Top spinning

Is Victoria Azarenka the star women's tennis craves? Or just the top-ranked player?

Updated: June 1, 2012, 10:25 AM ET
By Shaun Assael | ESPN The Magazine

THE MADRID OPEN media center is nearly empty when Victoria Azarenka walks in for her pre-tournament appearance. The pack of reporters who mobbed Maria Sharapova has left. The others who encircled Caroline Wozniacki are gone. Just one lone local reporter remains to hear from the world's top-ranked women's tennis player.

Azarenka looks out over the empty seats as if they're all filled. It's a trick she acquired on the court to ward off unproductive thoughts. Visualize ...

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