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
Asaptext.com
ASAPtext.com
ASAP Sports e-Brochure View our
e-Brochure

QATAR TOTAL OPEN


February 16, 2012


Victoria Azarenka


DOHA, QATAR

V. AZARENKA/S. Halep
6‑3, 6‑1


THE MODERATOR:  Questions, please.

Q.  Presumably the lower back that was bothering you during Fed Cup and when you left Australia, that's all good now?
VICTORIA AZARENKA:  Yeah, it's much better.  It was important for me to rest a little bit, not to push too much, because obviously I played a lot of tennis this last months and a half.  So, yeah, I mean, I'm glad I could recover and it was nothing too serious.  It was important to take care of it right away.

Q.  Is it kind of important for you now in this position to actually, you know, step back and think about your next moves and be smart about how you continue?  Because you're in a different position obviously as No. 1.
VICTORIA AZARENKA:  Well, I mean, my whole objective is to be healthy the whole year, you know, and try to, every tournament you play, to come out with 100% and make sure that I can play a tournament when I'm at 100%.  It's not gonna happen all the time, but that's what I'm trying to achieve.

Q.  Are there moments where you say to yourself, Wow, I'm No. 1?  It's sometimes hard to realize?
VICTORIA AZARENKA:  You know, I have so many questions about that now that I think you guys realize it more than me, because, I mean, as I said, it's just a number.  Of course it's a great feeling to have, but also a lot of responsibility and pressure, I would say, comes with it.
But, you know, as I said before, I worked really hard to achieve this moment and I enjoy this position, but I still have to remember to work hard, because there is a lot of girls behind me who wants to chase me and be at my spot.

Q.  You mentioned the pressure.  Do you feel it sometimes?  Can you be precise about when?  Like maybe earlier today, earlier in the match today, rather slow start.
VICTORIA AZARENKA:  No, I wouldn't say I feel pressure.  I mean, it really depends on how well you take it, you know.  You can put a lot of pressure on yourself.  Somebody can put a lot of pressure on you.
Me, I try to, you know, go out and be the best player I can be out there.  You know, I'm not thinking about numbers.  I'm not thinking about proving something to somebody.  I'm just trying to do the best job as possible.  And sometimes it's gonna be good enough; sometimes it may not be good enough.  But I don't want to have regrets when I go on the court.  So that's the most important thing for me.

Q.  Do you have an awareness that there are some people out there who say, Well, now we have a legitimate No. 1 because she has done well and she also has a Grand Slam title, and they feel that that's an important element to being No. 1?
VICTORIA AZARENKA:  Well, you know, I think you guys, it's your job to say that, to evaluate, to give grades, I don't know, whatever.  Our job is to play and win matches.  That's my job.
Whatever people say, I mean, I appreciate if I'm a legit No. 1, but I think they shouldn't be too hard on the other girls, as well.

Q.  Maybe you already talked about your match, but as you said on court, you started out a little slow.  What was going on there, do you think?  Did she surprise you, or were you just a little bit sluggish in the beginning?
VICTORIA AZARENKA:  You know, I think I started first game and half of the second game really well, but then I kinda lost a little bit my concentration, and she really stepped it up.
I never played her before, so it was also adjusting a little bit to her game style I didn't know too much, and I don't think I really played right way those first, like, three games, four games, but then I started to get my rhythm more and, you know, putting more pressure and really focusing more on myself rather than on her game.

Q.¬† What was it about her game that ‑‑I mean, you said you hadn't seen it.¬† What was it about her game that kind of threw you in the beginning?
VICTORIA AZARENKA:  I mean, she brings a lot of balls back, you know.  At the beginning I was rushing too much trying to finish the point in maybe two shots.
Obviously I was missing them, so I had to stay a little bit more patient and find that balance with patience and aggressivity, you know, to come up with a better and aggressive game plan.

