The Australian Open's No. 3 seed was out of challenges when Barthel hit a forehand wide on match point. Azarenka argued to the chair umpire, who deferred to the lineswoman's original call. Replays showed that the ball was clearly out.
She walked back to baseline, barking at the lineswoman as she prepared to serve. Replays showed her using the f-word. On TV, Martina Navratilova accurately described Azarenka's attitude as "pissy."
Azarenka went on to win the point at deuce and then the point after that to seal a 6-2, 6-4 win.
When Barthel netted the ball on the match's final point, Azarenka turned to the lineswoman and issued three consecutive expletives. Two of them featured the same word as above and the middle one rhymed with "witch." She then took the ball from the side of her shorts and tossed it in disgust towards the official.
Azarenka made no apologies for her behavior after the match.
"I wasn't brave enough to finish the match so had to get pissed off to do it," Azarenka said. "My fault I ran out of challenges."
Cursing at a lineswoman is over the line. Azarenka was lucky she didn't get a warning during the match and should be fined for the outburst. But the fact that she owns up to her behavior and uses it to psych herself up is something I can appreciate. Too often we see players melt down when they go after linesmen and lineswomen. (Andy Roddick comes to mind.) In this case, Azarenka used it for her own gain.
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- Victoria Azarenka