KEY BISCAYNE, Fla. – A month ago Victoria Azarenka was defeated in a first-round match in Doha by then 30th-ranked Daniela Hantuchova, and returned home to Minsk to do some soul-searching.
At 21 and already a millionaire, she even contemplated retirement, “for a slight second, but then my mom just kicked my butt for that.”
Saturday afternoon on Stadium Court, it was the long-legged Belarussian applying the thrashing to Maria Sharapova, 6-1, 6-4, to win the Sony Ericsson Open title for her second time in three years.
“I’m staying,” joked the eighth-seeded Azarenka when asked if she would move to Miami after winning two of her six most prestigious titles here.
“I went home and spent three days with myself and just realized a few things I want to do with my life, how to really find that balance to raise my level.”