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January 3, 2014

Victoria Azarenka


V. AZARENKA/J. Jankovic
1‑6, 6‑3, 6‑4

THE MODERATOR:テつ Questions, please.

Q.テつ We were talking about this last night, the satisfaction of the struggle.テつ Bit of a struggle today, but you played another good third set and took care of it at the end.テつ About the match and your feelings.
VICTORIA AZARENKA:テつ I think we can look at it as a struggle, but I don't think that was a struggle.テつ I think Jelena played really, really well in the first set.
I felt that I could have done better, but it's just the matter of kind of getting that timing, really fighting through it.
But I think I was able to change it around in the second set.テつ I really tried it apply the game I wanted to apply; whereas in the first set it was a little bit out, a little bit short.
So I had to get into that timing because I felt I was doing the right thing.テつ It wasn't the best execution and she really played well.

Q.テつ You talked about that one point where you guessed right and she had a backhand that went right to you.テつ Do you feel like that changed the momentum of the match?テつ Do you feel that one point, even though it was pretty early in the second set, felt things pretty suddenly going your way?
VICTORIA AZARENKA:テつ I think was the beginning of the that.テつ I think the wholeactually game from the beginning was kind of a changing moment.テつ Even though it was Love‑40, I felt like I went for the shots that I had to go and I started to believe that that was the right play.
But that point was definitely‑‑ I felt that I kind of saw that ball coming and I just went for it.

Q.テつ What does that feel like when you win a point that feels that big?
VICTORIA AZARENKA:テつ No, it just felt like a normal point.テつ Just felt that I had to go one at a time.テつ That whole game I was playing one point at a time.

Q.テつ Do you feel like you need to step up another level for the final?
VICTORIA AZARENKA:テつ We'll see.テつ It's going to be a different match, but today I think we both played at a pretty high level, and so I'm pretty satisfied with the level.
Of course you always want to improve, but you got to take what it is today.

Q.テつ You made the final here in 2009, and now you're here in 2014.テつ Do you remember the excitement back then and what the feeling was like?
VICTORIA AZARENKA:テつ Back then definitely I don't think it was the same field as it is today, but I'm very happy that after last year, you know, I've been able to go through and play and be in the final again.テつ It's giving yourself the best opportunity to fight for the title.
And the excitement back then, I think it was my fifth final or something, you know, and I was I so wanted to win that first title.テつ This is a little bit different emotion, but definitely great feeling to be back.

Q.テつ Why did you decide to come to Brisbane again and not Sydney?テつ Is it because of the extra week?
VICTORIA AZARENKA:テつ Yeah.テつ I mean, I love this tournament, first of all.テつ I do like to have that week in between, because when you play a Grand Slam it really takes a lot of energy out of you.テつ So to have that week to prepare and really get into it mentally, it really helps a lot.
Plus you have few commitments to do before the tournament, and that takes a lot of energy, too.

Q.テつ Is this kind of what you guys want the first week of the year, two weeks before slam?テつ Jelena or Maria or Serena, the world's best?テつ We have the exact same semifinals in Melbourne.テつ Is it too early for that, or is this the perfect preparation?
VICTORIA AZARENKA:テつ No, I don't think it's ever too early.テつ I always want to play against the best players every week.テつ That's what I'm here for, to go every day and try to beat the best.テつ If you want to win big titles and big tournaments you got to play against the best players, so I feel great about having that challenge every time I step on the court.
If there is no challenge it seems boring and unmotivating.

Q.テつ Much different matchups against Serena or Maria than Jelena.テつ Talk about that.テつ A little bit more offensive players than she is, no?
VICTORIA AZARENKA:テつ Yeah, probably a little bit more powerful.テつ But I think Jelena has improved a lot with her being aggressive, especially with his backhand.テつ It's pretty incredible.
But Maria, I haven't played‑‑ I don't remember when we played last time.

Q.テつ Roland Garros semis.
VICTORIA AZARENKA:テつ Yeah, so it's definitely a different match.
Serena, we played exhibition, but it's very different.テつ We always have tough matches.
No matter who I play it's going to be a very, very big challenge.テつ That's what you want in the final.

Q.テつ What do you remember about the last time you played Maria, that final in Melbourne?テつ What do you remember about that match?
VICTORIA AZARENKA:テつ I don't really remember much of it.テつ I remember feeling that I had, because I didn't really ever watch it.テつ I never really do.
But I think I played really well that match.テつ I just have, you know, emotional thoughts about that match.

Q.テつ What do you remember the emotion being like?
VICTORIA AZARENKA:テつ Great experience.テつ It was really great.テつ So I was so looking forward to that first final and I was excited, and I was a little bit nervous in the beginning.
Then it just felt so good.テつ Felt like I was home.テつ I was in the zone.

Q.テつ You were saying you were in the zone.テつ How often does that happen, say, annually when you're in a match and you go into the zone and every ball is going in?
VICTORIA AZARENKA:テつ You can never predict that.テつ You can never think, Okay, right now I'm going to be in the zone.テつ It just happens.
The things you go through, sometimes how you pull out the match when you're down or when you have to save a match point, it's tough to explain what was going on in that moment because it's a feeling.テつ The thoughts that go through your mind are like thousand thoughts.テつ Boom, boom, boom.
Sometimes you're just like, Okay, well, the ball comes.テつ So it's very tough to predict and explain how you feel in that moment.テつ You just know because it feels good.

Q.テつ You're a good analyst.テつ Take a look at Serena versus Maria, which you may or may not see tonight.
VICTORIA AZARENKA:テつ I don't like to predict, but I think both of them are great players and both are very, very competitive players.テつ We've seen that in the past.
So I think it's going to be a tough battle, as usual, and the best one will definitely win.

Q.テつ Will you watch?
VICTORIA AZARENKA:テつ I don't think so.テつ Maybe a little bit, but I don't think so.

Q.テつ Because why?テつ Because you know them both so well it doesn't really matter?
VICTORIA AZARENKA:テつ No, I just don't really like to watch a lot of matches sometimes, because when you're in the tournament, in that free time you want to just relax a little bit and get your mind off tennis.
I never like to play the match before I step on the court, so that's the only reason.

Q.テつ You had two wins over Serena last year.テつ Do you feel like you'll be able to continue staying close to her in 2014 now?
VICTORIA AZARENKA:テつ That's the goal.テつ That's the goal for sure, you know, to keep challenging, to keep trying to do the best you can and try to win.

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