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October 22, 2012

Victoria Azarenka


THE MODERATOR:テつ Questions for Victoria.

Q.テつ You were 5‑3 up in the final set when you played Serena in New York.テつ How do you feel about playing against her again?
VICTORIA AZARENKA:テつ I'm looking forward to it.テつ It was a great match at the US Open.テつ I was close.テつ I didn't make it, but, you know, I have an opportunity right now to change around or at least to try.
So I'm looking forward to it.テつ It's a great event.テつ It's the last one of the year, so going to give it all here.テつ Definitely going to play her in the group, so definitely have a chance for a rematch.

Q.テつ Even though you were so close in the US Open, she has a great record against you.テつ What generally do you need to do to turn that around, do you feel?
VICTORIA AZARENKA:テつ Well, we will see.テつ Definitely have to serve better when I'm serving for the match.テつ (Smiling.)
But I will also play couple other players as well.テつ But we will see.テつ She's definitely a tough opponent.テつ I don't think we ever played indoor, so it's going to be a little bit of a new occasion.
We will see.

Q.テつ Can you just talk a little bit about winning your first Grand Slam and how that changes your attitude as a player and the rising confidence levels after winning thing the first important major?
VICTORIA AZARENKA:テつ At first it gave a little bit of relief to kind of realize that.テつ I felt like I was always playing on pretty good level but didn't really quite make it to the top of the game.
When I won, I felt like I achieved my potential a little bit better, and it kind of set up a whole new opportunity for goals for me.
It gave a great belief in knowing that I can go to those further stages, and later on it just helps in the key moments to be confident in yourself, to know that you know what to do in the right moments, in the key moments.
So, yeah, it gave me a lot of also opportunity to kind of discover myself better in those stages, because it was for me my first final.テつ And through all those experience that I lived through, they were very memorable.
I think I learned a lot from that that helped me to kind of grow as player during the year as well.

Q.テつ This is sort of event that wraps up the year.テつ Have you had a chance during the last few weeks to sit back and reflect on everything you've done this year ‑ the slam, the many weeks of No. 1, the gold medal ‑ just to soak it all in?
VICTORIA AZARENKA:テつ Not yet, because we're still in the action and I try to stay focused.テつ I think after the last match, after the last point, it's going to be the time where you just put down your racquet.テつ You have your team together and you kind of observe all the year and just look at it.テつ That's the time when you take it all in.
But I feel like you can fully appreciate all those things when you're done with tennis, when you can really relax and look back on what you achieved.

Q.テつ I know you want to look forward to this tournament, but do you ever occasionally look back and think with amazement that you nearly decided to stop and give it all away 18 months or two years ago and now you've achieved all this?
VICTORIA AZARENKA:テつ Yeah, it's incredible that just few thoughts and few perspectives will kind of change your vision of things and help you to improve not only as a player, but as a personality to grow a little bit.
Doesn't happen in one day, but you have that moment when it clicks and you kind of have a better vision of where you have to head, you know.テつ So it's incredible.テつ I'm really actually glad that it happened to me.テつ It helped me to mature a little bit better and to open those doors for me to find and look for a better self in me.

Q.テつ Was there a moment when it clicked rather than being a gradual thing?
VICTORIA AZARENKA:テつ I think it just clicked when I had a real understanding of what I want to do, how I want to achieve things, and how I want to work around it.
So, yeah, it was just pretty much one day and that's it.テつ After that, there was long, long days of hard work and a lot of long practices.
But, yeah, it is was just one day.

Q.テつ Which day was that?
VICTORIA AZARENKA:テつ It was somewhere in February.テつ I actually should look up in the calendar to just put it in my notes so maybe if I want to write a book after I have some dates.

