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Sports Then and Now



Queen Victoria Azarenka: The New Novak Djokovic of the Women’s Tour? 11

Posted on February 01, 2012 by JA Allen

Victoria Azarenka won the 2012 Australian Open for the first time.

Evidently, Victoria Azarenka finally got tired of waiting for her moment in the sun.

The new world No. 1 decided to take matters into her own hand in Melbourne—defeating both Kim Clijsters and Maria Sharapova consecutively to take the 2012 Australian Open crown.

Both her semifinal and final opponents had previously won the title “down under.” In fact, Clijsters was the defending Australian Open champion.  Sharapova had won the title in 2008.

Azarenka’s win harkens back to the sudden rise of  Novak Djokovic starting with the 2011 Australian Open when the No. 3 ranked Serb defeated No. 2 Roger Federer in the semifinals. Djokovic advanced to the finals where he defeated world No. 4 Andy Murray, claiming his second Australian Open title.

Djokovic had won his first Aussie Open back in 2008, again dismissing Federer in the semis. But after that lone slam victory three years ago—many feared the Serb would simply be another one-slam wonder.

Following his win at the 2011 Australian Open, Djokovic, of course, went on to win his next 43 matches, eventually losing in the semifinals of the 2012 French Open to Roger Federer. It took Djokovic until Wimbledon to overtake Rafael Nadal for the No. 1 ranking.

The Serb’s ascension marked the beginning of the Djokovic Era in men’s tennis and many predict the same sort of fortune for the newly crowned world No. 1 in women’s tennis.

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  • Vintage Athlete of the Month

    • Larry “The Zonk” Csonka
      January 29, 2022 | 4:43 pm
      Larry Csonka

      The Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Month was the leader of a running attack that was the cornerstone of two Super Bowl Championship teams, including the only undefeated squad in NFL history.

      With his distinctive headgear and a body suited for punishing contact, Larry Csonka looked the part of a fullback and for 11 NFL seasons delivered and took regular punishment on his way to the Hall of Fame.

      Following in the great tradition of Jim Brown, Ernie Davis, Jim Nance and Floyd Little, Csonka earned All-American honors at Syracuse while rushing for 2,934 yards.  He began earning a name for himself as the Most Valuable Player of the East–West Shrine Game, the Hula Bowl, and the College All-Star Game.

      Read more »

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