Azarenka happy to ignore high expectations


Victoria Azarenka is not concerning herself with the media hype surrounding her chances at this year's Australian Open.

The Belarusian, champion at Melbourne Park in 2012 and 2013, comes into this edition of the tournament on the back of success at the Brisbane International last week.

Azarenka saw off Angelique Kerber in straight sets to claim her first WTA title since August 2013, and many are tipping the world number 16 to provide a stern challenge at the first grand slam of 2016.

"It's always the same story, you guys [the media] need to write that and hype everybody up," she said at a news conference on Saturday.

"I'm not saying it in a bad way but for me it's a little bit irrelevant.

"I'm not that much aware about it because I try to read other articles. It's quite normal when someone's had success going into it.

"I still have to go out there and play and prove myself and make sure I'm prepared as best I can.

"I'm feeling good, feeling excited, I've had a good week of practice. It definitely helps to come here early and get used to new conditions."

Azarenka begins her quest for a third Australian Open title with a first-round clash against Alison Van Uytvanck.