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APIA INTERNATIONAL SYDNEY


January 13, 2012


Victoria Azarenka


SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES

V. AZARENKA/N. Li
6‑2, 1‑6, 6‑3


THE MODERATOR:  Questions, please.

Q.¬† Early in the third set, I think you were 1‑Love down, seemed like all the momentum was against you.¬† How did you turn that around?
VICTORIA AZARENKA:  Well, you know, it was really difficult, because first set I was kind of like having it my way; second set she turned around and was having to her way.  She was really aggressive and playing some incredible tennis, so I really tried to stay in the moment.
You know, tried to play every ball, because I knew that at some point I'm going to have a chance, so I just have to stay with her and try fight.  So that's how I did.  I really kept my composure.

Q.  From a player's point of view, it's very hard when you can feel the crowd behind her, she's the defending champion, there is a large Chinese community in Sydney.
VICTORIA AZARENKA:  Oh, yeah.  No, how many Chinese people are in the world?  I mean, yeah.

Q.  How does a player deal with that when you feel like the crowd is on the other side?
VICTORIA AZARENKA:  You know what?  I just want to play the way that the crowd start to love me.  That's the thing.  (Smiling.)

Q.  With 9 of the top 10 women here, it's a virtual kind Grand Slam field.  What does that mean for you to win here going to Melbourne?
VICTORIA AZARENKA:  It brings a lot of confidence.  But it's going to be a new week, a new tournament, so for me it's going to be starting from zero.
I'm glad the way I played here through those battles that I went through, so I really tested myself before a big event.  You know, I'm just going to try to keep going the same way with the same attitude, the same way I'm playing.

Q.  Is there something in your week here that you think, You know what, that's an improvement from last year or something I've done better than I've done before?
VICTORIA AZARENKA:  Oh, yeah, I started to dance much better.  I'm serious.  (Laughter.)  I'm serious.  (Smiling.)

Q.  Something in your tennis?
VICTORIA AZARENKA:  I think it really helps the movement, you know.  You really get that rhythm so your footwork kind of pops.  I'm not kidding.  (Laughter.)

Q.  When did you fit in the dances?  Was that part of your rehab, recovery?
VICTORIA AZARENKA:  It's all the time.  I just dance all the time, especially before the match.  Get my move on.  (Smiling.)

Q.  No yoga, you prefer to dance?  Some players do yoga.
VICTORIA AZARENKA:  Well, whatever helps anybody.  Somebody, you know, maybe try to read a book.  Somebody try to, I don't know, laugh.  I laugh.  I dance.  So kind of makes it fun, yeah.

Q.  Is there a better way to start a season than winning a title?  Must be the best thing you can do.  Must feel really good.
VICTORIA AZARENKA:  I think so.  There is nothing really better you can do.

Q.  Is that what this was at the end, a bit of celebration dancing for the crowd?
VICTORIA AZARENKA:  That's kind of like the thing I do is spinning.  I started doing that last year, and kind of stuck with me.

Q.  Who would you say is favored for Melbourne, if you had to nominate someone?
VICTORIA AZARENKA:  You know, I think it's your job to predict and my job to deliver.

Q.  Nice answer.
VICTORIA AZARENKA:  Thank you.  I thought about it two days ago.  (Laughter.)

Q.  Last year in Istanbul you said the top 3 would dominate women's tennis for a long time.  Do you think it's going to be the case there this year in the Australian Open?
VICTORIA AZARENKA:  You know, we'll see.  There is a lot of players who can really lift up their game and dominate.  We saw it all the way last year.  There were different winners of different Grand Slams and different tournaments.
I think it's really exciting to see what level of competition that we have right here.  For me, I'm really excited to have that kind of battle and go through those tough challenges.  Especially with Kim back Serena back, it's great.  I think it's amazing for women's tennis.

Q.  Looking at the level Li played today, do you think she's going to be a dangerous player to watch in the Australian Open?
VICTORIA AZARENKA:  What do you think?

Q.  Yes.
VICTORIA AZARENKA:  There you go.  I mean, if you were watching the match, I think we showed only incredible tennis out there.  Li Na, she's always very dangerous, and she proved it today.  I'm just glad I could overcome and win this match today.

Q.¬† A lot of three‑set matches here in general this week for the women.¬† Do you think that suggests that it's pretty open down in Melbourne in terms of who can win it?
VICTORIA AZARENKA:  I think so.  That's what I said:  The competition is pretty high and it's pretty spread out, so I think it's very exciting for people to say that kind of competition.  There is no easy matches right from the start, so you really have to be focused and 100% from the beginning of the tournament.  So I think it's exciting.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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