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post #751 of 1136 (permalink) Old Jan 1st, 2014, 03:31 PM
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Re: News and updates about Victoria Azarenka

^ Thu 02.01.2014 - Not before 7 pm on Pat Rafter Arena

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post #752 of 1136 (permalink) Old Jan 2nd, 2014, 04:40 PM
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Re: News and updates about Victoria Azarenka

Brisbane International 2014
PC after WIN against Casey Dellacqua 6:3 6:1

Q. First match of the year. Any butterflies? Good to get it understand your belt or not really?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: Yeah, it's great to just finally be out there. It was a long wait for the match. I couldn't wait to go out there. I'm so excited to play.
So it was good to be there in front of the crowd and play competitive. That's what I love to do.

Q. Is it hard to wait until Wednesday to play your first match? You have a bye; you got here early.
VICTORIA AZARENKA: I didn't get here early because of Thailand, but I think just I take it as it comes. If I play Wednesday, I play Wednesday.
I just try to adjust and prepare myself for whatever schedule I'm going to have. To think, Oh, should I play earlier or should I play later, it doesn't really matter because I'm not the one who is doing the schedule.
I think it's important just to kind of prepare yourself mentally the best way to go at any time.

Q. You looked pretty animated toward the end of the second set and keen it wrap it up. You were fist pumping.
VICTORIA AZARENKA: Yeah, I'm competitive. I don't think it's something new about me that you never seen me fist pump or pumping myself up. But I was just getting into it.
I think towards the end it's important to just be the same way as you started the match and to keep that pressure, because in the end anybody can come back. They're loose. They have nothing to lose. Actually that's what kind of happened in the last game. Casey went for some amazing shots and that's it.
But I'm glad I wrapped it up after that game.

Q. What happened in the service game where you could have served it out? Did you just sort of lose focus? Was she playing out of her skin for that matter?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: I think I just kind of maybe waited a little bit for her mistake and she obviously went for it. She hit some amazing shots close to the lines. You don't expect to wait for a mistake on this level. You have to go and finish it.
But I felt like I could have been a little bit just more aggressive, just to put a little bit more pressure. I felt I served well, but, you know, during the point could have been a little bit more aggressive.

Q. How important is this week in terms of getting a idea of where your game is at?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: First match I think, you know, you can't look for perfection in the first match because you will always be a little bit rusty and still feel a little bit of hesitation there and there.
Overall, if you look overall, I think it was a good match. I took my chances on the important moments. I did few mistakes, but that's very normal.
But overall I think the game was pretty good. From here you can only start to build up your form.

Q. You talked on court about being emotional. What are those emotions stepping back on court?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: Just happy. Just really happy to be back. Just so motivated and excited just to play tennis.
You know, it's been a while since I felt that way, and I just feel really happy. No matter what it is on the court, I just feel really happy.

Q. Recharged a little bit after Istanbul?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: Yeah, you know, I think as I said back then, it just takes some time to kind of go through the tough moment and realize what you got to work on. I had great off‑season, and I'm just ready to go like I was today, and I'll be for the next full year.

Q. When you come to a tournament like this so close to a Grand Slam, do you watch the matches to get an idea how they're going?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: I actually never really watch matches, women's matches. I don't know why. Actually, there are some matches that are really interesting, and I just don't know why I don't watch.
But I like to watch men's matches. I think it's just because when you're off, you don't want to see or kind of be in the same kind of competition, I guess, so you want to have your mind a little bit off.
But I do love to watch tennis.

Q. Is there anything you worked on in the off‑season that you're trying to find here ahead of the Australian Open?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: I work on everything all the time. You know, I think it's important to just improve every little detail you can to kind of put yourself on a different level, raise your average level, because there is not something different I can really do.
I worked on my movement as I always do, on my fitness a lot, because that's the time where you can really put in work and prepare yourself for the full year.

