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May 30, 2015

Victoria Azarenka


S. WILLIAMS/V. Azarenka
3-6, 6-4, 6-2

THE MODERATOR: Questions in English.

Q. We often said this level of match can depend on one or two points. Do you think this point at 5-4 second set could have been the turning point of this match?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: Turning point? No. Very important point? Yes.

Q. Do you think you were kind of robbed of this point?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: I think, my honest opinion, that call was bullshit, and everybody knows it. But it's part of the game. Sometimes it happens this way. But I think it wasn't a fair call.

Q. What do you feel like you were doing well leading up to that point that might have stopped in the third set? Was there anything you noticed changed in your game or her game?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: I mean, I think the level of the match was pretty high quality from both players, and she really stepped it up. She went for a lot of shots that landed, you know, right on the line and really stayed aggressive. I think looking back at it, you know, I've got to learn from that and maybe stay a little bit more aggressive and go a little bit more for my shots. But there wasn't much wrong that I have done, I think. She just really played a good match and I have to give her credit for that, for sure.

Q. To that point, did it surprise you how quickly -- I mean, she sort of seemed to turned on a dime and things weren't working well for her and then all of a sudden she was just not missing and being so aggressive.
VICTORIA AZARENKA: Well, there isn't such a thing that just nothing works for you. You know, I think I played well in the first set. But, you know, sometimes when you're down and you have nothing to lose at one point, and you get loose and you start swinging. I feel that part of what happened. But Serena is a great champion. She knows how to turn it up sometimes, and I have to look at it and just learn a little bit more from that.

Q. You took a break after that exchange. You must have been absolutely boiling inside. Did it help sort of taking a few minutes out to help you calm down? Is there anybody harder in tennis to put away than Serena Williams?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: No. No. Nobody is probably harder than -- for me to play against. She's the toughest competitor. I don't think there is any doubt in that. But, yeah, I wasn't really happy. I think you could see it.

Q. You're a great champion yourself.

Q. You were so close to beating Serena twice now, in Madrid, as well. Do you feel you have the level to be top 5 right now if the draw would be a little better?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: I think it's irrelevant to talk about it this way. I am where I am right now. I think my level speaks for itself, the way I have been playing, and I don't have a doubt that I will get there in just a matter of time. But I just have to keep working. I don't want to be satisfied that it was close, because that's not good enough for me. So I just need to keep working hard. But the draw is, what I have been getting, is pretty amazing. I don't know how lucky I am. Like what the hell did I do in my life to be so lucky to keep getting the toughest draws ever.

Q. Obviously you and Serena have been friendly for a number of years. Were you upset with how she handled that call? Because you seemed to be disappointed when you were at the net, as that conversation was wrapping up?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: It's emotions. You know, during the match it's difficult to react or not react in that moment. So I think that in that moment -- I don't know if it depended too much on her. You know, you can always give your opinion, but in the end, it was chair umpire's call. So that was his mistake (smiling).

Q. Was there a thought from you to ask the referee to come out on court at that point?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: It's no point, because he's not going to do anything. It's just waste of time, and what is he going to do? Like in your opinion, what is he going to do? I was asking the question.

Q. Well, I mean, in the rule books you can ask the referee to come and be a second opinion in that situation, so...
VICTORIA AZARENKA: You know what? I think that the most important, like sometimes we need to have a review. You know, to have a damn review, because it was so clear. You know, I do, when I give a benefit of a doubt always, that is, you know, a 50/50 situation, there is a close call and whatever, but that was so damn clear that you cannot make these mistakes at this level. Because I'm not saying this as an excuse or saying because of that point I lost the match, that's not what I'm saying. But in that moment, if you don't have a review like that, it's causing a lot of, you know, problem, really. So it's just, maybe there is something you can do about it, because it's always this rule that is umpire's call, and I don't get it. How would you call that? She already hit the ball. The ball was touching the net and he says it's not a late call. So for me, there definitely has to be a review on that. We have a Hawk-Eye, so might as well just have that. Because it's not easy for an umpire, but it's definitely not easy on the player when you get screwed like that.

Q. I was about to ask you about the review. So how do you think it should work? Should you get -- maybe you just had the idea now. Should players get three challenges like they do with Hawk-Eye? Should somebody in the booth be listening? How would it work?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: I don't know. Maybe just a review for umpire, as well. You know, how the umpires in basketball or in -- football, I don't think they are looking. But, yeah, just to have a review. Maybe he didn't see it in that moment. As I'm saying, I'll always give a benefit of a doubt. But in such situation I think it was pretty clear. So I think the review, a little TV screen? I don't know what they have, and just look it over.

Q. When something like this happens, would you go after and talk to the umpire about it? Because some players do that. Or you just want to forget about it?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: Well, I wouldn't have much nice to say to him if I would go to talk to him, really, at that point. The problem is it's irrelevant. If you want to vent out on somebody, you can do it. But there is no point. He's not going to change his mind. So might as well just shut up and try to refocus, and that's what I was trying to do. I was just trying to refocus and just let it go, but it's definitely not easy.

Q. Have you spoken with Serena since the match ended to clear the air at all?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: Clear -- we don't have any air to clear. But I gave her a pair of my shorts because she really liked them. True story (laughter).

Q. Watching younger players, they always have eye contact basically after every point and you seem to be very much self-dependent. Is that a sign of a champion? Is it a sign of an older player? Or did you have a phase in your career where you really had to look at your coach basically after every point?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: You talking about the eye contact with the team?

Q. With the team, yeah.
VICTORIA AZARENKA: You know what? I'm really, when I'm playing, I'm really in the moment and I'm trying to figure out things by myself. Because, I mean, from the stands there is nothing really that coach can do unless the support -- I just try to stay focused in my own bubble. Yeah. I have been pretty independent since I was 10 years old, so I kind of learned that way. You know, I had to, from where I came from. I just keep going this way.

Q. I think last year at the US Open Tomas Berdych was pretty vocal at a chair umpire that a call was wrong and then when he watched the replay, eventually apologized publicly to that chair umpire. Would you expect an apology if you feel if they went back and review, that you would get an apology from that chair umpire?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: (Laughter.) I'm sorry, but I don't think I will ever get an apology from anybody for that. It will just be talked about, you know, on social media probably that it was a bad call. But after reviewing, I think I'm pretty right, don't you agree with me? I think -- well, I will never apologize for getting screwed, but I don't think I will ever get apology, either.
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