Sep 1st, 2013, 11:24 PM
Join Date: Mar 2012
Re: News and updates about Victoria Azarenka
US Open 2013
PC after R3 WIN against Alize Cornet (FRA;#28) 6(2):7(7) (66 min.); 6:3 (46 min.); 6:2 (48 min.)
Q. It was again a tough fight against Alize like in Paris. Am I wrong saying you're not really pleased with the way you played today, or...
VICTORIA AZARENKA: No. I don't think I played my best tennis today for sure, but I have to give her credit. She played really well. You know, the dynamic of the match was a little bit weird for me. I felt like I didn't take my opportunities in the first set, which was kind of a waste and it gave her, I think, a lot of confidence and she really came up with the great shots when she needed with the big serves. I actually never seen her serve like that before, so that's definitely a big improvement from her side. You know, I'm glad that I could turn things around in the second and third set. There was more me playing, more finding the rhythm. I felt much better in the third set than in the first set, which is, you know, going, you know, past the two hour mark. It's pretty good, so I'm happy with that.
Q. Alize said that mentally you proved you were a bigger champion today. Do you think mentally the improvement you've made the last couple of years and you're just not giving up anything even when you're not feeling the rhythm?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: I think I closed the biggest gap in that area, for sure. I think, you know, overall my physical ability, my tennis, has improved, as well, but the gap between, you know, the mental and tennis and physical was the biggest improvement, for sure.
Q. You have a tough matchup next round with Ana. Just talk about that?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: Yeah, Ana is a great player. She really improved. I think especially this year she's been showing some consistent results. We had a great match in Carlsbad. It was my first tournament after coming back. She's definitely in great form, and I'm sure she's motivated and pumped up. It's going to be a good match. She's a great champion, as well. I'm looking forward to that.
Q. You showed a little frustration on one of the line calls. Why was that moment so frustrating for you?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: Because it was ridiculous. That was the most ridiculous thing there is. After we already -- you know, I walked to my chair, Alize almost walked to her chair, they said, Replay the point. It definitely didn't affect her shot because she already gave that, you know, point. So that was ridiculous call. And the ball was way before the line. It wasn't even on the line, so...
Q. When something like that happens, are you thinking about it the next point or is it easy to get over that?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: No, I have to get over it. I mean, everybody can make a mistake. I just think, you know, in that heat of the moment like that, you will take it a little bit more emotional than maybe there it is, because that situation you're winning a set or you have to replay the point which is, you know, clearly you already won that. But, no, I just really tried to refocus and fight for the next ball, because I knew I had to make it happen. I needed to put myself in a position to be, you know, one set all again.
Q. Going back to the beginning of the year, the infection you had from your toenail from that bad pedicure, two parts: One, how long did it take for that issue to be finally cleared up? And how differently have you taken care of your feet since that happened?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: Well, I haven't gone back yet to a regular pedicure place, that's for sure. I'm still terrified to do that. But, you know, there was something unusual because it happened before I came to Brisbane while I was playing and actually in Thailand. I could cope with the pain a little bit. It was going worse and worse and worse, and my toe was like blew up. When the doctor told me I have to go and cut under the nail. I almost fainted right there. They said, Well, you might be -- you know, might be okay for the next day, but probably not. So that was a very tough decision for me to take that, you know, before the semifinal match. But I knew that if I don't take that decision, you know, it will jeopardize my next tournament. So it was tough. It was definitely tough. And very unusual.
Q. If you haven't been back to a regular pedicure place, who has been keeping your feet in good shape?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: (Smiling). Is that really important?
Q. No, I mean, I know it seems like a funny question, but, you know, the reason I ask is that as an athlete obviously taking care of, you know, an important body part like your foot, that's important. But as a female athlete, there are sort of certain expectations for how you will look at player parties, et cetera, and usually that includes painted toes. It's a joke but not a joke, you know.
VICTORIA AZARENKA: Well, my priority is my performance, so I learn how to do it myself or I go to a sport pedicure. So maybe my, you know, I don't have the perfect pedicure with a French, you know, toenails, but, you know, at least I'm not -- I don't have to worry about that.
Q. Sara Errani was talking about pressure earlier this week, just the pressure she feels these days. Do you ever think about pressure, and how do you deal with it?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: I like pressure. I think pressure is something that if you want to be on top, you have to deal with. That's what makes you better. You know, you need that to be on top, to be motivated. If you don't have any pressure, if you don't feel, you know, like you have to achieve something, it's not fun. For me, I need that.
