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January 2, 2013

Victoria Azarenka


V. AZARENKA/S. Lisicki
6‑3, 6‑3

THE MODERATOR:テつ Questions, please.

Q.テつ You certainly had to absorb a lot of heavy groundstrokes in this match.テつ How did you mentally take control of it, do you think?
VICTORIA AZARENKA:テつ Well, I knew what kind of player she is, you know, but obviously the new year, you know, just after the preparation, you can expect some new things.
I felt like, you know, she did improve from maybe the last time we played, and I just knew that there is something that I have to deal with.テつ So I was prepared to take some bullets today, even though sometimes it looked like I wasn't.
But I just tried to stay focused on executing my game.テつ I knew she was gong to make some, she was going to miss some, so I just had to stay with her and look for my chance.

Q.テつ You said you wanted to feel where you were after the first match after the off‑season.テつ Are you where you thought you would be?テつ Do you feel comfortable with your game?
VICTORIA AZARENKA:テつ I'm such a picky person that I probably never will be satisfied.テつ That's a good thing, because I have a lot more matches to play that I can always improve.
But it was pretty good.テつ You know, as I said, it's important to have such a challenge at the beginning, you know.テつ It was good for me.
I felt like the things that I've been working on are there.テつ They could be better also with playing matches and getting into the competitive groove.
But I'm happy where I'm at right now.

Q.テつ Is playing someone like her a good preparation for a potential matchup with someone like Serena?
VICTORIA AZARENKA:テつ I think it's completely different.テつ I mean, I don't really take it that way.テつ You cannot compare two players.テつ Even though they hit the ball hard, it's maybe is completely different game.
But it was a good first task for me.

Q.テつ With Serena playing so well at the moment, how confident are you of defending your world No. 1 ranking over the next six weeks?
VICTORIA AZARENKA:テつ I actually don't really look at defending anything.テつ I'm just looking to win.テつ I mentioned that before.テつ I'm going to have the same mindset for as long as I'm playing.
That's what I'm looking forward to:テつ to focus on my game, on improving my game as I always do, and match those big challenges, big players, and look forward to play.

Q.テつ You won Sydney and Melbourne last year.テつ What is it about Australia?テつ The court?テつ The heat?
VICTORIA AZARENKA:テつ I guess it's the whole package that helps out.テつ And, you know, at the beginning of the you're obviously hungry to play.
I don't know, the atmosphere here brings out the best in me.テつ You know, the motivation is always extraordinary.テつ So I don't know.テつ I really like it here.テつ (Smiling.)

Q.テつ During the off‑season after vacation, how much time do you spend looking back, or do you pretty much say, Okay, the season is over; I've just got to look forward?

Q.テつ Really?
VICTORIA AZARENKA:テつ Yeah.テつ Probably right after I finished my last match, you know, you take evaluation a little bit of what you have to maybe look forward to work on in your off‑season.
So we did that right away, and after that, forgot all about it and started to working on the new projects.

Q.テつ Anything major, or just little things that you need to do?
VICTORIA AZARENKA:テつ I think it's the details, you know.テつ There is no major things when you're No. 1 in the world.テつ There are details that you can improve.テつ If you have a bigger gap it always helps, and I feel like I do, so that's something that you have to be really, really focused on executing those details.

Q.テつ Sabine, her serves were coming 190 kilometers.
VICTORIA AZARENKA:テつ Yeah, there was like 194 at one point.

Q.テつ Is that the hardest serve you've faced after Serena's serve?
VICTORIA AZARENKA:テつ You know, probably, yes.テつ Probably, yes.テつ You know, it's not only about fast serve, it's also sometimes the spin, how heavy it comes.テつ It depends.テつ Sometimes the player might serve slower but actually the serve is way tougher to return.
But she's definitely a girl with a lot of power.

Q.テつ So when you got on the plane to here did you feel very refreshed?
VICTORIA AZARENKA:テつ I felt really excited.テつ I didn't feel refreshed because I just finished my exhibition match and I had to take a plane right away.
But I felt really excited.テつ You know, every day I woke up this off‑season I just felt so much excitement and joy.テつ It went so quick.テつ It's never been that like before.
So I couldn't wait to get here to start my favorite thing that I like to do:テつ compete.

Q.テつ Were you thinking, I'm the defending champion in Australia, and that was your first slam, so now I get to defend a Grand Slam title, which is sort of a good thing?
VICTORIA AZARENKA:テつ Yeah, but I never thought about it like that.テつ I really mean it when I say that I don't look to defend anything.テつ I look forward to repeat, to win.
Defend, I don't know.テつ You defend in a war or something, but not in tennis.

Q.テつ You sound like you're someone that enjoys the expectations and being on center court; is that fair?
VICTORIA AZARENKA:テつ Yeah.テつ I mean, I love that atmosphere.テつ I don't ever take it for granted, because to be out there in front of so many people, you know, with even more people watching on TV is something that I've been dreaming since I was a young kid.
I'm so lucky to be doing something that I love well, to be able to compete on those big stages.
So I feel really, really happy every time I go out there.

Q.テつ How much have you changed since four years ago?テつ You came here and just broke into the top 20 but hadn't won a title then.テつ You were still only 19.
VICTORIA AZARENKA:テつ Yeah, if I look at the picture at the walk on the court, I look so young.テつ I don't even look like‑‑ I'm, what 19?テつ I look like I'm 12 or something.テつ So definitely a big change.
I was talking to the tournament director, and he said that they had a big flood so they had to renovate.テつ I know maybe was the wrong way to say it, but I said, You did good.テつ You improved all the facility.テつ He said, Actually, yeah, that's true.
So that was kind of funny.テつ Definitely a great tournament to come.テつ The city is incredible and I have great memories, so I need some room for the new ones.

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