Victoria Azarenka is known for her cool and composed demeanour on the tennis court, but the two-time Australian Open champion says she turns into a loud and obnoxious “football mom” on the sidelines of her son Leo’s games.
A Paris St Germain fan since ex-England midfielder David Beckham briefly played for the French club a decade ago, Azarenka said her affiliation has rubbed off on six-year-old Leo, and both of them often wear matching PSG shirts.
“Leo is extremely into football now. I call it football, he calls it soccer - we have this debate,” Azarenka told reporters after downing another former champion, American Sofia Kenin, in straight sets to move into the second round of this season’s Grand Slam opener.
“He wants to play in Paris St Germain, that’s his dream. I’m a soccer mom now and I love that. I’m obnoxious, like absolutely the most obnoxious.
“It’s a completely different emotion for me to support my son. I have no shame in screaming for him, like zero. But I’m very supportive. I want him to do well, I want him to achieve his dreams.”
Azarenka, who won the Australian Open in 2012 and 2013, had a year-long maternity break in 2016-17, while a split with her partner and a custody battle over Leo was not settled until 2018.
Leo travels with Azarenka on Tour, and he stole the show in one post-match news conference in Melbourne last year when he sat on her lap and answered questions about her performance.
“It’s been quite an experience for me just to go to his games, for example,” Azarenka added.
“I actually even asked him, ‘Leo, do you like when mommy supports you?’ He goes, ‘Yeah, I love it, mom’. “’Am I not too loud?’ He goes, ‘Well, sometimes, but it’s okay, I like it.’ So it’s a wholesome moment for me.”
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