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January 30, 2005

Victoria Azarenka



Q. It was a good match. Were you expecting such an easy victory?

VICTORIA AZARENKA: It wasn't easy that the score was. It was pretty tough mentally. But I felt very confidence. I did the best I could.

Q. You were seeded No. 1 in the draw, so you were the favorite of the tournament.


Q. Is it more difficult to win a tournament when you are the favorite?

VICTORIA AZARENKA: Maybe not because some player, they feel like pressure when you first seed. But I didn't feel it, so I was confident because of the last week. I won the tournament and I did pretty well. I played good. I played all my best shots. I was confidence and comfortable on the court.

Q. Where do you live and where do you practice now?

VICTORIA AZARENKA: Originally I'm from Belarus. I practice there. Just after US Open, I started to practice in Spain, in Marbella. Hofsas Tennis Academy.

Q. You have a Spanish coach?

VICTORIA AZARENKA: There is a German -- people from Germany there in this academy. Also my coach who is with me here, he is German.

Q. And before going to Marbella, you were a little bit in Germany?

VICTORIA AZARENKA: No, no. I wasn't. I was practicing in Belarus and was living. Now I living in Spain.

Q. Like Safin, like Kuznetsova.


Q. Conditions are much better, of course, to practice.

VICTORIA AZARENKA: Yeah, for sure.

Q. So you like clay courts?

VICTORIA AZARENKA: I was practicing on hard court because I was practicing for Australia, and I played only on hard court. So I didn't try the clay courts yet.

Q. What are your strengths, your best shots?

VICTORIA AZARENKA: Really, I don't know. I'm trying to approaching all the time, to attack, to come to the net. This is I think my best game.

Q. This is your best victory so far, your best success, winning this tournament?


Q. Because you are very young.

VICTORIA AZARENKA: Yeah, I was dreaming about it because before I played already two semifinals in Grand Slams. I lost both of them when I had a match points. This time when I played semifinals, I wasn't shaking, but I was thinking about not to this time. And final, I was just relaxed, trying to do all my best.

Q. Where were those two semifinals?

VICTORIA AZARENKA: First one was Wimbledon and second one was US Open.

Q. Were they both last year?


Q. Was the player you lost to in each of those here this year?

VICTORIA AZARENKA: Wimbledon I lost against Ana Ivanovic. You probably know. She played here. US Open I lost against Michaella Krajicek. She also played here and made one round. They improved a lot. I'm trying to do this, too.

Q. What is your goal for this year, playing only junior tournaments?

VICTORIA AZARENKA: No. This year I think I will try to play more woman's tournaments and we'll see how it goes.

Q. How many are you allowed to play on the women's?

VICTORIA AZARENKA: It's a limit. I have maybe 10 tournaments. I'm not sure. I don't know yet. I play just once since my birthday, so I have like eight or nine tournaments more.

Q. Which ones have you played so far?

VICTORIA AZARENKA: I played in Israel, 25,000. It was in December. I did pretty well there. I made quarterfinals singles and semifinals doubles. It was okay.

Q. How many junior Grand Slams have you played in?

VICTORIA AZARENKA: I played three.

Q. This is the third?

VICTORIA AZARENKA: This is the fourth.

Q. Have you talked about what it means to be No. 1 now?

VICTORIA AZARENKA: I was dreaming about this so much because I wanted to be No. 1 so much because two times I had these chances and I missed them. Now when I did this, it's feeling, I can't explain it now.

Q. Is it as special as winning the title or they're both amazing?


Q. Is it as good as winning the title? Was it more than winning the title here?

VICTORIA AZARENKA: Yeah, it's prestige, I think, and it's much more points. It's give a lot of confidence.

Q. So it's a wonderful start for the year and the next step towards the pros.

VICTORIA AZARENKA: Yeah, it's a very good step.

Q. Do you think it changes the way people see you, as well?

VICTORIA AZARENKA: Yeah, I think so. But I think that so many people saw me because it's like I didn't play a lot of tournaments since US Open. It was the first tournament. And I think everybody was surprised because I improved my game a lot and I more tough now. I think I'll try to do it better and better.

End of FastScripts….

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