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SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA OPEN


August 3, 2013


Victoria Azarenka


CARLSBAD, CALIFORNIA

V. AZARENKA/A. Ivanovic
6‑0, 4‑6, 6‑3


THE MODERATOR:  Questions, please.

Q.  Was this an unevenly played match by you?  How good a tennis did you play overall?
VICTORIA AZARENKA:¬† Well, I think it was interesting match.¬† The first set was ‑‑ you know, the score definitely doesn't day the whole story because there was a lot of close games.
I had to come from 15‑40 and take my opportunities.¬† And that's what was good about the first set, that I took those.¬† In the second set I missed couple easy shots and she was right there to take those opportunities.¬† I thought like I let her into the match.
But she came up with great stuff.  I have to give her credit.  She started serving well, going for her shots.  But when I analyze my match, I analyze about my game, not what my opponent did.
The note that I am going to take from that is I have to keep going the same way that I was playing in the first set:  taking my opportunities, going for my shots, making some moves, taking the ball forward.
But, you know, when you play the tournament it's never gonna be easy matches.  You have to go through the tough battle, and this was one of those days.
I'm just happy with the end result, that you can overcome things and still find the way to win.  That's the most important.

Q.  Victoria, she seemed at times she was hitting some great shots, winners, but you were the more consistent player throughout the match.  Did you feel that way for the most part?
VICTORIA AZARENKA:  Yeah, I think so.  But, I mean, it's something that you expect from Ana.  She is really a very big shot maker.  She loves to take her opportunities and just bang the ball and find those deep shots.  That's what she does, and I was aware of that.
So for me, it was the key to not let her take those shots and be the one who's putting pressure.  So, yeah, I felt more consistent.

Q.  Does this please you to be in the finals after what happened at Wimbledon?  Does that make you feel confident about your game on a hard court and where you are right now?
VICTORIA AZARENKA:  I mean, it's always great to be in the final, not just despite the injury or something.  But I don't even look back, to be honest, what happened.
I felt good with my game in Wimbledon.  It's just something that happened.  Has nothing to do with my game.  So in terms of being confident with my game, I think it's a work in process.
I am back playing high‑ranked players and good players and I'm winning my matches.¬† That shows that I'm on the right path.¬† As I always say, for me the most important is the job I do, not the result.¬† The result is the outcome of the work you put in.

Q.  Vika, do you remember the last time you lost a match on outdoor hard court?
VICTORIA AZARENKA:  Outdoor hard court?  US Open.

Q.  Yeah.  It a long time ago.  11 months.  Just talk a bit about that.  Obviously you like outdoor hard courts.  Couple slams on them.  What makes the difference for you on this surface?
VICTORIA AZARENKA:  Well, first of all, it's the most common surface throughout the year.  On grass I only play one tournament, so I cannot be a grass court specialist in the ratio of the other tournaments.
I feel like my game is developing on clay court.  You know, I'm pretty happy with what I've done today, but we just have to be realistic and take in general that we play mostly on hard court, so my results will be better because I play more.
I do enjoy that, but...  I don't know.  I really love playing on different surfaces.  It's just the reality is we have most of the tournaments on hard.  But that's great statistics.

Q.  So given that, should you be the favorite at the US Open?
VICTORIA AZARENKA:  I don't think You'll ever make me favorite in US Open when you have Serena.  Right now it's not going to happen unless I win one.  For me it's not that important.  What's important is how ready I am and what I'm going to do there.
So being the favorite doesn't guarantee you anything.

Q.  Your first obviously tournament since Wimbledon.  Is it fair to say you're 100% physically?
VICTORIA AZARENKA:  I think I'm getting there.  I think I can always get better.  You know, I take this tournament as a work in process as well, as much as I want to win.  But I take into consideration my preparation, and I still work through the tournaments.  I go to the gym and try to get better physically and I do my exercises that I need to be doing for preventing.  So, yeah, but I think I can get in much better shape.

