home jobs contact us
Our Clients:
Browse by Sport
Find us on ASAP sports on Facebook ASAP sports on Twitter
ASAP Sports RSS Subscribe to RSS
Click to go to
ASAP Sports e-Brochure View our


September 3, 2011

Victoria Azarenka


S. WILLIAMS/V. Azarenka
6-1, 7-6

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. After 17 minutes had been played, you were behind 5-0. How do you pull yourself together, which you certainly did?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: Yeah, 17 minutes is kind of fast to go 5-Love down. But I think she started really strong and didn't really give me much of a space to be out there.
I felt like few little shots that I could have been aggressive, so little that I always felt kind of rushed. But after that, I mean, I just had to really start the momentum going, change a little bit the dynamic of the match. Nothing else than just try to get one by one to stay in the match.

Q. Do you think it was unfair that you had to play Serena in the third round?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: No. It's the draw. I mean, I'm not going to sit here and cry about I had a tough draw. It's part of the game, you know. Somebody else could have gotten, you would be asking the same thing.
No, I mean, if I want to be good, if I want to be a champion, I have to beat the best players.
Definitely I would have preferred to play her in the third round. I felt we were playing a very top level of game. It was like a semifinal or even a final, the level. But what can you do? Just look forward to my next tournaments.

Q. When she is on, like those first 17 minutes, what is it like?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: What's it like? It's painful. To have somebody just going at you like that, it's a little bit painful. You know, you try to do your best, but somebody's on fire.
As I said, you just try to manage and change the dynamic of the match and try to get a little bit more on your side, try to be more aggressive. So that's what I did. It just took a little bit, a while. But she played great. What can you say? Everybody can be in the zone.

Q. What are the specifics about what she does that makes it so painful when she's really on?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: You know, you should ask her, to practice a little bit with her and serve at you. Then you'll feel it. It's better than me describing it in words (smiling).

Q. Do you think she's playing at a level to win this whole tournament?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: Yeah, definitely. She's playing at the higher level than actually I've seen her play in a few years.

Q. The highest you've seen her play?

Q. Could you break that down? Is it strokes, mental toughness, serve?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: I mean, it's everything. She has a complete package of playing. You know, she has a big serve, which makes her the biggest difference from any other player. It's her really big weapon that sets her up with a lot of things.
But, you know, mentally, she's definitely one of the toughest players out there. She knows how to fight. She really dominated.
But I think we had a great battle. You could feel how close it was, especially in the second set. As I said, the level of tennis I think was pretty high. But, you know, Serena is a big champion.

Q. Are there any other serves in the women's game that approach hers?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: No, I don't think so. She has definitely the best serve.

Q. Things got pretty close later. What did you change specifically to make that happen?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: I just tried to, you know, fight and be in the moment. I started to be more aggressive. I started to play more my game and step up. I played quite a few, you know, to the net. That was a little bit more of a game plan. Just loosened up a little bit. The beginning of the first set was a little bit tough.

Q. How gratifying was it for you to do that, withstand her storm and really produce some incredible tennis in the second set?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: Definitely, I mean, after the first set happened, I just tried to approach it as, you know, a new match. It's in the past, you cannot change it, so you just have to move on and try to find things to do better. So that's what I tried to do, step up my game. I really felt like I raised my level. It was just very little that was not enough today.

Q. You said earlier she's probably playing better than you've ever seen her. What does that say about her, given what she's had to go through the last couple of years?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: Well, I think it's definitely amazing that she's healthy. I'm really happy for her, that she went through all those suffers, but she came back really strong. It shows that she's a very strong person.
I mean, tennis, I honestly don't think she can lose it. Winning, what, how many Grand Slams before that, she can't lose that, how to hit the ball or whatever. She just really came back strong mentally. I think those suffers also helped her a lot to maybe get a different perspective and seeing tennis in a different way.

Q. How great is the distance between Serena and the rest of the field?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: I have no idea. That's a silly question. Sorry.

Q. What's next for you on the court and off the court?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: Well, next tournaments are Tokyo and Beijing for me. I'm just going, you know, try to work on my game, keep improving. I have three more big tournaments, and I'm going to try to do my best in them.

Q. Off the court?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: Yeah, actually I'm going to come back for Fashion Week. I'm excited about that. I'm not going to be here for tennis. I'll do something else.

Q. What is tennis like in Belarus?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: It's actually second most popular sport in the country, and it's growing bigger and bigger. We have many more schools opened, many more courts available, and a lot more kids playing tennis. So hopefully in 10, 15 years we're going to have a lot of players on the tour. That's what, you know, I would be really glad to see.

Q. Do you find when you're there you're hounded by the media? Are you the 'it' girl of Belarus?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: That's what I try to, you know -- I don't want to be the 'it' girl or celebrity in Belarus. I'm an athlete. I'm trying to be an athlete, not being on the reality shows and the other things. I try to be professional.

Q. Fashion Week, what are you going to do? Just attend shows?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: Yeah, I'm actually going to host one of the parties with Dwight Howard. So it will be fun.

Q. This is next week?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: The week after the final.

Q. You're going home and coming back to New York City?

Q. You mentioned playing 'your game.' You waited too long, you feel?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: Yeah, I think maybe just was a little bit tight in the beginning. You know, had to loosen up. Took a little bit of time. She obviously didn't give me time in the beginning.
But there are definitely a lot of things to learn from that match. It was a good match. Well, I'm disappointed to lose, but I can take a lot of positive thoughts from it.

Q. When you say 'tight,' you mean nervous or physically?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: No, I mean, there wasn't many -- I wouldn't say there were a lot of rallies. There were a lot of short points. She was like right there and didn't get me really in the rhythm.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

About ASAP SportsFastScripts ArchiveRecent InterviewsCaptioningUpcoming EventsContact Us
FastScripts | Events Covered | Our Clients | Other Services | ASAP in the News | Site Map | Job Opportunities | Links
ASAP Sports, Inc. | T: 1.212 385 0297