Victoria Azarenka: The Humble Recordholder
Published November 30, 2012 12:00
LINZ, Austria - It was a banner year for prize money earnings on the WTA, with the first two $7 million-plus seasons in the history of the game. But for Victoria Azarenka, who now has the all-time single season prize money record with $7,923,920, life is still in perspective, as she described in Linz last month.
"Money is important because without money you cannot buy anything in this world, and you cannot really eat without money - but money will not make you happy," Azarenka commented. "For me the most important thing is to have my close people around me, like my family. Money is something that will make life easier, but it's not something that will make you happy like people can.
"My family had a tough life before I started earning a lot of money. We know how to live without money. My parents did the best they could to raise me well and I appreciate it. I had a passion for this sport, and the rest came with it."
Azarenka also talked about the difference between her attitude on and off the court. "On the court I'm a tennis player and off the court I'm just a regular person - I think that's how it's supposed to be. It's not like I have different personalities though - I just take my job really seriously. I feel good on the court - I'm focused and intense, and that makes me play my best. But off the court I'm much more relaxed. I like to have fun, I like to joke around, I like to be a regular person."
Before this year, never before had more than one player earned more than $5 million in a single season - this year three players achieved the feat, and they were three of the four highest single season earnings of all time:
ALL $5 MILLION-PLUS SEASONS IN WTA HISTORY
1. $7,923,920 - Victoria Azarenka (2012)
2. $7,045,975 - Serena Williams (2012)
3. $6,545,586 - Serena Williams (2009)
4. $6,508,296 - Maria Sharapova (2012)
5. $5,429,586 - Justine Henin (2007)
6. $5,145,943 - Petra Kvitova (2011)
7. $5,035,060 - Kim Clijsters (2010)