Azarenka could have lied, she could have pretty much said anything she wanted after the match about the MTO. I liked that she was so candid about it instead. She clearly didn't realize how harshly she would be judged for "over-emotionality". And she did sound genuinely rattled. The good thing about this is that this sucky rule may get re-evaluated because of it. The rule is sucky. Nothing to do with Azarenka personally. I agree with Gilbert that a player should NEVER be allowed an MTO before the opponent's serve. I've seen it tons of times and it's just not right. You should be allowed ONLY before your own serve. That makes a lot of sense to me. I don't understand why it doesn't make sense to the tennis powers . But not Azarenka's fault if something is allowed that in the eyes of many people shouldn't be. And in this particular match, Stephens could almost never hold serve (what was it? Once in each set?), so it really didn't make any difference to what was already the typical pattern. No one on earth could convince me that Stephens would have held her serve if Azarenka had not had a panic attack because she wasn't either before the panic attack but of course, in some cases, it could make a difference. There is a valid point in challenging that rule but no need to scapegoat Vika about it.
And overall, Vika was clearly the dominant player in the match.