Re: News and updates about Victoria Azarenka
USO round 2
Q. Just want to know how did it feel out there today for you?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: It was a good match I think. It was very good and solid beginning of the first set, and good second set. You know, towards the end I felt like I let her play a little bit and she really went for her shots, so I had to adjust a little bit better. Took a little bit longer time. But I'm glad that I closed out the first set. It was important. Really was more dominating in the second.
Q. We always see you coming onto the court with headphones. What are a few of your favorite songs right now?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: There is a lot of remixes that Redfoo does for me actually. So there's not really names of the songs. And he did the remix to Beastie Boys which is incredible, absolutely. Listen to Rhianna always. You know, some other mixes. These two are one of my favorites.
Q. Your Nike shoes, they're shiny under the lights. When do you actually get the shoes in advance of the tournaments, how many weeks in advance?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: Well, I knew about these shoes for a little bit because New York is a special place with the night session. They always want to do something that's going to pop out. And I love that idea when they hits the lights it gives that brightness. It feels like, you know, you're electric with your feet. It gives me that feeling, that energy. And the day shoes, I think they're really funky colors. That's what I love about the shoes. I always have my own shoelaces. That's kind of my trademark. But, yeah, the black shoes are really fun.
Q. How long does it take to break them in when you're playing?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: Well, I go through about four, five pairs during the tournament. I'm pretty used to it. I wear them one for the warmup, one for the match. It's always few pairs that I break in, break a little bit, and play with them.
Q. You had the revelations in Paris about how you're having a great relationship with clay. Talk about your romance with hard courts. Is that more like an old lover who you're familiar with?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: Old lover, huh? Well, that's a good one. I would say is my husband, hard court, my husband more that way if we talk about relationship status because we have been together for a long time, you know, got really comfortable with each other. Yeah, it's my husband.
Q. When it comes down to it in the relationship, who wears the pants, the husband or you?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: Well, I think I'm the one who is doing that, because without me would just be hard court. With me on it, it's Vika on hard court.
Q. Vika, a hard court lover?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: Yeah, hard court lover (laughter).
Q. For recreational tennis players that would like to play like a pro, what are the exercises you do in the gym?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: In the gym, I think you have to be aware of the whole body preparation. Tennis is one of the sports that requires physical ability, like speed, power, reaction to put it all together, changing directions. I think it's important to always work your whole body, your body weight. Core stability is one of the things. I love to do footwork. I love to play basketball. To me, I think it's a similar movement. You change direction for the reaction. You don't know the other person, what he's going to do. It's one of my favorite things. It's really fun.
Q. What is more nerve wracking, back when you were lower ranked coming into slams, or now that you're a top ranked player, having the 'favorite' tag? Does the experience change the feelings?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: Well, for sure. I mean, when you're a junior or you start just coming up, you are just really thinking about just winning a match or something. When you become higher ranked, you're thinking about winning a tournament. Not that before I didn't think about winning a tournament, but you just get different levels of excitement a little bit. But I always feel like I'm playing in the present, one day at a time. I have always been like that. But I think the expectations from yourself, you know, the goals are definitely different now than was before.
Q. Could you say what your grandmother's advice to you was way back when, when she said to get yourself in gear?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: It wasn't that much of like a sentence. It was just that, you know, energy, just few simple words that you just realize, you know, you just want to enjoy your life and not take anything for granted. I just kind of realized, the way she was talking about her life, you know, there was a war and everything, what happened to the world, like real tough situation. We're talking about a tennis match. The perception of it loses really quick for me. So I realized that whatever I do is not the end of the world when you lose a tennis match. It's just something you go through in your job. So that made me realize that this is what I love to do, first of all, and that's what I want to continue to do. To understand how to make it better, I have to give everything every single day.
Q. Kuznetsova said the fact that the Russian grandparents had to go through World War II gave them a toughness. Do you think that's possibly the case?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: I think a little bit, but not too much. I don't think we have that kind of life. I'm sure nobody does. But it's just interesting to learn the history of people, you know, like grandparents, how they lived, what do you have right now. It's that evolution that just sometimes you have to go back and look from a different perspective.
Q. Some players have the routine of eating dinner at the same restaurant every single night, and other players will try different places. Where do you fall in that? What are some of your favorite spots in the city?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: Whole Foods, my favorite spot in the city. It's easy. You can get absolutely everything. But my all time favorite was a Tower Restaurant, Asian cuisine. I can't have any of that now.
Q. If you win the tournament and can splurge, what you would splurge on?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: Chocolate or ice cream.
Q. Do you go to the deli section at Whole Foods?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: Whole Foods is like Disneyland for me. I love it. I just watch, look through all the stuff, all the crackers, all the nuts, whatever, fruits. Just try some things. Also the deli section is very good. It's always fresh, homemade, organic. It's important for me to have good food.
Q. Have you ever been to Russian restaurant, Mari Vanna restaurant?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: Actually, I went with Maria Kirilenko. We had dinner together. It was my first time. The restaurant was really fun. It was interesting to be in that community, Russian community in the States. The food was great.
Q. Do people recognize you in the checkout line at Whole Foods?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: Yeah, sometimes. Yesterday I had a big 'fro. When I took out my braids, it was like that. I don't think anybody would. I couldn't recognize myself.
Q. Next round you're facing Alize. I assume you're expecting a tougher battle.
VICTORIA AZARENKA: I think it's a different match, for sure. Alize is a great player with a lot of experience. She's been top 20 before. It looks like she's improving much better this year. We had a tough match in French Open. I'm really looking forward to play against her. She's a young player. She's the same age. Highly motivated. Yeah, it's going to be a great match.