Q.  Does did matter to you that you'll become No. 2 on Monday, passing Maria, or does that not matter anymore having been No. 1?
VICTORIA AZARENKA:  If you wouldn't tell me, I wouldn't know.  I don't look ever in the rankings.  I don't see how many points.  I just need to win matches.  In the end of the year, that's when you look.  When you're finished, that's when you evaluate your whole season.

Q.  What do you try to do with your serve these days?  It looks like the speed differential between your first and second serve now is like 10 miles an hour, which is very small.  So it all on placement?  Are you trying to get your second serve to a point where it's closer to the first.  Talk about that a little bit.
VICTORIA AZARENKA:  I always try to improve my serve.  I think this is something that can have so much potential for me to improve.  I think it's getting better.  With not playing matches sometimes it's tough to get that rhythm.  But I felt like in the important moments my serves was doing really well today.  I didn't let her take advantage of that, even though Ana was like five feet in front trying to take it early.  Still felt like I was handling it really well.
It's about the placement.  Of course you want to put power, but if you have power and no placement, it's nothing.  It's kind like try to put it all together, you know, develop the right technique, motion.

Q.  Can you just speak about what kind of final you would expect between either Sam or Virginie?  Be a different kind of match depending on who wins, or is that all up to you?
VICTORIA AZARENKA:  I think they're both very different style of games, so it will be different from any player.  Final is something that anything can happen.  Everybody is so motivated.  Sometimes you can get tight because you are that motivated; or sometimes it can just let you free.
So I expect my opponent to play her best tennis, as usual, and that's what I am going to try to come up with.
You know, try to be a little bit better than my opponent, very motivated, and just try to give my best.  I always try to focus on my game, taking considerations a little bit what the opponent does, but I always try to just keep the ball on my side and try to control that.

Q.¬† Last two matches against Sam have been very close.¬† I think you are 8‑0 against her, but US Open and I think Rome we very close.¬† What it Rome?
VICTORIA AZARENKA:  Yeah.  Was it the US Open before that?

Q.  Yeah, I think so.  That was that great quarterfinal.  Talk about her strengths.
VICTORIA AZARENKA:  Oh, yeah.  That was an amazing match.  Well, Sam has one of the best serves there is.  She is very athletic and puts this great spin on it and is never afraid to take chances.  Great shot maker as well.  US Open was incredible match.  She was right there on every point.  We had such a high quality match from both of us that it was incredible.
She will be very motivated to beat me, as well.  There is no doubt about that.

Q.  Razzano is 30 years old and was ranked as high as 16 and tumbled all the way to 196.  Can you appreciate the comeback that she is going through?
VICTORIA AZARENKA:  I think what Virginie been though last couple years, it's remarkable that she is on the tennis court and having fun and fighting.
So it's very inspiring what she does.  I wish her well.  I don't think anyway age makes a big difference at this moment.  We have a big proof of that.  (Laughter.)
So as I said, she's really inspiring a lot of people what she has been doing last couple years.

Q.  Ana is a someone who doesn't keep her emotions inside on the court.
VICTORIA AZARENKA:  Who?

Q.  Ivanovic.  She let's it out pretty much.  There was a time I think when you were more demonstrative on the court.  You were very calm today.  Is that something you have worked on in terms of just staying calm?
VICTORIA AZARENKA:  I think everybody kind of show their own way of how to handle things.  I can be emotional, too.  I can say some things.  You know, I told my coach today something that wasn't very nice.
But, you know, it's just a matter of the situation.  Sometimes you need to calm yourself down; sometimes you have to be emotional, to let it out, because everything is boiling inside and it just keeps going like a snowball.
So you got to it let it out.  I haven't been watching Ana much because I don't really look too much on the other side after the point is done.  I am just trying to refocus.
But I think it's very personal.

Q.¬† The millions dollar question:¬† What was it that you said to your coach‑ in English?
VICTORIA AZARENKA:  We have somebody listening.  No, I just let my emotions out.  It was honest that I didn't do a great shot, and I said it a little bit way emotional with some consequences.  (Laughter.)

Q.  Did he say anything back?
VICTORIA AZARENKA:  No.  He always has the same face.  That's what's pissing me off.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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