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January 16, 2014

Victoria Azarenka


V. AZARENKA/B. Zahlavova Strycova
6‑1, 6‑4

THE MODERATOR:テつ Questions, please.

Q.テつ Sort of an odd up‑and‑down match.テつ Talk about it overall.
VICTORIA AZARENKA:テつ I don't think there was a lot of up and down.テつ There was just a moment when I think, you know, I just felt I dropped my intensity a little bit and was watching her a little bit too much.
She obviously played amazing defense today, getting a lot of balls.テつ So I think that what was happen in the second set.テつ But I'm glad I could just turn it around in the end and really get back into it and play the way I was playing in the first set.

Q.テつ It's not often that you face players that come into net that much.テつ Talk about that.
VICTORIA AZARENKA:テつ Yeah, she's a very tricky player and obviously can do a lot of things.テつ I felt like she was really brave to do anything.テつ Come with a second serve to the net.
Yeah, she went for her shots.テつ Sometimes it was surprising, but then I realized that I just have to be alert on every point because you don't really know what's going to come.
So I had to adapt and try to refocus my game, trying to control and move her around myself.

Q.テつ How were the conditions inside?
VICTORIA AZARENKA:テつ I can't complain about playing under the roof in the night session.テつ It was a little bit humid.テつ I mean, sweat a lot still.テつ But, yeah, I can't complain.テつ I was feeling pretty good out there.テつ I'm sure a lot of players were suffering a little bit more.

Q.テつ Did you get to practice in the morning outside?
VICTORIA AZARENKA:テつ Yeah, I warmed up in the morning at 10:00 outside.テつ It was pretty hot.

Q.テつ What was the day like for you?テつ There was heat, thunder, lightning, all that.
VICTORIA AZARENKA:テつ For me, everything was fine.テつ I played under the closed roof so lightning couldn't hit me.テつ I didn't feel the heat.テつ I didn't get sunburned.テつ I was in the perfect conditions today.

Q.テつ Did you watch any of the other matches?
VICTORIA AZARENKA:テつ A little bit.テつ Just a little bit.テつ I saw a little bit match of Tsonga and that's it.テつ And Rafa a little bit.

Q.テつ How do you feel you're playing overall?テつ Sometimes it takes you a little while to get into Grand Slam tournaments.
VICTORIA AZARENKA:テつ I felt I played pretty good.テつ I had two very different opponents I played.テつ I'm glad that in important moments I'm finding my rhythm and I'm able to raise the level.
I think you can always improve there and there, just try to lift your game up.テつ But it's just important trying to find that little bit to get better with every single match you play.

Q.テつ Have you changed what you want to do with your serve now?テつ I know you go for placement more than power.テつ Were you consistently hitting it harder the first part of the year?テつ Have there been changes at all?
VICTORIA AZARENKA:テつ I don't know.テつ I never really look at the speed.テつ For me it's important what I can create with that.テつ I've been working a lot on my serve.
I think it takes time, you know, to get that.テつ I think it's one of the toughest shots technically to manage.テつ You know, adjusting my body with a different type of fitness, it takes time to have that perfect timing.
But I feel I'm in the right way of working with the things and get better.

Q.テつ So is the intention service winners, aces on the first serve, or just a good serve so you can get a first ball that you can control the point with?
VICTORIA AZARENKA:テつ It's both.テつ Eventually it's to get a lot more free points.テつ But right now I just want that consistency that I can place anywhere I want.

Q.テつ Why the change with the fitness?
VICTORIA AZARENKA:テつ Because I think it has a lot to do with the timing, with your body, with your balance in the body, the way you push, the range of motions.
So all this I adjust.テつ It really takes time.

Q.テつ In your mind, what would be a successful 2014, aside from improving your skills?
VICTORIA AZARENKA:テつ Successful?テつ I don't know.テつ I never think about the whole year forward.テつ You just set yourself goals.テつ But always wherever I want to go I want to win.
The most important for me is try to stay as healthy as possible, and that will be a successful year for me, just to make sure I can play every tournament I go and finish that.

Q.テつ Did you help design Red Foo's shirts and his group?テつ Do you get approval over those at all?
VICTORIA AZARENKA:テつ Well, that's my logo for my foundation that they have on the back, and Team Vika is something we created the hashtag on Twitter.テつ My fans really use that a lot.
So I wanted to do those shorts and some other ones, the designs they will make in the next couple days.テつ I just want to share it with my fans.テつ They're my biggest fans, so they were wearing those.

Q.テつ Victoria, what is the story of your name?
VICTORIA AZARENKA:テつ Actually my grandmother named me that.テつ I had have to thank her because my parents wanted to call my Daria, and I don't think that suits me at all.テつ They actually put that on my birth certificate.テつ My grandmother was like, No, no, no, you can't name her that.テつ She has to be Victoria.
So I really like that name because it is very international, but I still feel my roots as Belorussian.

Q.テつ Is that the same grandmother that kicked your butt?
VICTORIA AZARENKA:テつ She never kick my butt.テつ She's very sweet.テつ She's like the sweetest person on the planet.

Q.テつ So you owe a fair amount to her?
VICTORIA AZARENKA:テつ Yeah.テつ I don't know how to describe that love that I have for this woman.テつ She's just so happy all the time.テつ It's incredible.
She came to see me in L.A. for the first time.テつ She never travels anywhere.テつ I said, Well, if you're going to fly somewhere, why don't you make it a long trip?
She was so happy she came.テつ I spent some time with her during my off‑season.テつ It was great.テつ She said she'll be coming a lot more.

Q.テつ So L.A. is a long ways away.テつ What were her impressions of all that?
VICTORIA AZARENKA:テつ She was really happy to be there.テつ She loved the weather.テつ The first thing she was so impressed is by the beef they had, the steaks and stuff.テつ She was like, Oh, my God, it's the most amazing steaks on the planet.テつ I took her to this restaurant.
She loved being on the beach.テつ Walking around.テつ I think the most she just loved to spend time with me.

Q.テつ Did you take her to Disneyland?
VICTORIA AZARENKA:テつ No, actually, I didn't.テつ I definitely want to take her somewhere, Universal or somewhere.テつ I was so busy with training.テつ We were just spending time playing cards and just talking.

Q.テつ Name of the steak place in LosAngeles?
VICTORIA AZARENKA:テつ What's the name of the restaurant?テつ Manhattan Beach Pub.

Q.テつ Are you feeling any pressure because Novak has won three times?
VICTORIA AZARENKA:テつ I don't think I feel pressure.テつ I think the pressure there is because I don't use it as a negative.テつ I like pressure because I think it motivates you to be better.
Of course, I know that I won here twice before, but this is completely new year for me and I always take it one at a time.テつ I know it's a long road where I only just played the second round.テつ I just really want to focus on one game at a time.

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