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March 27, 2016

Victoria Azarenka

Miami, Florida

V. AZARENKA/M. Linette

6-3, 6-0

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Probably good to have a quick one with the weather conditions out there.

Q. A rather routine match with the weather conditions, hot and humid.
VICTORIA AZARENKA: Yeah, I'm not complaining, but I'm able to play for as long as I need to out there.

The conditions are definitely tough, but I was ready.

Q. So in the second set with the score looking lopsided but Magda was still fighting, how did you maintain your level and not drop off, underestimating the fact that she could still fight back?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: Well, I always try to never underestimate any opponent. Playing in a tournament like Miami, you don't expect players to give up and not try, whatever the scoreline is.

I just wanted to stay aggressive, keep going for all my shots, and also not give her an opportunity to come back. Because once you do that, anybody can come back.

Happy that I stayed focused. I took my opportunities and kept applying pressure.

Q. Do you plan to watch the match tonight between Muguruza and Gibbs? Which one would you rather play? I mean, Muguruza would be big to the tournament, because it seems like a rivalry might be...
VICTORIA AZARENKA: It's funny you call it a rivalry since we never played against each other.

Q. Yeah, but, I mean, you are both very good players. Muguruza is up and coming and you're already established.
VICTORIA AZARENKA: Okay. I don't know if I'm going to be watching the match. Maybe a little bit. I'm sure my coach will. That's more important for him to watch for me.

We'll see. I don't like to predict who I want to play. I don't care. But I don't know, whoever wins, I'm going to play. Both of them I never played in a tournament, so...

Q. Do you remember the worst case of humidity that you've ever played in?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: Worst case of humidity? Cincinnati is pretty much up there; I would say Beijing Olympics in 2008 was just brutal, really bad; here is, yeah, probably on top of the list, too.

Q. What is the biggest thing that you have to get used to in the humidity? The breathing? The heat? The sweat? What exactly makes it particularly difficult?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: Honestly, to hold the racquet, because it's so easy to slip out of your hands. It was the case today. I tried to hit the net and slipped out and I got a code violation because of that.

But I don't know. I think to breathe is one thing. Takes a couple days to adjust. But definitely being able to stay hydrated in these conditions is really important. You have to overdrink than you probably would on a daily basis.

Just also I think that's very important.

Q. Angie and you are the two players who have denied Serena her title this year so far. Is she still the target here as you go forth?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: What do you think?

Q. Probably, but I want to hear from you.
VICTORIA AZARENKA: Yeah, I mean, she's one of the greatest players of all-time. I think for me she's the greatest player of all-time. Whatever she plays, I think she's always going to look like a favorite.

She's playing well. She didn't lose in first or second round. The finals are tough, but definitely going to be the biggest challenge.

Q. You've had success against her. Not every time, but quite a few times. What works for you when you've had that success, do you think? If you want to tell.
VICTORIA AZARENKA: Not really. I don't think you expect anybody to tell you right away, Hey, here is my game plan against the best player in the world. Since I won last time, let me give it out there so player can adjust.

I don't think it's anything in particular. You have to expect to play your best tennis against player like Serena. You have to be brave to go for your shots. Mentally you got to believe.

Q. This year it's an Olympic year, and we have --
VICTORIA AZARENKA: Sorry, can you speak up?

Q. This year we have the Olympics.

Q. How important is it for you? You had a great result in the mixed doubles in London. How is it for you now? Are you focusing more on singles? How are your expectations for this Brazil Olympics?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: Well, it's a long shot to be expecting something at this point. It's definitely one of the main goals for me this year, and I can't wait to play the Olympics. I always had so much fun representing my country, and I'm looking forward to do it again.

My last Olympics was really successful, so I'm looking forward to play again. I'm definitely going to be competing for a medal, but this time only for singles.

Q. You mentioned before that you haven't played Muguruza and Gibbs, so obviously not a rivalry yet. We talk a little bit about Serena and how you match up against her. Stepping back away from tennis, just a global sport thing, what makes up a rivalry? What do you consider a rivalry?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: I think competition on a consistent basis. Somebody, when you watch them play, are pushing each other to the limit. I can say I have a rivalry; I think me and Serena has done that. In maybe 10, 12 last matches, has always been high competition, high quality of tennis, and really testing each other.

I consider that rivalry.

Q. Sorry to ask you again about Brazil. You went to Brazil to play the exhibition some years ago.

Q. How was it for you? How did you like the country? Which are your best memories? Had you had a good fun there?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: Yeah, I always had like a fantasy about going Brazil. I have not been to Rio yet, but I always watch Carnival, and the Brazilian dancing and the music and the language itself is really cool. Actually I have three Brazil colors on my nails.

For me to go and play Olympic Games in Rio, the city where I always been dreaming about going, it's going to be very special. I don't want to get too excited too early, but I'm very much looking forward to it.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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