Q. Everything seemed to work fairly well out there, despite the shots that just come from nowhere?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: Yeah, I think it was a pretty solid match. It wasn't enough from me a little bit. There was a little bit‑‑ you know, few errors by little in important moments.
But Serena played a great match. She was better today in the important moments, and she took her chance.
Q. Do you learn something each time you play her?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: Definitely. I think every match has their own character every time we play. I think the dynamic was pretty even today.
It was just, as I said, she was definitely sharper on the key moments.
Q. I know every match is different, but seems like a few of the matches you've played, Cincinnati and the US Open finals, takes you some time to find your range. Is that sort of the rhythm of playing a player like Serena, that it takes an hour to figure out what's working and hit your own stride perfectly?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: I don't know. I think it's been different matches. Sometimes it was very quick, like 3‑Love in the first set for her. It's very different dynamic.
As I said, I think it was more solid today. It was just a matter of those really key moments to go for it. I felt like in the second set I was going for it more. I just mishit a little bit.
Q. I guess one of the keys against her was your serve and her serve. She's obviously got one of the greatest of all time. It's hard to break her. She puts pressure on you to hold consistently, which isn't easy either, no?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: It's never easy. It's not a secret. But I think I was able to break her today. I had chances to do that again I think to close out the set.
But of course she has very powerful serve. Important to also keep this leadership on your service games, but I think I did better job today. But it wasn't enough. I need to do better.
Q. Are you the type of player you just finish a match and you want to go back out and play a bit more because you think you're getting close?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: I'm a perfectionist. I want to play better. I want to win. I can't say I'm satisfied today, but I want to take the positive, what I've done today, and build from here towards the next week.
This is the first week where you really test yourself where your game is at, and from here you can take the positives and the things that you have to work on and really go after that.
Q. Does it have any affect on your confidence so close to a Grand Slam?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: I don't like the word "confidence." To me it doesn't exist. It's a matter of going out there and giving your 100% every day. Because no matter how confident you are, if you don't focus, if you don't give 100% on every point, you're not going to win.
Q. How would you grade your level this week? I don't mean confidence or mental, just technically. How do you really feel like you played from the beginning all the way through today?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: I think every watch was improvement. Definitely I had very different opponents, and the matter of adaptation to those opponents was the key this week.
Because after practicing for a while you really need to see what you can do in competition, in the match, and what you need to work on. I think from every match I was playing better and better.
Today I played better than I think I played yesterday. Of course I had different opponent. The import is to kind of try to reach higher, higher every day.
But playing first week at this level, it's not bad.
Q. First tournament of the season. How are the joints?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: I cannot say that, okay, I feel great after playing four days in a row and pretty tough matches.
But I'm feeling good. I feel strong. I feel physically fine. So I'm ready.
Q. What are you expecting going into Melbourne? Defending champion is a new experience for you. Last year you seemed to handle it pretty well. What's it's like going back to that slam that's obviously been good for you?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: You know, I haven't thought about it too much yet, but I never look forward to‑‑ I never look at the tournament to defend something.
I always want to win another title, because that helps me to focus better on what I want to achieve.
Going back, I have great memories. I know it's going to be a long road. It's going to be a tough tournament, as usual. We have such high level of competition starting from the first round.
So the important is just to take it one day at a time.
Q. Are you a superstitious person? Do you try to do the same things heading to Melbourne as you did last year and the year before?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: No. I just stay in same place because I like the place. But superstitions, I don't think that exists.
Q. Is she the one player on tour you pretty much cannot afford any dips in level? I mean Serena. More than like a game or a few points?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: I think she gives you less chances, definitely. But I can never underestimate any other opponents. The matter is to be focused on yourself than your opponent. I think that's the better view from your game.
Q. Do you have one strongest memory from the Australian Open that stands out above the rest?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: Oh, there are so many. Like probably still my best moment is just the first time I actually came to Australia when I was a junior. I was so happy to be there. When I won the Australian Open‑‑ they had kangaroo before, you know, and I told my coach, I was like, I want that kangaroo. He's like, Well, you got to win the tournament to get the kangaroo.
I was like, I want it right now. Well, you got to work for it. I think that really motivated me. I was so happy when I got that kangaroo.
Q. Do you expect to be meeting Serena in the final of Australian Open?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: I never expect anything, but I hope so.