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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

    • Drew Pearson: Mr. Clutch
      August 7, 2021 | 6:59 pm

      Drew Pearson

      The Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Month is a former NFL wide receiver know as “Mr. Clutch” for his penchant for making big receptions at crucial moments of the game. After waiting for more than 30 years, he is finally earning his rightful place in the Pro Football Hall of Fame as a member of the 2021 Hall of Fame Class.

      During his decade with the Dallas Cowboys, Drew Pearson had a habit of making the big catch at the right moment to help the Cowboys time and again snatch victory from the jaws of defeat.

      The favorite target of Hall of Fame quarterback Roger Staubach, Pearson was widely recognized as one of the great receivers of his era. Though at the time of his retirement many expected Pearson to easily breeze into the Hall of Fame, his enshrinement was derailed by changes to the game which artificially inflated receiver stats and made the numbers he produced during a time when wide receivers weren’t catching 100 passes a season seem inferior.

      Read more »

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