Victoria Azarenka dreams big after crazy win at Australian Open in Melbourne
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A glint of Belarusian steel and the support of her crazy entourage have given Victoria Azarenka hope she can win any Grand Slam title -- and take on her nemesis, the great Serena Williams.
Celebrations were long and noisy for the world number one after her win over Li Na in yesterday's eventful final, when she overcame a hostile crowd and a host of distractions to successfully defend her title.
After a night on the town with her boyfriend, colourful LMFAO musician Redfoo, the world number one had just four hours' sleep before confidently telling media she believes she can "make it happen" at any major.
"Every one," said the tall blonde, 23, when asked which Grand Slam tournament she would most like to win this year.
"I mean, you cannot prefer any because they are so different, so special.
"So it's really, really hard. I don't rate my chances. I just make it happen. I don't rate, I don't look at statistics. I just make it happen."
Last evening started bleakly for Azarenka when, extraordinarily for a Grand Slam final, she was subjected to jeers and occasional boos at Rod Laver Arena, and near-silence when she won important points.
Azarenka had raised suspicions of gamesmanship in her semi-final against Sloane Stephens, when she took a medical timeout after blowing five match points, and then returned and broke for victory.
But after Li fell twice, twisting her ankle and briefly blacking out, and the match was interrupted for fireworks, Azarenka was able to master the distractions and retain her
only Grand Slam title.
Afterwards, as she strode through the stadium corridors with the Daphne Akhurst Memorial Cup, accompanied by the wild-haired Redfoo, she exuded the satisfaction of a woman who had faced her critics, and won.
"It's been a rollercoaster, definitely," she admitted. "I had to go through things. I have my team around me, and they're like my family. They're taking care of me and they're