Patrick Mouratoglou is a world-renowned tennis coach. He runs the Mouratoglou Tennis Academy in France and is a frequent contributor to Busted Racquet.
Let's look back at the winner of the Australian Open and evaluate her position in women's tennis.
A new star is born
The Australian Open witnessed the birth of a new star of the game: Victoria Azarenka. This has been in the works for a long time. She's a former junior world champion and now she's now achieving all her potential. Due to her victory, she's now the new No. 1 in the world and she did it in grand style, clinching it by winning a major. During the event, she was mentally and physically stronger than the others. In the end, only Agnieszka Radwanska pushed her to three sets. Azarenka needed time to reach the top spot but she's now well settled in it because she has an all around game, is very steady mentally and also has a perfectly-controlled fitness preparation.
The Nadal of the WTA?
She reminds me of Rafael Nadal for many reasons. Her game style is based on high tempo and she makes few mistakes because of the use of topspin. Vika is the kind of player who tires her opponents because of her intensity, heavy ball and constant pressure. Her fighting spirit, her focus on each shot and the feeling that the rival has that to earn each point aids in this. Vika's fast, intense and covers a ton of ground. What is different than Nadal is that she likes to play inside the court and takes the ball early.
A true opposition
With Maria Sharappova, Kim Clijsters and Serena Williams, we have now a true pack at the top of women's tennis. But the future of the women's game will be a battle between the two players who are way ahead of the pack: Azarenka and Petra Kvitova. The fight will be fascinating for a number of reasons, but mainly because though the two have difference games, they compliment each other well.