World No. 2 Victoria Azarenka has made some significant changes to her team following her dissapointing conclusion to 2013. The Belarusian struggled with her conditioning on court late in the year, losing in the opening rounds in Tokyo and Beijing before concluding her season with a first round exit from the WTA championships in Istanbul. To address this, she has hired a new fitness trainer, Christa Pryor, and two new physiotherapists: Stephanie Turpin, who is with her this week at the Brisbane International, and Fabrice Gautier, who will begin at the Australian Open.
“Because of a few things that happened last year I did have a different pre-season,” Azarenka said. “I changed my team a little bit. So that makes me feel a little bit more happy with what I’ve done. In the end of the season when you’re not very well‑prepared, these things come up. I felt like I wasn’t really prepared back then. You learn from your mistakes, mistakes or experience, and you just try to get better.”
Azarenka blamed herself for not focusing enough attention on her conditioning after the US Open and later promised that she would be making changes to her team ahead of her 2014 season. Now that she had hired a new team for her physical preparation, it will be interesting to see what kind of impact that has on her early on.
“That’s what’s exciting for a new challenge, for a new year, to see what can you do better. You will always have it a little bit different with a different trainer. I’m really happy with my team right now. I have a lot of girls on my team, which is awesome. We have great energy.”