Victoria Azarenka believes tennis needs to do more to eradicate inappropriate relationships between male coaches and female players.
It’s been an open secret within the sport for years that many such situations occur, and Pam Shriver went public earlier this year by revealing that she dated former trainer Don Candy as a teenager.
France player Fiona Ferro has accused her former coach Pierre Bouteyre of rape and sexual assault, with the case now being the subject of a court hearing.
Azarenka is a member of the WTA Player Council and following her US Open third-round win, the Belarusian said: “It’s a very sensitive issue because you won’t hear these stories unless the players come out and tell these stories. It happens right and left on the tour, which is unfortunate.
“Our job is to protect better. As a players’ council, it’s almost like the number one topic for us. Because we see these vulnerable young ladies being taken advantage of in different situations.
“It’s really sad and makes me really emotional. If I had a daughter, I would have a question, if she would like to play tennis, that would be a very big concern for me in that regard.
“Just the recent story with Fiona Ferro. Sometimes I don’t know how to put it into words. All you can do is check the person and shake your hand, “What can I do? What can I help with?’
“I applaud her for being brave. I hope she emerges stronger from this situation and that tennis isn’t ruined for her because of that. I think that’s a very, very difficult subject. But it is the issue that needs to come out more.”
https://www.independent.co.uk/sport/tennis/victoria-azarenka-french-new-york-b2159283.html Victoria Azarenka says tennis needs to deal with inappropriate coaching relationships