Melbourne - Victoria Azarenka revealed
herself as a huge NFL fan on Monday, saying she was nervous and emotional about
the Denver Broncos' showdown with New England Patriots.
The former world number one said she loved
how strategic the sport could be and was a diehard Broncos fan, especially
The age-defying Manning defeated Tom Brady
in the NFL's epic quarterback rivalry to send the Broncos into Super Bowl 50 on
Sunday with a defence-dominated 20-18 victory over the reigning champion
It set up a championship showdown against
the Carolina Panthers.
Azarenka she found it hard to watch the
game as she prepared for a fourth-round clash against Barbora Strycova at the
Australian Open, which she won.
"I was emotional the whole morning
about it. I turned on the TV while I was having breakfast and I just couldn't
look over there because - you know, 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
She asked immediately after her win over
Strycova whether the Broncos had gone through - and was ecstatic when she heard
"I'm a fan of Peyton Manning, so when
he started playing there I just have so much respect for him," she said.
"You know, spending quite a bit of
time in the States, it's such a big sport in the States. You can't miss it.
Like you go to the bar and it's always showing, baseball or football.
"I like to get into it. I think once I
started to understand American football more, it showed so much how strategic
the game is and that has fascinated me."