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March 13, 2010

Victoria Azarenka


6-1, 7-5

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. How did you feel about your performance?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: Um, I felt pretty good today. You know, first match, especially here is always tough. But overall, I think it was a good match.
Sybille is a good player, and I was happy with my performance.

Q. So what's the key about her? She's a veteran player, plays a little bit of a different style.
VICTORIA AZARENKA: I think that these courts really suit her game because the ball bounce high and it's pretty slow. So for her, I think it's one of the best surfaces.
So for me, I had to adjust my game a little bit and try to not let her play the way she likes.

Q. So did you play a little more patiently and wait for your opportunities to hit the bigger ball?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: Um, yeah. I did that, and I also tried, you know, to step into the court, try to take some volleys, and obviously she doesn't feel comfortable with that.
But, I mean, she battled pretty good in the second set.

Q. So coming to net and taking volleys is sort of a new step for you, to do it consistently. Are you feeling more comfortable doing it now?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: Definitely. I've been doing it since the beginning of the year. If you saw any of my matches, I do that more and more. I think it makes me a tougher player.

Q. You're doing it because you feel like what, it's the next stage or it's easier to close out points or what? Be more all around?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: Well, I think I'm just getting more points sometimes this way, and I'm -- I think I'm pretty good at the net. I just haven't used it as much.

Q. So do you have to force yourself to get up there, or is it starting to come more naturally?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: No, it's more natural now. You know, your choice is always to do the best, so if you choose to go to the net, you gotta go.

Q. So talk to me about your results this year. You've had pretty good results, but some tough losses there. Just where do you feel you are in general?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: You know, I'm in the very happy place myself mentally. I played really good this year. I lost to top 10 girls, and, well, you know, it happens. I lost to pretty much three champions of the tournaments, so it was good, you know.
Even the losses I took a lot of positive things from it, and just extra motivation to work, go and work harder and just work on your mistakes.

Q. So do you feel like you're really close to beating Elena or Serena or Venus maybe on a consistent basis, because you're a top 6 player now, too.
VICTORIA AZARENKA: Yeah, I think so. I have very close matches. I beat Serena and I beat Dementieva before. I think I'm really close to there. It's just another step that I have to take, you know, to be able to play good matches more consistently. I don't know. I think I'm doing pretty well. I'm happy.

Q. So is it more experience that you're looking for more than anything?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: Yeah, definitely. There are some -- there are a few more things that I'm learning about myself that I have to, you know, use it more. So we'll see how it goes.

Q. With this event so close to Arizona, do you have some friends and family that are able to come down and cheer you on locally here?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: Oh, well, my friends, which are my second family, are not in Arizona right now. They are in Edmonton in cold weather, and it's too bad they cannot come.
Actually, that's why I haven't been there for a while. But a lot of my other friends came from New York, and my mom is here. So it's good.

Q. Do you feel better playing when you have friends and family around, or is it easier if you don't have the friends and family around?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: No, I always like to have them, you know. Tennis is my job, of course, but the family and friends is the most important. So whenever they're around, it's always pleasant for me to have them.

Q. So I guess it's going pretty well with Sam. It's going well your coach?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: Yeah, it's going really well. We have fun. We laugh all the time, and the results are pretty good.

Q. Great match. I watched it. You were very focused today and really had control of what was going on. So I wonder, second set, 4-2, and then you got down about three games. What was going on in your mind then?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: Well, you know, everybody can miss the ball and everything. I was really focused, but I think I just lost a little bit of focus because she made couple of mistakes, and maybe I shut down mentally a little bit myself.
But I got back right away after those three games and pumped myself up to close out. I think it's not about how you play during the match, it's about how you finish the match. I finished the match well, so I'm proud of myself.

Q. It was great to watch.

Q. Are you going to be playing more doubles in the future? I know you're not playing this week. Are you going to play doubles in Miami?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: No, not in Miami, but definitely more doubles in Grand Slams and stuff. It's just, you know, hard if you do well to play singles and doubles back to back four weeks in a row.
From here on my schedule is going to be pretty hard, so I have to save some energy.

Q. What are you doing in the clay court season schedule-wise?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: I'm playing Marbella after here, and Charleston next...

Q. Marbella is going to be your one smaller event during the six months?

Q. Marbella, Charleston, and then Rome, Madrid...
VICTORIA AZARENKA: Stuttgart, Rome, Madrid. So we'll see. We'll see if I can handle it.

Q. It's a lot.

End of FastScripts

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