Q.¬† It seemed like the key game was the eighth game when you broke her to go up 5‑3 when you had several break chances.¬† Did you see that as a key moment in the match?¬† It seemed after that it just kind of went ‑‑well, it did.¬† You won the rest of the games except for one.
VICTORIA AZARENKA:  I think there was, you know, first set, a lot of battles, you know, a lot of long points.  I think that was probably mentally one of the moments that I think she kind of went a little bit down on herself.
But, I mean, I'm glad I could win that game because it was important, you know, to just give that a little bit of boost of confidence for myself and put a little bit more pressure on her, as well.

Q.  Do you feel that the look of people towards you has changed somewhat since the last two weeks?  If so, can you be specific or when or what circumstances you feel it the most?
VICTORIA AZARENKA:  Yeah, definitely a lot more, as I said, a lot more attention.  Some people say I achieved my potential, which probably wasn't looking like before, you know.
I don't know.  I don't really worry about what people say.  Of course I read stuff, and I appreciate the nice things.  I also appreciate criticism, because, you know, without criticism you cannot move forward.  You know, if everybody say how nice you are, how nice you are, you're like, Okay, I'm nice, I don't need to do anything more, I'm good, that's it.
But I appreciate good press and bad press, you know.  As many people that are on the planet are as many opinions there is going to be.

Q.  Have you bought yourself anything, a present, for your Australian Open victory or done anything special to commemorate it?
VICTORIA AZARENKA:¬† Not yet, but I played a very important Ping‑Pong game that I'm really, really proud about that.

Q.  Against?
VICTORIA AZARENKA:  A friend of mine.  I mean, you guys wouldn't know.  But I won, and I'm really, really, really happy about it.  (Laughter.)

Q.  Have you prioritized what's ahead this year and what you think is the most important things for you to focus on in terms of maybe tournaments?
VICTORIA AZARENKA:  Well, you know, everywhere I go, I try to win the tournament.  I think the competition in a lot of tournaments that I enter is really high, so I'd like to do the best at each single one.
Of course, the priorities are the Grand Slams that are the main goals as well as the Olympics this year.  You know, it's one of my main goals, and I'm really excited to play there.
It's going to be my second one, soI'm going to go there with more experience and I would really love to win the medal.

Q.  Do you recall like the Olympics not being a big deal to tennis, or you're too young for that?
VICTORIA AZARENKA:  Well, for me it's a huge deal.  For me, I mean, it's history.  It's the biggest event the athlete in any sport can have.
So I'm really excited for me and for our country.  It's going to be amazing.

Q.  Will you take part in the mixed doubles?
VICTORIA AZARENKA:  Yes, I am.

Q.  Do you think that's going to raise the stature of mixed doubles at all that they've put it in the Olympics just overall?
VICTORIA AZARENKA:  Hopefully.  I mean, I think it's a great opportunity, you know.  It's going to be my first time and a kind of a history again, and I have a great partner who I played with before.  We won the US Open.
I don't know.  Mixed doubles is one of my favorite events because the girls has to do less job.  You just stand there sometimes, and...

Q.  And look good?
VICTORIA AZARENKA:  And look good (smiling).

Q.  Can you talk a little bit about the racquet switch?  Obviously things are going well, but how that's affected you and stuff.
VICTORIA AZARENKA:¬† Well, it didn't affect me, but it was a quick change.¬† You know, I just ‑‑I tried the racquet.¬† I did few, really few adjustments, and I played with it.¬† I switched two weeks before the Australia tour, and that's it.¬† I didn't think about it too much.¬† I liked it.¬† I played with it.
At the end of the day, there is no magic in the racquet.  I'm the one who plays with it, but it definitely gives me some benefits that I was looking for.

Q.  You said your grandmother inspired you.  Can you tell us how she inspires you?
VICTORIA AZARENKA:  By just being herself.  You know, she's one of the most optimistic people on the planet, and she's always happy.
I don't know.  She's just, if you can say, a bright person, you know, when you see her, I'm always in a good mood.  She always puts me in a good mood.  Doesn't matter if I'm down on myself or whatever.  She just makes me happy.

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