Victoria Azarenka’s ‘ten years of hurt’ over Australian Open criticism

Victoria Azarenka said it has taken her ten years to get over the criticism she faced following her last Australian Open semi-final after finally making it back to the last four.

The Belarusian, 33, defeated Jessica Pegula 6-4, 6-1 in the quarter-finals and is putting together her best run since winning back-to-back titles in 2012 and 2013.

The second of those proved controversial, with Azarenka taking a long medical time-out after failing to serve out a semi-final win over Sloane Stephens.

Azarenka broke in the next game to clinch victory and later said she had experienced pain in her chest.

Asked about the incident, a fired-up Azarenka, who next faces Wimbledon champion Elena Rybakina in the last four, said: ‘It was one of the worst things I’ve ever gone through in my professional career, the way I was treated after that moment.

‘It took me ten f***ing years to get over it. I finally am over that.’

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