The world’s top two of Serena Williams and Victoria Azarenka are showing that they aren’t bitter rivals. After Williams beat Azarenka in the BNP Paribas Showdown at Madison Square Garden, the two goofed around together and even offered they are planning on performing a rendition of the pop star Rihanna’s song “Stay.”
“I’m studying the piano chorus and she’s going to sing,” said Azarenka, who then joked “we thought about maybe performing a live show, maybe in Madison Square Garden.”
Azarenka’s boyfriend, another pop star, Red Foo has been helping her learn to the play the keyboards. Williams owns a karaoke machine at home and is constantly singing, but she has yet to have a go at it in a big public setting.
“I have a lot of practice to do,” Serena said with a laugh.
Azarenka just beat Serena for the first time in almost four year in the final of Doha, which came after Williams had taken her No. 1 ranking and on the heels of the American besting her five times in 2012.
They are not close friends yet, but seem to get along very well.
“It’s definitely not [usual],” said the 31-year-old Williams,. “But I think we really respect each other and I like Victoria as a person. I love how she’s so competitive on the court and even if she’s playing me, she gets so competitive and angry and fights, but at the same time when the match is over it’s done. I like that. A lot of people play me, and only me, tough, but one thing I love about her, she plays everybody tough.”
The Williams of a decade of ago didn’t have a lot of friends on tour, but the younger set of elite players (such as Azarenka and Caroline Wozniacki) look up to her and seem to like her quite a bit on a personal level.
“For us as players it’s also exciting to have someone who challenges you, who excites you to go on the court,” the 23-year-old Azarenka said. “And off the court we’re doing pretty good, too.”