Q.テつ Olympics were a special moment for you.テつ I would like to know if you see yourself to get involved in the organization of some, for example, WTA event in Belarus like Djokovic did in Serbia?テつ Do you see yourself doing that?テつ You did an exhibition with Caroline Wozniacki in front of the president.
VICTORIA AZARENKA:テつ Yeah, I would love to be involved in more and more events in Belarus.テつ I was planning to do one which is not going to happen anymore, but hopefully in the future we will have some more tournaments so local players have more opportunities to participate in bigger events.
But I would love to bring a tennis tournament to Belarus.テつ I would be really happy to do that.

Q.テつ You were talking about developing a better vision over the years.テつ Did you have to develop that yourself, or is it other people giving you advice that got you to a clear understanding of where you wanted to go?
VICTORIA AZARENKA:テつ No, I think it's a teamwork.テつ I have a great team around me that helped me with absolutely everything.テつ It took me a while to build that comfortable bubble around me, but I'm really happy right now that I have those people involved.
We all work for the same goal, and everybody has their own mission in it, so I cannot say I do it by myself.テつ I would be lying.

Q.テつ Do you feel you've had to tune down your intensity level a little bit dealing with the temper and all that and being a little bit more calm on court in order to reach your goals?
VICTORIA AZARENKA:テつ No, I'm intense as I've always been.テつ Maybe I just manage my bad emotions better, but I'm always intense.テつ You see me on the practice, I'm like a Duracell bunny all the time.
So actually, Sam, my coach, tells me I have to slow down a little bit because I'm so energetic and I never stop and he's very slow.テつ So I think we make a perfect match.テつ It's like this, you know.テつ (Hands showing scales. )

Q.テつ Two days ago you said that you going to be surprised again in this tournament.テつ Can we say this is one of your favorite tournaments in last years, and what would you like to say about the city in the tournament?
VICTORIA AZARENKA:テつ Well, the city I haven't seen much, as only yesterday when we had to drive really, really far away for the draw ceremony.
But I love the atmosphere, how much excitement it brings to the city even before the tournament starts and before the first year was.テつ So that was a very nice surprise for me when I came for the first time.
So far I haven't really felt this on the court yet, because when we practice the stands are empty and it's different.
I'm sure when we walk for the first time on the court it's all going to be back and all the memories from last year will also be there.テつ I just can say that I'm excited to start the tournament.テつ Right now it's difficult to judge when I'm not yet competing.

Q.テつ Given what you achieved this year with the No. 1 and winning a slam, do you have to reset your goals now urgently for the future?テつ If so, what's you're next ambitions?
VICTORIA AZARENKA:テつ I have a lot of ambitions.テつ You cannot really go higher than No. 1.テつ I wish I could, but, no.テつ It's a good motivation and good goal to hold it as long as possible.
But by that I need to win matches and win tournaments.テつ So that would be a first priority, to win tournaments and matches, to bring the rankings up, to hold it there.
So next year I will have again the full calendar of tournaments ‑ four Grand Slams, no Olympics, but in four years ‑テつ so the goals are still the same:テつ Everywhere you go, you try to win and to collect as many prizes as you can by the end of this whole journey.

Q.テつ As a woman, I would like to know...
VICTORIA AZARENKA:テつ You as a woman?テつ (Laughter.)テつ Because didn't look like.テつ I'm sorry.

Q.テつ Sorry.テつ I have to concentrate again.テつ As a woman yourself, how did you get in this position in Turkey, Istanbul?テつ What do you know about history, about the culture here?テつ What did you know about the country before you came here?テつ I would like to know that.
VICTORIA AZARENKA:テつ Well, before I came to Istanbul, I have been to Turkey twice already.テつ I been to Cemer and Anatolia for vacation.テつ It's very, very popular spot for Russians for Belorussians.テつ The history amazes me.テつ In one city you have two cultures with European and Asia.テつ It's absolutely the most iconic thing.
You know, it's very rich in history, the whole country, so it excites me to be a part of actually tennis history making in Turkey.テつ I really always enjoyed my time here, and with being here for hopefully this year and next year, I will learn a little bit more and we bring the population to be more involved in tennis, which help you us to learn more about culture and all the other things in Turkey.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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