March 9, 2013
INDIAN WELLS, CALIFORNIA
V. AZARENKA/D. Hantuchova 6‑4, 6‑1
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. What was the tape on the back of your left leg? Is that something new, or is that...
VICTORIA AZARENKA: No, it's just to make sure the protection for my ankle that I had before.That's pretty much it.
Q. It feels okay?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: It feels better, yeah.
Q. You won 11 of the last 12 games. Can you explain what happened in the first 5?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: Well, I have to give her credit. I think she started really well. It was my first match after a while, so it's always a little bit tricky.She already had a match under her belt, plus I think she really feels very good here, obviously winning two times before.So caught me a little bit off guard. I needed a little bit of time to realize that I'm in the tournament, that I have to step it up if I want to win the match.That's it. I think I adjusted really well, tried to make her hit out of her comfortable zone, because at the beginning she was really going for her shots and making incredible winners.But then I felt I changed the momentum and started to do that myself.
Q. Why has she been a difficult matchup for you in the past, and what was maybe different with tonight's match?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: You know, the last time I remember I played her, it was the match before ‑‑the match after I wanted to stop playing tennis. That match I don't even think about considering of the matchup. It was just an awful matchup for me.I think she has a very good‑‑ you know, we kind of have similar hitting zones, so when we hit to each other it's a little bit of a battle.But I feel like I improved as a player. I can bring different things instead of just one pace, so made the change, especially today.
Q. Do you play better at places where you have won before? Is that normal for players? Why is that, do you think? Lleyton Hewitt today beat Isner, and he talked about he won here in 2003 and you always remember places where you win.
VICTORIA AZARENKA: Well, you definitely have great memories. It kind of warms up the feeling when you step on the court.I never really look back. As I always mention, I try to go on the court and just do my job. But obviously I played well here, so I don't expect every time to play well here because it will not happen every time.But it's definitely one of the great tournaments, and everybody enjoy to play here. It's just facility, the atmosphere, the fans are bringing the best out of you.
Q. Is it easier to play well at a place where you have played well before because you know you can do it?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: It's the same for me.
Q. It's the same?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: It's the same, yeah.
Q. When did you start to feel like you had those different game plans, plan B and plan C that you talked about just a few moments ago? When did that start developing in your game?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: Over the years. It's a long process where you try to put a lot of new things into your repertoire where you probably weren't comfortable doing before. I feel like I have a big ability to improve my game. It was really straightforward, and I needed to expand that.I did. And I'm still doing, still developing plan D, plan E, and all the way to the end of the alphabet.
Q. It's hard to do that, because it's easier to practice new things in practice and training, but to actually use those in a match is a transition you have to make, no?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: Yeah, it's the most difficult part. But you have to be determined. You have to have the will to go through. Sometimes fail, sometimes mistakes. You have to take‑‑ be brave enough to go through those things.Because if you have a plan, if you know and you trust your team, you trust your plan of what you want to do, what you want to achieve, then it makes it easier.
Q. So what's the newest thing in your game right now that you have added that maybe you're the least comfortable with?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: New thing?
Q. What's the newest thing you have added to your game?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: Well, it's not like I have a new forehand or something. It's just ability to use the whole range of court, you know, place the ball, whatever I want to do from any position.So to name one in particular, it's just a matchup. You know, when I see the ball in the court, I want to know exactly where I want to put it.
Q. Does it always go there?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: Unfortunately, not. (Smiling.)Doesn't matter how long I practice.
Q. You trained as a child in Arizona, so do you like these conditions? I mean, the desert, does it remind you of when you came to the States?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: It does a little bit. It feels familiar, really familiar, but I haven't practiced there too much to be that close.But, you know, coming here every year, you feel those resemblings with Arizona. I actually do feel it's still very different from Arizona because it's‑‑ Arizona is a little more altitude, the ball flies more.Here is a little bit smaller with a higher bounce.
Q. When it cools off like it has been these last few days, how does that change the conditions and what was that like playing through those conditions? I hear it slows down quite a bit when it gets cold.
VICTORIA AZARENKA: I think so. The ball probably stays a little bit, you know, lower. But for me, the most important is I don't get cold. That's why I play in all those things. I hate being cold. The problem is with the wind, you know, it's very easy to get cold in the changeover.I'm not worried. I'm just worried not to get, you know, my muscles cold.
Q. Conditions like this we almost expect you to come out in one of those fur hood things.
VICTORIA AZARENKA: No, no, I'm comfortable in what I wear. It's not that much clothes. (Smiling.)