Q. You talked about improving from a mental standpoint. Is that something you worked with anybody on, got advice from someone in particular that helped you with?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: Like a psychologist you're talking about? No, I never worked with a psychologist. I have people in my team, you know, like my coach especially. I think he's a very wise man, you know. He's been around for a long time. We have this great communication. He knows me better probably than anybody on the tennis court, so it's just a matter of really understanding what you need to do to make yourself better. You have to find your own recipes, and you go through the rough times, through the bad experience, and that's how you learn. For me, that's how it was.
Sep 4th, 2013, 03:56 AM
Join Date: Apr 2010
Re: News and updates about Victoria Azarenka
round 4 interview.
last few questions.... she is not concerned about her slow starts and she is chill about it.
Q. It was again a big battle today. How do you think you did?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: Well, it's true. It was a big battle. That's what I was expecting from Ana. I think she's playing much, much better right now. Her level has showed a lot in this match. She came out firing with a lot of great shots and served really well. I felt like I wasn't, you know, really executing and putting enough in the first set, but she definitely really was going for everything. It didn't leave me much of room to kind of, you know, go for my shots. But I started to create more opportunities. In the end of the first set it was already turning around, but I slipped away a few opportunities.
Q. Do you feel like you're at any kind of a disadvantage being a day behind? Do you think anything could have been done to change that yesterday?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: Mother Nature could have done something (smiling). You know, she was crying yesterday, so nothing I could have done.
Q. Do you feel like your game right now is at the same level where it was when you beat Serena in Cincinnati?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: I don't think you can compare that. That's a little bit silly to compare, because it's different, you know, courts, different balls, different tournament, different stage of the tournament, and different opponent. We'll see. I think that's a process, you know. You start a tournament a certain way and you find the ways how to make it better. You know, from every round it gets tougher and tougher. So I don't expect or I never search for the feeling that, you know, I had maybe in Cincinnati or Australian Open or two years ago. It's not going to feel the same way.
Q. You became a dropshot maniac.
VICTORIA AZARENKA: I always had that. I just didn't feel like I needed it too much; today I did.
Q. I had the feeling that the way Ana start the match being so aggressive and so many winners, 17 just by the end of the first set, left you a little bit annoyed and nervous for the rest of the match. Am I right?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: No.
VICTORIA AZARENKA: No, not at all, because I don't feel that you can get annoyed by that. I just think it was a great job from her. She really earned all those winners and she played well. If I would stay annoyed or nervous I would have lost the match. So, no.
Q. There was a point in the first set where you maybe accidently hit yourself with the racquet in the leg. After one point in the first set you were looking at your leg like you might have hit yourself with the racquet a little bit. Is that just kind of the way it was going?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: Oh, yeah, maybe. I don't know (Laughter). It was probably because I didn't move my feet enough, so I needed to wake them up a little bit.
Q. Did you feel serve at some point is hurting your game the past couple of weeks?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: If it's hurting my game? No, I never aced so much in my life, you know. I'm not a big server. I think it's getting better. There is a lot of room to improve there, but I don't think that my serve was a deal breaker of those games, you know, that I lost today. There were also, you know, few easy mistakes, a few great returns from Ana. It's a combination of things. I cannot blame just one shot. It's a combination.
Q. Can you talk about the matchup with Daniela?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: Daniela? Oh, yeah, yeah. I think Daniela is playing incredible tennis right now, you know, really going so deep in the tournament. She's a player who has been in these situations before with a lot of experience, a lot of motivation right now. And she has, you know, type of game that she's a shot maker, so it's going to be another tough battle of really taking your chances, you know, playing your game, and be in control.
Q. Of the eight women in the quarters, five of them are over the age of 30. Is there something about the way the game is now that allows women to play kind of deeper into their careers?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: I think it's, you know, the sport became so much more physical, and on another level that everybody's taking care much more of their bodies to be able to play longer. You know, there is so much more introduced fitness, nutrition, you know, all those components that women and men are paying so much more attention to. So I think that's a great thing if we have longer careers. You know, the longer, you know, people can play tennis, that's great.
Q. I understand that Red Foo is in Australia; is that right?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: Yeah.
Q. Why is he there?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: Why? Because he's a judge on "The X Factor." I don't know why he's there. I'm not so happy about it either. I'm joking. Yeah, he's there. Today is his birthday in the States, but it was his birthday yesterday in Australia.
Q. So you're beside yourself without him by your side?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: Huh?
Q. I am just joking around.
VICTORIA AZARENKA: What was the joke?
