be her tournament this year.

All credit to the 19-year-old Belarusian who held her nerve and served it out on her third match point to become the sixth teenage champion in the tournaments history. When you hear the roll-call of other young winners – Monica Seles, Martina Hingis, Steffi Graf, Venus Williams and Gabriela Sabatini – you realise just what potential this girl has.

tennishead was ahead of the game on this victory. If youve been reading our musings youll see we caught up with Victoria at the Aussie Open earlier this year, and again on the first Friday of the tournament following her second round victory over Anastasia Pavyluchenkova. She looked and sounded like a woman with a mission then, and its great to see her achieve it. Azarenka will be world No.8 when the rankings are published on Monday.

As youd expect the press conference for the tournament winner was busier than they have been all week. But Vic handled the questions adeptly, saying she was waiting for a call from the President of Belarus, Aleksander Lukashenko. As a 7 year old she once presented him flowers. Time for her presentation now.

Ice hockey is the biggest sport in Belarus, and Azarenkas coach is a former hockey goalkeeper. But while Victoria answered our questions, Max Mirnyi (one time doubles partner of Jamie Murray) was on court with Andy Ram on his way to the men’s doubles title. Perhaps tennis will now shoot up in popularity in a nation with a population of just under 10 million.

Richard Williams ditches the lens in Miami
There was something odd about the sight of big daddy Williams at the final. Not the fact that he was there – and you can’t miss him when he is. But for once there was no camera around his neck.

Perhaps he knew that this wasn’t to be a day for Serena to cherish, given the bionic left leg she turned up with. But he still couldn’t resist a trip down to the photographer’s seats courtside. Hopefully Serena’s injury isn’t too serious and give big Rich something worth snapping in the clay court season.

Nine tenths of the law
The pink polo-shirted fan in the crowd who caught Azarenkas racket after the match ended up having a bit of a tussle with his mates or at least they looked like his mates. Whether it’s heading for eBay or set to be a priceless souvenir, possession is everything when it comes to the ownership of a champions racket.


Tim Farthing, Tennishead Editorial Director & Owner, has been a huge tennis fan his whole life. He's a tennis journalist and entrepreneur as well as playing tennis to a national standard. He also helps manage his local club and volunteers for his local tennis organisation. He's a specialist in content about the administration of professional tennis and tennis coaching for all levels.