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August 18, 2015

Victoria Azarenka


6‑1, 6‑2

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. How are you feeling about your season so far?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: Season so far? I don't know. I haven't really thought about it, to be honest. I just, right now, really want to focus on a day by day.
Because to me it's important to really reproduce the same effort and the same focus on every match, which is a little bit sometimes inconsistent.
So that's why I feel that my approach should be just really focusing on day by day, practice by practice.

Q. How are you feeling just day to day and mentally? Obviously you have come a long way since last year.
VICTORIA AZARENKA: I have to say that few days ago I had a real interesting answer for a lot of questions that I have been dealing with for myself physically, and that is something that I'm very happy about, that I finally have an answer.
But it's a little bit of a process, but it's a definitely step‑forward process.

Q. What was the process?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: Just some tests came back for me, test results that I couldn't figure out the reason for a long time, and now I do.

Q. Diet? Gluten? Other things?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: I know that gluten‑free is very trendy right now, but no.

Q. Anything else you can share about it?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: Well, I would just like to keep it for myself at the moment and just ‑‑ I'm fine. I'm not in danger. I'm not sick or something.
It's just been I think on this professional level those details really matter. For me it was kind of a big deal.

Q. Canada or somewhere else?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: It's been done before. I just received the results a few days ago.

Q. With respect to the process and gradual process, do you have a time frame where you want to hit to where you're back to where you are or where you feel confident about winning tournaments and majors?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: Well, I don't know. I think if I would have a magic ball to look at it, I would do. But I think for me really important right now is to focus on that approach for every match, as I mentioned.
I believe that the level of my game is very ‑‑it's pretty high, and it's not a question of how I should hit a forehand or how should I move. It's really to get back the approach of every single match and every single point to put everything on the line and honestly take the ego down.
Because when you're at the top and you come back, sometimes you expect to be there with your level. I think the level is, for me, that I should be at the top. But I need to really focus on that grind, because it's not easy. Everybody wants to be there.
Sometimes you underestimate because from where you have been before. I just want to focus on a little bit of a new route.

Q. Given that obviously every match is different and every day in practice you're working on things ‑ you have played Serena very tough this year ‑ do you look at that as sort of a barometer of where your game is?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: As I said, I think the level of my game is pretty high. I just need to be more consistent with it. Of course to improve and to be able to, in the important moment, to stay a little bit tougher and a little bit more aggressive, a little bit sometimes more patient.
So those things that I really need to sharpen and focus on then.

Q. How serious is the leg injury, or is that just for protection?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: Well, I feel it a little bit, and I put the tape a lot more for protection. It's kind of all related to what I started the conversation with.

Q. Doesn't look like it's hampering you. Looks like you were moving pretty decent today.
VICTORIA AZARENKA: I try not to focus on that. I just try to focus on the ball and whatever I could do to play, and I take it as it is. I don't want to say it's perfect or it's good or it's bad. I just try to accept that and try to do the best as I can on the tennis court.

Q. Do you feel that you get great preparation here? You won it a couple years ago. Is that feeling coming back to you while you're on court?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: I feel just happy to be actually playing here. You know, I missed out last year and I think it's a great event. You know, we have so many great players here.
So for me, I'm just very happy to be able to step out on the court and try to improve every day, and really go from there. I think at the moment it's the best mentality for me.

Q. Can you talk about some of your Fed Cup experiences recently and some of your teammates?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: Oh, it actually became one of my favorite subjects probably. I never felt actually this excited or happy ever before to play for my country. We have such an amazing spirit in the team, and I'm just really proud to be able to represent, because it never felt to me that way before.
It always felt‑‑ you know, tennis, it is such an individual sport to be able to switch from playing for yourself and then going in the team and it means a little bit more than it's just about you, so I think with the experience and with a little bit of me maturing, I kind of understood that. It's a much better, special feeling.
I'm very happy that my teammates start to do really well. You know, like Olga. She did quite an amazing run in Wimbledon, and I feel like she's really stepping her game up.
And the other girls. I hope that more young players get a little bit inspired and motivated to come to a different level. I feel like my duty as a leader is to push those girls and to really motivate them.
So I'm trying to overlook a little bit of our sport.

Q. You're one of the players who pushed Serena consistently this year. Do you look at that as a way of seeing how close you are to being back to where you want to be?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: I think for me it's going to be maybe a process. I think that, you know, it's kind of ‑‑we're coming back to the same point, and that is my level I feel is there and I can really step it up.
The matter is to be able to do that consistently. That is what is the difference between top players, is the ones who do it consistent, not just one game or one match. But I think I'm pretty consistent. I just want to be better.

Q. Can you also talk about your recent move from Lagardère to IMG?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: Where is Ben, actually? I need to talk to him, because he does this without notifying anybody. I feel like this is not really somebody else's news to share besides mine and maybe the company.
But I'm not going to judge him. I think that sometimes change is really good and you have to move on from what you had. I restructured everything there is I have in kind of in my life. The organizing, the way I schedule stuff, and everything.
So I felt that it's going to be a good move for me to really show who I really am, because I don't believe that everybody really knows me as Vika, you know. Really build the brand that I want to build and help me to create the ideas that I have moving forward.

Q. Will there be dancing involved?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: There's always dancing involved with me.

Q. I think a couple years ago you were here talking about doing something with a shirt and the clothing company really liked it. Are you still designing clothes?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: I wouldn't say I design clothes. I think I'm very spontaneous and creative in that way, so if I see something and I'm in the mood I will do it. But there are some other projects that are not involved clothing line that I have that are creative, and like art and photography. So that's ‑‑I'm very diverse in that area.
But I will never say no to anything.

Q. Can you just talk about Caro? You have had success so far.
VICTORIA AZARENKA: Well, I always expect a tough match from her because she's a really big fighter. I think it's a good way and not a good way to look what happened this year. I think it's going to be a new story. We have a little bit of different conditions.
So I just want to approach this match where I left today and really focus throughout the whole match.
But there is definitely not many secrets between us since we played so much and we know each other since, I don't know, 13, 14 years old.

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