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February 16, 2011

Victoria Azarenka


4-6, 6-2, 7-6

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Why was that so tough?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: Well, it's the first match and tricky opponent. Um, I didn't really play my best tennis today, so I had to really, you know, fight and dig in. That's what made it also harder.

Q. What do you think got you through the match?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: I think I was fighting a lot today. As I said, I didn't play my best tennis. It was hard to get rhythm also with a little bit of wind, but I managed to stay in the match.
I had a few opportunities in the first set, as well in the third. I didn't convert them. But I think she played really well. She's the type of player sometimes you don't know what to expect. She has some up and downs, and obviously you could see that in our game today.

Q. You've done well here in the past. Is this somewhere that suits your game, the conditions here?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: I think it's tough conditions here. You know, the courts are a little bit tricky. It depends on the way how well you adjust.
So for me, last year was great, but this year is new year. You know, I'm going to play different opponents, so I'm just really looking forward to it. I'm glad I had a tough match today to make me -- for me to go through that.

Q. So what did you learn from coming out of today? You did have seven double faults. What do you have to work on going into your next match?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: Well, obviously everything. You know, I need to raise my level on everything, especially with the serve. It was a little bit tough today, but I'm looking forward to it.
You know, there is a lot to improve, and I have to work harder. But I'm glad that I fought hard today, and in the important moments I stayed there.
At the end of the day, I won the match.

Q. You served for the match twice and didn't serve it out. Does that affect your confidence?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: No, because I didn't want to really think about it too much. As I said, there were a lot of up and downs and a lot of breaks. It was hard to hold few serves on one side for me today.
But, um, I was just looking for the next point, next point. That was the key today, I guess.

Q. On one side was it the sun or the wind? What was the problem?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: Well, it was sun, it was wind, but it was for both. For me, I didn't really adjust too well. That's what I have to do better next time.

Q. You've been in and around the top 10 for quite a long time now. What do you think you need to do to make the breakthrough, in the Grand Slams particularly? I think quarterfinals is your best so far, isn't it?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: Yeah. Well, there is a lot of work. Sometimes little bit luck also as well, I think.
But to me, as you said, I still haven't passed so far into the tournament, and I'm just looking forward to do that. I'm going to try to do my best, but it depends on a lot of things.

Q. Is it a question of keeping up a level for two weeks, seven matches?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: Definitely. You know, I got stronger physically this year, which is also very important in a Grand Slam because it's a two-week tournament. So, you know, I feel like I'm improving. There is -- it's time a different time for everybody.

Q. I was going to ask, Victoria, while you wouldn't have chosen to get through the way you did today, do you feel it gives you a sort of instant competitiveness that perhaps other tennis players that have got through easier haven't had? You've come through a tough test and you're ready for subsequent ones if they come along?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: Well, obviously you always you would like to win easy and comfortable, but I think it's good to go through that. You feel in the first match you're already in the tournament, you're ready to fight. It's good to test yourself.

Q. Have you spoken to Caroline, your good friend? You're both at opposite ends of the draw. I presume you have the same agent or representation. You went out for dinner I think the other night. Do you liaise on that level?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: You know quite a lot about me and her, you know. (Smiling.) I might think of you as a stalker a little bit.
We haven't talked about the draw, because me personally, I never look at the draw. We spent time yesterday at the party. You didn't know about that, so I'm just informing you.
But, yeah, we always keep in touch about different stuff. But tennis is our job. We normally try to stay away from it.

Q. Something else we don't know about you, how many pair of shoes have you got?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: That's what I don't know either. You know, I know a lot, but I don't know either.

Q. How late did you both stay at the party?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: I left about 9:28.

Q. Wow.
VICTORIA AZARENKA: I think. You know, my hitting partner, he was really hungry, so we had to stay a while.

End of FastScripts

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