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January 20, 2016

Victoria Azarenka

Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

V. AZARENKA/A. Van Uytvanck

6-0, 6-0

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Perfect start to the tournament for you. Even for a perfectionist, that had to have been pretty darn good.
VICTORIA AZARENKA: Pretty happy. I don't think I'm looking for perfection. I'm looking for effort. I'm looking for focus. I like that I was very composed today from first point to the last point. Like it didn't matter what the score was, I was there on every point.

So that's what I'm very happy about today.

Q. Now that you've had a bit of time to think after the match, can you elaborate on the smell of the court.
VICTORIA AZARENKA: I don't know. I really don't know the smell. It's like trying to describe a color. Can you?

Q. Different shades.
VICTORIA AZARENKA: Shades. But with the words, how do you describe color?

Q. You can say it smells like something.
VICTORIA AZARENKA: I have no idea what it smells like. It takes me a little bit down the memory lane. It just, you know, makes me excited. So I would say it's less of a smell as much as memories, you know, and the feelings that I get.

Q. Anything particular about your game, outside of the mental aspect of it, that you were especially happy with today, that you thought you executed really well?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: I think I served really well today. I was very consistent with it. I did good placement. My return was good, but I think my return is, you know, quite a big weapon. So I'm happy with that.

But overall I think I played a really good match. I was patient when I needed. I was aggressive when I needed. When I needed to change pace or, you know, get that extra shot in, I did that.

There is not much to complain. I just hope to stay focused and keep it up and keep working for the next match.

Q. In Brisbane you were saying in your off-season it took you some time to get your movement back, to be as efficient as you wanted to be.

Q. But you also said it was a long way off; you weren't exactly where you wanted to be. You look like you're moving fantastically out there. Are you far off from where you want to be movement-wise?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: I want to think so. I really want to have that as my goal. You know, I'm still reaching for stuff. I mean, really what perfect movement for me is looking at Djokovic. I really love to see the way he moves, how fluid he is, how efficient he is, the transition he does.

For me, that's kind of the goal.

Q. Did you feel the same back in 2012 when you won it?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: I honestly don't remember how I felt. All I remember is probably the pictures, the ceremony, the party after, but not really how I felt during the match (laughter).

Q. This is the first love and love result of this tournament. Do you remember that happening often to you? Your opponent made quarterfinals in Roland Garros last year.
VICTORIA AZARENKA: I don't know. I really wasn't focused on the score. I mean, the outcome, when you finish the match, is pretty remarkable and it's great. But what I was really happy is that I was able to sustain that for 12 games, you know, and really didn't lose my focus for any point.

For me, that's more important than the scoreline. But, I mean, it goes together.

Q. Do you remember, did it ever happen to you when you were young to lose this way?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: To lose? Yeah, it happened obviously. But actually remember that time very well. I think I was, like, 10 years old, or 11. On the professional level it didn't happen to me. But I was 11 years old. I was trying to get into Nationals for under 18, but obviously I was too young and I didn't get in.

Somebody retired and they gave me the spot. I was in school writing my essay. My dad came in and said, Hey, you got to go. I said, Where, dad?

He said, You got a spot. You can go and play. I was like, Really? He was like, Yeah. So I got excited, went to the court, got beat, I cried myself to sleep that day, and that was horrible experience.

But, you know, I came back to practice the next day, and I don't think that ever happened to me again. Hard work pays off.

Q. Can you remember the last time you had a bagel or a doughnut yourself?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: I've actually been on the diet for a while (laughter). I don't eat bagels.

I actually don't remember. No, I don't remember. Maybe Miami against Kuznetsova. I think that might have been the third set. She just killed me there.

Q. I was talking to some of the younger players, early 20s, late teens, asking them who they idolized, who they modeled their game after. Your name came up quite a bit.

Q. Yes. If you can step outside of yourself and look at your game, what is it about your game, do you think, that would make people want to emulate specific things?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: It's difficult. You know, I always picture like thinking to myself, If I would play against myself, what would I be doing? It's like, I don't really know. It would be interesting just to see that picture, to face myself.

I think I'm pretty all-around player. I think that's what is showing a little bit more right now, more of my variety and the things that I can do. I think that probably my movement is back to -- is pretty good.

I don't know. I'm not a big fan of complimenting myself that much. I just try to always look for I want to get better, you know. But that's pretty interesting. I would actually want to hear from those players what it is that they, I guess, admire about me. That would be a really cool thing.

Q. Does it surprise you to hear that younger players want to model themselves after you?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: It's an honor. I really feel like it's an honor. It's cool. I feel like I'm a kid who wants to grow and who wants to improve as a player. I said it many times. Every time I see Roger Federer, I'm so like a fan girl, even when they were just chatting at the Kids' Day.

I love that feeling, so I think it's just an honor.

Q. Now that you've had your first match, how important was Brisbane and having all those matches rather than potentially losing early and having to go on the practice court?

Q. How important was it to play match play rather than potentially if you had gone out early in Brisbane and having to go to the practice court?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: I mean, it didn't happen so I don't really give that much of a thought about it. I also know that today's winners is not going to win me next game. I have to keep working hard and stay focused.

Whatever happened in Brisbane is in the past. I can take my experience, what was working, and try to apply that and keep that. But the rest is kind of irrelevant right now. It's a new story. I have to really, you know, keep myself in the moment.

Q. Back to the bagel. When I asked if you can remember the last time you had a bagel, I meant when you won.
VICTORIA AZARENKA: Oh, when I won. Brisbane.

Q. This year?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: Brisbane, I think one of the matches was 6-Love. Not two bagels, but one of them, I think, yeah.

Q. So you're sticking with the dab in Australia?

Q. For luck?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: I just like doing it. I don't believe in luck. I believe in hard work.

Thanks for staying so late.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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