Q. The joke was that you were beside yourself without him by your side, and it will affect your down the line backhand, I'm sure.
VICTORIA AZARENKA: Yeah, no. I mean, my game is my game, you know. He has nothing to do with that (smiling).
Q. Today, from the end of the first set to the start of the second, you guys broke each other seven straight times. Then it seemed like you took control when you held your serve a couple of times there in...
VICTORIA AZARENKA: I think there were only five because I was leading 4 2 in the second. It was five breaks.
Q. Including the end of the first?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: Oh, including oh, okay. Well, then I don't know. I think we're just great returners (Laughter). To be honest, it's just as simple as that: We're just so much better on the return.
Q. You spoke a moment ago of Daniela as a shot maker. What are the other attributes you think of when you think of her game and also the fact that she's been on the tour as long as she has?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: Well, I think she has a really good serve. You know, she's a player that can do anything. She has great touch. She can come to the net. She can mixup her shots. She has an all around game and experience. That's what shows with all those aspects of her game.
Q. Are you concerned about the slow starts, two matches in a row?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: If I'm concerned?
Q. Yeah, are you concerned?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: No. I'm chill.
Q. You said the other day that you really relish pressure, that you like pressure. Is that one of the qualities that can help you bounce back from being down a set and able to come back and play hard?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: Yeah, I think so. I mean, I'm a fighter at heart. I never, never give up. So, you know, whatever the score is, I'm going to try to do my best because there is always an opportunity. There is always a way. You just have to make up your mind and try to find that way.
Q. How much did that come in to play, especially in the third set when she looked like she was turning the tide around coming back on you?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: You know, I felt like I was playing much better in the third set than in the first. I felt physically much better. I feel like the more a match goes on, the better I feel. So, for me, I'm not concerned about the slow start. Yeah, it's just a matter of getting that groove. I feel like I just have to be a little more focused on those opportunities that I have to convert them.
Q. When you come off court, are you more pleased when you won the match that takes a lot of fight or just the overall?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: Both. You know, I take whatever I have. If I have to fight and, you know, dig deep, you know, to find a way not playing at your best against a player who was playing that good, I think it's pretty remarkable to walk off the court with a win. That's what is the most pleasant about that. And the quality, you know, if you play really well and you lose the match, then, I mean, it doesn't really matter the quality.
Q. I guess, I mean, you've won two slams now. You are going into possibly the last three matches. How much more do you think you can improve? Like what percentage do you think you're playing now?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: I never know the percentage, because it really depends on a daily basis. You know, I always say that 100% of what you have one day can be very relevant to the other day. So for me, what's important is to make sure I'm there with my heart 100% and my game will follow. But I think there is a lot of improvement I can do. You know, I did few unforced errors that I don't really do, so if I cut back on those that will already help.
Q. In your gut, do you think you can win this year?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: Yeah (smiling). If I wouldn't believe that, I wouldn't be here.
Q. You know what it takes to win a Grand Slam. Are you happy right now where your game is at going into the quarterfinals?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: I'm happy today. We'll see tomorrow. I always take it day by day. I don't jump ahead. You know, it seems, you know, close, but it's really far away. It's just quarterfinals, so let's go.
Sep 5th, 2013, 07:16 PM
Join Date: Mar 2012
Re: News and updates about Victoria Azarenka
US Open 2013
PC after QF WIN against Dani Hantuchova
Q. I know she's on the other side of the draw, but do you think about Serena being over there?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: No. Not yet.
Q. Never entered your mind?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: No.
Q. Are you watching any of her matches?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: Well, when it's on, yeah. You know, sometimes I watch. But I don't really watch a lot of TV. Plus, she played too quick, all the matches.
Q. Obviously the result was the right one. How pleased were you with the way you played tonight?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: I think it was better. It was better start, for sure. It was a little bit tricky out there with the wind, and I think, you know, Daniela is the kind of player who doesn't give you much rhythm. So you really have to try to make it happen in one or two shots in the beginning, so that's what I was trying to do. You know, there wasn't much of long rallies, so that's what kind of sometimes more difficult to get into the match. But I felt like I was really good on the important moments. In the first set I really, towards the end, raised my level where I wanted to, and that was what was I think the key to this match.
Q. You were serving for the match and then you broke and played a very aggressive game afterwards. Is that important for you, like to maybe just not letting that happen, like, you know, it can be really tricky if you're serving for a match?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: Not in my stats, for sure. But I think, you know, that game was the moment where I had the very easy shot and I let her play, let the ball pass me. It was a little bit of deciding one. I felt like I had to close it in, and it wouldn't give me a match point. But yeah, I have to be a little more careful on that and execute better.
