Azarenka reveals love for Manning after Broncos reach Super Bowl


Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos were the talk of Melbourne Park, at least for two-time Australian Open champion Victoria Azarenka.

Azarenka beat Barbora Strycova 6-2 6-4 on Monday to seal a quarter-final spot, just hours after five-time MVP quarterback Manning led the Broncos to Super Bowl 50 with victory over the New England Patriots.

The Belarusian could not get off the court quick enough, immediately asking television reporters if the Broncos had beaten the New England Patriots during her on-court interview in Melbourne before the focus switched back to tennis.

Azarenka's news conference was then dominated by American football, with the 26-year-old revealing the reason behind her love for the Broncos.

"I'm a fan of Peyton Manning, so when he started playing there I just have so much respect for him," Azarenka said.

"He's my Hawaiian family friend, so there is a connection there.

"I was emotional the whole morning about [the game].

"I turned on the TV while I was having breakfast and I just couldn't look over there. I'm a huge sports fan, so when I'm a fan of somebody, I'm a die hard. I'll get nervous. I get emotional. I understand all that, because it's something that when I play, I'm in control.

"I'm in control of my body, of my emotions. That's all on me. When it's somebody else doing it and I have absolutely no control, I go loco. I will scream."

Manning's Broncos will face Cam Newton's Carolina Panthers at Levi's Stadium on February 7.

But do not expect Azarenka to take sides, with the Belarusian and Newton sharing the same agent and celebration - the 'dab'.

"I'm sitting this one out. Let the best team win. This was my dream final, to be honest, and so I can't wait to actually see them both," she added.

"I think it's Cam's dream, you know, and Peyton, you know, so deep in his career it's definitely a dream again.

"It's going to be awesome."