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August 30, 2011

Victoria Azarenka


V. AZARENKA/J. Larsson
6-1, 6-3

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Are you pleased with the opening of this tournament, the way you played out there today?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: Yeah, I mean, there's always things to improve. There are always things that could have been done better, but I think I had a pretty solid start.
I kept control of the match, so it's important, you know, to have that control in the opening rounds.

Q. Are you without injury now? I know you had some issues in Toronto.
VICTORIA AZARENKA: Yeah, yeah. I prepared really well. You know, I'm not feeling my hand so I'm ready to go.

Q. Pain-free?

Q. What was it with your hand?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: I hurt it in Toronto.

Q. What did you do?

Q. Wrist?

Q. Is it hard to remain patient when you've come close in majors? You've had some bad luck this year in terms of who you've had to play. Is it hard to keep the faith and go out there with the enthusiasm that you need?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: No, it's not hard. The motivation is always there. I haven't achieved my goals, so I cannot complain about the motivation's going down.
It's important tournament for me. I always take it match by match. But, you know, I have been closer to my goals, so I can only look and stay positive and keep getting better.

Q. Can you complain about your luck, do you feel?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: Complain about luck?

Q. The luck of your draws.
VICTORIA AZARENKA: Yeah, I'm gonna -- about my draw's luck? I have no idea about my draw, so I don't even care.

Q. But you lost to Li Na in France and she wins the tournament.
VICTORIA AZARENKA: Oh, yeah, in that way. I mean, why complain? I lost to the champion. I played good. I played a little bit bad sometimes, but what can you do?
I lost to the best player in the tournament. It's fine. I have to be better.

Q. So you're okay with that?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: You know, to win those titles you have to beat the best players, so to sit and complain, it's better to commentate or something.

Q. Now I'm sure you know - I apologize if you don't know - but now you've ended up in the same section as Serena.
VICTORIA AZARENKA: I'm not interested about that before I go out there. We'll talk about it later maybe. (Smiling).

Q. You and Caroline, who followed you on this court now, both people are expecting perhaps a Grand Slam tournament from you. Neither of you has quite punched through yet. What do you think about the situation with the two of you? Who do you think will get through first?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: That's a little bit silly question to ask me. Of course I want me to be there first. You know, as I said, I'm always taking it match by match. You cannot look too far ahead and jump ahead, because, you know, there is no final before the second round or third round.
So I always take it match by match. From every match I'm trying to improve and get better.

Q. Do you feel some sympathy for her when people are always saying, Well, she's No. 1 but she hasn't won a Grand Slam?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: You know, I think a lot of people expect her as being No. 1 to win. But I mean, I think she's been showing some consistent results. You know, it's a matter of time. People love to put pressure on players.
So for me, we're just trying to be our best. Sometimes, you know, it doesn't happen in a day or in a year or in two. It takes time. How long did it took Li Na to win a Grand Slam, right?

Q. You had a lot of success on your second serve today. Was there anything in particular you were doing, something you thought was keeping her off balance today?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: Um, I wasn't really thinking of putting her off balance. I was trying to be more focused on me and trying to execute and be aggressive on my serve, to prepare for my aggressive game.
So I think it worked out really well. I think my serve was the biggest key today, you know, to be in control of the match. I'm pretty pleased with that.

Q. When it comes to the US Open, playing on the hard court here, what do you think your biggest strength is?

Q. Yes.
VICTORIA AZARENKA: Oh, I think hard court really suit my game. I like to be aggressive. I like to dominate and be in control of the points. The surface is a little bit faster than probably the clay, but I don't know. I like hard courts.
Plus, it's the surface we play the most during the year, so I think everybody is more prepared for hard courts than for any other surfaces.

Q. What do you think of the atmosphere in Ashe?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: It's great. I think it's one of the most amazing courts. You know, the atmosphere -- I'm sure at 11:00 it's not as many people. But, you know, during the day there are more people showing up, and hopefully I'll get a chance to be there when there are much more people.

Q. Is there anything you feel you need to do better to break through and win a major?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: You know, I'm such a perfectionist that I always try to be better no matter how good I do something. I will always be looking forward to improve at everything, honestly.

Q. Some players say this year the surface might be a little bit slower than last year.
VICTORIA AZARENKA: I actually didn't get a chance to play last year there so I can't be the judge, but I don't know. All the courts are different here, so you cannot compare one to another.

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