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April 1, 2016

Victoria Azarenka

Miami, Florida


6-2, 7-5

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. What is your reaction after that match and just the level that you were able to hit? Do you just feel like you're playing better with each match?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: I think I'm improving. Playing with different opponents sometimes it's a little more difficult to judge. Just coming off the court I'm going to try to re-watch and see what I've done better, because in my mind I always think I could have done better, and then I look at the statistics and the match was pretty good.

Especially like the match against Konta. I did a lot worse in my head than I actually did after I watched it.

Q. You and Kerber played really awesome match.

Q. How do you analyze? Third time you face each other this year. You played so well against each other. How did you saw the match today?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: Yeah, she's a very good player, obviously, winning Australian Open and playing so well this year. She plays with a little bit of I believe different confidence and really raise her level.

So for me, we always had a lot of tough battles. I looked at this match as a really good challenge to work on any mistakes, what hasn't worked for me in Australian Open. I'm glad I made those adjustments and it changed the result to my way.

Q. What kind of adjustments were those? Not to get super specific because I know you don't want to, but what adjustments did you make from Australia to here?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: I really didn't wait for her to give me anything. I really go out there and took my opportunities, which was missing in Australia; wasn't aggressive enough.

And definitely I know we got broken both a lot of times, but my serve was really strong when it needed. That also made a difference?

Q. What is it about that kind of rivalry between you two in terms of your game styles? It's one the fans seem to be responding to very well this year. What is it about the two of you that seem to be able to produce this type of entertaining tennis?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: I guess we both have very consistent strokes and like to take the ball early and direct the game a lot. Both really good fighters.

She is a type of player that she will never give up, so that also gives that kind of character to every match we play.

Q. We have again Olympics this year, and Wozniacki will be carrying the flag. You are one of the most important athletes. Did you ever talk to the people there to do something like that? Would you like to carry the flag?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: I was supposed to be. They offered me last time. I said no because, I don't know. It is a huge honor, but I didn't even go to the opening ceremony. I went to one and it's a lot of hassle. I would rather sometimes rather watch it on TV.

When you're there you don't see any of the show. I don't know how the schedule is going to be like, but my experience of the opening ceremonies in Beijing are really awesome but very painful.

For me in London was the choice of getting ready for the match or go to the opening ceremony.

Q. This next question is heading further out in the tour. As you have gotten back into the top 10 - and the next Grand Slam is coming, the French Open and you were facing Serena last year in the round of 32, I believe - is there pressure knowing you want your own quarter for that event and is any of that affecting you?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: I never look at the draw, so for me doesn't matter at all. I don't prefer or wish for anything. I just try to face whatever happens. If I have a quarter with Serena or with anybody, it's fine.

I don't shy away from the challenges.

Q. So Kuznetsova in the final. Been a long time, over three years or something like that, since you played each other.
VICTORIA AZARENKA: I don't even remember the last time. I think it was Indian Wells.

Q. Australian Open 2013 according to my stats. What makes her such a difficult opponent, and what do you expect to see from her on Saturday?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: She's a very talented and diverse player. She is one of the players who knows how to handle big stages. I know she has her up and downs in her career, but she knows how to handle big stages. She is a two-time Grand Slam champion, so it speaks a lot.

Seeing her coming book into her form, I know she's always been a dangerous player, so for me it's going to be really fun challenge to see also where we both are in a different timing of our career since we last played.

It's going to be really fun. It's tough, but the final can be unpredictable and is the type of the match where you give it all.

Q. We are here like almost midnight, and we been here for almost ten days in this tournament. You are one the most charismatic person talking to the press.

Q. I wanted to know a little bit about the secret. How do you face the press, having such good relation? What's the secret for you?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: I wouldn't call it a secret. I would call it more the experience and being educated. At the beginning of my career it was difficult for me to face media. I didn't know how to behave.

Where I'm from, our culture is very closed people and we don't really share much, so it was a lot for me to learn how to open up and talk to the media, understand the importance of it.

I think sometimes we don't give enough credit just because we get so criticized, but it is very important for people to be educated by media. It spreads the news; it gives the sport a lot of attention and awareness.

That part I had to really understand and learn.

Q. Was there a point when you started to understand the situation, marking this transition to understanding the media role?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: I can't really remember a particular point. I think I started to understand, if you can call it the game, the life around, when I had few bad incidents and how much impact it came to my image.

So being kind of more on the negative side because you face some challenges was really difficult for me to accept media. Once I started to understand that opinions aren't facts, makes it easier.

Q. Do you feel like you're the best player in the world right now?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: I wouldn't go out there and kill myself every day if I didn't feel like that.

Q. It's been since 1995 the last time somebody won Indian Wells and Miami on the women's side. Obviously you're a match away. Physically how are you feeling? The transition is difficult between both tournaments. How confident are you going into the final?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: I don't think about too much ahead what it's going to mean because those are just stats. For me, I have a job to do on Sunday [sic].

Regardless if I'm going to win and it's going to make a history, first I need to focus on now recovering for this match. It's great that we're not playing tomorrow and I have a day off. It's been a lot of tennis for me this past month, but I'm ready. I'm prepared.

As long as I feel that I'm prepared and enjoying myself on the court, I'm still hungry to go out there. Doesn't matter how many matches, wins I had, I'm going out there hungry.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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