In this week's "What Has She Wrought?" news, upon taking part in a drug test, customary for any WTA athlete, Victoria Azarenka opted to tweet out her appreciation of the tour's anti-doping rules. "It's been a while, well it's part of the job! #fairplay #cleanathlete," she said.
But she wasn't quite done there. The Twitter trolls, as is their wont, came for her with insinuations of a veiled dig at the still-currently-suspended Maria Sharapova in her statement.
"Don't throw subliminal shade again!!" another commenter said, adding, "Just take [care, we assume] of that random kid you had..." The affront to Azarenka as a woman and mother was not lost on her, as seen above, nor to her scads and oodles of fans worldwide.
Not everything is about Maria. I'm just talking about my favorite sport to have a good reputation because I love tennis. https://t.co/fxHkgQBPq9— victoria azarenka (@vika7) March 14, 2017
Even some Azarenka fans noted to her what they read between the lines in her posts, though, to be sure, she received a flood of all-out support in her mentions as well.
I wasn't as I mentioned in a tweet before. And if you are fan be nice. Have a great day and enjoy tennis https://t.co/FK6sABy1kx— victoria azarenka (@vika7) March 15, 2017
@vika7 .. championships. Look I'm actually a massive fan of yours as well.. just looked like you were throwing shade for no reason.— Roberto Martinez (@Roberto12612568) March 15, 2017
It stands to reason that Azarenka, a heady person, would have been cognizant of the impending perceptions when she published her original post in the series. The hashtags she used therein were quite likely what catalyzed the responses she received, and opining in the marketplace of ideas (however half-baked at times) that is Twitter will periodically get one burned.
No, not everything is about Maria. Yes, it's easy to believe that Azarenka loves tennis. No, it's not hard to think that this was more than a two-time major singles champ "just talking about [her] favorite sport." It's the repeated quote-tweeting after the fact that might incline one to think that, well, the lady doth protest too much.
"Have a great day and enjoy tennis," Azarenka said in conclusion, after quoting a few tweeters. Now that is a statement around which we can all rally—not that the Mean Tweets will ever stop coming in, for her, for all players, for anyone.
Follow Jon on Twitter at @jonscott9.