Victoria Azarenka has admitted that her chief goal in life is to be a good mom to her son Leo – but that does not mean she is ready to give up joining an elite club of players who have become Grand Slam champions after stepping into motherhood.
Azarenka has made steady progress back up to WTA World No.51 after maternity leave and the two-time Australian Open winner is aiming to complete a hat-trick in 2019.
If she were to do so, she would become just the fourth mother to win a Grand Slam title in the Open era, joining a club that contains only Margaret Court, Evonne Goolagong and Kim Clijsters.
“I don't know if it will happen in a couple of weeks or whenever but that's definitely my goal and it will mean a lot to me,” she told AAP.
“I've worked really hard to prepare for this year. I’m excited and I’m very motivated.”
She feels that she will be better able to juggle family and working life than she was when she returned to action in March 2018.
“Being a mum is my No.1 priority,” she said. “Being a tennis player is my work, which is also a very high priority, but I've had this year to kind of test it out and see how I can learn a lot more how can balance my own time and spend time with my son.
“So it's been really good - happy to have had this year so I'm a lot more prepared now. I'm feeling good.”
She is looking forward to taking Leo to Australia after she begins her season at the ASB Classic in Auckland.
“He's a good traveller; he likes to travel, so I'm sure he'll love all the cities and the Australian Open,” the 29-year-old added.
“I'll definitely take him to the zoo so he can see all the cool animals you guys have, so it's going to be fun.
“I'm very excited going to Australia because I haven't been there for a while and it's one of my favourite places in the world and I absolutely love the Australian Open and all the tournaments over the Australian summer.
“I'm always looking forward to it.”