Q. You also looked very strong like physically like. Are you doing anything different? Like you do look stronger. In that last game like you were hitting the ball so hard. Are you doing anything different with your body?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: Well, I work a lot on my fitness. I feel like I develop every time I come back, you know, especially after this injury. I came back on another fitness level, and my physical ability always helped me to play better tennis. Because, you know, my movement is important to me. I feel like I have heavier shots now. I direct the ball better. I can, you know, reach to the balls that I maybe wasn't able to reach because of my flexibility before. So a little by little it becomes more as one piece, and that's what I'm working on. And still gonna keep improving.
Q. You're the youngest player in the semis. Basically you grew up with other players like Radwanska or Caroline, but seems like other players are struggling to get into like your level. Can you find any reason of that?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: I could, but I don't have time for that, really, because I'm focused on myself. The statistic of the other three players in the other semifinals being over 30, I think it's just showing that our sport is taking physical ability on another level. You know, as I mentioned before, you see everybody taking care of their bodies much more, really paying attention to nutrition, fitness, everything. Everybody is working out. Recovery is more important. I think that is the big aspect of allowing older players to play longer career, but the younger generation, I think we have seen as Caroline, as Radwanska, doing really well. They have their own reasons, I think, but I think the young generation is really breaking through. You can see it by Sloane Stephens, you know, really taking it to her next level. So I think we are pretty even there.
Q. What about Flavia? The last time you met her was I guess Doha in 2011.
VICTORIA AZARENKA: Dubai? Dubai?
Q. Yeah. 2011, and you lost in the third set.
VICTORIA AZARENKA: Yeah, that match was I think yeah, that was a bad memory there. But I think it's gonna be different. We played the match long time ago, but we did practice quite a few times. Not in recent, but over that period of time. You know, Flavia is such an amazing, first of all, person. I think she's just a great person. To see her go through the injuries and coming up with, you know, best results she has right now, it's really amazing. She's very good player, all around player. She can do anything. She has a great touch; great variety; she can create power; create spin. I'm really looking forward to that match. It's a big challenge.
Q. Normally at these stages you meet players you have probably seen more around recently. It's not very usual to play players who have been outside of the top 100 within this year in this sort of important match. Does it add a little more mystery to the matchup?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: No, I don't think so. I think we all know what Flavia is capable of. She's been around for a long time. Very experienced. She's been very playing she's been in top 20, beat a lot of top 10 players. The ranking and everything, it doesn't really matter. It's about the moment right now. Right now she's playing terrific tennis.
Q. You said that that wasn't a good memory for you. I was just curious, every time you walk on the court, you see the person over there. Does your mind have a computer in there where you can sort a certain memory or two from when you played them before, or do you forget some of them?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: No, I actually don't forget I forget things that are important a lot (smiling). But things like that, I don't forget, unfortunately. But I don't rely on those bad memories, because I think what happened in the past, I mean, it's done. What you can do is take control of what's coming and what you are in right now. So I wouldn't look back I don't look back too much on the good memories or the bad memories. I just live in the moment.
Q. You are 24, and you said you are a babe...
VICTORIA AZARENKA: A babe? I said that? (laughter).
Q. A baby. Do you feel like sometimes that you're young, but you seem like mature beyond your age and, you know, have been playing for seven years. You see the other girls, you know, in their 30s, but do you feel more like the younger generation, like a Sloane, or you feel more like, you know, Serena or Li Na?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: Well, not like Serena, Li Na, and not like maybe Sloane Stephens. Somewhere in between where I am exactly. I do feel sometimes I'm a little bit older than my age, but actually I just turned 24. It feels like I have been on tour forever coming playing full time on tour since I'm 16. So it's been a long journey, but I still consider myself as a young generation. Let's stay that way.
Sep 7th, 2013, 02:11 PM
Join Date: Mar 2012
Re: News and updates about Victoria Azarenka
US Open 2013
PC after SF WIN against Flavia Pennetta
Q. Talk about the opportunity to get back out there in a Grand Slam final against Serena.
VICTORIA AZARENKA: Well, it's amazing opportunity, something that every tennis player dreams of, you know, to be in the final of the US Open and play against the best player in the world. It's something that I'm so excited about, and I can't wait to go out and play. Right now I just want to enjoy the moment of today, because we play in two days.
