Tennis Champion Victoria Azarenka feels Pregnancy Made Her ‘Much Stronger’
Former world number one and grand slam winner, Victoria Azarenka is all set to rock the upcoming French Open. She recently spoke to BBC sharing her side of the story on pregnancy and parenting. Know more about Azarenka’s empowering story here.
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Victoria Azarenka Speaks About Parenting and Pregnancy. Shares insight on how it changed her life
Speaking to the BBC, tennis player Victoria shared how embracing motherhood was empowering for her career. She did not feel the same way initially. But things changed following the birth of her son in 2017. According to her, she felt as if her body “finally matured into being a woman,” as she returned the tennis court with renewed vitality.
“I’m sure a lot of women won’t be able to relate to me but I felt so much better after [pregnancy],” she said, adding that she felt physically ‘much stronger’ and her body became ‘so much better.” Victoria will be recently seen playing the French Open.
The former world champion- Victoria Azarenka was worried when she learned of her first pregnancy back in 2016. At the peak of her career, the champion tennis player thought embracing motherhood would be the crash of her profession. She felt “I would never play tennis again.” Only to her pleasant surprise, the mother and player returned the court more revitalized than ever.
Back in 2016, the player reportedly had to cut her season short, and while announcing the pregnancy via social media she felt like “ripping off a band-aid.” Victoria told, speaking to the BBC- “It wasn’t easy,” and she was scared.
Azarenka, who has now reached the quarter-finals last month in Stuttgart even mentioned how she broke down while talking to her mother over the phone. She was afraid that she might not be able to play professional tennis anymore. But she later went on to realize that pregnancy and motherhood, in fact, made her life better. She said-
“I knew I was going to come back, but my first initial thought was ‘oh my god, I’m never going to play tennis again.
“I felt it was a blessing, but I still wanted to have my own dreams and my own career.”Victoria Azarenka via bbc.com
“We have the power to change the rules and we have done”
Similar to Victoria’s case, vegan tennis champion Serena William too gave birth to her daughter in 2017. Since then, there have been changes in policy as of how the tennis fraternity handles maternity and leaves. Players like Serena, Victoria, and Venus Williams among others (members of WTA Player’s Council) are proponents of a movement that successfully campaigned for more robust ranking protections of female players so that upon return from leave they don’t have to face the challenges.
The previous rules have had the players play eight tournaments within one year using a special ranking. The same has now been amended as of 2019, with 12 tournaments to be played over a three-year timeframe, using their former rankings for players who are returning from injury or childbirth. The Belarusian player said-
“I think that is what I want my legacy to be, that I’m fighting for women to be more comfortable, to break those stereotypes and move the needle a little forward.
“We have the power to change the rules and we have done.
“That evolution is going to continue to break boundaries and the illusion of women in sport.”Victoria Azarenka via bbc.com
Motherhood is Empowering
Victoria has proven that nothing can stop women from attaining their dreams. And embracing motherhood is always empowering. A single mother of a two-year-old, Victoria feels that changing priorities is fine. She feels she wants to be by her son’s side ‘every single minute’ of her life. She considers tennis as her job.
More and more changes are coming to the sports arena when it concerns women. The gender dynamics are constantly reconsidered as it is moving towards a much uniform and equal tomorrow. For instance, just recently sports brand Nike revamped their policies concerning female athletes and their payment suspension while pregnant.
We wish all the best to Victoria and Leo. What do you think about Victoria’s empowering story? How did your motherhood empower you? Let me know your thoughts in comments.