Azarenka: What I learned from my Super Bowl 50 experience

Friday February 19th, 2016

From the Players' Box is a series on SI.com which gives you a front row seat to all of the action in a professional tennis player's life—from training, to traveling and more—straight from a player's point of view. Each month, From the Players' Box with Victoria Azarenka will give the 26-year-old Belarusian a platform to discuss issues on Tour, practices, her life off of the court and more.


On Feb. 7, I had the most amazing experience attending the NFL’s Super Bowl 50 in Santa Clara, Calif., and it ultimately turned out to be a phenomenal learning experience for me. I watched every move the athletes made, both before and during the game. My observation in short: During the warm-up, there was such a different dynamic at the opposite ends of the field. On one side, the Denver Broncos seemed locked in and ready while on the other end, the Carolina Panthers appeared to be hyped and relaxed, but something told me they really were tight and extremely nervous.

As the game began, the Broncos stayed consistent with my pre-game analysis—they were ready for whatever came their way—but the Panthers’ lack of experience during the challenging moments on the big stage began to show. Even though their talent wasn’t destroyed, their weaker emotions were exposed.

Mark Kolbe/Getty Images
The SI Extra Newsletter Get the best of Sports Illustrated delivered right to your inbox

What an incredible chance to watch @broncos win!!! Amazing experience 🏈🏆 #sb50

A post shared by Victoria Azarenka (@vichka35) on

Tennis
From the Players' Box with Victoria Azarenka: My offseason training
SAEED KHAN/AFP/Getty Images

This step was vital for me—I put myself in someone else’s shoes and really tried to understand the reason for their actions and their personal situation. Most importantly, I learned to forgive emotional mistakes.

SI Apps
We've Got Apps Too
Get expert analysis, unrivaled access, and the award-winning storytelling only SI can provide - from Peter King, Tom Verducci, Lee Jenkins, Seth Davis, and more - delivered straight to you, along with up-to-the-minute news and live scores.