NEW YORK (Reuters) – Victoria Azarenka’s love affair with New York’s hardcourts is starting to get serious. The Belarusian is so smitten with Flushing Meadows that she now thinks of them as an old lover.
“I would say it’s my husband,” she said on Thursday after her 6-3 6-1 win over Canada’s Aleksandra Wozniak.
“Because we have been together for a long time (we) got really comfortable with each other. Yeah, it’s my husband.”
Azarenka’s affection for hardcourts, the sport’s most physically demanding surface, appears mutual.
Her greatest successes have all come on hardcourts. She has won each of the past two Australian Opens and reached the final of the U.S. Open last year.
“Yeah, (I’m a) hardcourt lover,” she joked.
Azarenka’s popstar boyfriend Redfoo need not worry. He is always in her mid when she goes to play, providing the soundtrack she listens to on her headphones when she walks on court.
Azarenka had few real problems in her second round match with Wozniak.
The blustery winds at the Louis Armstrong Stadium made serving difficult and she was broken three times but the world number two was always in control, cruising to victory in a little over an hour.
“It was a good match. It was very good and solid beginning of the first set, and a good second set,” she said.
“Towards the end I felt like I let her play a little bit and she really went for her shots, so I had to adjust a little bit better.”
Azarenka expects a tougher match from her next opponent in the third round, Alize Cornet of France, after the 26th seed beat Croatia’s Ajla Tomljanovic 6-2 6-2.
“Alize is a great player with a lot of experience. She’s been top 20 before,” Azarenka said.
“She’s a young player. She’s the same age, highly motivated. Yeah, it’s going to be a great match.”
(Reporting by Julian Linden; Editing by Frank Pingue/Ian Ransom)