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September 3, 2013

Victoria Azarenka


V. AZARENKA/A. Ivanovic
4‑6, 6‑3, 6‑4

THE MODERATOR:テつ Questions, please.

Q.テつ It was again a big battle today.テつ How do you think you did?
VICTORIA AZARENKA:テつ Well, it's true.テつ It was a big battle.テつ That's what I was expecting from Ana.テつ I think she's playing much, much better right now.テつ Her level has showed a lot in this match.テつ She came out firing with a lot of great shots and served really well.
I felt like I wasn't, you know, really executing and putting enough in the first set, but she definitely really was going for everything.テつ It didn't leave me much of room to kind of, you know, go for my shots.
But I started to create more opportunities.テつ In the end of the first set it was already turning around, but I slipped away a few opportunities.

Q.テつ Do you feel like you're at any kind of a disadvantage being a day behind?テつ Do you think anything could have been done to change that yesterday?
VICTORIA AZARENKA:テつ Mother Nature could have done something (smiling).テつ You know, she was crying yesterday, so nothing I could have done.

Q.テつ Do you feel like your game right now is at the same level where it was when you beat Serena in Cincinnati?
VICTORIA AZARENKA:テつ I don't think you can compare that.テつ That's a little bit silly to compare, because it's different, you know, courts, different balls, different tournament, different stage of the tournament, and different opponent.
We'll see.テつ I think that's a process, you know.テつ You start a tournament a certain way and you find the ways how to make it better.テつ You know, from every round it gets tougher and tougher.
So I don't expect or I never search for the feeling that, you know, I had maybe in Cincinnati or Australian Open or two years ago.
It's not going to feel the same way.

Q.テつ You became a dropshot maniac.
VICTORIA AZARENKA:テつ I always had that.テつ I just didn't feel like I needed it too much; today I did.

Q.テつ I had the feeling that the way Ana start the match being so aggressive and so many winners, 17 just by the end of the first set, left you a little bit annoyed and nervous for the rest of the match.テつ Am I right?

Q.テつ No?
VICTORIA AZARENKA:テつ No, not at all, because I don't feel that you can get annoyed by that.テつ I just think it was a great job from her.テつ She really earned all those winners and she played well.
If I would stay annoyed or nervous I would have lost the match.テつ So, no.

Q.テつ There was a point in the first set where you maybe accidently hit yourself with the racquet in the leg.テつ After one point in the first set you were looking at your leg like you might have hit yourself with the racquet a little bit.テつ Is that just kind of the way it was going?
VICTORIA AZARENKA:テつ Oh, yeah, maybe.テつ I don't know (Laughter).テつ It was probably because I didn't move my feet enough, so I needed to wake them up a little bit.

Q.テつ Did you feel serve at some point is hurting your game the past couple of weeks?
VICTORIA AZARENKA:テつ If it's hurting my game?テつ No, I never aced so much in my life, you know.テつ I'm not a big server.テつ I think it's getting better.テつ There is a lot of room to improve there, but I don't think that my serve was a deal breaker of those games, you know, that I lost today.
There were also, you know, few easy mistakes, a few great returns from Ana.テつ It's a combination of things.テつ I cannot blame just one shot.テつ It's a combination.

Q.テつ Can you talk about the matchup with Daniela?
VICTORIA AZARENKA:テつ Daniela?テつ Oh, yeah, yeah.テつ I think Daniela is playing incredible tennis right now, you know, really going so deep in the tournament.テつ She's a player who has been in these situations before with a lot of experience, a lot of motivation right now.
And she has, you know, type of game that she's a shot maker, so it's going to be another tough battle of really taking your chances, you know, playing your game, and be in control.

Q.テつ Of the eight women in the quarters, five of them are over the age of 30.テつ Is there something about the way the game is now that allows women to play kind of deeper into their careers?
VICTORIA AZARENKA:テつ I think it's, you know, the sport became so much more physical, and on another level that everybody's taking care much more of their bodies to be able to play longer.
You know, there is so much more introduced fitness, nutrition, you know, all those components that women and men are paying so much more attention to.
So I think that's a great thing if we have longer careers.テつ You know, the longer, you know, people can play tennis, that's great.

Q.テつ I understand that Red Foo is in Australia; is that right?

