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October 27, 2012
M. SHARAPOVA/V. Azarenka
THE MODERATOR:Â Questions, please.
Q.Â Clearly not your best day.Â Were you tired?Â Did she play that well?Â Didn't seem like the normal Victoria out there.
VICTORIA AZARENKA:Â Yeah, I mean, I'm not going to say that I was the freshest today, and I also don't want to put the things to make an excuses because that's not really my type.Â I don't like to do it.
I give Maria all the credit today.Â She played really well and looks in great form.Â She deserved to win 100%.
Could I play better?Â Yeah, I could have moved better for sure.Â But it's done today.Â I have no regrets.Â I finished the first time a loss with a smile.Â And I don't know, it didn't feel as bad today.
Q.Â So when you woke up this morning was your body very sore and stiff?Â You weren't running as fast as you normally do.
VICTORIA AZARENKA:Â Yeah, I was a little bit slow today.Â My agent offered me her legs today, and I should have taken her up on that.Â (Laughter.)
Of course it is difficult to finish a match at 2:00 ‑ I don't know what time we finished‑ and come back and do the whole routine.Â It's difficult.Â But I don't think anybody‑‑ I think Agnieszka felt much worse than me today.
I saw her before the match and we looked at each other and we laughed really hard.Â Kind of said it all.
Q.Â Perhaps it's difficult so soon to think of the year as a whole, but a few reflections perhaps on the high points for you this year.
VICTORIA AZARENKA:Â You know, now it's easy.Â Now I think I'm really proud of what I've done the whole year.Â I started the year with No. 3 and I finished with No. 1, which in numbers doesn't seem like a huge jump, but we all know in reality it's pretty big difference.
I finished the year with a different ‑‑ I'm a different person.Â Not different person, but a much more mature person, a much more mature player, and I also am very proud of that too.
The whole year was a lot of learning experience, trying new things and taking the whole journey with the good and tough and few bads.Â I didn't have many.Â I cannot complain this year.
I take it all.Â It gives me a great pleasure from this moment to enjoy my three weeks and be happy about it.
Q.Â You talked about being able to walk off the court after a loss with a smile for the first time.Â You also had your finger up in the air like you do a lot after wins.Â How much does that happiness and contentment with your game right now have to do with clinching No. 1 yesterday?
VICTORIA AZARENKA:Â Has nothing really to do with that.Â This is something I do all the time.Â It's just me.Â It's not about proving anything to anybody and not being cocky in any kind of way.
It's just something that I do.Â Somebody blow a kiss; somebody does something else; this is what I do.
But I don't know.Â When I left the court I felt that crowd was supporting so much and they appreciated ‑‑ kind of felt like they appreciate my whole year, you know, what I did.
It was amazing.
Q.Â What was the problem with your right leg in the second set?
VICTORIA AZARENKA:Â Tight, really tight and painful.Â I don't know.Â Maybe a little bit of a pull.Â But I'm not going to even go check it out.Â I don't want to be professional for next three weeks.
Q.Â What's the first thing you're looking forward to on your holiday?
VICTORIA AZARENKA:Â Wow, that's a good one.Â I hope my leg will stop hurting so I can dance.
But definitely just enjoy my time not thinking that I have to wake up and eat the right thing, you know, go and make sure I have to practice.
I don't know.Â I can sleep whenever I want ‑ and not maybe for too long also sometimes.Â I'm just looking forward to just kind of have my mind off.
Maybe today just kind of review everything with the team, prepare for next year, and then just fly away.
Q.Â There was a banner in the stadium that made you laugh.Â What was it?
VICTORIA AZARENKA:Â Oh, what made me laugh?
VICTORIA AZARENKA:Â Oh, I knew I was going to ask this question.Â You know how I always say I relate music to memories, so that song reminded me of a very funny situation.Â I just started laughing.Â I'm sitting there, thinking, Wow I'm playing in the Championships, I'm losing, and it's hilarious, because that image kind of crossed my mind.
That's it.Â I mean, I tried everything I could today, so I was like, Well, I never laughed really when I was losing, so why not?
Q.Â So it wasn't about the banner?Â I saw it wrong.
VICTORIA AZARENKA:Â A banner?
Q.Â Yeah, I thought it was about the banner or something like that that you saw on the TV screen.
VICTORIA AZARENKA:Â Oh, no, no, no.
Q.Â Would you prefer to finish the year in the second place but winning this tournament?
