Azarenka reaches 4th round at Australian Open

Updated: 20 January 2012 11:35 IST

High-decibel world number three Victoria Azarenka Friday shrugged off crowd mockery of her distinctive screaming as she powered into the Australian Open's fourth round.

Azarenka reaches 4th round at Australian Open
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Melbourne:

High-decibel world number three Victoria Azarenka Friday shrugged off crowd mockery of her distinctive screaming as she powered into the Australian Open's fourth round.

Azarenka, who beat Germany's Mona Barthel 6-2, 6-4, was cheekily mimicked by sections of the crowd at Melbourne Park during her earlier win over Australia's Casey Dellacqua.

The 22-year-old Belarusian has one of the loudest screams on the women's tour, often lasting from when she hits the ball until it lands on the other side of the net.

But Azarenka insisted she was prepared for the taunting and said it hadn't caused her any distress.

"I have no problem with that at all actually, I knew it was going to happen," she said. "They wanted her to win bad. It's fine with me, doesn't really bother me.

"I respect the crowd. Whatever they do, I try to just be focused on my game, and that's it."

While the crowd saved their taunts on Friday, Azarenka prompted some boos when she lost her cool against Barthel after two contentious line calls went against her on match point.

Azarenka had no Hawk-Eye challenges left after three earlier unsuccessful appeals, but after winning the match she turned and glared at the line official before walking to the net.

She conceded that she may have overreacted when she became angry with the official. But Azarenka said she had worked hard on controlling her temper.

"I'm a very emotional player. If you ever watched my matches, you know I try to control my bad emotions, but that wasn't the case really today," she said.

"The beginning of last year I think it was the last time (she lost control), breaking racquets, having that almost crying face on the court as a lot of players do."

Although winning in straight sets, Azarenka never had it her own way against Barthel, who won her maiden WTA title as a qualifer in Hobart last week after beating the top two seeds along the way.

It took the 22-year-old Belarusian five match points to eventually subdue the world number 44.

Azarenka, who is unbeaten in 2012 after winning the Sydney International last week, will now take on Czech player Iveta Benesova, a 6-1, 6-3 winner over Russian qualifier Nina Bratchikova.

She remains in the running to finish the Australian Open as the world number one, along with Caroline Wozniacki, Petra Kvitova and Maria Sharapova.

Topics : Tennis Australian Open 2012 Victoria Azarenka
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