Q.テつ Why is he there?
VICTORIA AZARENKA:テつ Why?テつ Because he's a judge on the X Factor.テつ I don't know why he's there.テつ I'm not so happy about it either.テつ I'm joking.
Yeah, he's there.テつ Today is his birthday in the States, but it was his birthday yesterday in Australia.

Q.テつ So you're beside yourself without him by your side?

Q.テつ I am just joking around.
VICTORIA AZARENKA:テつ What was the joke?

Q.テつ The joke was that you were beside yourself without him by your side, and it will affect your down the line backhand, I'm sure.
VICTORIA AZARENKA:テつ Yeah, no.テつ I mean, my game is my game, you know.テつ He has nothing to do with that (smiling).

Q.テつ Today, from the end of the first set to the start of the second, you guys broke each other seven straight times.テつ Then it seemed like you took control when you held your serve a couple of times there in...
VICTORIA AZARENKA:テつ I think there were only five because I was leading 4‑2 in the second.テつ It was five breaks.

Q.テつ Including the end of the first?
VICTORIA AZARENKA:テつ Oh, including ‑‑oh, okay.テつ Well, then I don't know.テつ I think we're just great returners (Laughter).
To be honest, it's just as simple as that:テつ We're just so much better on the return.

Q.テつ You spoke a moment ago of Daniela as a shot‑maker.テつ What are the other attributes you think of when you think of her game and also the fact that she's been on the tour as long as she has?
VICTORIA AZARENKA:テつ Well, I think she has a really good serve.テつ You know, she's a player that can do anything.テつ She has great touch.テつ She can come to the net.テつ She can mixup her shots.
She has an all‑around game and experience.テつ That's what shows with all those aspects of her game.

Q.テつ Are you concerned about the slow starts, two matches in a row?
VICTORIA AZARENKA:テつ If I'm concerned?

Q.テつ Yeah, are you concerned?
VICTORIA AZARENKA:テつ No.テつ I'm chill.

Q.テつ You said the other day that you really relish pressure, that you like pressure.テつ Is that one of the qualities that can help you bounce back from being down a set and able to come back and play hard?
VICTORIA AZARENKA:テつ Yeah, I think so.テつ I mean, I'm a fighter at heart.テつ I never, never give up.
So, you know, whatever the score is, I'm going to try to do my best because there is always an opportunity.テつ There is always a way.
You just have to make up your mind and try to find that way.

Q.テつ How much did that come in to play, especially in the third set when she looked like she was turning the tide around coming back on you?
VICTORIA AZARENKA:テつ You know, I felt like I was playing much better in the third set than in the first.テつ I felt physically much better.テつ I feel like the more a match goes on, the better I feel.
So, for me, I'm not concerned about the slow start.テつ Yeah, it's just a matter of getting that groove.テつ I feel like I just have to be a little more focused on those opportunities that I have to convert them.

Q.テつ When you come off court, are you more pleased when you won the match that takes a lot of fight or just the overall?
VICTORIA AZARENKA:テつ Both.テつ You know, I take whatever I have.テつ If I have to fight and, you know, dig deep, you know, to find a way not playing at your best against a player who was playing that good, I think it's pretty remarkable to walk off the court with a win.
That's what is the most pleasant about that.テつ And the quality, you know, if you play really well and you lose the match, then, I mean, it doesn't really matter the quality.

Q.テつ I guess, I mean, you've won two slams now.テつ You are going into possibly the last three matches.テつ How much more do you think you can improve?テつ Like what percentage do you think you're playing now?
VICTORIA AZARENKA:テつ I never know the percentage, because it really depends on a daily basis.テつ You know, I always say that 100% of what you have one day can be very relevant to the other day.
So for me, what's important is to make sure I'm there with my heart 100% and my game will follow.テつ But I think there is a lot of improvement I can do.テつ You know, I did few unforced errors that I don't really do, so if I cut back on those that will already help.

Q.テつ In your gut, do you think you can win this year?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: テつYeah (smiling).テつ If I wouldn't believe that, I wouldn't be here.

Q.テつ You know what it takes to win a Grand Slam.テつ Are you happy right now where your game is at going into the quarterfinals?
VICTORIA AZARENKA:テつ I'm happy today.テつ We'll see tomorrow.テつ I always take it day by day.テつ I don't jump ahead.
You know, it seems, you know, close, but it's really far away.テつ It's just quarterfinals, so let's go.

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