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February 16, 2013

Victoria Azarenka


V. AZARENKA/A. Radwanska
6‑3, 6‑3

THE MODERATOR:テつ Questions, please.

Q.テつ Talk us through the match a little bit and just, you know, how it went and how you felt about it.
VICTORIA AZARENKA:テつ I think it was a really high‑performance match from both of us.テつ It was a little bit shaky in the beginning.テつ I think I did a little bit too many unforced errors, rushed a little bit into the rallies, but I'm glad I could turn around quickly, start to be patient, start to be more aggressive and dominant, really going for my shots when there was an opportunity, and taking advantage of every short ball she gave me.

Q.テつ Another final here.テつ Just talk to us about what are the reasons behind doing so well here.
VICTORIA AZARENKA:テつ Reasons?テつ I'm not sure.テつ I mean, I worked really hard, you know, and I like to play here.テつ I feel like I'm in pretty good shape, you know, been pretty consistent lately throughout the whole year.
And I don't know. テつI'm really happy to be here in the final.テつ You know, I always feel like I perform pretty good tennis here, and I enjoy it a lot.テつ That's another key for me, to enjoy when I'm on the court, and gives me a lot of energy, a lot of confidence to go out there.

Q.テつ The year is still young, but would you say this was one of your best matches of the season so far?
VICTORIA AZARENKA:テつ Oh, wow.テつ Yeah, I would say so.テつ It was definitely up there.テつ You know, it's hard to judge, because, you know, right now I feel like I played amazing at the Australian Open, but at certain points it didn't feel that way.
But in this tournament in particular I felt like I really raised my level and played really well, so it's definitely one of the match matches so far.

Q.テつ Who would you prefer to face tomorrow and why?
VICTORIA AZARENKA:テつ I don't prefer.テつ Whoever, you know, is on the other side of the net, that's who I'm going to play.テつ I'm looking forward to play either one of them.
I mean, Serena and Maria, they're both great players.テつ So whoever wins I'm going to challenge.

Q.テつ I guess another way of asking that, as we talked in the preview, you have had your struggles recently against Serena.テつ What do you think it's going to take to beat her tomorrow?テつ And is one of those things to cut down on the unforced errors?
VICTORIA AZARENKA:テつ Just consistency and really being focused on my game.テつ You know, we all know that she has, you know, a great serve.テつ She's really aggressive, really consistent.
So for me it is important to just be focused on myself and try to execute my game.テつ That's it.

Q.テつ If it's Serena, would you say it's exciting to have another chance at her?
VICTORIA AZARENKA:テつ It's exciting either way.テつ You cannot say you're not excited about playing in the final.テつ I'm really excited to play either one of them.
And Serena is a great challenge.テつ Maria is also a great challenge.テつ They're both terrific champions and top players in the world.

Q.テつ It's getting very competitive at the top between the three of you, and obviously there is a ranking switch that's going to happen next week but it can happen again.テつ For you, is it exciting to have this kind of competition at the top, or would you just prefer to be dominant and way ahead?
VICTORIA AZARENKA:テつ For me, what's exciting is to face those great players.テつ You know, I feel like we really pushing each other all the time to improve, so that's what is very exciting for me, to have that competitiveness.
In terms of ranking, that's never been my first goal, really.テつ My first goal is to win matches, to win tournaments.テつ The ranking, as I always say, comes with a bonus.
Right now I'm just focusing on winning my match, winning the tournament, and we'll see what happens after.テつ But this is definitely a No. 1 priority.

Q.テつ I guess a follow‑up on that, obviously as of Monday you will go back to No. 2.テつ Any thoughts on that?テつ Is it frustration, or is it extra motivation now to get back to No. 1?テつ As you said‑‑ well, maybe it's just a repeat of what you just said.
VICTORIA AZARENKA:テつ There cannot be frustration, really.テつ That's so out of my hands.テつ I mean, I have been playing really well, I have been really consistent, I haven't lost a match yet, so why should I be frustrated?テつ Ranking is ranking.テつ It just is how it turns out.
You know, for me, always is important to just win matches, win tournaments, win big tournaments like here, as well.テつ If I'm No. 2 after winning a tournament or whatever, that's what happens is doesn't ‑‑ I wouldn't say it doesn't matter, but it's out of my hands.

Q.テつ Last year here you faced Radwanska I think in the semis or the final.

Q.テつ Semis.テつ In that match, you hurt your ankle and there were some words afterwards about she lost respect for you.テつ Have you guys kind of made up?テつ Are you friends again?テつ You used to be friends.
VICTORIA AZARENKA:テつ I never had a problem with her, honestly.テつ I will never have a problem.テつ Whatever she said, she said, you know.テつ I can't control whatever comes out of somebody's mouth.

Q.テつ Just after Serena reached a new milestone, can you just comment on how much she has meant to women's tennis and just how her accomplishments have affected...
VICTORIA AZARENKA:テつ What means, she reached a milestone?

Q.テつ Like she became the ‑‑on Monday she's going to be the oldest No. 1, oldest player to ever reach No. 1.
VICTORIA AZARENKA:テつ Oh, I don't think that would really make her that happy.

Q.テつ Well, she does say she feels like she's 22.
VICTORIA AZARENKA:テつ 22.テつ Well, then she's younger than me.テつ Okay.
I think she's ‑‑she really changed the woman's game, really lift up, you know, woman's game and the level of woman's tennis.
So she's the legend of tennis, and, you know, I don't know where I'm going to be at 31.テつ Hopefully not playing tennis, but it's definitely an incredible achievement, you know.

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