VICTORIA AZARENKA:Â Well, I don't have a chance already winning this tournament, so I'm happy with No. 1.Â (Laughter.)
Q.Â What was the funny image?
VICTORIA AZARENKA:Â Well, if I'm going to tell you you're going to think bad of me maybe.
VICTORIA AZARENKA:Â You know Chris Rock, the comedian, so he does great impressions and I love the way he uses his voice.Â He had this sketch about defending rap music which was hilarious.Â I don't know.Â I just started laughing at it.
Q.Â Can you just talk about the format?Â Obviously the Grand Slams are tough and the Premiers are tough, here you start on Tuesday, end on Sunday, and you have to play against the world's other seven best players in four days.Â There's been a lot of tight, great matches, long ones.Â Can you say this format is one of the toughest things to do during the year?
VICTORIA AZARENKA:Â Definitely I would say so...
But the format stay the same.Â I think the schedule and maybe not starting on Tuesday and starting maybe a little bit earlier would make a difference for all the players to kind of maybe be in the same position.
Because somebody had a day off; somebody didn't; somebody finished late; somebody didn't.Â You can never have a perfect situation, but I think can be adjusted in everybody's favor.
Q.Â The courts here are fairly slow as far as hard courts go.Â The one other time Maria beat you this year was on a clay court.Â You beat her a lot on faster courts.Â How much of your matchup, whichever way it goes, do you think is dependant on court speed?
VICTORIA AZARENKA:Â I don't know.Â I mean, it felt like my body didn't allow me to play my game a little bit, but also Maria played really well.Â She really stepped it up.
But I felt like some of my shots maybe didn't work as well as they did on some faster courts.Â It's about adaptation and looking back in a little bit and try to learn few things on if I play again on something like that what can I do differently.
Q.Â If I may ask, who do you think will win tomorrow?
VICTORIA AZARENKA:Â Honestly, I don't know.Â In the finals anything can happen.Â It just depends on who probably is fresher physically.
But I don't know.Â By the record, Maria is not holding a great one like I do either.Â Maybe she wants to change it real bad.
THE MODERATOR:Â Last few questions.
VICTORIA AZARENKA:Â Come on.Â We have time.Â I'm not rushing anywhere.Â Ask me anything:
Q.Â I'm sorry about my English level.Â In the last five, six years, we saw some young girl became No. 1 in WTA standings but they were not able to protect their place and they become average players.Â So this reality makes you afraid, and how do you think you can protect the place where you are now?
VICTORIA AZARENKA:Â Well, I have to work really hard, that's for sure.Â Honestly, I'm not thinking about the ranking too much‑ ever.
I'm thinking about improving my game all the time and winning matches.Â That's what automatically brings the ranking up.
The first is for me to make sure that I'm really enjoying my work and doing it well.Â After that, we'll see.Â I mean, results is something that is not really in your hands.Â What's in your hands is the work you can put in, the things you can create, the opportunities, everything you can create.
Result itself, you know, it kind of doesn't depend on you‑ as well as rankings.
Q.Â Just want to check out with you, is there a plan that you want to listen to some live concerts on your holiday?
VICTORIA AZARENKA:Â Oh, yeah, in the Facebook you saw today; is that what you're asking?
Q.Â You can tell?
VICTORIA AZARENKA:Â Oh, no, no.Â I was asking because we put on my Facebook today, we were talking about the concerts and that's why I ask.
Well, the one concert I would love to see I will not be able to see is Michael Jackson's concert.Â I heard Prince is touring maybe.Â (Smiling.)
VICTORIA AZARENKA:Â I don't know.Â Maybe you can tell me.Â Maybe in China.Â I'll come to China.Â (Laughter.)
I would love to see Lenny Kravitz.Â He's also one of my favorite musicians.Â I heard Rihanna is going back on tour soon.
Not in maybe this period of time, but soon.
Q.Â Sticking with the music theme, Red Foo said he invited you to the studio and that you laid down some tracks with him.Â Have you heard any of the songs that you're on?
VICTORIA AZARENKA:Â (Laughter.)
Q.Â We've lost her.
VICTORIA AZARENKA:Â Well, when you're going to hear the song that... (laughter.)
When you're going to hear the song featuring my voice you're going to laugh really hard, too.Â So I would love to keep it as a surprise.Â (Laughter.)
Q.Â He said your grunt was on it.
VICTORIA AZARENKA:Â There you go.Â It's becoming more and more famous.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports