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At the recently concluded Aussie Open, both defending champions came back with their titles, proving to the competition just why they are the gold standard in their respective sections. While the two played unbelievable tennis, former World No.1 and Grand Slam champion Anastasia Myskina believes that both the players are susceptible to one thing or another. In an recent interview, the Russian spoke at length about both Novak Djokovic and Victoria Azarenka, and what helped them in retaining their titles.
Speaking about Djokovic first, Myskina believes that Novak is probably toughest mentally, and is the most difficult to beat. The Russian does however believe that if there is one player who can beat the Serb, it is Roger Federer.
“Djokovic likes to play in Australia. He feels comfortable in every respect.Besides, he didn't face Roger Federer, and this might have made a difference. I think Roger is currently the only one who can beat Novak. He knows him very well and his mental game is stronger. Then, in the final against Andy Murray, Djokovic was fitter, he moved better, he was faster,” Myskina said.
On the other hand, she believes that Victoria Azarenka’s triumph at the event was her toughest win yet.
“Azarenka knew she needed to win the Australian Open to remain world number one. And that's what she was really bothered about. She wanted to prove she deserved top spot in the rankings. So she gave her all in Melbourne. I think she produced one of her best ever performances,” believes Myskina.
The Russian believes that Azarenka is one player who can stick to her strategy, and can adapt very well to her opponents game.
“Azarenka is powerful and very patient. She knows the best moment to turn her power on. She plays wide using different angles, all the space of the court. That's what gives her an edge,” Myskina explains.
Anastasia also spoke about the latest American teenage sensation Sloane Stephens, who beat her idol Serena in a brilliant display of intense tennis.
“Stephens moves well and hits hard. And she can read her opponents. But she's not good at offensive play, yet. She needs to create more opportunities. If she improves this aspect, she'll be very hard to beat,” Myskina admitted.
“As for Serena, she claims most of her wins by means of power and strength. But when she's not at her full capacity or injured, like against Stephens, she can be outplayed, because she loses her main asset – power.”
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