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January 15, 2013

Victoria Azarenka


V. AZARENKA/M. Niculescu
6‑1, 6‑4

THE MODERATOR:テつ Questions, please.

Q.テつ Tell us how you felt out on the court.テつ Are you happy with the win?
VICTORIA AZARENKA:テつ Yeah, definitely happy to win.テつ You know, I couldn't wait to get out there and play.テつ It's been a long week preparation, so you always feel like a little bit overwhelmed before your first match.
So I was the same way.テつ But I think I had a good first match.テつ That's what I needed to, you know, get into that competitive spirit, which I did.テつ I'm happy.
It's a good match to build up from.

Q.テつ You were yelling at yourself a bit behind the baseline in the second set.テつ I suppose that's how much you want the win, having high standards for yourself.
VICTORIA AZARENKA:テつ No, it was just kind of to bring me back into competition, because I felt like the first set was really flowing my way and everything was going well for me.テつ I was executing what I wanted.
And then, you know, I kind of miss‑hit few shots and she got really competitive.テつ I felt like I was on the practice court a little bit, letting go few things that I shouldn't.
After that I just really had to pump myself up to get into that, you know, state of mind of competitiveness.テつ From there, you know, I got back and I started to do the right things again.

Q.テつ Not many people play the way she does with the slice forehand.テつ How is that to deal with?
VICTORIA AZARENKA:テつ Well, it's definitely unusual.テつ But I know her since we played under 14 years old.テつ She actually plays a lot more spin balls than back then.テつ It was all slice from both sides before.
She's unusual and she tries to make you feel a little bit, you know, miserable on the court, like you don't know what to do, because every ball comes from different angles.
It's important to keep your focus.テつ I was trying to execute my shots, not really worried about what she's going to bring out, you know, because sometimes I don't think she knows where she's going.テつ It seems that way (smiling).
It was important to just keep focused and be aggressive.

Q.テつ Do you almost feel like you need to go out and practice a little bit to get more rhythm after playing someone like that?
VICTORIA AZARENKA:テつ Well, I have the whole day tomorrow, so...
Today is a good day for recovery, you know, just kind of relax the mind already, you know, that I had the match in.テつ So tomorrow's new day.

Q.テつ Did you get much of a reception from the Australian crowds today?
VICTORIA AZARENKA:テつ Every time I go out there I feel like I'm home.テつ You know, the stadium is so cozy for me, I just love there.テつ And the atmosphere has been, you know, heating up with each day.
I feel like, you know, the early stages of the tournament there are so much more people, you know, that are so excited to see so many players on the outside courts and the main courts.
It was great atmosphere.

Q.テつ There's been a warm forecast for Thursday, up to 39 degrees.テつ Does that concern you at all?
VICTORIA AZARENKA:テつ Not yet (laughter).テつ I mean, today was pretty warm out there, too.テつ I've played, you know, in the heat.テつ Will be definitely in the same condition with my opponent, so there is not much to be concerned about.
It's just a matter of, you know, prepare yourself for those conditions and try to do your best.

Q.テつ Obviously your injury was no joke and you were honest and said where it came from.テつ That word 'pedicure' is going to follow you around a bit.テつ Do you wish you just said you had a generic toe injury?
VICTORIA AZARENKA:テつ No, because there is no point of hiding what happened, you know.テつ Everybody kept asking what it really was.テつ So actually when I went to see the doctor who did my surgery, he said the ladies come at least once two weeks with that stuff, so...
I was like, Really?テつ That happen to me first time.テつ I never really hear that.テつ I was talking to Serena that day.テつ She had the same thing happen to her before.テつ I now understand what it is, and I'm going to be really careful the next time.

Q.テつ You probably heard that Serena had an injury today, but still won.テつ Suppose you can't be worried about other players, but have you heard anything about her?
VICTORIA AZARENKA:テつ I actually haven't heard that because I was just off my match and doing my own stuff. テつI heard she won love and love, so what kind of injury are we talking about (laughter)?

Q.テつ She rolled her ankle.
VICTORIA AZARENKA:テつ Okay, well...

Q.テつ Do you know much about the possible two opponents you might face in the next round?
VICTORIA AZARENKA:テつ I have no idea.テつ You do?

Q.テつ Have you looked at the draw at all?
VICTORIA AZARENKA:テつ I never look at the draw.テつ No.テつ I know my coach is going to maybe watch the match, but I don't know.

Q.テつ Is it nice to walk around the corridors and see photos of yourself from last year?
VICTORIA AZARENKA:テつ Yeah, I mean, those pictures are going to be here for a while.テつ That's kind of great feeling to have.
The other day the security guy, I was walking, and he's like, You got your pass?テつ There was my picture.テつ I said, There is my pass.テつ There it is (laughter).
But I love the security.テつ They are so strict here.テつ They are really making sure nobody gets in.テつ It's incredible.

Q.テつ Is there any difference being a defending champion in the buildup to a Grand Slam?
VICTORIA AZARENKA:テつ It's just a little bit more off‑court activity, but the preparation is all the same.テつ I don't feel like there is something that I have to change, especially when it's been working for me.
The preparation is the same.テつ You know, of course you are more careful on some details and you try to always improve and make things better.
But preparation is always the same.テつ I still dance before my match.テつ I still spend all my time with my coach before the match.テつ So it's all the same.

Q.テつ Do you like to stay around the tournament after your matches or go back to your apartment?
VICTORIA AZARENKA:テつ Well, I like to go back and just relax, watch a movie, listen to music, do my stuff.テつ We have a long season and I'm going to see all those faces for a long period of time, so I don't want to get tired the first month.

Q.テつ You mentioned you don't look at the draw.テつ Do you not even know who is in your half of the draw?

Q.テつ Not one player?
VICTORIA AZARENKA:テつ Well, obviously who plays today, they are in my half.テつ That's a common sense.
But, no, not even curious.

Q.テつ Have you always been like that?
VICTORIA AZARENKA:テつ Since about six years, seven years, yeah.テつ 'Cause I used to look all the time and it made me think too much.テつ What's the point?

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