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September 4, 2013

Victoria Azarenka


V. AZARENKA/D. Hantuchova
6‑2, 6‑3

THE MODERATOR:テつ Questions, please.

Q.テつ I know she's on the other side of the draw, but do you think about Serena being over there?

Q.テつ Never entered your mind?

Q.テつ Are you watching any of her matches?
VICTORIA AZARENKA:テつ Well, when it's on, yeah.テつ You know, sometimes I watch.テつ But I don't really watch a lot of TV.テつ Plus, she played too quick, all the matches.

Q.テつ Obviously the result was the right one.テつ How pleased were you with the way you played tonight?
VICTORIA AZARENKA:テつ I think it was better.テつ It was better start, for sure.テつ It was a little bit tricky out there with the wind, and I think, you know, Daniela is the kind of player who doesn't give you much rhythm.
So you really have to try to make it happen in one or two shots in the beginning, so that's what I was trying to do.テつ You know, there wasn't much of long rallies, so that's what kind of sometimes more difficult to get into the match.テつ But I felt like I was really good on the important moments.
In the first set I really, towards the end, raised my level where I wanted to, and that was what was I think the key to this match.

Q.テつ You were serving for the match and then you broke and played a very aggressive game afterwards.テつ Is that important for you, like to maybe just not letting that happen, like, you know, it can be really tricky if you're serving for a match?
VICTORIA AZARENKA:テつ Not in my stats, for sure.テつ But I think, you know, that game was the moment where I had the very easy shot and I let her play, let the ball pass me.テつ It was a little bit of deciding one.
I felt like I had to close it in, and it wouldn't give me a match point.テつ But yeah, I have to be a little more careful on that and execute better.

Q.テつ You also looked very strong like physically like.テつ Are you doing anything different?テつ Like you do look stronger.テつ In that last game like you were hitting the ball so hard.テつ Are you doing anything different with your body?
VICTORIA AZARENKA:テつ Well, I work a lot on my fitness.テつ I feel like I develop every time I come back, you know, especially after this injury.
I came back on another fitness level, and my physical ability always helped me to play better tennis.テつ Because, you know, my movement is important to me.テつ I feel like I have heavier shots now.
I direct the ball better.テつ I can, you know, reach to the balls that I maybe wasn't able to reach because of my flexibility before.
So a little by little it becomes more as one piece, and that's what I'm working on.テつ And still gonna keep improving.

Q.テつ You're the youngest player in the semis.テつ Basically you grew up with other players like Radwanska or Caroline, but seems like other players are struggling to get into like your level.テつ Can you find any reason of that?
VICTORIA AZARENKA:テつ Um, I could, but I don't have time for that, really, because I'm focused on myself.テつ The statistic of the other three players in the other semifinals being over 30, I think it's just showing that our sport is taking physical ability on another level.
You know, as I mentioned before, you see everybody taking care of their bodies much more, really paying attention to nutrition, fitness, everything.テつ Everybody is working out.テつ Recovery is more important.
I think that is the big aspect of allowing older players to play longer career, but the younger generation, I think we have seen as Caroline, as Radwanska, doing really well.
They have their own reasons, I think, but I think the young generation is really breaking through.テつ You can see it by Sloane Stephens, you know, really taking it to her next level.テつ So I think we are pretty even there.

Q.テつ What about Flavia?テつ The last time you met her was I guess Doha in 2011.
VICTORIA AZARENKA:テつ Dubai?テつ Dubai?

Q.テつ Yeah.テつ 2011, and you lost in the third set.
VICTORIA AZARENKA:テつ Yeah, that match was I think ‑‑yeah, that was a bad memory there.テつ But I think it's gonna be different.テつ We played the match long time ago, but we did practice quite a few times.テつ Not in recent, but over that period of time.
You know, Flavia is such an amazing, first of all, person.テつ I think she's just a great person.テつ To see her go through the injuries and coming up with, you know, best results she has right now, it's really amazing.
She's very good player, all‑around player.テつ She can do anything.テつ She has a great touch; great variety; she can create power; create spin.
I'm really looking forward to that match.テつ It's a big challenge.

Q.テつ Normally at these stages you meet players you have probably seen more around recently.テつ It's not very usual to play players who have been outside of the top 100 within this year in this sort of important match.テつ Does it add a little more mystery to the matchup?
VICTORIA AZARENKA:テつ No, I don't think so.テつ I think we all know what Flavia is capable of.テつ She's been around for a long time.テつ Very experienced.テつ She's been very playing ‑‑she's been in top 20, beat a lot of top 10 players.
The ranking and everything, it doesn't really matter.テつ It's about the moment right now.テつ Right now she's playing terrific tennis.

Q.テつ You said that that wasn't a good memory for you.テつ I was just curious, every time you walk on the court, you see the person over there.テつ Does your mind have a computer in there where you can sort a certain memory or two from when you played them before, or do you forget some of them?
VICTORIA AZARENKA:テつ No, I actually don't forget ‑‑I forget things that are important a lot (smiling).
But things like that, I don't forget, unfortunately.テつ But I don't rely on those bad memories, because I think what happened in the past, I mean, it's done.テつ What you can do is take control of what's coming and what you are in right now.
So I wouldn't look back ‑‑I don't look back too much on the good memories or the bad memories.テつ I just live in the moment.

Q.テつ You are 24, and you said you are a babe...
VICTORIA AZARENKA:テつ A babe?テつ I said that?テつ (laughter).

Q.テつ A baby.テつ Do you feel like sometimes that you're young, but you seem like mature beyond your age and, you know, have been playing for seven years.テつ You see the other girls, you know, in their 30s, but do you feel more like the younger generation, like a Sloane, or you feel more like, you know, Serena or Li Na?
VICTORIA AZARENKA:テつ Well, not like Serena, Li Na, and not like maybe Sloane Stephens.テつ Somewhere in between where I am exactly.
I do feel sometimes I'm a little bit older than my age, but actually I just turned 24.テつ It feels like I have been on tour forever coming‑‑ playing full time on tour since I'm 16.
So it's been a long journey, but I still consider myself as a young generation.テつ Let's stay that way.

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