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Victoria Azarenka impressed with Ashleigh Barty

Azarenka praises Barty
© PA Photos
Victoria Azarenka says that she is impressed with the performance of Australian teenager Ashleigh Barty.

World number one Victoria Azarenka believes that 16-year-old Ashleigh Barty is a future star in tennis.

The Australian teenager reached the Australian Open women's doubles final with compatriot Casey Dellacqua last week.

"There are a few names," Azarenka told reporters when asked about promising young players in the sport. "When I come to a tournament, I see a few new names like Ashleigh Barty.

"She has a really, really pretty game. I really enjoy watching her. There a lot of young girls. Take Sloane [Stephens] for example. I think she's an incredible person.

"I remember when she was 16 years old. She came in and we practised together and the amount of work she has done, it's incredible."

Azarenka also mentioned a few other young players she has been impressed with.

"Jamie Hampton, I was really surprised with her game," said the 23-year-old. "She has a really good future and she has a great attitude so we'll see her.

"The British girls - Laura [Robson]. She's a terrific player, [Heather] Watson as well.

"I mean, I'm still pretty young. I'm just 23. But it seems compared to a 16-year-old girl, I'm like a grandma."

Azarenka successfully defended her Australian Open title in Melbourne on Saturday.

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Novak Djokovic poses with the trophy after defeating Andy Murray in the men's final at the Australian Open on January 27, 2013
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