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August 12, 2011

Victoria Azarenka


V. AZARENKA/G. Voskoboeva
6-1, 6-2

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. How do you feel about being the highest ranked player left standing?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: Um, not really focused on that, honestly, no? I'm just here to play the tournament, not looking at the rankings or anything else, just trying to stay focused on every game. You know, every opponent is tough, as you can see throughout the tournament. So I'm just really trying to be focused on myself.

Q. How concerned were you playing here today, considering that she beat Maria and then she beat Bartoli and she was playing very well? Were you worried going into the match, or did you know much about her beforehand as well?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: Yeah, I know her for a long time, but worried, no. I mean, of course I had to take in consideration she's been playing really well, you know.
But as I said, I was more focused on my game and trying to execute my shots and moving myself than really more -- less on the opponent's game. So it worked out for me well that I was really focused on me than on her.

Q. Are you surprised, I mean, she hasn't had that much of a record in singles, that she did so well this week?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: Well, you know, it's one week. If she can do that on consistent basis, she will be, you know, up top 10.

Q. That's something that you've really sort of been managing to do ever since March is really bring good tennis every week. Can you talk a little bit about sort of that discipline and just what it takes to keep that focus?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: Well, it takes a lot of hard work. You know, every day you have to find something to, you know, motivate you, to go on court and try to give your best.
So for me it's important to, you know, stay on the court when I'm on the court, to give my best every time on every point and every match I play. So that's how I am. That's my mentality going into every match.

Q. Do you have any sort of specific tricks that you use? I mean, I know you started listening to music walking on the court, things like that. Can you talk about that?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: Yeah, I do listen to the music all the time when I go. I like to dance a little bit before the match.
So, you know, everybody has their own way to get ready for the match and get focused, so that's one of mine.

Q. I saw you in May. I believe it was your last hard court appearance where you won in Key Biscayne over Maria. Do you see some similarities between playing here in Toronto and at the Sony Ericsson Open?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: Absolutely zero except that the name, the hard court. But the surface and the whole atmosphere is completely different. You can't compare these both events. It's totally different.

Q. You're sort of from the same generation as Kvitova. When you see her win Wimbledon, does that sort of make you think, that could have been me, or are you a little frustrated that she got there first for a Grand Slam?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: Frustrated? No, she really deserved that win. She played really well. I had my chances, also.
But for me, I don't want to look back, you know. There is no point. You cannot bring back what happened already.
But I think she played really well. She deserved that win. And for me, I'm just gonna focus on the next one and try to get it.

Q. Do you have a quick word about each of the two possible opponents that you could face tomorrow?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: Two good words, two great girls, two great players, you know, been showing some excellent tennis this week. So both dangerous.
And, you know, honestly I look forward to see how that match goes, and I'll be happy to play any of the opponents.

Q. You have matched up well against Serena in the past. Can you talk a little bit about, if it is her, what you need to do and what is it that you do that's given her trouble in the past?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: Well, she's a great player. I mean, you can see she has so many weapons, you know, especially her big serve.
Just, you know, have to fight against her. I haven't played her in a while. Since she has been back, she has been showing some excellent tennis.
So I really have to, you know, step up the level a little bit, and, as I said, try to be focused on me, not on who I'm gonna play.

Q. Is that the important thing? Just the fight?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: Yeah, of course. It's always -- it's the most important thing. I mean, everybody knows how to play forehand, how to play backhand, and to run. Most important is to fight and to bring out your best mentality.

Q. What does it feel like to see your ranking where it is and see Serena's ranking at 70 or whatever it is? Does that seem strange?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: It's how things are. I mean, she didn't play for a year. What do you expect, her to be No. 1 after one tournament? Is impossible.
So, I mean, I'm sure she's gonna work her way through, and she knows where she deserves to be. We'll see how it goes.

Q. Did you see any of the matches she played in Stanford and when she won that tournament?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: Yeah, I saw a little bit. As I said, she played great. I mean, Serena, doesn't matter if she didn't play for eight months. She's done it before. She knows how to play tennis.

Q. When you're watching, are you watching out of curiosity or are you watching as a professional sort of scouting to see exactly how she's playing?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: Both. I mean, just curious sometimes. You know, sometimes it's interesting to just watch tennis and see what players are working, what players are doing. It's not particular one player. I love to watch men's tennis, as well.
So I don't know. I enjoy watching.

Q. What were you doing last week? Was it just a practice week? Did you come here early?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: Yeah, I was practicing in New York.

Q. Did you get a chance to do anything else?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: Quite a few things. I mean, but mainly practice. It takes so much time out of you. Sometimes you just don't have any energy to go anywhere.
But I did my haircut. I colored my hair. A little bit curly now.

Q. Speaking of being busy, obviously you're still rolling in doubles play, as well. What does that take out of you this week?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: It's a lot of fun. I enjoy playing doubles. I have a great partner, and we have been playing so well this whole year, so it's a little bit of extra practice and extra prize money, as well. (Smiling.)

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