© Ella Ling

Vika Azarenka - trophy on the Yarra

Australian Open diary - coffees on Azarenka


Victoria Azarenka celebrated her first grand slam title with “champagne showers”, a bit of dancing and a party. The only thing the Belarussian did not manage to find was karaoke but despite just a few hours’ sleep, she was on good form when she came back to the site for the usual round of post-winner interviews.

These interviews are usually nice and relaxed affairs, which is perhaps not that much of a surprise when you think that the interviewee has just won a grand slam title, but they also often show the player in a new light.

Now there is nothing the press likes more than a freebie so when Azarenka bought coffees for those present, it was a smart move but also a nice touch.

Wearing platform shoes that elevated her to well over her height of 6ft, she spoke about her family life, the final and what she hopes to achieve in the future now she is a grand slam champion and world number one.

Her next assignment, though, is a Fed Cup tie against the United States in Worcester, Massachusetts, this weekend. Both Williams sisters are expected to play but aside from the on-court issues, Azarenka demonstrated interesting knowledge about the venue.

“Yeah I know where it is,” she said of Worcester, not all together convincingly, before launching into an exchange about the spelling of Worcester. “W-o-r-s-t-e-r”?

Er, no but close enough.

When warming up for the Australian Open in Sydney, Azarenka’s support team promised to dye their heads blonde if she won the title in Melbourne but it seems that one or two of the team may be welching on the bet. “They didn’t do it yet, but they will,” she said. “It was a deal. You can’t break the deal, right?”

Justin Gimelstob is a player representative on the ATP Board but the former player has a little to learn about Twitter.

The American’s intentions were good – he wanted to introduce another former professional, Leif Shiras, to the social media world. His link took you to a page that: “bristles with restless urgency and passionate optimism”.

Now Shiras is a respected commentator but even he would not recognise that description of himself, and for good reason. The “handle” of @shirock corresponds to a pop/rock band from Nashville called Shirock while the actual handle should be @lshirock. A correct link was issued fairly quickly and it’s unclear how many tennis fans were rather left rather confused.

No doubt where Australian gambling firm TAB Sportsbet’s allegiance lay going into Sunday’s men’s final between Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal. In the build-up to the tournament, the firm took a couple of hefty bets on Djokovic – one for AUD$20,000 at 7-4 and two bets of more than AUD$20,000 at 6-4.

Nadal needed the win to overturn a losing streak against Djokovic that was clearly affecting his mind as well as his game and it’s probably fair to say that you could have heard the words “Vamos Rafa” coming out of a few branches of the TAB here.