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January 9, 2016

Victoria Azarenka

Brisbane, Queensland, Australia


6-3, 6-1

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. How did that feel? Feel like it had been over two years since you won a title or feel like you been there all along?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: You know, I'm not sure actually how it feels. I don't know if that -- I mean, it feels amazing to feel accomplished, but I guess just a feeling of accomplishment is more, you know.

I think, you know, how I feel myself off the court is just the same, but that, you know, understanding that the hard work actually does payoff, you know, and the things that I been working on are actually the right things.

Just feeling healthy and being able to do what I want to do; not paying attention to distractions; I think that's probably the best feeling.

Q. Is there a sense of relief at all knowing that now, with the way you played this week and with the title, that everything did payoff, that you did focus on the right things in the off-season?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: I'm not sure I feel relief. I wanted to win the title, but I didn't feel, If this doesn't happen the world is going to end. I think that's when you get like relief.

I just feel really excited and happy that I'm doing the right things. I'm excited to keep working hard. Just gives extra motivation to keep working hard and achieve better things. When you're on the right direction, I think it's kind of cool.

Q. It's hard because I know you have no crystal ball; you have a good team. You wonder where this might take you in the next couple weeks?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: If I wonder? I don't. I really don't wonder. But I'm excited to see that. I'm excited to follow my journey. I'm excited to live my journey.

That's a great feeling. Stay in the moment, be present. I really enjoy this moment and I think it's precious. So I just want to enjoy that and see how I feel tomorrow, what I want to do, and keep going.

The focus is still there on the Melbourne. I'm going do everything I can next week to prepare and feel the most comfortable to start the tournament. I can't wait to be in Melbourne. I love the city. Looking forward to that.

Q. Seem like you're just much more confident right now than you were the last year or the year before.
VICTORIA AZARENKA: Yeah, confident with myself for sure. Definitely a lot more comfortable, a lot more calm, a lot more aware. Happy. Very happy.

Q. And that started when? November/December, or even September you seemed to be playing well before you got hurt?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: You mean last year? I was hurt the whole year actually. There was not a moment where I felt, I feel good. I have no pain. There was a lot of medication last year which made me feel crazy actually at some moments. I don't respond well to medication.

So it didn't feel like this last year. It was a constant battle with pain, with my own fear. Like is it going to hurt again? I don't want to go through that. So it was a lot of that. But it took me to a point where I decided, Okay, I got to stop and try to figure out and actually change my life around the tennis court.

I had a lot of changes last year, so it took a little bit of time to regroup, reorganize, mature a little bit, understand how to organize yourself. I'm like a freak right now. Like I'm super organized. Like my bag has to be a certain way. This has to be a certain way. I've never been like this. I was a little bit messy. I just didn't care. I would throw things around. My mom was getting so pissed off with me.

Now I found what works for me, what makes me feel comfortable, calm, at peace. So it's good.

Q. What was your connection with the little girl, Stephanie?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: She was there for pretty much all of the matches and she was screaming. She was so cute. She is a huge fan. I gave her the wrist band the match before, and the headband. I saw on Instagram they send me a message, Good luck, and posted a picture with a sign.

So I asked them if they were coming to the final and they didn't have any tickets. So we called Cam and made sure they have tickets.

So I mean, if I can make a kid happy with her coming to my match and supporting me, there is nothing better for me. It's more important than the trophy right here.

Q. First title with Wim as your coach. Did he say anything special to you a you came off court?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: He said, Proud you, lady. That was nice. (Smiling.)

Q. With all the injuries, is that what's helped you sort of move to this live-in-the moment kind of zen-like state? With everything that's gone on and you've experienced of winning and doing really well, you've also been right down at the bottom. Is that what's changed for you?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: Yeah, I think there is always signs for everybody if you pay attention to them. It's kind of a little bit easier to live your life. I obviously ignored for a long period of time and tried to act like this is not a problem, this is not something that I need to take care of.

I think that prolonged my injury a little bit. I didn't take enough time to figure out, to heal, and work on myself. But, you know, I think being an athlete we always think about physical performance tennis performance and tactical performance.

But I think mental preparation is very important. Feeling happy on the court. We have such a long season. To have that sense of just enjoyment, joy on the court, I think is important, too.

Q. Is there any person you're getting that love-yourself advice from? Is that advice from someone you know or saw on TV or whatever gave it to you that clicked with you?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: A lot. I mean, a lot. I'm very observant. I read and notice a lot. So I think it was kind of a combination of things.

I've been so blessed with having such amazing friends around me who been with me through the whole time, and they push and motivate me. I'm very blessed with that. I always said my biggest achievement from where I came from is meeting some extraordinary people.

Q. This week it's been very noticeable that even though the scorelines at the end of the day were pretty lopsided, there were moments where your opponents pushed you. You came through, and maybe that was a little bit different than what was generally happening last year. Curious as to what do you think made the difference this time around?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: What do you mean different? Last year I didn't come through with that or what?

Q. Seem a little bit more nervous last year in the tension moments.

Q. This week, not that you weren't, but seemed like you were a little bit more confident in getting yourself out of those moments.
VICTORIA AZARENKA: I think I didn't pay attention to the moments. I try to stay and play point by point and focus on what I can do that particular moment and not really looking at the score.

I think that was pretty good help for me.

Q. Is it a comeback? You didn't retire, but sort of a comeback? Second career? You had that sort of part in your life where you struggled to get through, so do we call it a comeback? How do you refer to it?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: I don't really ball it comeback. I don't think there is a name for it. I think it's more for you guys to put it as a headline. For me, it's like you're reading a book and you just turn the page.

That part of it was over. You just flip the page. I think that's exciting. I can't wait the to read the next page.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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