For Tennis and Family

Reading Victoria Azarenka’s open letter was particularly heart wrenching. Her words came from a very deep and hurt place. They let us into her heart and really humanized one of Tennis’s biggest stars.

I’ve talked with people who Marvel at the top tennis player’s lifestyle. They fly to different countries throughout the year, staying in choice hotels, competing, winning, and getting paid handsomely. What’s not to like, right?

However, every tennis player will tell you that living the dream takes an enormous amount of personal sacrifice that can only be made easier – perhaps even possible – with the support of family. When the camera shifts to a player’s box and you see Roger Federer’s two sets of twins, the Williams sisters’ parents, Li Na’s husband, or Kim Clijsters’ daughter, it is easy to think “this lifestyle is pretty normal for them.” It is anything but.

The sad challenge Victoria Azarenka is facing, shows how things can quickly go south when there is a major domestic disruption in a tennis player’s life. Things are made much worse because Azarenka is the mother of the infant. An infant that needs his mother in more ways than many non-fathers can appreciate. With the father currently unwilling to cede custody for the duration of the slam, the support Azarenka needs to focus on her game is gone.

I do hope Azarenka can resolve her differences with her son’s father, and return to playing the game she loves. Her plight puts into perspective just how important that player’s box is. She said nobody should ever have to chose between career and child. No one should have to choose between career and family, period.

Wishing Victoria Azarenka and her son, all the best.

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