Q. You're obviously on Jelena's side of the draw. There has been a lot of focus on yourself and Serena and Maria. Do you think Jelena is a danger?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: I had no idea about that, and I don't really care until I really play somebody like Jelena. I think you cannot underestimate any opponent in the draw ever, in any tournament, because we've seen a lot of surprises.
If you underestimate, you can just lose your focus. I always try to put my opponent as a 50/50 when we go on the court and just try to be better that particular day.

Q. So you won't be underestimate Stephanie Voegele?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: That's the Swiss girl, right? Yeah, I played her a couple matches. She's very talented. She's a young girl with a lot of the talent, great groundstrokes, and I'm sure she's very motivated.
When you play against top players when you're young you have nothing to lose and they always play their best tennis. I got to be ready.

Q. One of your rivals got engaged last night in Sydney.
VICTORIA AZARENKA: Oh, my God, I still haven't text her yet because I was focused on my match, but I saw the news, and I got to say I'm really happy for her.
If she will remember, and I don't know if she will, I called it last year when I saw her in the locker room. I said, you'll be engaged by the end of the year. Technically, I was right.
So I don't know if she'll remember, but definitely happened. I even remember the spot in the locker room would I said that. I'm a psychic.

Q. What month of the year was that?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: It was in Brisbane. It was here, right here. I said, Hey, you know‑‑ we were talking about something, about relationships, and she was asking, Are you in a relationship? I said, No.
And I was like, And you are obviously. You're going to be engaged. She as like, No. I was like, Yeah, you will be. So I was right.

Q. Rory has set a decent standard with the size of that rock.
VICTORIA AZARENKA: Damn, he's wining a lot of stuff. He better buy her a big rock. That's why she said yes obviously. How can you say no to that rock?
I'm joking. They seem really happy and I'm really happy for them.

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post #753 of 1136 (permalink) Old Jan 2nd, 2014, 04:52 PM
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Re: News and updates about Victoria Azarenka

Next Opponent for SF:

..70Kg vs. 59Kg..

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post #754 of 1136 (permalink) Old Jan 3rd, 2014, 02:12 PM
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Re: News and updates about Victoria Azarenka

Brisbane Int. 2014
PC after QF WIN against Stefanie Voegele 6:4 6:7 6:1

Q. Just talk us through what happened at the end of that second set there. Do you know? Are you able to pick out what was going on? Was it just one of those moments?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: There are two things: First, I think my opponent really played well on the match points. Should I have done better? Yeah, I think so. I probably should have closed it out early.
I think I made things a little bit tougher for myself. I was creating a lot of opportunity, doing good things, and just didn't convert in the right time.
So that definitely needs to be ‑‑ I just have to keep doing the same thing that I've been doing before creating those opportunities.

Q. Is it good to have I guess a moment like that leading up to a slam just perhaps to bring that focus to your mind?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: Well, the focus is there. The good thing about it is to go through the tough thing and come out with a win. Because as I said earlier, it's very easy on the mind and on the body when you're playing well, when you're hitting the ball great, to win that.
But when you have your struggles, when you don't hit the right way sometimes but still manage to stay composed like in the third set, I think that's a good thing.

Q. What did you tell yourself when you were feeling frustrated when that match points weren't going your way?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: I think I focused a little bit too much on those points, and I should have just let it go a little bit and relaxed. That's what I did kind of in the third set. I just relaxed and I started to play my game and really going for better shots.
At that point, I was just focused on, okay, another match point. It was a good learning experience.

Q. Did you debrief with your team out there, Sam? Was anything raised?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: Well, you know, I can be negative. I can be whatever after not converting those things. In the end of the day, I have another chance to play better tomorrow. That's the most important thing, to just focus on that.

Q. Have you had a similar experience as a junior or in the pros where you've had that many match points, lost them, and come back and won the third set?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: I don't remember much. I'm sure it happened sometimes when you had match points you didn't convert them.
What happened before earlier in my career I didn't convert them and I lost the match. So today I won the match, so I take it as a positive.

Q. That hold in the first game of the third set pretty important, no?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: Yeah, I think the important was just to kind of regroup really quick after that set and try to stay in the moment and play and grind every point after every point, because she got the momentum. She was serving unbelievable today, I think. Felt like in the important moments she was rising her level.

Q. Looking forward to the semifinal clash with Jelena tomorrow?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: Definitely. I mean, it's going to be a tough match. She's a great player. We always have tough battles, so definitely looking forward to that.

Q. Couple things. You said about the changes in your team in the last two pressers. You made changes; Novak made changes; Federer. You had a pretty successful year, so why make any changes going into the new year?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: Well, I wanted to really take care more of my body, and I met the people‑‑ one of the person that I met was during my injury after Wimbledon, and I wanted to work with this group of people.
So it just happened that in the end of the year, you know, we could manage to work together. They helped me a lot during that time, and I really wanted to work with them further.
After, I just wanted to have more women on my team because I'm always surrounded by men and have so many men in my life.
Okay, stop. (Laughter.)
By so many men, I work with a lot of men since I was‑‑ okay. I got myself in trouble there.
But I just wanted to have that energy, woman energy on my team. I think it works really well.

Q. You think they can relate to you better as woman being women themselves? Is that part of it?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: Yeah, and I think there is and also a lot of similarities with the characters understanding sometimes. I just wanted to try something new. I feel much better about it.

Q. You wish there were more women around the WTA Tour in terms of coaches? Very, very few women coaches on tour. Would you like to see that change in later generations?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: I hope so. I hope so. I just think that the main maybe issue with that is a lot of the women, they don't want to travel that much because they get to have family, and so it's much easier foremen to do that.
But I wish we'll see a lot more women.

Q. Comment on Jelena. You played her a couple times last year: Cincinnati, the Championships. She's experienced and tough. You have a good head‑to‑head record, quick turnaround. Could be a long one, no?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: Definitely it's going to be a tough match. Semifinals of such a tournament is never easy. In the beginning of the year, you know, everybody wants to do really well, and Jelena has been improving so much throughout the last year.
So definitely going to have another tough battle.

Q. The match against Jelena and then if you make it to the final...
VICTORIA AZARENKA: We'll talk about it after.

Q. I'm just sort of saying in terms Open preparation, you couldn't ask for better sort of match practice, could you?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: Oh, yeah. As I said, the field is so strong. To have such competitive players and top players to play against in the preparation to the Open is great. You just really test yourself and see what things you can improve in that next week before the Open

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post #755 of 1136 (permalink) Old Jan 4th, 2014, 06:21 PM
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Re: News and updates about Victoria Azarenka

Brisbane Int. 2014-PC after SF vs. JJ 1:6 6:3 6:4
Q. We were talking about this last night, the satisfaction of the struggle. Bit of a struggle today, but you played another good third set and took care of it at the end. About the match and your feelings.
VICTORIA AZARENKA: I think we can look at it as a struggle, but I don't think that was a struggle. I think Jelena played really, really well in the first set.
I felt that I could have done better, but it's just the matter of kind of getting that timing, really fighting through it.
But I think I was able to change it around in the second set. I really tried it apply the game I wanted to apply; whereas in the first set it was a little bit out, a little bit short.
So I had to get into that timing because I felt I was doing the right thing. It wasn't the best execution and she really played well.

Q. You talked about that one point where you guessed right and she had a backhand that went right to you. Do you feel like that changed the momentum of the match? Do you feel that one point, even though it was pretty early in the second set, felt things pretty suddenly going your way?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: I think was the beginning of the that. I think the wholeactually game from the beginning was kind of a changing moment. Even though it was Love‑40, I felt like I went for the shots that I had to go and I started to believe that that was the right play.
But that point was definitely‑‑ I felt that I kind of saw that ball coming and I just went for it.

Q. What does that feel like when you win a point that feels that big?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: No, it just felt like a normal point. Just felt that I had to go one at a time. That whole game I was playing one point at a time.

Q. Do you feel like you need to step up another level for the final?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: We'll see. It's going to be a different match, but today I think we both played at a pretty high level, and so I'm pretty satisfied with the level.
Of course you always want to improve, but you got to take what it is today.

Q. You made the final here in 2009, and now you're here in 2014. Do you remember the excitement back then and what the feeling was like?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: Back then definitely I don't think it was the same field as it is today, but I'm very happy that after last year, you know, I've been able to go through and play and be in the final again. It's giving yourself the best opportunity to fight for the title.
And the excitement back then, I think it was my fifth final or something, you know, and I was I so wanted to win that first title. This is a little bit different emotion, but definitely great feeling to be back.

Q. Why did you decide to come to Brisbane again and not Sydney? Is it because of the extra week?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: Yeah. I mean, I love this tournament, first of all. I do like to have that week in between, because when you play a Grand Slam it really takes a lot of energy out of you. So to have that week to prepare and really get into it mentally, it really helps a lot.
Plus you have few commitments to do before the tournament, and that takes a lot of energy, too.

Q. Is this kind of what you guys want the first week of the year, two weeks before slam? Jelena or Maria or Serena, the world's best? We have the exact same semifinals in Melbourne. Is it too early for that, or is this the perfect preparation?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: No, I don't think it's ever too early. I always want to play against the best players every week. That's what I'm here for, to go every day and try to beat the best. If you want to win big titles and big tournaments you got to play against the best players, so I feel great about having that challenge every time I step on the court.
If there is no challenge it seems boring and unmotivating.

Q. Much different matchups against Serena or Maria than Jelena. Talk about that. A little bit more offensive players than she is, no?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: Yeah, probably a little bit more powerful. But I think Jelena has improved a lot with her being aggressive, especially with his backhand. It's pretty incredible.
But Maria, I haven't played‑‑ I don't remember when we played last time.

Q. Roland Garros semis.
VICTORIA AZARENKA: Yeah, so it's definitely a different match.
Serena, we played exhibition, but it's very different. We always have tough matches.
No matter who I play it's going to be a very, very big challenge. That's what you want in the final.

Q. What do you remember about the last time you played Maria, that final in Melbourne? What do you remember about that match?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: I don't really remember much of it. I remember feeling that I had, because I didn't really ever watch it. I never really do.
But I think I played really well that match. I just have, you know, emotional thoughts about that match.

Q. What do you remember the emotion being like?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: Great experience. It was really great. So I was so looking forward to that first final and I was excited, and I was a little bit nervous in the beginning.
Then it just felt so good. Felt like I was home. I was in the zone.

Q. You were saying you were in the zone. How often does that happen, say, annually when you're in a match and you go into the zone and every ball is going in?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: You can never predict that. You can never think, Okay, right now I'm going to be in the zone. It just happens.
The things you go through, sometimes how you pull out the match when you're down or when you have to save a match point, it's tough to explain what was going on in that moment because it's a feeling. The thoughts that go through your mind are like thousand thoughts. Boom, boom, boom.
Sometimes you're just like, Okay, well, the ball comes. So it's very tough to predict and explain how you feel in that moment. You just know because it feels good.

Q. You're a good analyst. Take a look at Serena versus Maria, which you may or may not see tonight.
VICTORIA AZARENKA: I don't like to predict, but I think both of them are great players and both are very, very competitive players. We've seen that in the past.
So I think it's going to be a tough battle, as usual, and the best one will definitely win.

Q. Will you watch?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: I don't think so. Maybe a little bit, but I don't think so.

Q. Because why? Because you know them both so well it doesn't really matter?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: No, I just don't really like to watch a lot of matches sometimes, because when you're in the tournament, in that free time you want to just relax a little bit and get your mind off tennis.
I never like to play the match before I step on the court, so that's the only reason.

Q. You had two wins over Serena last year. Do you feel like you'll be able to continue staying close to her in 2014 now?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: That's the goal. That's the goal for sure, you know, to keep challenging, to keep trying to do the best you can and try to win.

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post #756 of 1136 (permalink) Old Jan 5th, 2014, 05:29 PM
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Re: News and updates about Victoria Azarenka

Brisbane Int. 2014 PC after F vs. Serena 4:6 5:7
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.

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post #757 of 1136 (permalink) Old Jan 14th, 2014, 06:51 PM
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Re: News and updates about Victoria Azarenka

Australian Open 2014 - PC after R1 vs Larsson

Q. Long enough in the sun today?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: Yeah, it was pretty I mean, not too bad. I went to practice after, so I'm okay.

Q. Is that just to make sure you get your acclimatization up there? It's going to be hot for the next couple of days.
VICTORIA AZARENKA: Yeah, I think I mean, it's not easy, those conditions. You can't escape those. It's pretty hot out there.

But it's the same for everybody. You just have to adapt to it and try to do the best way to prepare for those conditions.

It's not easy. I thought they were going to close the roof for the second match, but, I mean, it's okay.

But I feel pretty good. Actually, I felt better as the match was going on than in the beginning.

Q. Any tricks of the trade to the heat? Do you get an ice bath after that kind of heat?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: I'm going to go probably after. Just using ice, you know, hydrate. It's simple things, but you just have to be very disciplined about it. Ball kids make a great job just bringing the ice towels right there.

Q. Did you have a cold shower before you went out to hit the ball again, or is it a process that you go through to try and sort of bring your body temperature back down?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: No, I just went out straight to go hit. Actually put on a long sleeved shirt. It wasn't probably the smartest thing to do, but I'm fine.

Q. Should the roof have been closed for your match?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: I don't know. I would love it, but, you know, I think my opponent would also enjoy that. But it's fine, you know.

I think, you know, we're all in the same conditions. It's much hotter out there right now than when I was playing.

Q. Obviously you'd prefer a shorter match in those conditions, but you didn't seem to be playing badly in the first set. She just sort of brought it to you a lot, didn't she?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: Yeah, she played really well. I can't say that I was surprised by that, but she really, you know, went for her shots. I think, you know, the ball with the conditions bounce a lot different and a lot higher, which suit her.

I think she likes that more, and it took me a little bit of time to just adapt and find my range and find my hitting zone.

That's it. But she really played well. She went out for her shots, a very talented player. I was expecting a tough match. It's never easy.

And when you play, you know, somebody who is probably a lot higher than you are in rankings, they just have nothing to lose. But she played great.

Q. Caroline said she put a plastic water bottle down on the court and she thought that it started melting a bit. Is it that hot out there?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: I don't know. It's pretty hot. I don't know, when I went out on the court I was just curious what was the temperature. Because even though it was windy, the wind was like hot wind. Like I said, Just don't blow it, because it's like even hotter. Just stop.

But you normally expect a little bit of, I don't know, some freshness, I don't know what, but it just didn't come. From anywhere (smiling).

Q. The soles of your shoes weren't burning, were they?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: It felt pretty hot, like you're dancing in a frying pan or something like that.

Q. You were in the final in Brisbane, and then you had a week off. Now you're here. What do you do in the first early rounds? What do you try work on? Just try and build up to that second week...
VICTORIA AZARENKA: Well, the first thing, you try to win every match. Whatever it takes to do that. Sometimes it can be tricky, you know, to find your to just find your range, as it was today a little bit. But just try to keep the things that's been working before, you know, what I was working on in Brisbane and my off season and just try to reproduce it more and more and be disciplined with that.

Q. The health authorities here advise people to stay indoors whenever possible in these sort of conditions, drink lots of water, try and be in air conditioning.
VICTORIA AZARENKA: I'll take that advice. Easily. (Smiling). I don't think anybody wants to go outdoors right now.

Q. So will you practice tomorrow, or will you try and stay inside, given that it's going to be this hot again tomorrow?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: Oh, no, no, I will definitely go and practice. You've got to prepare yourself.

Maybe I won't hit for two hours, but definitely going to go out and, you know, get some more suntan.

Q. Your boyfriend come to Melbourne again to support you?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: Yeah. I don't think you can miss him (Laughter.) It's tough, because they have been showing him on TV more than probably they were showing somebody else, you know.

He's very, very visible, so...

Q. Does he like the heat?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: Actually, I can't find him in the players' area, and I'm, like, surprised. How can I miss him? It's tough.

Q. Does he like the heat?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: I haven't asked him yet, but I'm sure he wouldn't enjoy playing so much in it.

Q. Is Red Foo still planning to get the wildcard for the US Open if he can manage it?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: I think he's hoping for it. I don't know if he's going to get it. But, no, he actually plays tennis better now than when he was trying to qualify. He's been working hard on his game.

But he's so into his projects right now that I think he's more focused on that.

Q. Is he asking some advice from you for his forehand, which is the weakest point of his...
VICTORIA AZARENKA: Actually, his backhand is way worse. So his forehand is much better. Backhand I think Mats Wilander was giving him some tips; Novak was giving him some tips; everyone is giving him tips.

He comes up with a different shot every time, you know. It's a helicopter swing. Then it's out of space. I don't know. Whatever. He's just ridiculous.
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post #758 of 1136 (permalink) Old Jan 16th, 2014, 04:22 PM
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Re: News and updates about Victoria Azarenka

Australian Open 2014 - PC after R2 vs Záhlavová-Strýcová

Q. Sort of an odd up and down match. Talk about it overall.
VICTORIA AZARENKA: I don't think there was a lot of up and down. There was just a moment when I think, you know, I just felt I dropped my intensity a little bit and was watching her a little bit too much.

She obviously played amazing defense today, getting a lot of balls. So I think that what was happen in the second set. But I'm glad I could just turn it around in the end and really get back into it and play the way I was playing in the first set.

Q. It's not often that you face players that come into net that much. Talk about that.
VICTORIA AZARENKA: Yeah, she's a very tricky player and obviously can do a lot of things. I felt like she was really brave to do anything. Come with a second serve to the net.

Yeah, she went for her shots. Sometimes it was surprising, but then I realized that I just have to be alert on every point because you don't really know what's going to come.

So I had to adapt and try to refocus my game, trying to control and move her around myself.

Q. How were the conditions inside?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: I can't complain about playing under the roof in the night session. It was a little bit humid. I mean, sweat a lot still. But, yeah, I can't complain. I was feeling pretty good out there. I'm sure a lot of players were suffering a little bit more.

Q. Did you get to practice in the morning outside?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: Yeah, I warmed up in the morning at 10:00 outside. It was pretty hot.

Q. What was the day like for you? There was heat, thunder, lightning, all that.
VICTORIA AZARENKA: For me, everything was fine. I played under the closed roof so lightning couldn't hit me. I didn't feel the heat. I didn't get sunburned. I was in the perfect conditions today.

Q. Did you watch any of the other matches?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: A little bit. Just a little bit. I saw a little bit match of Tsonga and that's it. And Rafa a little bit.

Q. How do you feel you're playing overall? Sometimes it takes you a little while to get into Grand Slam tournaments.
VICTORIA AZARENKA: I felt I played pretty good. I had two very different opponents I played. I'm glad that in important moments I'm finding my rhythm and I'm able to raise the level.

I think you can always improve there and there, just try to lift your game up. But it's just important trying to find that little bit to get better with every single match you play.

Q. Have you changed what you want to do with your serve now? I know you go for placement more than power. Were you consistently hitting it harder the first part of the year? Have there been changes at all?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: I don't know. I never really look at the speed. For me it's important what I can create with that. I've been working a lot on my serve.

I think it takes time, you know, to get that. I think it's one of the toughest shots technically to manage. You know, adjusting my body with a different type of fitness, it takes time to have that perfect timing.

