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U.S. OPEN


August 31, 2012


Victoria Azarenka


NEW YORK CITY, NEW YORK

V. AZARENKA/J. Zheng
6‑0, 6‑1


THE MODERATOR:  Questions, please.

Q.  That was supposed to be the difficult match.  You played another seed.
VICTORIA AZARENKA:  Yeah, I mean, I was expecting a tough match.  But today I felt like I was really focused on each point that I wasn't really aware on what score it was.  I was just trying, you know, to keep that determination and keep dominating her, not really letting her into the match, because I know she can turn things around really quick.
You know, she has that type of game that she is a shot‑maker as well.¬† It was important to keep her that she lose a little bit of courage.

Q.  TV was saying that was your first night match on Ashe.  Is that what Pam said?
VICTORIA AZARENKA:  That's what I thought.  I don't think I ever played the night match.

Q.  So you played Serena during the day?
VICTORIA AZARENKA:  Yes.  We played during the day.

Q.  Were you looking forward to actually getting out in front of a night crowd?  That suits your personality.
VICTORIA AZARENKA:  Yeah, I was really looking forward.  The other day I played really late on Armstrong my first match, but it wasn't really the night session, you know.
When you know it's real night session, you kind of feel the buzz, the energy.  But it was amazing, you know, to play in front of this crowd, the biggest stadium of the tennis world.  It was incredible.  The energy, you don't want to leave.

Q.  You're following up Andy.  Did you feel the same buzz out there or did you feel the crowd had a bit if a breath took out of it after that?
VICTORIA AZARENKA:  I think I felt before that a little bit more when I got out there.  I was just trying to be in my zone, you know.  But yesterday I was just watching ESPN and suddenly Andy says he retires.  I was like, What?  What's going on here?  I cannot believe that.
I don't know.  He played incredible today.  You could feel how he was energetic, so it kind of inspired me a little bit even more today.
But, you know, I was shocked.  Yesterday I was listening to the full press conference of him.  I mean, it's sad, but he definitely has a good shot with the game he showed tonight.

Q.  How well are you playing right now?  Are you playing Australia well?
VICTORIA AZARENKA:  I don't remember how I played in Australia.  Seriously, just the feeling of winning there I remember.  You never feel perfect, you know.  Like on some practices I felt terrible.  Honestly here I felt like I cannot put the ball in or it's going all over the place.
But I'm glad when I go to the matches I have that state of mind that I'm really focused and I'm trying to, you know, fight for every ball.  I try to make my opponent, you know, if they win the point, make it really difficult for them.
So I don't compare too much.  I just feel like every tournament is a little bit different when you play, the way you adjust.  It wasn't that windy.  There was not really many night sessions in Australia.  Actually, there was.  I'm confusing.
But, as I said, I don't really like to compare, but I felt pretty good out there.

Q.  You can't remember that feeling of confidence that you could hit any ball you wanted to the first two months of the year?  Does it almost seem like a different season?
VICTORIA AZARENKA:  It doesn't feel like a different season, but it does feel different.  When I was in Australia, trust me, it wasn't like I couldn't miss the ball.  Maybe it looked like it certainly.

Q.  Especially the final.
VICTORIA AZARENKA:  It certainly didn't feel like it in a lot of matches.  (Laughter.)
But the important is, you know, have that belief I have, you know, that determination, that desire when I go on court.  I feel that's the most important thing, for me to be motivated and passionate when I go out there to fight.

Q.  Coming in with the No.1 seed, how much more pressure is on you here?
VICTORIA AZARENKA:  You know, I think people don't believe me when I say that I don't really look at it that way.  I don't think about numbers.
I think I'm not the first favorite here, as everybody has been saying.  Serena is showing some amazing tennis.  I feel like, yes, she is the favorite here.  But I feel like there's more attention.  I feel like there's more people's expectation for me.
But I enter the tournament the same way as I was before.  I just try to, you know, be consistent, to be hundred percent every day no matter what I do.  So that's important for me.

Q.  Do you prefer that, not being the favorite coming in here, being under the radar?
VICTORIA AZARENKA:  I let my racquet talk, not really me talking.  I think that's important.  You really show when you're on the court are you a favorite?  Are you not a favorite?  Are you playing well?  Are you not playing well?
In the end of the day, your game is what shows, you know, who you are in the tennis world.  So for me important is just try to be focused and giving hundred percent every day.

Q.¬† In some senses you almost have to earn yourself ‑¬† you did it in Australia and Wimbledon and to some degree at Roland Garros ‑ night matches, big matches.
VICTORIA AZARENKA:  Well, I'm not American or French or Australian, for sure.

Q.  But you played center court everywhere now.
VICTORIA AZARENKA:  Yeah.

Q.  Do you agree you almost have to earn your way to the big matches?
VICTORIA AZARENKA:  I never actually thought about it this way.  I'm really honored to play on these big stadiums, you know.  I appreciate that we have such an opportunity to be able to do what we love in front of such a big crowd.
For me it's just a privilege every time I go out on the center court.  I don't feel like I have to earn something or I have to show something.  I just play.  If I get it, I get it.  I enjoy every moment and I try to take everything in.

Q.¬† You've always been pretty honest about things.¬† Talking about Serena ‑ and this might be the case with Djokovic ‑ is part of the reason why she's been so dominant is because she was winning tournaments on grass? ¬†She did not dominate the hard courts and clay.¬† She played great at Wimbledon and the Olympics.¬† You've had a pretty good record on hard, no?
VICTORIA AZARENKA:  I don't think there's anybody who can dominate all the way through, all surfaces.  It's just the competition is very high right now at this moment.  It's quite difficult to stay in that zone, you know, throughout four, five tournaments, because it takes so much physically out of you.
But, I mean, she played great this summer.  You cannot deny she was on top of everybody.  That's for sure.  So it's kind of also exciting to see what's going to happen here, being the last Grand Slam of the year.
I don't know.  We'll see what happens.  But, as I said, yes, she's dangerous on every surface.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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