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August 31, 2013

Victoria Azarenka


6‑7, 6‑3, 6‑2

THE MODERATOR:テつ Questions, please.

Q.テつ It was again a tough fight against Alize like in Paris.テつ Am I wrong saying you're not really pleased with the way you played today, or...
VICTORIA AZARENKA:テつ No.テつ I don't think I played my best tennis today for sure, but I have to give her credit.テつ She played really well.テつ You know, the dynamic of the match was a little bit weird for me.
I felt like I didn't take my opportunities in the first set, which was kind of a waste and it gave her, I think, a lot of confidence and she really came up with the great shots when she needed with the big serves.
I actually never seen her serve like that before, so that's definitely a big improvement from her side.
You know, I'm glad that I could turn things around in the second and third set.テつ There was more me playing, more finding the rhythm.テつ I felt much better in the third set than in the first set, which is, you know, going, you know, past the two‑hour mark.テつ It's pretty good, so I'm happy with that.

Q.テつ Alize said that mentally you proved you were a bigger champion today.テつ Do you think mentally the improvement you've made the last couple of years and you're just not giving up anything even when you're not feeling the rhythm?
VICTORIA AZARENKA:テつ I think I closed the biggest gap in that area, for sure.テつ I think, you know, overall my physical ability, my tennis, has improved, as well, but the gap between, you know, the mental and tennis and physical was the biggest improvement, for sure.

Q.テつ You have a tough matchup next round with Ana.テつ Just talk about that?
VICTORIA AZARENKA:テつ Yeah, Ana is a great player.テつ She really improved.テつ I think especially this year she's been showing some consistent results.テつ We had a great match in Carlsbad.テつ It was my first tournament after coming back.
She's definitely in great form, and I'm sure she's motivated and pumped up.テつ It's going to be a good match.テつ She's a great champion, as well.テつ I'm looking forward to that.

Q.テつ You showed a little frustration on one of the line calls.テつ Why was that moment so frustrating for you?
VICTORIA AZARENKA:テつ Because it was ridiculous.テつ That was the most ridiculous thing there is.テつ After we already‑‑ you know, I walked to my chair, Alize almost walked to her chair, they said, Replay the point.
It definitely didn't affect her shot because she already gave that, you know, point.テつ So that was ridiculous call.テつ And the ball was way before the line.テつ It wasn't even on the line, so...

Q.テつ When something like that happens, are you thinking about it the next point or is it easy to get over that?
VICTORIA AZARENKA:テつ No, I have to get over it.テつ I mean, everybody can make a mistake.テつ I just think, you know, in that heat of the moment like that, you will take it a little bit more emotional than maybe there it is, because that situation you're winning a set or you have to replay the point which is, you know, clearly you already won that.
But, no, I just really tried to refocus and fight for the next ball, because I knew I had to make it happen.テつ I needed to put myself in a position to be, you know, one set all again.

Q.テつ Going back to the beginning of the year, the infection you had from your toenail from that bad pedicure, two parts:テつ One, how long did it take for that issue to be finally cleared up?テつ And how differently have you taken care of your feet since that happened?
VICTORIA AZARENKA:テつ Well, I haven't gone back yet to a regular pedicure place, that's for sure.テつ I'm still terrified to do that.
But, you know, there was something unusual because it happened before I came to Brisbane while I was playing and actually in Thailand.テつ I could cope with the pain a little bit.テつ It was going worse and worse and worse, and my toe was like blew up.
When the doctor told me I have to go and cut under the nail.テつ I almost fainted right there.テつ They said, Well, you might be‑‑ you know, might be okay for the next day, but probably not.
So that was a very tough decision for me to take that, you know, before the semifinal match.テつ But I knew that if I don't take that decision, you know, it will jeopardize my next tournament.
So it was tough.テつ It was definitely tough.テつ And very unusual.

Q.テつ If you haven't been back to a regular pedicure place, who has been keeping your feet in good shape?
VICTORIA AZARENKA:テつ (Smiling).テつ Is that really important?

Q.テつ No, I mean, I know it seems like a funny question, but, you know, the reason I ask is that as an athlete obviously taking care of, you know, an important body part like your foot, that's important.テつ But as a female athlete, there are sort of certain expectations for how you will look at player parties, etcetera, and usually that includes painted toes.テつ It's a joke but not a joke, you know.
VICTORIA AZARENKA:テつ Well, my priority is my performance, so I learn how to do it myself or I go to a sport pedicure.
So maybe my, you know, I don't have the perfect pedicure with a French, you know, toenails, but, you know, at least I'm not ‑‑I don't have to worry about that.

Q.テつ Sara Errani was talking about pressure earlier this week, just the pressure she feels these days.テつ Do you ever think about pressure, and how do you deal with it?
VICTORIA AZARENKA:テつ I like pressure.テつ I think pressure is something that if you want to be on top, you have to deal with.テつ That's what makes you better.テつ You know, you need that to be on top, to be motivated.テつ If you don't have any pressure, if you don't feel, you know, like you have to achieve something, it's not fun.
For me, I need that.

Q.テつ You talked about improving from a mental standpoint.テつ Is that something you worked with anybody on, got advice from someone in particular that helped you with?
VICTORIA AZARENKA:テつ Like a psychologist you're talking about?テつ No, I never worked with a psychologist.
I have people in my team, you know, like my coach especially.テつ I think he's a very wise man, you know.テつ He's been around for a long time.テつ We have this great communication.
He knows me better probably than anybody on the tennis court, so it's just a matter of really understanding what you need to do to make yourself better.テつ You have to find your own recipes, and you go through the rough times, through the bad experience, and that's how you learn.
For me, that's how it was.

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