Azarenka makes loud statement at Melbourne Park

Thu Jan 22, 2015 8:23am EST
 
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By Ian Ransom

MELBOURNE (Reuters) - The fluorescent yellow outfit Victoria Azarenka wore as she dismantled Caroline Wozniacki at the Australian Open on Thursday was a one-word fashion statement -- loud.

A defiantly single-tone ensemble matching a skirt with a long-sleeve top, Azarenka made a huge impression on social media even before a racket was swung at Margaret Court Arena.

Though the look was polarizing, Azarenka's game was anything but. The universal verdict after her 6-4 6-2 win over the eighth-seeded Dane was that the Belarusian was back, and back in a big way.

Unseeded, undercooked but under no pressure, Azarenka dictated play like a traffic cop in a high-visibility suit.

The night was not overly cool, but the long sleeves stayed on as if the former world number one had hardly raised a sweat in the 98-minute clash.

It was tempting to link Azarenka's performance with the stunning color of her clothes and the Belarusian agreed she was out to make impressions.

"That's the key. That's the whole point, the outfit," she smiled as she spoke to reporters, wearing a still-loud pair of leggings and a 'trucker's cap' perched backwards on her head.

"I didn't take off my outfit, so the energy and intensity stayed there with the outfit. But really, that's how I play. I try to imply that intensity. I play aggressive. I think that's one of my trademarks. Not the outfit, but the intensity."   Continued...

 
Victoria Azarenka of Belarus celebrates after defeating Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark in their women's singles second round match at the Australian Open 2015 tennis tournament in Melbourne January 22, 2015. REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha