Victoria Azarenka: Under Fire for Australian Open Timeout Against Sloane Stephens

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Victoria Azarenka may have won today's Australian Open semifinal match against Sloane Stephens - but many in the tennis world are calling the top-ranked player a giant loser.

Here's why:

Up 6-1, 5-4, Azarenka was clearly out of sorts in the second set, screaming when she missed shots and slamming balls in anger when she lost games.

Then, with Stephens set to serve in order to stay alive, Azarenka (who had lost five match points already) left the court for an injury timeout.

She returned 10 minutes later and finished off her opponent, but later seemed to admit in an interview that she needed the aforementioned break simply to calm her nerves.

“I couldn’t breathe, you know,’’ Azarenka said on court after the win. “That game, you know, I just had chest pain, like getting a heart attack or something out there. I just needed to make sure it’s okay cause I really couldn’t breathe.’’

Among others, ESPN analyst Patrick McEnroe was NOT happy with this explanation, with a player exiting the court simply because her game was falling apart.

"This injury timeout rule needs to be thoroughly re-examined," McEnroe said. "Leaving the court for any amount of time because of nerves is unacceptable.''

What do you think of Azarenka's actions? They were...


For all the ppls who think she did it in purpose, please put it in your dummy skull that a player can not have an injury time out unless the doctor agree to it. And give her a break, if you couldn't breathe properly, while doing high energy work out, you will have oxygen deficiency and would cause to not be able to think clearly. To the point where she didn't think she has a collapse lung, that's something is srsly wrong with her. Would that hurt to think that all her condition would result in her feeling like maybe she was really under a lot of stress when in actual fact, it's her body that was a fault. Obviously, after learning the real reason behind her lack of breathing, she understand it was not stress and therefore, be back to her normal self and close the match.
Stevens is not bad, but please, that girl only go in cos serena was hurt quite badly, she couldn't even serve properly.


Victoria Azarenka explained the mis-understanding in an interview with the press 15 minutes after the match. She said she didn't understand that when she was asked about having difficulties at the end of the second set, that the word "difficulties" was being used to substitute "injuries" and therefore she explained why she had difficulties closing the match instead of why she needed injury time.