Former World No.1 Victoria Azarenka caught up with Tennis Channel ahead of giving birth to her first child, and updates fans on her life and plans to return to tennis.
WTA Staff

Victoria Azarenka was the story of 2016's first quarter. The two-time major champion and former World No.1 rocketed back up the rankings after several seasons of injuries and inconsistencies, winning three titles and becoming the first woman in over a decade to capture the elusive Indian Wells-Miami "Sunshine" Double.

By spring, however, the Belarusian was gone from the game, announcing that she would end her season due to a pregnancy. Azarenka has since been busy preparing for the birth of her first child, but nonetheless granted an interview with Tennis Channel to update fans on her life today.

"My pregnancy's been a completely different experience from anything I've done before," she says. "In theory, you know the process, but to actually go through it, you truly start to deeply understand the magic of it. It's been quite a ride, I have to say.

"Tennis is my career, but there's a different part of life. This was a blessing, a gift from God. I believe I still have a great opportunity to do what I love, as long as I love playing tennis. I do, and this is an opportunity to realize how much I love what I do."

Azarenka has dedicated her time off to her studies, but has still found time to exercise, playing tennis up to the last six weeks of her pregnancy.

"I'm doing a lot of activities I didn't have time to do before; being at home and sleeping in my own bed is really a luxury for a traveling athlete.

"I miss the fans. I miss that moment when you go on the court and it's a go time. As a competitor, I have to find that edge in life. I've been able to translate that into my studies for now, but that competitive edge is definitely something I'm missing."

Addressing the question of a comeback, she gave fans reason to be optimistic that she'll be back on the court sooner, rather than later.

"I don't feel I'm missing out on someting I won't be able to do again. For me, it's about getting to where I want to be and be back there again. That's my ultimate goal.

"I don't put any time frame on myself. I would love to make it as soon as possible, but give myself a reasonable time to fully recover and be ready. I'm not going to rush anything, and it's hard to tell before the birth actually happens. So, we'll see, but I'm confident that I'll be able to play tennis again pretty soon."

Check out the whole video courtesy of Tennis Channel below: