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  Topic Review (Newest First)
Today 07:58 AM
Re: News and updates about Victoria Azarenka

Some questions and answers from #AskVika Twitter Chat

Vika's Fan @TeamVika89
Goals for 2016? #AskVika @vika7

victoria azarenka ‏@vika7
Rio is the main one

@vika7 how do you feel yourself? Ur leg is okay? #AskVika

victoria azarenka ‏@vika7
Getting better. Working hard on it every day

Vittoria Tiraboschi @vicki_ltd
This has been bugging me for aaages lol what do you do with your old tennis outfits and shoes? #canihavethem #askvika @vika7

victoria azarenka ‏@vika7
I donate most

@vika7 #askVika what is included in your rehab procedure?

victoria azarenka ‏@vika7
Needles which I absolutely hate, but it's a great treatment

@vika7 Favourite rap artist? #askvika

victoria azarenka ‏@vika7
2pac and of current wiz khalifa, Kendrick Lamar

@vika7 favorite language or accent? #AskVika

victoria azarenka ‏@vika7
I like French language. But not the accent so much. Australian accent is pretty cool

Dave B.@BuckyKatt
@vika7 Congrats on a writer from Belarus, Svetlana Alexievich, winning the Nobel Literature Prize! Have you read any of her works? #AskVika

victoria azarenka ‏@vika7 Not yet but this is incredible

baelinda bencic@roobynVC
@vika7 do you still carry snickers and coke in your racket bag #askvika

victoria azarenka ‏@vika7
Never did. I guess u didn't get the joke

Yesith Devon@YesithDevon
@vika7 Who's your favorite @WTA rising star? #AskVika

victoria azarenka ‏@vika7
I think Belinda Bencic has been pretty impressive this year

Yesith Devon@YesithDevon
@vika7 Have you ever had a crush on any Tennis Player? If so, who's he? 😊 ☺ #AskVika

victoria azarenka ‏@vika7
Yes I did. Marat Safin
Sep 30th, 2015 07:38 PM
Re: News and updates about Victoria Azarenka

September 29, 2015


ASAP Sports Transcripts - Tennis - 2015 - DONGFENG MOTOR WUHAN OPEN - September 29 - Victoria Azarenka

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Can you just talk about the decision to retire, the nature of the injury.
VICTORIA AZARENKA: Well, it's always not easy to make the decision. You know, I don't know if it was the right way to play that long because I started feeling it right in the beginning of the match and obviously in the first match. I wanted to try my best, especially for the fans. They were out there cheering so hard. It was just difficult to just walk away from the court. But, you know, coming in a little bit not healthy, it's not easy definitely. But it's the end of the year. You know, it's been a tough year. I just need to push a little bit more through. But my mind is kind of thinking a little bit too much on my next year than being here right now.

Q. Was the leg injury something sustained during training and practice before you got here?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: Yeah, actually right before the match, you know, we were training really hard. We were playing points with Sascha. We were playing hard against each other. Just made one really quick movement and started feeling it. I think it's manageable. I think I can manage it to be okay in Beijing. But definitely playing matches, you know, after I started feeling it, didn't help.
We'll see. I just want to try to stay positive.

Q. On court we could see you were obviously frustrated with the situation. Can you articulate I guess exactly what you're frustrated with? I'm at a tournament, I can't play the best I want to play. Is it what's happened this season? What exactly was the frustration?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: Probably in general, you know, it's being here, as I said, mostly because of the fans. They've been really supportive here. I just wanted to show my best and try to go as far as possible. But the year has been tough, not just on the court. It's been still a lot of good experiences for me. But, as I said, just frustration. I guess my mind is not totally here right now. I'm just thinking a little bit ahead. But I got to try to stay present a little bit and give my best in my next two tournaments.

Q. Genie Bouchard a couple months ago said, Yes, these experiences are learning experiences, but I'm kind of sick of learning. I'd like to get over it and move on. Can you relate to that a little bit?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: Well, I didn't lose 11 matches in a row, so it's a little bit different of a learning experience she has with herself. I'm not in the position to comment on what she's done. For me, a learning experience is about adjusting my body. It's not learning experience how to play on the court. I know really well how to play on the court and how to win matches. The important thing for me is to get my body fit 100%, on a consistent basis. I have a lot of work to do. That's why I think my mind is a little bit thinking too much for the next year because, you know, I have a plan what to do already in my off‑season. I guess that kind of distracts me a little bit.

Q. When you talk about thinking towards next season, I assume you mean the off‑season and the work you want to put in?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: Yes. It's going to be my first off‑season with my new team. That's something I didn't have an opportunity this year to work on. I didn't have a time slot that I can just dedicate to work on specific things. It's just been like a little bit there, a little bit there. That's a result of a little bit of inconsistency from me right now. The game is getting better. Even though I couldn't move today, I served really well. So there are positive things. I just need time to make sure that I put a really good amount of work in and dedicate myself and focus on fitness, focus on few things, and I'll be fine.

Q. Do you think next year you might balance your schedule a little bit differently to allow yourself more time to recover?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: I just need to get a little bit fitter right now. You know, as I said, I couldn't predict what would have happened when I practiced in the off‑season that kind of my whole thing was going to change and I will have to make so many adjustments this year. That was a little bit unpredictable. I had to go with the flow. In the same meaning also my schedule changed. So I don't know. I'm just going to try to first focus on really getting a lot of work done and then focus on the tournaments. But I'll take it step by step. Right now I just need to make sure I have that time.

Q. Have you then talked with Wim and Sascha about having a more extended off‑season training block or have they not happened yet?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: Yeah, it started already pretty much after US Open. For me, it's a little bit more difficult to motivate myself on the tournaments outside of Grand Slams. That's something that I have to fight through again. But definitely already everything is kind of prepared. Right now I just have tournaments that I have to go through. I try to work on the things in the tournaments already that I would like to apply a little bit more next year. But it is what it is. I just need to get better.

Q. In the discussions with your team about what you need to do in the off‑season, is it about establishing a fitness base, or are you concerned about in‑match fitness?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: No, I believe I need to get faster. I need to get a little bit more mobile. I lost that, the first one‑two step movement that I had before in terms of endurance. I feel the longer the match goes, the better I get. I never had problems playing long matches where I get tired. That's not a problem. I just need to, you know, focus on those things to get my movement actually a lot more sharp than I have. That's it. I feel like I'm pretty strong in my body, but I need to get quicker, I need to get faster.
Sep 29th, 2015 03:46 PM
Re: News and updates about Victoria Azarenka

WTA Insider Courtney Nguyen | 2015 continues to be riddled of injury for VIctoria Azarenka, who had to retire from the Wuhan Open with an ongoing left thigh injury

WUHAN, China - Victoria Azarenka's season of bad fortune continued on Tuesday at the Wuhan Open, Azarenka's first tournament since losing to Halep in the US Open quarterfinals. She sustained a thigh injury during practice the day before her first match and finally hit the pain barrier in the second round, retiring down 6-4, 1-0 to Johanna Konta.

"I don't know if it was the right [decision] to play that long because I started feeling it right in the beginning of the match and obviously in the first match," Azarenka said. "I wanted to try my best, especially for the fans. They were out there cheering so hard. It was just difficult to just walk away from the court.

"But coming in a little bit not healthy, it's not easy definitely. But it's the end of the year. It's been a tough year. I just need to push a little bit more through."

The last 20 months have been tough for Azarenka. Sidelined for nearly four months last year with a foot injury, all eyes were on the two-time Australian Open champion as the 2015 season began. Many expected to see the former No.1 steadily make her way back into the Top 10.

Then came a sudden and surprising split from long-time coach Sam Sumyk in February, who left to take a role with Eugenie Bouchard's team. A bad run of draw luck - she lost to Serena Williams, Maria Sharapova, or Simona Halep in six of her 14 events - and more injuries forced her to retire or withdraw from four tournaments. She has progressed past the quarterfinals just once this season and struggled to get her ranking higher than No.19.

"The year has been tough, not just on the court," Azarenka said. "It's been still a lot of good experiences for me. But, as I said, just frustration. I guess my mind is not totally here right now. I'm just thinking a little bit ahead. But I got to try to stay present a little bit and give my best in my next two tournaments."

After her physical struggles this year she has already begun planning a rigorous off-season with her team. "It's going to be my first off‑season with my new team," Azarenka said, referring to coaches Wim Fissette and Sascha Bajin, who took over coaching responsibilities after Sumyk in February. "That's something I didn't have an opportunity this year to work on. I didn't have a time slot that I can just dedicate to work on specific things. It's just been like a little bit there, a little bit there. That's resulted in a little bit of inconsistency from me right now.

"The important thing for me is to get my body fit 100%, on a consistent basis. I have a lot of work to do. That's why I think my mind is a little bit thinking too much for the next year because I have a plan what to do already in my off-season. I guess that kind of distracts me a little bit."

Azarenka has been pleased with her strength and endurance this season, but acknowledged a lack of speed and agility through the rallies. "I believe I need to get faster," the World No.23 said. "I need to get a little bit more mobile. I lost that, the first one‑two step movement that I had before."

Despite her tough season, Azarenka was still able to post solid results when healthy. She made the quarterfinals at the US Open and Wimbledon as well as the round of 16 at the Australian Open. She was also the only player this year to consistently challenge No.1 Serena, holding match points at the Mutua Madrid Open and leading by a set at both the French Open and Wimbledon. Azarenka is clear: she has no doubts about her game, just about her body.

"The game is getting better," she said. "Even though I couldn't move today, I served really well. So there are positive things. I just need time to make sure that I put a really good amount of work in and dedicate myself and focus on fitness, focus on few things, and I'll be fine."
News | WTA Tennis English
Sep 29th, 2015 03:12 PM
Re: News and updates about Victoria Azarenka

Originally Posted by Wiggly View Post
Sep 29th, 2015 01:11 PM
Re: News and updates about Victoria Azarenka

September 27, 2015


ASAP Sports Transcripts - Tennis - 2015 - DONGFENG MOTOR WUHAN OPEN - September 27 - Victoria Azarenka

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. I saw that you tied your leg in the match. How is the injury now?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: It was bothering me during the match. But we'll see. I have to take care of that.

Q. You're the first player I've spoken to that's actually played on the new court. How did you find it generally?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: I think the structure is pretty incredible here, you know, what they've done with the facilities. It's really impressive.
The court is a little bit unusual, I think, the balance of it. It's not very normal to see a green court and outside a different color. You usually see the opposite. It's a little bit of an adjustment there. But I think it's a beautiful stadium. It feels really comfortable. I like it. I mean, it's great that they have invested and came up with such an amazing facility here.

Q. After the US Open, how long did you leave the racquets in the bag? When did you start getting ready for the Asian swing?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: Racquet for about five days, six days. But I started to work out like four days after. Yeah, I was back home in Belarus training there, and came back here. Enjoyed some time with the family.

Q. You are playing Johanna Konta next. Are you worried about this injury?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: I have nothing really to say because I have no idea, I've never actually see her play. I've just heard that she's a good, up‑and‑coming player, had some good results from this summer. Obviously beating Andrea Petkovic, not an easy player to beat. It's going to be a little bit of surprise. I don't know. I probably have to watch some matches. My team will make some also scouting and come up with a game plan. But I like to approach matches just focusing on myself mostly. So that's how I'm going to try to do.

Q. Do you remember the first time that you came to China?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: It might have been Olympics. I don't think I came before. I probably was the Beijing Olympics. That's what I remember the first time.

Q. What did you think when you stepped off the plane, on the bus coming in? What are your memories coming here?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: Because it was the Olympics, that's what I remember. It's just a special, very special moment. It's a lot of people. The Silk Market definitely made an impression on me. I went with my mom. She kept bargaining with people so much that I think that probably left one of the biggest impressions. But definitely the Opening Ceremony was the most incredible thing. It was in Beijing, it was really great. But it was really, really long (smiling).

Q. You actually were there in the stadium?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: Yeah. I mean, it was my first Olympics. My mom told me, You have to go at least once. I'm not sure if I'm going to go to any more Opening Ceremonies. It was literally seven hours. My whole experience, we were in the stadium. We were waiting there. Then we just ran through when the team or country number, 204, I think, was passing by. We just ran across and walked back to the village because it was just too long. It's actually a funny story because when we get there the first time, you get into the gymnastics stadium. Then they told you to wait for about hour, hour and a half. Instead of waiting and resting, we all were running around changing pins with each other, so we were exhausted. Then you walk basically for three hours because you're in a line. Then you have to stand there. There's nowhere to sit in the stadium. So I was so tired. We ran across, we walked for about 45 minutes to the village. When I sat down in the cafeteria, it was like 2:00 a.m., it was probably the most incredible feeling of my life. I felt so good just to sit down and rest. Half an hour later when the ceremony was over, like 2:30 or something, the whole cafeteria was fully packed. There was nowhere to sit. All the athletes came back.

Q. Big news with Stacey Allaster stepping down. What are your thoughts on that decision? Any memories or anything that you have of working with her?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: It was surprising to me because when I was in Belarus, I didn't really have any connection to Internet. When I traveled on the way here, I got the news. I would just love to speak to her personally, just to thank her for all she's done for us. We have to respect her decision for taking that next step in her life. She left a lot of great memories for the woman's game. From this point we should honor what she's done, people who were before her there, and try to move our sport, our association, to the next level.

Q. We can see you are not in good form this year because you never got a title. As a former world No.1 and Grand Slam champion, have you ever experienced a great struggle?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: Sorry, what was the question?

Q. This year you have never won a title.
VICTORIA AZARENKA: There has been years before that I've never won a title.

Q. You achieved the Australian Open in 2003 [sic]. After your injury, you underwent quite a long not good form. Have you ever experienced a struggle like this year?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: Well, have you been watching my results this year?

Q. Yes. I just watched your match in this stadium.
VICTORIA AZARENKA: Oh, okay. Well, the year has been not easy for me. I have not won a title. But, first of all, the year is not over yet. I think my progress has been pretty good this year, looking from all the matches that I've played, players that I've played against, players I've beat this year. So it's not the best results that I've had in the past. But looking from where I'm coming from, it's not too bad. I had two quarterfinals of a Grand Slam and I'm not even top 10 in the ranking. That's better than some of the top‑10 players probably. I'm just looking forward to finishing the year strong and we'll see what happens. But right now I'm focused on today, not looking or analyzing what happened this full year.

Q. I want to ask about one personal question. Some people are saying that you're gaining weight. Is there any response towards this? Are you on a diet or plan to lose weight?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: Can I just have no comments on this.
Sep 27th, 2015 06:34 PM
Re: News and updates about Victoria Azarenka

Azarenka Dismisses Davis

Former No.1 Victoria Azarenka moved past WTA Rising Star Lauren Davis; a US Open rematch with top seed Simona Halep looms in the third round.

Published September 27, 2015 12:13
News | WTA Tennis English

WUHAN, China - Victoria Azarenka fought through a tight second set to oust WTA Rising Star Lauren Davis, 6-2, 7-6(4), to book her place in the second round of the Dongfeng Motor Wuhan Open.

The Belarusian had split her two previous encounters with Davis, who once took out the former No.1 in straight sets last year in Indian Wells. Though the American ended up winning more points in the second set (37 to 36), Azarenka was far more efficient in the important moments on Sunday afternoon in Wuhan's new 15,000-seat Centre Court, converting five of six break points to take the contest in just over 90 minutes.

In her post-match press conference, the two-time Australian Open champion discussed her physical condition, and admitted to struggling with a leg issue.

"It was bothering me during the match. But we'll see. I have to take care of that."

Injuries have done much to curtail the 26-year-old in the past two seasons, but Azarenka remains optimistic that she can have a strong finish to the season; after all, it's still mathematically possible for her to qualify for the BNP Paribas WTA Finals Singapore presented by SC Global.

"The year has been not easy for me. I have not won a title. But, first of all, the year is not over yet. I think my progress has been pretty good this year, looking from all the matches that I've played, players that I've played against, players I've beat this year.

"So it's not the best results that I've had in the past. But looking from where I'm coming from, it's not too bad."

Up next for Azarenka is unseeded Brit Johanna Konta, who beat 2014 Roland Garros semifinalist Andrea Petkovic for the second time in four weeks, having just beat the German en route to the round of 16 at this US Open. Konta is coming off of an inspired stretch that saw her win 16 straight matches this summer and reach a career-high ranking of No.58.

"Obviously beating Andrea Petkovic, not an easy player to beat. It's going to be a little bit of surprise," admitted Azarenka, who has never played Konta before. "I probably have to watch some matches. My team will do some scouting and come up with a game plan.

"But I like to approach matches just focusing on myself mostly. So that's how I'm going to try to do."

Looming in the third round could be top seed and World No.2 Simona Halep; the two played a thrilling three-setter at the US Open, which the Romanian won, 6-3, 4-6, 6-4. Halep will first have to get past Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, who registered a thudding win over former No.2 Svetlana Kuznetsova, 6-0, 6-1.
Sep 24th, 2015 12:43 PM
Re: News and updates about Victoria Azarenka

The 3 WTA players most likely to win the Australian Open
Abigail Johnson in WTA 18 Sep 2015


Following a 2014 awash with injury, depression and inner turmoil, Vika Azarenka has not once complained at the insanely difficult draws she has faced on her return to tour. In the four majors she contested, her losses came once to Dominika Cibulková, twice to Serena Williams and once to Simona Halep – a plenty good enough excuse for only reaching two major quarter-finals.

In the 26-year-old's case, you absolutely have to look beyond the results to see why she is actually a leading contender for Melbourne victory.

Having shifted her team around big-time, Victoria is reaping the benefits. Her serve has cranked up a notch, and her groundstrokes are zoning, picking up perfect power and nailing precision with ease. She goes out to her every match expecting to win, and she has the thick skin necessary the deflect the negativity the comes at her from all angles. As a bonus, she is one of few WTA players who can actually execute a drive volley.

In the US Open quarter-finals, she played the match of the year against Angelique Kerber - each woman ripping terrific winners as regularly as raindrops in a downpour. In the following round, one lone error cost the Belarus player her place in the tournament.

Victoria Azarenka learns from every situation, uses every loss as fuel. And although she was none of the three players to take Serena down up until the US Open, she was really the one to push her the most – taking her to three sets three times over.

If she can get over one final hurdle - of conquering nerves when down against the top players - then not only is Azarenka a certainty to return to the top three, but she's also a third player to be seriously considered for Melbourne triumph. After all, she has won two Grand Slam titles in her career, and both came at the Australian Open. It would make sense to re-announce her at the same venue.
Sep 22nd, 2015 01:45 PM
Re: News and updates about Victoria Azarenka

Azarenka hopes to qualify for WTA Finals

Victoria Azarenka intends to qualify for the BNP Paribas WTA Finals Singapore presented by SC Global, which will start in October. The Belarusian tennis player said that during a talk with journalists after a master class for young tennis players in Minsk.

The meeting of the former No.1 in the world with children took place on 21 September on the courts of the Republican Olympic Tennis Centre. Victoria’s sparring partner Sascha Bajin assisted the Belarusian. The master class lasted about two hours. Young tennis players had the opportunity to play with the famous compatriot, get her signature, take pictures, and ask some questions.

“I hope they all had fun today! I'm proud to see tennis grow in my country. More and more kids are playing and many more facilities are getting built. This is what really makes me happy, making a difference even if it's a little bit. I will always make time to dedicate to my community, my city, my country. That is beautiful about it. Sport connects all type of different people, nationalities, cultures, etc... I'm grateful to have an opportunity to be a small part of it,” Azarenka wrote on Facebook after the event.Later, Azarenka spoke with journalists. “At the US Open, I played better than in other tournaments. However, at Wimbledon I also had tough rivals. I think I managed to raise my level after Roland Garros. But there are things I should improve,” Victoria admitted.

The only thing the Belarusian is disappointed about is her WTA ranking. Now, she is No.23 in the world and No.18 in the Road to Singapore, having 2216 points. By the way, Victoria shares the 18th position with 2015 US Open runner up Roberta Vinci of Italy.

Azarenka needs 614 points to be in Top-10 and qualify for the final tournament of the season. Victoria expects to get those points thanks to the tournaments in Chinese Wuhan, Beijing, and Hong Kong, where she will play next few weeks. “My goal is to compete in Singapore. I have the chance to achieve my aim and I will strive for that. There’s no Plan B,” said Victoria.

Serena Williams, Simona Halep, and Maria Sharapova have already guaranteed their spots in the WTA finals.

Reporters asked Azarenka about her plans for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. Let us remind you that Victoria is the bronze singles medalist of the 2012 Olympics in London and the 2012 Olympic champion in mixed doubles (with Max Mirnyi). The tennis player said that this time she is not ready to take part in two categories, as it is extremely hard and tense.

Victoria hopes one day Minsk will host a WTA tournament. In her view, it would allow the country to demonstrate a range of opportunities and receive positive feedback from WTA leaders. Azarenka trusts Belarusian personnel, who held the 2014 World Ice Hockey Championships perfectly. She sees her role in everyday tennis popularization in Belarus and in the successful representation of the country in international tennis competitions.

The BNP Paribas WTA Finals is staged in Singapore on 23 October - 1 November, featuring the Top-8 singles players competing for one of the most prestigious trophies in women’s tennis. The tournament prize money is $7 million.
Sep 12th, 2015 05:51 PM
Re: News and updates about Victoria Azarenka

I've also been noticing her religiosity more. I kind of expected her to cross herself after getting passed Kerber, but against Lepchenko did surprise me. I, too, also hope Grandmarenka is okay.
Sep 10th, 2015 02:28 AM
Re: News and updates about Victoria Azarenka

Post match interview

1. She still wants to qualify for Singapore
2. She was surprised by halep (like I said she under estimated her)

An Interview With: Victoria Azarenka (Quarterfinals)
Wednesday, September 09, 2015

Q. You played so well. You fought so, so hard out there tonight. What are your emotions? Disappointment? What are your thoughts?

VICTORIA AZARENKA: I think I played well. I believe I could have played better. I did really fight really hard, and I was trying to find solutions. She played really well today. I was a little bit surprised by the pace of her ball, to be honest. I think that, you know, a couple of free points that I gave away today cost me the match a little bit.

Q. Seeing how Petra was out in the morning, a big opportunity, you played Serena well here in a couple of finals, two three-setters with her. Is there a sense that maybe you could get to her in this tournament? Does that put you under any more pressure in this match? Did you feel it was a great opportunity for you going into this?

VICTORIA AZARENKA: No, I didn't really look into that because I knew I had a tough match today. So I was just trying to play today and win today. That didn't happen. That's out of the question.

Q. You fought hard to come back into this match. You were up in the third set. Do you think maybe what you could have done to go up 3-Love before the rain, or...

VICTORIA AZARENKA: Maybe. You know, I don't know. It's tough to say what could have happened. I just tried to accept what happened and learn from it, just improve, because thinking of what could have happened is pointless to me.

Q. She struggled this year. She lost first round at Wimbledon. French Open didn't play that well. Were you surprised she played so tough at the end

VICTORIA AZARENKA: I don't usually get them when they are in the bad form. Usually they play really well against me. (Smiling.) You know, she had a great summer. Obviously she played two finals in the two big events. Coming in she was in good form and playing well at the Open. So I didn't expect an easy match or that she was going to give me something away. Obviously she didn't. She played well. She stayed strong. As I said, I believe that the couple points that, you know, I could have maybe be a little bit more aggressive or sometimes more consistent did cost the match today.

Q. You talked the other day about the dream and the passion to be back at No. 1. Obviously when you have had your share of injuries and been hampered by injury, are there things you could take from this tournament that make you feel that, you know, that the positives, if you can take out of it, that you're on track to maybe get back to your old form?

VICTORIA AZARENKA: Definitely. I have no doubt in my abilities. This tournament is just another step forward. I believe I played pretty well throughout the whole tournament. There are, I think, quite a bit of improvements in my game compared to Wimbledon or other tournaments, so, you know, I'm on the right track. You know, today I didn't have much luck on my side today, I think. But luck has nothing to do with it. You've got to create your own. I will keep working hard.

Q. Congratulations on a victorious season, at least. What do you plan to do in terms of relaxing and kind of reflecting? Do you take some time off after?

VICTORIA AZARENKA: We'll see. It's too close to think what I'm going to do. I'm definitely going to go home and spend some time with my family, pick my nephew up from kindergarten. So I'm looking forward to that. That's, you know, life experiences that has nothing to do with tennis that makes me happy. And reflecting, I'm going to reflect after I'm done with tennis. I have no time for that.

Q. Simona said some nice things about Serena after the Cincinnati final. She said she might cheer for her to get the Grand Slam. This is kind of ironic. If she ends up playing her here it will be kind of a weird situation, wouldn't it? Do you think it was a mistake for her to say anything?

VICTORIA AZARENKA: I'm not here to judge what she said. You know, she said what she wanted to say. If she ends up playing against her, you know, we will see what happens.

Q. Could be a lousy final, right?

VICTORIA AZARENKA: I don't know. There is still semifinals that both have to win. So we'll see.

Q. You said you were surprised by Simona's pace today. Can you explain what was tricky?

VICTORIA AZARENKA: Yeah. I thought that she has more speed on the ball, and she does play with fast pace, taking the ball early. But the majority of her shots actually sits up pretty nicely. I should have adjusted a little bit better, take a little bit more advantage of that. But she changed it up, her pace, and there were a few things that I was just a little bit surprised you don't see that well on TV when you face that, and since we haven't played against each other for a long time, that was a little bit of a surprise.

Q. Obviously the prime storyline here is about Serena and the slams and so forth. So if I could, could I ask you how you think Simona would line up against her, what her choices are? Just talk about...

VICTORIA AZARENKA: Well, if she's going to cheer for her during the match, then she probably has less chances, as she said after Cincinnati. (Smiling.) I don't know. It depends on so many factors: how she's gonna play, how Serena is going to feel, what the conditions will be. It's difficult to predict, you know. I just hope it's going to be a great final or semifinal. We still have semifinals. It's going to be great matches for women's tennis. That's what I'm hoping for.

Q. Do you think it feels all right to play Zhuhai instead of Singapore based on rankings at the end of the season, or do you feel very disappointed to not qualify for the Championships?

VICTORIA AZARENKA: Do I not have any chance to qualify or what?

Q. You will actually have to try to qualify for Singapore?

VICTORIA AZARENKA: That's the goal.

Q. After two close matches with Serena in majors this year, were you particularly motivated here, maybe get one more crack? You had some very good chances in those matches.

VICTORIA AZARENKA: I mean, of course I was looking forward to that, but what's the point talking about it right now? I'm out of the tournament, so I just gotta go back, back to work, and hopefully create another opportunity for the Wuhan, Beijing, next year, whenever it's gonna happen. Right now it's -- what do you want me to say? (Smiling.)

Q. You were mentioning the concept of luck and luck not being entirely on your side today. Tough losses at the slams. Do you think there was a little bit of luck just not on your side at the majors this year? Draws? Opponents?

VICTORIA AZARENKA: I mean, I'm not gonna sit and find excuses or feel sorry that I was unlucky with the draw or whatever it is. You know, maybe it's just not my time right now. But that doesn't discourage me to work hard. And, you know, there's nobody in this world that's gonna put a limit on what I want to do. To me, it's quite a good motivation.

Q. Does your nephew know that his aunt is a tennis star or an athlete?

VICTORIA AZARENKA: I hope he just is proud that I'm his Aunt Vika, you know, regardless the rest of the stuff. You know, I hope he's just happy to see my face and he'll be excited. That's what I love about kids. They don't care about anything else but who you are as a person.

Q. And there's more tennis to play, but this is the end of the Grand Slam season. You put so much effort, worked so hard. Just talk about your Grand Slam season this year.

VICTORIA AZARENKA: I think it's not bad for the ranking that I had. I don't think that anybody has done better than me where I am in the rankings. It could have been better. It is what it is. You know, it's that simple. I just want to take it and accept as it happened. I made, what, two quarterfinals? Next one I want to try to make it further. You know, I have won Grand Slams before. I believe I can do it again. I need to put more work in, and I'll get it.
Sep 7th, 2015 11:20 PM
Re: News and updates about Victoria Azarenka

An Interview With: Victoria Azarenka (2015 US Open Round 4)
Monday, September 07, 2015

Q. What were the keys to today's win, do you think?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: Just being solid, being aggressive, dictating the play. Her ball is a little bit unpredictable. You know, sometimes it comes fast and heavy; sometimes it comes high and slow. So it's a little bit more difficult to time. But just really being solid and stepping up and trying to control.

Q. Was it easy to recover from the previous match?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: Yeah, I had a day, so it was not bad. I'm pretty fit, so...

Q. Did you get any sense playing today that maybe that match against Kerber kind of unlocked some of your best game? Because you have been playing some good tennis, it seems.
VICTORIA AZARENKA: I don't know if it's unlocked. I mean, my game was not really a problem. It was just being able to find your rhythm and find the way to apply that game on the certain moments in the tough situations. So I think that was more of -- I wouldn't say mental, but just more of a consistency. I think it's all coming, you know, from probably March is a progression slowly, improving every match to match. I could see the improvement already I have done from Toronto to here. So I think it's just on the roll of a progression.

Q. How much has hiring Sascha helped you? I think you hired him around March. What has he helped change?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: Well, to change, there's not much I think that I can really change at this point to improve to get those details together. But what Sascha brought is a lot of great, positive energy, a lot of motivation. He's a type of guy that pushes you in practice. I felt that I have been missing that a little bit of an extra. Sometimes somebody brings you extra ball or you think it's a winner, and he just grinds and pushes me, frustrates me sometimes during practice. But that's what your opponent does on the match, so to reproduce that in practice, it helps you to be able to do that in a match.

Q. Because of his working with Serena, how much has that helped you, do you think? Does he tell you much about how to play her or about what he has done in the past to help her?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: Not really because it's a different approach. We are not the same players. We don't have the same game. We don't have the same body type. It's difficult to compare. I don't like comparison, anyway. I like to do things my way. I always like to listen, you know, from the past experience, but I've got my own path and I'm going to walk it. (Smiling.)

Q. Since they are still out there playing, we don't know who your next opponent will be.
VICTORIA AZARENKA: What's the score?

Q. Lisicki won the first set.

Q. And they are very different players. So would you take each one separately and maybe describe the specific challenges, first if you were to face Halep, and then if you were to face Lisicki?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: Well, as you said, they are very different. I don't even know how many times I have played Simona. Sascha told me three times and I remember only once. I have no idea. And it's been a while. So for me, if it will be Simona it will be a little bit new, I would say, because, you know, she improved so much since the last time we played. She's definitely a favorite. She's been in top 3 for quite a while, winning big matches. So either way I have to focus on my game and try to be aggressive, to be dominant. Sabine has a big serve, so that's something that, you know, you try to neutralize and bring as many balls as possible back off her first serve. But just to be steady, to be aggressive, cover my court, come in to the net maybe once in a while. We'll see. I don't know.

Q. What do you make of how Halep has risen and in sort of a quiet way she's ascended to No. 2 and been such a consistent player.
VICTORIA AZARENKA: Yeah, I mean, consistency is a key to stay up at the top, you know. She had quite a few remarkable runs at the Grand Slams, but she's been really solid on all the WTA events. I think her game speaks for itself. She's very solid from the baseline. She has kind of all the shots. For not such a tall player she has a pretty good serve. So she has a lot of weapons.

Q. When you came off the court the other day you seemed really excited to have been part of a slugfest, a tight and tough match. I'm wondering if that's the kind of match that really gets you going rather than more a awkward match like today or a match where you even beat someone badly?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: Honestly, I don't really care as long as I win. As long as I have another opportunity to go out there and play, I will take it in any way. But definitely to have such a match of high quality that it was in the third round and then being able to overcome all those challenges, it's remarkable. Definitely very satisfying. But today it's a fourth round. The other day was third round. To measure them, I don't know.

Q. So if you come out of that match the loser, what would your feeling have been?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: I would never even think of that. It's irrelevant question to me.

Q. Genie Bouchard just withdrew with a concussion. You suffered a mild concussion in 2010. How bad was it at that point and what were the steps to come back?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: It was unlucky. You know, to me it was really unlucky. It is unfortunate for her. You don't want to see anybody going through an injury like this. Any injury, but this specific case. It's unfortunate, especially, you know, she's been coming back and playing quite solid. But there is no much you can do. You know, you fell. I don't know, she hit her head. That's not much you can do. It's just unfortunate, I guess.

Q. How long did it take for you to get back on court after you had the concussion?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: Pretty quick, actually. It wasn't -- I actually, when I fell and I got concussion I was racing to the court 15 minutes after I fell, so that's why I collapsed on the court. So that wasn't probably a very smart move, but I didn't know what I had at that moment. But other than that, I actually don't remember. I think I played my next tournament. I obviously took a week off, but I did all the tests in the hospital, all the tests for eyes and eye check, so I was okay after. I hope she will be, too.

Q. What do you think the Williams sisters' rivalry, when Serena and Venus play, has meant to the sport?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: Oh, it has a huge impact. I think, you know -- I don't know if you can call it the Williamses' era, but they brought something new to the women's game. You know, the power that -- probably the most obvious thing is power, but determination and the champions' mentality, pushing each other all the time and have these amazing battles that they had in the finals and semifinals. I think it's just exciting. To see sisters fight this way I think it's pretty exciting for the sport.

Q. How does it make you feel when you watch sisters battling it out?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: I don't know. I don't have a sister, so I don't know. (Smiling.) I have a brother, and we never play tennis together. I think it would be tough, but in the other way it's kind of fun that you have your sister on tour with you. Even though you have to be on the opposite side of the net sometimes, most of the other times you're on the same -- you know, you have each other's backs. I would say it's pretty exciting.

Q. What do you think you have to do to finally beat Serena in a Grand Slam?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: Let's talk about when I play her, okay? Thanks.

Q. Does it feel differently after your injury last year to make it this far at a slam? Quarterfinals at Wimbledon; quarterfinals here again.
VICTORIA AZARENKA: It's pretty good, but I'm not satisfied yet. My tournament is not over, so I'm not thinking about if it's good enough. Until I play my last point of the tournament here it's still -- the mindset is on the present.

Q. So there is no amount of satisfaction for you getting this far? You still want to go further?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: Well, I'm happy today but I'm looking forward to my next match. I'm going to enjoy it today, but I can't be too happy.

Q. Can you explain again the tape on above your biceps.
VICTORIA AZARENKA: You want a cool story or the other one? I think the cool story is how it's a little better. I honestly never had anything like this. Maybe just a little bit of allergic reaction to a material or something, or dryness. I don't know. I just had like a blister kind of rubbing against my, I don't know, against my skin or my material. It's just like burning sensation when I touch it. It's kind of like a blister. So I just put the tape around so it doesn't bother me.

Q. Do you have blisters on both sides?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: Yeah, because I play -- maybe I should play a little bit more away so I don't touch myself. But it's just a little -- you know, give myself a little bit more space. That's another tip. (Smiling.)

Q. They did a good job, because it looked like you just came from the tattoo parlor or something.
VICTORIA AZARENKA: Oh, that's -- who did the tape?

Q. Who did the tape job, yeah?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: I did, with the help of the WTA physios. I did it yesterday. I think I saw this group of my fans. They have, you know, dedicated group for me. They post all the pictures and stuff, and they were freaking. Like, What happened to her arms? What is it? What is going on? You know, I had an opportunity to explain this today, and I hope they are not gonna be too worried, or anybody else.

Q. Will they change your outfit at all or different material?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: I'm going to look for something that matches a little better. I got to keep my swag on.

Q. You have been for a while a big supporter of Argentina national team, and Messi in particular. Have you seen his performance last week, and do you expect to watch the game tomorrow?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: I haven't because of the time difference and being a little bit busy. I'm going to try to rewatch it, but, I mean, he's just incredible. What he does on the football field is just unbelievable. I had a pleasure of watching him in the stadium one time, and to me, it was amazing the way he just walks side to side during the game and once he had that opportunity, he just creates magic. It's like watching a video game, so it was really exciting.

Q. (Question regarding similarities between tennis and football/soccer.)
VICTORIA AZARENKA: Absolutely opposite, because they play with their feet. We play with our hands. I wouldn't say that I'm that crafty as he is with his feet, but I'm getting there. (Smiling.)
Sep 7th, 2015 11:17 PM
Break My Rapture
Re: News and updates about Victoria Azarenka

Originally Posted by MuguRena View Post
Does anybody know if Vika has had a recent death in her family? At the end of her matches nowadays she's much more passionate than usual as she points at the sky with thanks and I've noticed a cross around her neck (not sure if that's new).
I've been wondering about this too. I hope her grandmother is alright.
Sep 7th, 2015 10:51 PM
Re: News and updates about Victoria Azarenka

Does anybody know if Vika has had a recent death in her family? At the end of her matches nowadays she's much more passionate than usual as she points at the sky with thanks and I've noticed a cross around her neck (not sure if that's new).
Sep 6th, 2015 11:12 AM
Re: News and updates about Victoria Azarenka

An Interview With: Victoria Azarenka (2015 US Open Round 3)
Saturday, September 05, 2015

Q. When you were out injured, how much did you miss some of the feelings that you experienced on the court today?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: A lot. Probably the most you can miss when you're an athlete, not just a tennis player. That intensity, that feeling of the battle, you know, heat of the moment. I don't know, personally that's what I live for.

Q. So how did it feel out there experiencing it today?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: It was great. You know, every moment was really intense and tough. I just tried to stay focused and tried to give my best at every point. You know, she was playing incredible. She was pushing me. I was pushing her. So, you know, from both sides it was just head-to-head. It was amazing, I think.

Q. At what point out there, or did it ever cross your mind, you were a part of something special there?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: You know, every moment to me is special. Just being able to go out there and fight hard and compete, it's exciting. I don't ever want to take it for granted that I go on Arthur Ashe Stadium and I play no matter which round it is. It's just that feeling of competition, making yourself better, to improve, you know, really hustle, battle. Whatever it takes, it's my home. I don't know, I feel at home when I'm in that moment.

Q. Have you thought about your next match yet against Varvara?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: I haven't thought too much about it, honestly, because I'm just trying to a little bit enjoy this moment. But, you know, she's a really tough competitor. She's obviously playing great tennis, you know, reaching the second week here. Another lefty for me. At least I had some practice today (smiling). I'm just looking forward to play that match. Every match from this point is just getting tougher and tougher. I want to stay focused. I want to take it one match at a time, actually one day at a time. Today recover, tomorrow practice, then let's go.

Q. I notice over the changeovers you were looking at some papers. I don't know if that's something you have done in the past.
VICTORIA AZARENKA: I have done it. Started doing it not too long ago. It's just something that I feel will keep me a little bit entertained during changeovers. Sometimes it gets a little quiet, so I just want to make sure I'm focused on what I have to do. I write different things for me, you know, sometimes something to make sure I stay focused. I wrote this thing which was hilarious to me yesterday. It was so stupid, but it made me laugh so hard. I just wrote it, you know, to keep me relaxed sometimes.

Q. What does a win like that mean to you? High-quality match, three sets, tough fight, opponent not giving you anything.
VICTORIA AZARENKA: It means that I'm strong and I can go through whatever is happening on the court. To me, you know, I'm going to stay there as long as it takes for me to win that match. That's what I did today. What it means is that I've just been consistent and I know what I want. It happens that today it was on my side. That's what I want to just take it as a positive and give myself, I guess, confidence going into the next match, that this is what I have to do to win tough matches.

Q. When you were trying to come back, was the mental part of it just as challenging as the physical part?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: I think on a tennis court when it's such a tough battle, most of it is about mental toughness, the will to win, however you want to call it. Because everybody know how to play forehand, how to play backhand. But being sometimes courageous and go for your shots, be courageous to adapt to a situation, that's something that is most challenging part, I would say. In those tight moments, it's all up to you to make a difference.

Q. It was such a high-quality match. You won. Even when you lose a match like that, does it make it easier because of the fact it was so entertaining?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: Well, for me, I'm all about winning. I don't know. I'm not on that side today. But I think it's great for our sport to be able to produce this kind of high-quality match. I applaud Angelique because she really pushed me to give my best, really to dig deep and find resources to make it happen.

Q. Back to the mental toughness. After a match like that, is that sort of mental effort something that takes a toll? Is it something that going into the next match actually builds?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: I mean, it's up to you really. I think it's something you have to go out again and do it again. It's not going to be there magically appearing all of a sudden. It's something that you just have to go and work hard to do. So my point is definitely to keep this ability steady and then see what happens.

Q. When you say it's good for the sport, is there still a lot of convincing that women's tennis has to do to sort of prove that you are high quality like that?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: I think it goes beyond tennis. It's just in general in life, woman have to always prove a little bit more. In business, in other sports. But, you know, I just want to show it on the court and not talk about it. I think today everybody saw what's been happening out there. I hope they can appreciate that.

Q. It's been a pretty incredible 24 hours on the court you played on, as far as the quality of matches. What was the atmosphere like out there?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: Amazing. Absolutely amazing. It's a little bit difficult to describe with words because it's a mixed feeling of adrenaline and then I want to just stay out there as long as possible, but also you want to win and get out of there. It's bunch of mixed emotions. But just to be out there and battling hard, people were amazing. The crowd get into the match. You know, they scream. They clap. Even during the points sometimes they go, Whoa, when somebody hits an amazing shot. To see support for both players, really pushing us, motivating us to get even better at the matches is absolutely fantastic.

Q. When Lepchenko was here before you, she said her approach to facing you would be, Well, she's the higher-ranked player, I have nothing to lose. When you hear things like that, the whole mentality going into a match, what is the first thing that comes to mind?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: Well, first of all, everybody has something to lose. You have points to lose. You have money to lose. You have opportunity to lose. I guess it's the way to take a pressure off yourself. And for me, I love pressure. It makes me better. I don't wish to have pressure, but it's something that, I don't know, I think I love to rise to the occasion. It's challenging and motivating for me. But also when I go out on the court, I focus on my effort and what I can do to improve or what I can do to give my opponent the worst possible time, and the rest takes care of itself.

Q. How much do you work on psyching yourself up? When you're on the court, you have more gestures than many players, you speak a lot, you do things a lot. How much of that is to convince yourself of things?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: I'm just being me, you know. You watch my practice, I do a lot more probably gestures. They're awkward gestures, clumsy gestures, fist pumps. I just do whatever I feel like is right in the moment. If I need to be hyped, I'm hyped. If I need to talk to myself, I talk to myself. Whatever it takes to win, I'm going to do it.

Q. Some people gave you the second-best odds of winning this tournament. Do you hear stuff like that? How do you feel?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: I hear it, I just don't care about it. Not that I don't appreciate that people speak highly about me. It's irrelevant to me. I have to go out there and win matches. Odds are just odds.
Sep 1st, 2015 03:49 PM
Re: News and updates about Victoria Azarenka
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