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October 27, 2011

Victoria Azarenka


6-2, 6-2

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. You seem to be playing with a lot of confidence, serving well. Also, your defense looks particularly good. Can you talk about all those things?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: Yeah, I really enjoy playing. You know, I think I improved a lot. It was a good preparation for me I did in Luxembourg, you know, to get that momentum.
And, I don't know, I was just trying to do my best every day, you know. It's very important to play one day at a time, one point at a time, so I'm really trying to be focused more on myself and not worry too much about my opponent.

Q. Some of the players have said the surface is a little bit funny or funky. Do you like it? Does it suit your game?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: I think I adjust really well to it. You know, it was similar in Luxembourg and it's similar to where I practice at home, as well. I think it's a little bit uneven some parts, you know, there is a bad bounce, but, you know, it's the same for everybody. The important thing is how well you adjust and you accept those little things, you know.

Q. You talked a little bit about your preparation in Luxembourg. Was there any point where you thought once you had qualified that you would go ahead and skip that tournament and just head straight here? Or did you feel like you needed the match play heading into the Championships?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: Um, no. I mean, I was qualified already in Tokyo, so I knew quite in advance that I'll be playing here. I didn't think of skipping, you know.
I was committed to that tournament, and I played that a couple years back, so I just wanted to go and play some matches. I didn't really think of that, you know, I really need those matches before the tournament. For me, it's just about the practice. Sometimes I play well without any matches; sometimes I play well after some matches. So it's just the matter of how I feel and the preparation, yeah.

Q. You seemed very emotional after the game, very pumped up.

Q. What exactly were the thoughts going through your mind? What was the reason why you were so pumped up?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: Have you never seen me play before? I'm always pumped up. I play a bit hard, and I was glad I could finish strong, you know, and I was so focused.
Once you get that feeling that you won, you kind of relax, and you just let all your emotions out, because during those hour and a half you really have to keep yourself together.

Q. There was nothing more than just this win, everything that comes with that win? Because you achieve a lot now this week already?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: No, I'm just happy that I won. Sometimes I jump. I don't know. You know, I dance before the match. I'm a little bit crazy in that way, so...

Q. With this win I think you're already through to the semifinals. How do you approach your next match? Are you going to try and keep it a bit more chilled and not aggravate certain things like your body, or will you go out and play 100%?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: I always play 100%. You know, I'm just gonna try to use that match to work more on my game and improve little things that I could have done better today, so I'm just gonna use it as an advantage for me and, you know, try my best. I always do. When I'm on the court I'm 100%.

Q. Clearly this place suits you, two wins, two matches, but it's a new venture for the WTA. It's a new venue and everything. What was your take on how it's working here in Istanbul? The crowds are good.
VICTORIA AZARENKA: Yeah, the crowd is amazing. I think that's what we've been really missing in the last couple years, the good crowd, the good support. You really want to go out there and show good tennis.
It's nice that everything is close here. I think it's important so you don't waste your time when you're, you know, traveling and everything. So far for me I sleep, I eat, I rest, I sleep, I eat. I haven't seen anything. The organization is pretty good. I mean, for the first year I really enjoy being here.

Q. Was it a little bit of a letdown in Doha? Because there you were top eight, end-of-year Championships, and sometimes the crowds were sparse, weren't they?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: I guess. I mean, I think we already admit it became more and more popular there. I think it still needs maybe a little bit more tennis involved, but I actually enjoyed a lot my time there, as well.
It was a great organization. I'm very happy to go back there for a normal tournament.

Q. Going back to the celebration and your kind of outbursts at the end, you put your tongue out, you swirl your fingers. Is that a completely spontaneous thing? Is that an inside joke with your coach? Where did that come from?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: It's been for a while already. You know, I just -- I'm just surprised you noticed that right now. There's a bunch of photos with me with this.

Q. I think you did it first in Miami maybe?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: Before that. Yeah, in Indian Wells.
And it kind of stick with me. I think it's kinda funny. You know, everybody has their own thing. Me, it's just crazy rock 'n roll kind of way.

Q. You used a lot of topspin today when you hit your forehand. Is that your strategy coming into today's match? Can you talk about how do you think Li played today?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: I think she's a very, very tough opponent. Especially if you give her one rhythm, she's really solid and she can stay and outpower anybody.
So I had to adjust, because the last two meetings that we had she really took advantage of me playing the same way.
So I had to change something and be more creative today. So that's what I tried to do.

Q. You have so much momentum in the moment. Is it a case almost wanting the season to go on a bit longer?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: No. I don't think so. I'm just really looking forward to few more days and just chill out a little bit, because it's been a long year.
But I do enjoy my time that I'm on the court. It's been like this since March, so I don't know. I'm happy to be on the court, but I am also glad that season is getting to the end.

Q. When you're in the form that you're in at the moment, does part of you think that you're going to have a break for a couple of months and then kind of piquing out for the beginning again next year?

Q. Do you worry you might lose some of the edge, some of the kind of sharpness?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: I think it's way too early to worry about the next year.
Actually, no, I'm excited to have a good preseason. I have a really great team with me. We're gonna have quite a lot of time to work on everything, and I'm really excited, actually, about that. I think I can really bring my game and my physical aspect to a better level, so I'm excited about it.

Q. Can you rate your confidence level right now versus, say, this spring?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: Spring? I don't know confidence level. I really take it day by day, you know. And as I said, I'm there. Doesn't matter how confident you are. If you don't do the work, it's not gonna help you.
So I'm really there to just give my best and, you know, try to be focused 100% on every point.

Q. Well, do you feel as good as you did back then right now, or you're not playing at that level?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: I'm not trying to think what's been in the past, because it's -- I think it's mistake to take it that way. I just try to live in the present.

Q. Did you get a chance to talk to Caroline about the comments that she made about players that make noise on court?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: I haven't. And I don't care about that. We just talked today very nice. She brought me my residence card of Monaco, so I'm really glad.
I hugged her, and we had a little girl talk. So it was fine. (Smiling.)

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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