Azarenka plans to party with Redfoo after final
- Article by: JOCELYN GECKER
- Associated Press
- January 26, 2013 - 11:22 AM
MELBOURNE, Australia - Victoria Azarenka plans to celebrate with her rap star friend Redfoo after a dramatic Australian Open.
Azarenka was joined by Party Rock Crew, as Redfoo's group is known, after the winning the title against Li Na on Saturday.
The LMFAO frontman known for his wild hair and wilder music has been a colorful addition to this year's Australian Open, where he was a regular fixture in Azarenka's front-row seats. During her final, his leopard-print jacket was visible from the upper decks.
"It's a dream come true," Redfoo told an Australian TV station, referring to Azarenka's win. "I came out here to support her, and I'm just so happy."
The interviewer seemed more interested in getting the pair to talk about their relationship, which made the 23-year-old Azarenka turn bright red.
In one attempt to change the subject, Redfoo said that he and Azarenka share a love for music.
"She's actually very into music, she has a piano now on the road. In the off-season she might be my pianist," Redfoo said of the world's No. 1 player.
The interaction was a light moment after a heavy match.
Azarenka beat China's Li 4-6, 6-4, 6-3, overcoming a hostile crowd to win her second back-to-back Australian Open title.
Li twisted her ankle twice, needed two medical timeouts and hit her head on the hard court. When twisted her ankle the second time and fell, Li said she blacked out for a couple of seconds. That happened early in the third set after a 10-minute break for Australia day fireworks.
When Li sent the last point long, Azarenka dropped her racket and began to sob. During the trophy ceremony she thanked her coach and the Party Rock Crew.
By the end of the ceremony Azarenka was all smiles, and the interviewer asked how she planned to celebrate.
"We party," Azarenka said.
Redfoo added: "We bring out the bottles" — a subtle plug for his upcoming new single called "Keep Calm and Bring Out the Bottles."
FRENCH OPEN, HERE SHE COMES: Li Na might have lost the Australian Open, but she'll always have Paris.
In a remarkably upbeat mood despite her loss, Li noted that several runners-up in Melbourne have gone on to win the French Open later in the year.
Last year, Maria Sharapova also lost to Azarenka and went on to win at Roland Garros.
The same thing happened to her, too.
In 2011, Li made an historic run to the Australian Open final but failed to deliver China its first Grand Slam trophy — until a few months later at the French Open.
In 2008, Ana Ivanovic lost the Australian final before winning the French Open.
"I don't know," Li said. "I hope I can do the same this year."
FLASHBACK TO CHINA: Li Na joked that it seemed like the China Open with all the Chinese chants and red flags waving in Melbourne.
Chinese fans poured into Rod Laver Arena for the match and cheered Li on with shouts of "Jai You Li Na" — or Let's Go Li Na!
Li said she felt lifted by the support.
"I (could) hear a lot of Chinese fans," she said.
So could the chair umpire, who had to ask for silence as some exuberant fans cheered in the middle of points.
"Also, I (could) see them with the China national flag everywhere," she said, with a big smile. "I was like, `Oh! It looks like the China Open.'"
It was a change from 2011, when Li admitted she struggled to deal with how some fans cheered during her final.
Li's success at the Australian Open in the past few years has likely increased the number of Chinese fans at the season's first major and helped the growth of the sport in China.
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