Q. Just talk about are you happy with the way you played out there?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: I'm happy I'm in the final. There are always things that can be better. I felt like, you know, the first set was a little bit tricky. Momentum wasn't there a little bit. I felt like I had a great groundstrokes, everything. You know, just one shot wasn't working and threw my rhythm a little bit off balance. Overall, you know, just being able to pick up and raise the level in the important moments, that's what, you know, it's all about, to be able to do that.
Q. Away from tennis, you have quoted the Pointer Sisters twice now today, I'm so excited, and I danced to Marvin Gay. I just wanted to ask you, you have sort of a special window into Motown with the Gordy family. I just wanted to ask you about that whole experience, your discovery of classic R&B.
VICTORIA AZARENKA: I mentioned learning about the history of music, because I knew those artists, I have listened to the songs, didn't really know it that well. But to learn the history of how it was made, you know, how it came across, how much of a difference it made in the world, that was, you know, something incredible and so fantastic. To see by the play and learning through Mr. Gordy and RedFoo, it's about incredible. So I'm really honored to be in that position.
Q. If you could follow me here, two very different questions. Just to extend, who are your favorite Motown artists or favorite songs?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: You're going to get me in trouble for that (smiling).
Q. And then on a serious tennis basis, how do you think Vika's, your game, has changed this year from last year on hard courts? Can you break it down?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: Yeah, well, let's stay with the serious stuff and then we'll go to the crazy. Difference between last year I think in the game, it hasn't changed tremendously. There are aspects that got better physically. Mentally I felt like it was a great turning point for me on some level for my career. You know, just really good experience. I feel like I'm a better player. I'm a more complete player. You know, that's what you aim for after one year of work. So in terms of that, I'm pretty pleased. And going to the music, probably my favorite artist would be Marvin Gaye, and Stevie Wonder is incredible. The song, it's tough. There are so many. But I Heard It Through the Grapevine is one of the best ones.
Q. You're a more complete player in what way? If you could just extend on that briefly.
VICTORIA AZARENKA: I think all around, you know, from the groundstrokes to movement to coming in to variety. I think all those little things are coming together. You know, paying a lot more details on how to create a bigger arsenal.
Q. You always say what's in the past is in the past, I don't look back, only looking forward. As you approach the final, do you make an exception there and think back on the wins you have had over Serena this year, or is it the same thing, clean slate, new match, you don't care what happened in the past?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: Not that I don't care what happened in the past, but I think there is no need for paying so much attention to what happened. You always gonna take a few things, you know, positive or negative and try to, you know, kind of apply it in your new match, new performance. But it's always a new story. I don't even think that it's going to be close to the same as it was last year.
Q. In your wins you have had over Serena this year, what is it in your game that you think has matched up against her game?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: It's tough to say. I think that, you know, the battles that we had, it was really just taking each other out of the most comfortable zone and just fight for every ball. Because, you know, we know each other pretty well. You know, I know her strengths; she knows my strengths. That's what it's all about, about those turning points, who wants it more, who's willing to go for it more. It's a bunch of combinations.
Q. How do you get Serena out of her comfort zone? Not many people are able to do that.
VICTORIA AZARENKA: You've got to fight. You know, you've got to run, you've got to grind, and you've got to bite with your teeth for whatever opportunity you have. You know, she's obviously an amazing player. She's the greatest of all time.
Q. You seem to have become a specialist winning tough matches.
VICTORIA AZARENKA: Oh, wow. That's a compliment.
Q. Are there other players from either the past or present who inspire you who you like to watch like in a mental capacity?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: Rafael Nadal. I really admire him for that mental strength and the fighting spirit he got.
Q. In the evolution of your rivalry with Serena, how much does confidence matter for you?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: I think it's important, you know, but I do think it's overrated. As always, I thought that. But it's just important to have self belief and confidence in what you do and have a good plan, you know, clear mind, and just be aware of what's going on, what's coming at you.
Q. What do you mean overrated? Do you mean that execution is more important, or what would be more important than that?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: For me, confidence is a word that what it is, really, it's the feeling or it's the way you feel the ball or it's your mental, you know, strength. I don't know what that word really means, because it's not it's just a word that's been made up, confidence. It's not the actual feeling or something. So that's why I think it's overrated.
