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September 29, 2015

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.

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