AVN 67.05 Increased By ▲ 1.85 (2.84%)
BAFL 31.05 Increased By ▲ 0.31 (1.01%)
BOP 4.88 Increased By ▲ 0.08 (1.67%)
CNERGY 3.78 Increased By ▲ 0.07 (1.89%)
DFML 14.49 Increased By ▲ 0.28 (1.97%)
DGKC 41.61 Increased By ▲ 0.56 (1.36%)
EPCL 46.22 Decreased By ▼ -0.23 (-0.5%)
FCCL 11.63 Increased By ▲ 0.23 (2.02%)
FFL 5.11 Increased By ▲ 0.06 (1.19%)
FLYNG 5.80 No Change ▼ 0.00 (0%)
GGL 10.40 Increased By ▲ 0.07 (0.68%)
HUBC 67.54 Increased By ▲ 0.67 (1%)
HUMNL 5.77 Increased By ▲ 0.06 (1.05%)
KAPCO 28.00 Increased By ▲ 0.24 (0.86%)
KEL 2.29 Increased By ▲ 0.09 (4.09%)
LOTCHEM 25.06 Increased By ▲ 0.16 (0.64%)
MLCF 21.67 Increased By ▲ 0.23 (1.07%)
NETSOL 86.06 Increased By ▲ 2.46 (2.94%)
OGDC 92.38 Increased By ▲ 6.48 (7.54%)
PAEL 11.06 Increased By ▲ 0.05 (0.45%)
PIBTL 4.23 Increased By ▲ 0.01 (0.24%)
PPL 80.15 Increased By ▲ 5.67 (7.61%)
PRL 13.64 Increased By ▲ 0.21 (1.56%)
SILK 0.89 Decreased By ▼ -0.03 (-3.26%)
SNGP 43.47 Increased By ▲ 3.07 (7.6%)
TELE 5.93 Increased By ▲ 0.07 (1.19%)
TPLP 15.82 Increased By ▲ 0.42 (2.73%)
TRG 114.88 Increased By ▲ 3.47 (3.11%)
UNITY 13.76 Increased By ▲ 0.01 (0.07%)
WTL 1.16 Increased By ▲ 0.02 (1.75%)
BR100 4,124 Increased By 87 (2.16%)
BR30 14,930 Increased By 518.1 (3.59%)
KSE100 41,191 Increased By 719.6 (1.78%)
KSE30 15,494 Increased By 331.4 (2.19%)
Follow us

MELBOURNE: Victoria Azarenka said it took her 10 years to get over being accused of cheating when she last won the Australian Open, and defended Novak Djokovic who has been accused of dramatising his injury during this year’s tournament.

The 33-year-old two-time champion rolled back the years at Melbourne Park on Tuesday night, dismissing Jessica Pegula 6-4, 6-1 to reach the semi-finals for the first time since 2013.

During her run to the second of her back-to-back Australian titles that year, Azarenka took a nine-minute medical timeout in the semi-final against Sloane Stephens after failing to convert five match points.

Azarenka went on to turn the match around and eventually lift the trophy, but she had to defend herself from accusations of gamesmanship and cheating.

The Belarusian revealed later she had suffered a panic attack on court and couldn’t breathe, which caused the long delay.

Azarenka said Tuesday she had only just learned how to cope with self-doubts and anxiety during matches, which can be overwhelming, and only recently got over that “worst” moment of her career.

“It was one of the worst things I have ever gone through in my professional career, the way I was treated after that moment, the way I had to explain myself until 10.30pm at night because people didn’t want to believe me,” she told reporters.

“I actually can resonate what Novak said the other day,” she added, referring to Djokovic hitting back about comments on his hamstring injury.

The 35-year-old Serb looked hampered and in pain in his early matches, with a heavily bandaged leg.

But the nine-time champion seemed unhindered as he raced past Australia’s Alex De Minaur and into the quarter-finals on Monday for the loss of just five games.

Djokovic told Serbian media he was fed up with suggestions that he might have faked the injury – and that such slurs only motivated him more.

Azarenka beats Pegula to reach Australian Open semi-finals

Djokovic, who plays Russian fifth seed Andrey Rublev in the men’s singles quarter-finals on Wednesday, said this week he was an “easy target to be the villain”.

“There is sometimes, like, I don’t know, incredible desire for a villain and a hero story that has to be written,” said Azarenka.

“But we’re not villains, we’re not heroes, we are regular human beings that go through so many, many things,” added the 24th seed after reaching her first semi-final at the Australian Open since 2013, where she will face Wimbledon champion Elena Rybakina.

She said the “assumptions and judgements” meant nothing “because nobody’s there to see the full story”.

“It didn’t matter how many times I said my story, it did not cut through,” Azarenka said.

“Actually it’s funny that you’re saying that because I was thinking about it. It took me 10 years to get over it. I finally am over that.”


Also read

Comments

1000 characters

Djokovic is no ‘villain’ - took me 10 years to get over cheat storm: Azarenka

Pakistan, IMF grapple for consensus to unlock critical funding

PM Shehbaz orders immediate restoration of Wikipedia

Daraz Group lays off 11% global workforce to prepare for ‘current market reality’

Rupee up 0.46%, ends day at 275.30 against US dollar

KSE-100 jumps over 700 points amid return of positive sentiment

Pharmaceutical companies seek ‘inflationary adjustments’ in medicine prices

Second hike in two weeks: Honda Atlas jacks up car prices by up to Rs550,000

PM Shehbaz announces aid for quake-hit Turkiye

India opens its largest helicopter factory in new defence push

Govt projection of achieving $3bn current account surplus in FY23 ‘unrealistic’: PBC