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Victoria Azarenka – 2023 Season Review

Victoria Azarenka in action at the US Open.

Victoria Azarenka’s place in history is assured. Two Australian Open titles, former world #1, the sixth-most prize money earned by a female player of all time — nobody can take Azarenka’s accomplishments away from her. With all that history, however, Azarenka’s benchmark for success has become fairly high and whilst 2023 was by no means a poor season (she finished the season ranked #22 in the world), here’s why 2023 probably didn’t live up to expectations for the 34-year-old.

Victoria Azarenka 2023 Season Review

The Good News

Azarenka’s level has always been potentially high enough to beat anybody in the world. Her real measure for success shouldn’t be who she’s beaten throughout the season but rather how many matches she’s been able to win in a row.

There were three occasions throughout 2023 where Azarenka won three or more matches in a row.

  1. Australian Open Semifinal: This was by far the best showing of Azarenka’s season. She defeated former champ Sofia Kenin, world #3 Jessica Pegula and world #13 Madison Keys to reach her first Australian Open semifinal in 10 years. She sustained an honourable loss to Elena Rybakina.
  2. Wimbledon Round of 16: A dearth of good results followed up until the summer where Azarenka reached the round of 16 at Wimbledon. She lost to Elina Svitolina after going up 7-4 in the match tiebreak.
  3. Guadalajara Quarterfinal: Azarenka finished the year reaching a WTA 1000 quarterfinal in Guadalajara, handing world #11 Kudermetova one of the most one-sided losses of her year. She lost to Caroline Garcia in the quarterfinals.

In short, Azarenka went deep at a smattering of big events but those runs were way too few and far between.

The Bad News

Azarenka won less than two matches at a tournament 16 times throughout the season. This is a far cry from her level even two years ago when she was consistently making tour quarterfinals and some of the biggest finals of the year.

It’s not as though Azarenka’s level was a million miles away. The former world #1 always fought hard but couldn’t quite get over the line—11 times she played a tiebreak in a match against a top 100 player and she lost on nine of those occasions. Like the Wimbledon round of 16, Azarenka had her chances but she couldn’t quite convert on them.


What should be made of the good and the bad? On the one hand, Azarenka was a whisker away from contending for some of the biggest titles in the world. Some may say she’s got every chance of winding up in another Australian Open final next year by this logic.

On the other hand, the Belarusian may have felt the pressure when she was given her chances. Some could argue this will only worsen with time, as the mother of one may feel the doors are closing on her opportunity to make one more big title bout. Was 2023 a year of near misses? Was it the beginning of end? Only time will tell as we look forward to one of the final chapters of the legend’s career.

Main photo credit: Danielle Parhizkaran-USA TODAY Sports


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