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October 21, 2013

Victoria Azarenka


THE MODERATOR:テつ Questions, please.

Q.テつ Just wondering how you sort of sum up your year, how you look back on what you have done, more highs and lows with injuries, but also a lot of big successes as well, Australia.テつ How would you assess this year now looking back at it?
VICTORIA AZARENKA:テつ Well, I don't do that until my last match, really, because I always look forward to what I can do, you know, the current week.
But just to look back quickly, you know, over the year, it's been a pretty successful year, you know, finishing up at the Championships.テつ It shows the consistency throughout the year even though there were some up and downs, but I think I had big wins, and I feel like the year has improved from the last year.
So I'm excited to just, you know, be here and finish strong, and there will always be next year.

Q.テつ How do you feel your rivalry with Serena has evolved over the past year?
VICTORIA AZARENKA:テつ I think it's been growing.テつ I think it's been becoming more and more interesting, and we had a lot of very good matches, very good battles, and it's great.テつ I'm honored to be a part of that.テつ That's what takes me every time to work harder to the next level, and, you know, I'm excited about that.

Q.テつ Looking back on the year, I know you don't want to, but which is the win that was most satisfying to you?テつ Because you have had some big ones, whether they were slam wins or just in regular tournaments.
VICTORIA AZARENKA:テつ Well, it's very, very hard to say that, because there are matches that sometimes you go through that maybe are not, you know, for winning a title, but you go through them and you feel so satisfied.
It's really difficult to choose one, really difficult.

Q.テつ You have been at these Championships all through the years, and obviously you don't spend a lot of time in Turkey or Istanbul, but the times you have come here, do you sense any change in how the country or the people or general feeling is towards tennis here in the last three years?テつ Is there any difference to you?テつ Any legacy here that you think you're leaving?
VICTORIA AZARENKA:テつ I think so.テつ I think, you know, every player who came here and played here left a little piece of history for our sport here.テつ It's been the biggest event in tennis here in Turkey.テつ So I feel the growth of population, you know, involved in tennis, that we see a lot of kids through social media responding and writing letters, that please come back to Turkey.テつ We love to see you here.テつ We want to play tennis, too.テつ Definitely leaves the mark for me, you know, to be a part of that.
Fans have been incredible here from day one, from the first year we came here, and they have just been even better every year.テつ I'm really excited to just go out on the court and feel that energy, fill that fan love here that we have.テつ It's been amazing.

Q.テつ Going back to rivalries, how important do you think it is to have those big rivalries at the top of the game?
VICTORIA AZARENKA:テつ Just for your extra motivation.テつ Sometimes when you feel you don't want to go to the gym or the tennis court and fight, you know, somebody is behind you or somebody is above you that you want to reach and grab that spot.
Definitely that's a big motivation.

Q.テつ 2011 here, you reached the final and played Petra, very tough final.テつ Was that sort of the point where you knew maybe I'm ready to win my first Grand Slam, my game has matured to the point where I can really step it up?
VICTORIA AZARENKA:テつ To be honest, I don't think that was that point.テつ I think there has been the 2011, mentioning that has been a very educational year on many occasions for me.テつ Even like third round of the US Open when I played in a big match against Serena.
I think all those pieces by pieces really took me to that kind of understanding of the new level that I have to reach to be able to win the Grand Slam.

Q.テつ I'm wondering how the last few weeks have been for you.テつ Probably wasn't the Asian swing you wanted, early loss in Beijing.テつ Just wondered how you recovered from it and if you absolutely needed rest over the last couple of weeks.
VICTORIA AZARENKA:テつ Yeah, it's been tough Asian swing, but I think, you know, whatever happens happens for a reason, and has definitely made me understand how to maybe schedule things better.テつ It's nobody's fault, another learning experience for me.テつ I was in training in Switzerland, I went to Australia for a little bit, and I had a little bit of rest.
I have been practicing, so I'm excited to just play the tournament and see how it goes.テつ It's the last one of the year, so I'm ready to give it all here.

Q.テつ Wondered how important it is for a young player to have a steady coaching relationship, how important it is to hear the same ‑‑not the same message, but having a consistent partnership with a coach over a period of time?
VICTORIA AZARENKA:テつ I have always been a true believer in that, because I see a lot of players, man and woman, changing, switching coaches at different, you know, stages of their career, and I always have long relationships with a coach.
I feel like there is good in that, because you go through a lot of experience, good and bad experience, and you learn.テつ It's important that your coach can educate you not only on court but educate your life, and you respect somebody for a longer period of time, longer period you know them.
I think that can bring your success together when you just learn and communicate and grow together.

Q.テつ You mentioned Australia before.テつ Your boyfriend is obviously there doing television.テつ Did you sneak in without being noticed?
VICTORIA AZARENKA:テつ I didn't sneak in there.テつ I love people who knew I was there.テつ I was actually wearing my beanie and sunglasses, and I still couldn't get avoided.
I mean, my boyfriend is pretty recognizable with all this (showing big hair) so it's hard to hide.

Q.テつ He's talked a lot about watching you perform, sitting on the sidelines.テつ What's it like for you watching him on television?
VICTORIA AZARENKA:テつ It's funny, because he's a funny dude.テつ You know, I watch all the X factors and stuff, and then we talk about it.テつ I give my opinions, you know, but it's really fun, because I know him from one side and I see him on the television with a little different side.
It's exciting for me.

Q.テつ But being around him because he's been in the entertainment industry basically his whole life and he grew up in that, did that help you get more comfortable in your industry, which also requires a lot of press and sponsorships, being out there all the time?
VICTORIA AZARENKA:テつ Yeah, it just shows that you always have to be really you, and it doesn't matter where you are, and I feel it's the best way to really just be more personal with anybody who you deal with, sponsors, press, you know, other tennis players, just to be open and honest and they like you or they, you know, may not like you that much.
It's up to people's opinion, but if you're staying consistent through what you do, I think it's the best way.

Q.テつ We saw the music video. テつDo you have any plans to go further in music?
VICTORIA AZARENKA:テつ No, I didn't want to be in that video, to be honest.テつ It's just trying to sneak me into every scene there was, and I was supposed to be a mermaid, but I said, you are out of your mind.テつ I'm not swimming in the water.テつ It's cold.テつ (Laughter.)テつ What are you talking about?
And then he found another scene where I could just be a stewardess, and I never really served drinks, and the glass kept sliding and I was a little nervous.
It was fun.テつ It was definitely fun to see, you know, how that world works and how long it takes to shoot that whole video.テつ And swimming with sharks?テつ Like it's crazy.テつ I mean, that's why the video is Let's Get Ridiculous.テつ Because it is ridiculous.

Q.テつ You won two Grand Slams, both of them Australian Open, and two finals, one of them United States Open.テつ Do you feel yourself better on the hard court rather than the grass and clay?
VICTORIA AZARENKA:テつ I think, you know, if you take a ratio of the tournaments that I have played on hard courts and played on grass or clay, it's really big difference.テつ We play much more on hard courts and there are two Grand Slams out of four on hard courts.
But I think I can play well all the surfaces.テつ I was in the semifinals of other Grand Slams, so it's just, you know, the matter of taking that extra step, but I feel comfortable playing in all of them.

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