June 6, 2021
A. PAVLYUCHENKOVA/V. Azarenka
5-7, 6-3, 6-2
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. How do you explain that? After the first set, was it a case of you dropping a level and her lifting things considerably?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: I think it's a little bit of both. But definitely I felt that I was a bit less sharp. I didn't take my opportunities when I had them. The momentum shifted, for sure.
Q. You battled hard today. When you reflect on the clay court season, particularly the last week, can you take any positives from the experience?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: Yeah, of course. There's always some positives. The most positive thing I will say from this week, not the whole season, is that I've been able to play pain-free. That was my goal here.
Everything else is something that can be reflected later, analyzed. I think it's a bit too quick to be able to reflect on that right now.
Q. It may not be particularly appealing to play in a night session this year because there are no crowds. So far six of the seven matches have been men's matches in the evening. It's billed as the match of the day. Is that something that concerns you?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: What concerns me is when somebody from French Federation is continually trying to say there is equality, and only pointing out to prize money, which is true. Everything else, I wouldn't even agree for a little with that. And that's disappointing.
Q. When you spoke before your last match you said it was a difficult day. After the match you posted on Twitter: Why do some things so simple need to be complicated? Would you like to give us an explanation of what you were referring to or keep that private?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: No, I just think that in general sometimes things here are made a bit too complicated. And it has nothing to do with today's match. It's just honestly a bit frustrating every time you're trying to deal with the organization here, it's becoming 'pas possible'. Everything you hear is 'pas possible'.
It has nothing to do with the outcome today or the other day. When you're coming to warm up before the match, the court is completely wet where it's kind of dangerous to move. I just have a genuine question, Why? Why can it not be ready when people know somebody is coming to practice, players are going to warm up? I don't understand why simple things like this are not in place.
But that's just one example. It makes it exactly what I said: there are simple things that just can be avoided and continuously trying to battle for everything here.
Q. On the equality, you were saying lack of equality in scheduling. Is there a lack of equality between the men and women in other areas, as well?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: About what?
Q. You were talking about a lack of equality in scheduling, suggested there might be other areas in which there is a lack of equality between men and women.
VICTORIA AZARENKA: I mean, I think there is enough examples over the years where we've heard remarks towards women, where we've seen two women's semifinal matches playing on the outside courts. I mean, you guys, if you follow tennis, you know what I'm talking about. I think there is no surprises that I can reveal here.
I think sometimes you need to hold some people accountable for some of those things and not continuously point out to the obvious of prize money.
Q. On the scheduling equality point, if you had been asked to play in the night session this week without a crowd, how would you have felt about that, given the FFT did describe that slot as the match of the day?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: Yeah, I will answer that whenever I will be asked if I would like to play a night session or not. Honestly, that would be already a step forward.
Q. You told us earlier in the week that you have a life outside tennis, responsibilities as a mother and family responsibilities. In a strange way has that helped you re-find your love for the game?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: I mean, probably it is connected. Obviously I don't know if there is one particular thing. I think outside influences doesn't necessarily make you happy from inside, what you can control. I think that's really more of an internal work on a daily basis.
I think when you can maybe use those influences or things that you have outside to your advantage, that's a positive. For some people it can be also more pressure, more responsibility. So I really think that depends on what you do about it, how you react to it, how you approach that.
So it's up to you.
Q. The points that you're making, is there finger pointing at one specific person or the entire federation? Are you able to expand on that aspect?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: I'm not pointing fingers actually on anybody. I'm just raising something I think sometimes we just need to reflect on the situation. Things internally doesn't -- you know, people maybe don't talk about it so much.
I'm not trying to point out fingers. I'm just saying actually what happened. I'm not making stuff up. I'm not trying to be difficult. I just think that sometimes it's your guys' job to maybe do some kind of, not investigation, there's nothing terribly dangerous or something of that sort, don't make my words out of context. I'm just saying sometimes ask maybe some other players what kind of experience they've had here. Maybe I'm the only one, but I'm sure I'm not.
Q. There's been lots of talk about the best way players heard collectively both on the men's game and the women's game, particularly when they're speaking to event organizers and the federations. What would you like to see happen?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: I would like to have players' voices heard more and I would like players to take responsibility as well for our part of the job and helping and working together with organizations. I think that's where it can work best, when we work together and find solutions. That's really my, I would say, ideal view and ideal approach.
Q. You've just come off the court, I appreciate that, but what is the plan now? Will you stay here? Head to the UK, get on grass straightaway?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: Honestly I don't know. I'm a bit over tournaments and bubbles. I kind of do want to go home. There is obviously the grass court season now. It's cut a bit shorter. I don't feel there is time to go home. So I probably will maybe stay couple days here. I signed up to Berlin. It's important to now plan the transition for it.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports