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January 25, 2016

Victoria Azarenka

Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

V. AZARENKA/B. Strycova

6-2, 6-4

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Good performance. How did you see that match? How was it for you?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: It was good. Today was really -- I was more focused on staying focused because she's a type of player that throws you a lot off your rhythm. I was just trying to focus more on execution and be aggressive and follow my game plan from the first point to the last.

But I think I played pretty well there. There are things I could have done better I think always. That's the perfectionist in me. But overall, pretty solid.

Q. You're going to face Kerber again next round. How do you see this next match coming after your great match at the US Open and the last one at Brisbane?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: It's exciting. You know, I always look forward to play against her. She gives me always tough matches. I prepare myself for a very tough match because she's very solid, very consistent, and an amazing fighter.

I have to, you know, play my best game to beat her, for sure.

Q. What's the toughest thing in her game, the thing that's most dangerous when you're facing her? The angles she can find with her forehand? Something else?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: I mean, overall, she's just consistent, you know. You have to really go out there and take it from her, because she's not going to give you anything, mistakes. You have to really focus and take control.

Q. She told us in Brisbane she worked a lot on her serve in the offseason and to get her fitness level up. Did you notice that when you played her in the Brisbane final?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: I think her fitness level was always pretty high. She's been very consistent, great mover, you know. She can play for as long as she wants to.

But on the serve, I think she was a little bit more aggressive. But, you know, every match is going to be a different story. That's how I try to approach that. It's not going to -- the result of Brisbane or whatever in the past, it doesn't really matter to me.

I need to focus myself for a tough match and, you know, quarterfinals of a Grand Slam. It's important for everybody.

Q. I'm not sure how much you heard, but there are more allegations of match fixing; mixed doubles match yesterday. Are you concerned as a player? Not the first time in this tournament there have been allegations of match fixing that's been brought up during the tournament.
VICTORIA AZARENKA: I actually didn't hear anything about that. I think it is concerning, but I'm sorry, I can't really comment that much because I haven't heard the full story. I would like to get to know before I make my judgment.

Q. Is it possible to compare physically and mentally how you're feeling now to when you won this tournament previously?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: Old story. I answered this question many times already. I don't compare that. It's been, you know -- I don't even remember how I felt or -- I just try to focus on the moment right now and really take it one match at a time. You know, two years ago victories is not going to help me today.

Q. You seemed to be more emotional about learning that the Broncos had won than...
VICTORIA AZARENKA: I was emotional the whole morning about it. Yeah, I couldn't -- I turned on TV while I was having breakfast and I just couldn't look over there because -- you know, I'm a huge sports fan, so when I'm a fan of somebody, I'm a die hard. I'll get nervous. I get emotional. I understand like all that, because it's something that when I play, I'm in control.

I'm in control of my body, of my emotions. That's all on me. When it's somebody else doing it and I have absolutely no control, I go loco. I will scream. I will scream on TV. Yeah, that's why I'm -- well, it's good you didn't watch it because it was a close game. You would probably break the TV or something.

Q. When is the last time you went loco watching a tennis match?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: Tennis match? Probably when I watch Gaël play because I know how good he is. When he starts doing some Gaël stuff, it hits me in my heart, really, like I'm emotional.

Q. Speaking of Gaël, he did a crazy dive today like he usually does; landed on the hard court.
VICTORIA AZARENKA: Is he all right?

Q. He seems fine.
VICTORIA AZARENKA: I'm glad I didn't see that. I probably would be in a worse mood right now.

Q. What's the craziest thing you have seen Gaël do?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: That's off the court. (Laughter.)

Q. That's all you can give me?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: Yeah, no, no, no. I'm not the person to tell off-court stuff.

Q. How about on the court?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: On the court? I'm not sure. I mean, probably when we were playing Manhattan Beach. We were playing the game like against each other and he started sliding. It was raining and he started sliding all the way there. He says, Hey, V, be careful when you go that side. It's slippery there. But he was sliding. He was so much in control.

I said, Don't worry about it. I don't go back that far. The first point we actually played, I slipped and I hit my face on the ground. He started cracking up. He's like, I'm so sorry. I know you're hurting, but it was very funny. I said, Thank you. Thank you. I appreciate that.

But, yeah, it's probably off the court when we play different kind of games.

Q. What's the Denver Broncos connection?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: I'm a fan of Peyton Manning, so when he started playing there I just have so much respect for him. He's my Hawaiian family friend, so there is a connection there.

Q. Have you spent time with him at all?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: No. I actually haven't met him. I just heard a lot about -- I think the schedules are so different that it's hard to connect, but never know. Maybe I'll go to Super Bowl.

Q. When did you become so passionate about American football?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: I'm just a huge sports fan. It's -- you know, spending quite a bit of time in the States and just -- it's such a big sport in the States. You can't miss it. Like you go to the bar and it's always showing, baseball or football. I like to get into it.

I think once I start to understand American football more, it showed so much how strategic the game is and that's fascinated me.

Q. Who are you root to work for, Cam or Peyton in the Super Bowl?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: I'm sitting this one out. Let the best team win. This was my dream final, to be honest, and so I can't wait to actually see them both.

I think it's Cam's dream, you know, and Peyton, you know, so deep in his career it's definitely a dream again.

It's going to be awesome.

Q. What's the dream final here?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: I don't know. That's -- I'm staying out of that one, too. (Laughter.)

Q. Can you tell us a little more about your Hawaiian connection? I know you're friends with some of the locals there. The inspiration you get from that.
VICTORIA AZARENKA: Well, Hawaii is probably my favorite place in the entire world. I feel so connected there. You know, they are my family more. Like I have not blood related, but Hawaiian family, and I go there every year for Thanksgiving.

Laird is probably one of the biggest inspirations of my life, with Gabrielle, his wife. They really taught me so many things, introduced me to so many different worlds, and opened my mind like really to new experiences.

So it's pretty amazing.

Q. Hawaii is a special place, and some people even say it has a spiritual side to it. What island do you go to and does it sort of take you to a different place than the circuit?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: Yeah, definitely. There is one place where I never need a phone. Because I think we are so connected to technology right now. And I am, too. You know, I'm all the time with my phone. I try to disconnect myself from that.

But there, I never want to touch my phone. Like really, just I feel so free and so connected there. And I only go to one island.

Q. Which one?

Q. Wet or dry side?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: The ocean side.

Q. Maria is playing Serena again tomorrow. What puts more pressure on, the one trying to end a losing streak or the one trying to keep a winning streak going?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: I think there is both pressure, I guess. It's just more -- it's just different type of pressure. I don't know. I can never speak for somebody else. For me, it's difficult because I'm not in their shoes, so it's tough to judge.

Q. Every year is different, but you do well here in Australia. Why is it so special for you here? Why do you think you respond so well? Is it the heat?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: I don't know. I mean, there is no particular thing. I really do enjoy the energy here. I think the tournament always is trying to improve.

As a player, your opinions matter. I think that's really important. I feel even more connected here.

And just the energy around is so -- it's easygoing, but it's very intense in a way that it's a lot of passion.

So I feel related.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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