Belarusian tennis star Victoria Azarenka kicked off her 2024 Australian Open journey with a triumphant win against Camila Giorgi, and she didn’t just celebrate on the court. Azarenka, who became a mother to Leo on December 19, 2016, shared a touching message with her seven-year-old son.
In a thrilling first-round match where Azarenka defeated Giorgi 6-1, 4-6, 6-3, she took a moment during the ceremonial signing of the camera to express her love for Leo. The message, “Hi Leo, love you! Mom,” captured the emotions of the former World No. 1 after her victory.
Azarenka’s strong start to the 2024 season included reaching the semifinals at the Brisbane International, where she faced a tough battle against World No. 2 Aryna Sabalenka. With her impressive performance at the Australian Open, Azarenka is now considered a dark horse for the title. Her next challenge is set against Danish player Clara Tauson in the second round.
Notably, Azarenka is part of an elite group of eight mothers in the main draw at the 2024 Australian Open, joining the likes of Elina Svitolina, Tatjana Maria, Yanina Wickmayer, Taylor Townsend, Caroline Wozniacki, Angelique Kerber, and Naomi Osaka. At a press conference before the Brisbane International, Azarenka expressed her excitement about the growing number of mothers on the tennis tour, emphasizing how they’ve shattered stereotypes about athletes balancing sports and family.
While acknowledging the progress, Azarenka highlighted the need for more resources, especially for lower-level players, to ensure their security and confidence in returning to the tour post-pregnancy. She emphasized the importance of supporting women athletes at all levels, not just the top tier, to create a more inclusive and secure environment in women’s sports.
As Azarenka continues her quest at the Australian Open, her story becomes not just about on-court achievements but also a testament to the evolving landscape of women in professional sports.