Q. Quickly on the tournament, just watching you serve over the last couple of years and then in this tournament, it seems like the speed is a little bit down and the placement which you always consider to be more important is not there. Is that the wind, or are you a little bit sore in the hip? You're not hitting it the way you want to?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: No. I think just the rhythm sometimes is off. Sometimes can be a little bit emotional, but sometimes just so focused that you don't realize what you're doing wrong. So it's just a mix. But I think, you know, when I need to do something it comes back, so it's just a matter of being consistent and understanding of what I have to do on the court.
Q. What gives you the most belief when you play against Serena?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: I want to win. That's all it is. I don't think of who I'm playing. I just want to win the match.
Q. You have had success against her two out of the last three times. What do you think is the common denominator?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: I don't know (smiling). I don't know. I just really try to play my best tennis, you know. When you play against Serena, you have to play your best because she makes me play my best. I think I kind of do the same way to her, you know. I think we kind of raise each other's level all the time and, as I say, take each other to the limit. To go out of that place where you sometimes don't know, you know, how far you can go, but you just still go for it.
Q. Can I ask you again about Pennetta and the matchup today? She lost eight times the serve out of nine. You made four double faults first two games. It was tension? Pressure? The wind? What was the reason for that, so many breaks in the match? How do you rate this match?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: I think it's just my mistakes where I felt like I was a little bit out of rhythm. Maybe a little bit wind, but I don't try to find an excuse of what didn't happen. I just try to think what I can do better. I felt like in the second set I got my rhythm better. You know, that unfortunate game which was a little bit stupid from my side I played at 4-1 which I had to close out. But the breaks, I felt I was very solid from the ground today. There was just, you know, one piece missing with my serve to put all the game together.
Q. How do you rate her performance?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: Well, I think first of all it's incredible tournament from her, to see her doing so well. She played really well. She was getting to the balls, you know, sometimes I didn't expect to come back, and she really surprised me in those kind of ways. She was really solid. I just felt that I was able to play better and execute better on the important moments and really take my chances.
Q. You have been playing so beautifully, so powerfully, but it's my sense that fans are still trying to get to know you, even though you have been on tour for a while. The other day we spoke about RedFoo and "The X Factor" and all that. What's the X Factor in your life? What can you tell fans about what they don't know about you or what makes you tick?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: Well, I think my personality comes out across a little bit more. I don't feel shy anymore as much as I did maybe before. I feel like it's important to just show who you are. I'm never afraid who I am. I like to have fun. I like to joke around. I'm trying to be a little bit of a comedian sometimes. I thought, you know, when I go to the interviews or when I am with the fans or something I should be the same way as I am around my people, because they are all laughing with me all the time. I'm just making them laugh all the time. That's what I try to bring out more and feel more comfortable. And it feels so much natural right now for me that I enjoy it.
Q. How do you think that your friendship with Serena has affected the on court sort of intensity of your matches compared to matches you both play against players you're not maybe not as friendly with?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: I don't think it affects at all. We're experienced enough, especially Serena, to know that on court is business; off court is you're regular people that just respect each other for their work or for who they are. That's it.
Q. Only one of the two finalists can come out of it. You are a double Grand Slam winner. What does that say to you about this match coming up and how it will reflect on your respective seasons?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: I will see that after the match, really. I don't think of this match to reflect on my year really. I just take it as what it is and try to enjoy it, because it is a great opportunity. You know, that's what I was working all this two weeks for to be able to have that opportunity. So right now it's all about Sunday.
Q. You're one of the best, if not the best, at redirecting the ball on the WTA. I wanted to ask you if you think that's going to be really key up against Serena.
VICTORIA AZARENKA: I don't know. I mean, it's just important to really take my chances, because she's a player who doesn't give you anything. She's really, really powerful, so it's important to try to find a way to be dictating yourself.
Q. Stefan seems very, very comfortable interacting with the public all the time, and I'm sure you have seen that a lot. Does that help you learn how to take it easy and interact with the public?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: Oh, definitely. Helped me so much with that. As I always thought, it's a learning experience to learn how to interact with people, to see their perspective of how you take on things. He helped me tremendously with that, and just to open up and be who I am more, you know, because he's he knows me more than the public, for sure, because we are around each other so much. So he just told me, you know, Just bring out what you show in front of your team and how you are around your people. That's what I'm trying to do now.
Q. He hasn't gotten you to sing in public yet?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: Singing in public? I do sing in public, actually. I do dance in public. It was just the other day two nights ago we were dancing in the garden here.
Q. And you dance on court a little bit.
VICTORIA AZARENKA: I do. I love that.
Q. If you win the title, maybe singing on court?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: Let's just wait (smiling).
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