But I feel I'm in the right way of working with the things and get better.

Q. So is the intention service winners, aces on the first serve, or just a good serve so you can get a first ball that you can control the point with?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: It's both. Eventually it's to get a lot more free points. But right now I just want that consistency that I can place anywhere I want.

Q. Why the change with the fitness?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: Because I think it has a lot to do with the timing, with your body, with your balance in the body, the way you push, the range of motions.

So all this I adjust. It really takes time.

Q. In your mind, what would be a successful 2014, aside from improving your skills?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: Successful? I don't know. I never think about the whole year forward. You just set yourself goals. But always wherever I want to go I want to win.

The most important for me is try to stay as healthy as possible, and that will be a successful year for me, just to make sure I can play every tournament I go and finish that.

Q. Did you help design Red Foo's shirts and his group? Do you get approval over those at all?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: Well, that's my logo for my foundation that they have on the back, and Team Vika is something we created the hashtag on Twitter. My fans really use that a lot.

So I wanted to do those shorts and some other ones, the designs they will make in the next couple days. I just want to share it with my fans. They're my biggest fans, so they were wearing those.

Q. Victoria, what is the story of your name?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: Actually my grandmother named me that. I had have to thank her because my parents wanted to call my Daria, and I don't think that suits me at all. They actually put that on my birth certificate. My grandmother was like, No, no, no, you can't name her that. She has to be Victoria.

So I really like that name because it is very international, but I still feel my roots as Belorussian.

Q. Is that the same grandmother that kicked your butt?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: She never kick my butt. She's very sweet. She's like the sweetest person on the planet.

Q. So you owe a fair amount to her?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: Yeah. I don't know how to describe that love that I have for this woman. She's just so happy all the time. It's incredible.

She came to see me in L.A. for the first time. She never travels anywhere. I said, Well, if you're going to fly somewhere, why don't you make it a long trip?

She was so happy she came. I spent some time with her during my off season. It was great. She said she'll be coming a lot more.

Q. So L.A. is a long ways away. What were her impressions of all that?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: She was really happy to be there. She loved the weather. The first thing she was so impressed is by the beef they had, the steaks and stuff. She was like, Oh, my God, it's the most amazing steaks on the planet. I took her to this restaurant.

She loved being on the beach. Walking around. I think the most she just loved to spend time with me.

Q. Did you take her to Disneyland?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: No, actually, I didn't. I definitely want to take her somewhere, Universal or somewhere. I was so busy with training. We were just spending time playing cards and just talking.

Q. Name of the steak place in Los Angeles?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: What's the name of the restaurant? Manhattan Beach Pub.

Q. Are you feeling any pressure because Novak has won three times?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: I don't think I feel pressure. I think the pressure there is because I don't use it as a negative. I like pressure because I think it motivates you to be better.

Of course, I know that I won here twice before, but this is completely new year for me and I always take it one at a time. I know it's a long road where I only just played the second round. I just really want to focus on one game at a time.
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post #759 of 1136 (permalink) Old Jan 16th, 2014, 08:52 PM
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Re: News and updates about Victoria Azarenka

Haha imagine if she'd been Daria Azarenka. Victoria is definitely much more fitting .

My number one: Victoria Azarenka

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post #760 of 1136 (permalink) Old Jan 16th, 2014, 10:10 PM
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Re: News and updates about Victoria Azarenka

Australian Open 2014 - Stats
R1 - Johanna Larsson(SWE;#91) 7:6˛ (72 min) ; 6:2 (34 min)

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post #761 of 1136 (permalink) Old Jan 16th, 2014, 10:31 PM
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Re: News and updates about Victoria Azarenka

AO '14 - Stats
R2 - Barbora Zahlavova Strycova(CZE;#84) 6:1 (34 min) ; 6:4 (54min)

Next opponent for R3:


Last edited by VIK!; Jan 16th, 2014 at 10:39 PM.
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post #762 of 1136 (permalink) Old Jan 18th, 2014, 04:06 PM
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Re: News and updates about Victoria Azarenka

Australian Open 2014 - PC after R3 vs Meusburger

Q. Didn't seem like much of a workout. At this stage you're glad to get through?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: It was a workout. It was just a good performance I think from me. You know, I felt like I started well and I kept that momentum throughout the match, and that's what I wanted to do today.

So I think sometimes you spend more energy trying to be in that zone, you know, to keep that focus, but I felt good.

Q. Didn't feel like she didn't test you very much?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: I felt that I was doing what I wanted to do. I think the beginning had quite a few long rallies, but I took advantage of that and I raised my level.

I'm quite happy with that. And that I could maintain that throughout the match, that was important for me.

Q. Your next opponent is Sloane Stephens. Last year there was a bit of a controversy. Talk about your memories of last year.
VICTORIA AZARENKA: I have great memories of last year. That's all I keep for me.

Sloane is a great player, very tough competitor. She has a great record here. I feel like she improved so much.

So, you know, I'm excited about that match. It's going to be tough. It only gets tougher from here. Every round, you know, is more challenging.

Q. You haven't played each other since. Have you spoken with Sloane about it at all? Has a chat about that match?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: We left it all last year here, and that's what is important for me, you know, is to play another match. I'm looking forward to that match.

As I said, she's a great player, and I like to play against great players. It's a great challenge for me to have. A tough fourth round, but that's what you get, you know, going further, second week in a Grand Slam.

Q. Do you know how much tougher it might be compared to last year?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: I don't know. I don't really think about what happened in last year. I know it's going to be a tough match because I feel we both improved.

So, you know, I'm just looking forward to take that challenge. It's going to be interesting for me.

Q. Have you seen any of her matches at all?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: I've seen a few. As I said, I think she improved a lot. She proved that she can handle big stages. She can play against, you know, top players. So, you know, it's always going to be tough when a player like that knows how to handle themselves.

So for me, as I said, it's going to be a great challenge. I'm looking forward to playing against her. I think she's a great player. Looking forward to it.

Q. What do you think you learned from that semifinal match last year?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: Nothing. I don't know there's anything to learn. As a match itself, it was good. I think actually it was my first time playing against Sloane. I don't think you can take so much out of it because, you know, the year pass by.

But some things I remember about playing her, so I will try to look at it again and, you know, go from there.

Q. Learn anything from the aftermath of that match?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: No. What is there to learn? I mean, it was just a great experience for me to be playing in the final and winning the title. That what I learned, I guess, yeah. Just learn how to win the second Grand Slam.

Q. Australian public hasn't quite got your nickname. A lot of, Go Vicki out there tonight.
VICTORIA AZARENKA: I have to confess because Vicki is not my name. Actually, nobody ever calls me that. It's Vika or Victoria. I don't know why it sticks to Vicki. It's completely different name.

I think fans are great here. It's so amazing how loyal they are, especially to Aussies. Just to watch, it's an amazing atmosphere. It's just so great. So I love playing out here. I can't wait for my next match.

Last edited by Natural Joe; Jan 20th, 2014 at 08:34 AM.
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post #763 of 1136 (permalink) Old Jan 18th, 2014, 06:41 PM
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Re: News and updates about Victoria Azarenka

Stupid questions about last years sloane match..
As expected.

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post #764 of 1136 (permalink) Old Jan 18th, 2014, 06:49 PM
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Re: News and updates about Victoria Azarenka

AO '14 - STATS
R3 - Yvonne Meusburger(AUT;#49) 6:1 (37 min) ; 6:0 (23 min)

Next opponent for R4:

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post #765 of 1136 (permalink) Old Jan 18th, 2014, 09:37 PM
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Re: News and updates about Victoria Azarenka

The nerve of whoever is asking those questions . Very good answers from Vika though .

My number one: Victoria Azarenka

ATP: Novak Djoković

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