January 12, 2014
THE MODERATOR:Â Questions, please.
Q.Â How does it feel coming back to a place where you've won the last two times?
VICTORIA AZARENKA:Â It's amazing.Â Every time I come back here, I love Australia so much.Â It's been like this since I actually came here for the first time as a junior.
Just enjoy playing here.Â I think the fans are amazing here.Â It's called a players‑friendly Grand Slam for a reason, that's for sure.
Q.Â Is there a particular reason you think you've done so well here?
VICTORIA AZARENKA:Â I don't think there's one particular reason.Â I just enjoy playing here.Â It's beginning of the year.Â So motivated.Â As I said, I always been really happy and motivated and inspired to play here.
Q.Â There's been a lot of talk of the speed of the court and the balls.Â Have you noticed any difference?
VICTORIA AZARENKA:Â It's tough for me to compare from last year because I don't remember much.Â But compared to Brisbane, I felt like Brisbane courts were a lot faster, and maybe here a little bit slower than in Brisbane.
That's what I can compare.Â But comparing to last year, I don't really remember.
Q.Â Which do you prefer, here or the speed in Brisbane?
VICTORIA AZARENKA:Â Actually I'm not sure either.Â There we played indoors.Â Here is outdoors.Â I love to go in the arena and play here.
I think the matter of surface is about adaptation.Â You never play the same every day.Â It depends on the weather, it's how the ball is going to bounce.Â You just have to adapt to it.
Q.Â Is there a difference in the speed whether you're playing in heat or in the cool of the evening?
VICTORIA AZARENKA:Â I think it is a little bit different.Â I think the balls are a little bit more bouncy.Â It has to do, like I said, with a lot of things.
But it's all about adaptation for me, I think.
Q.Â The heat factor, are you prepared for that?
VICTORIA AZARENKA:Â Well, I've been here playing for, what, last eight years.Â It's not a new thing to play in the heat.Â I actually enjoy that.Â I mean, not all the time probably, but it's nice to get some sun.
Q.Â After Serena's outstanding season last year, would you agree that she is the one to beat this time?
VICTORIA AZARENKA:Â Well, if you meet her, yes.Â But I think everybody is the ones to beat here.Â We have such a high competition right now.Â You know, you always have to look for every opponent you play.Â You cannot look past anybody because everybody is prepared, everybody wants it badly.
Comparing to her last season, of course, everybody will be motivated to beat her.
Q.Â Everybody seems to be talking about her as the hot favorite for the tournament.Â Do you think that's unfair, given the record you have here?
VICTORIA AZARENKA:Â I don't really care about it, honestly.Â I never cared about it.Â I think the favorites, it's predictions that you guys love to do that.Â For us, it's a matter of playing tennis and giving your best on the court.
Q.Â Do you have your favorite color when you play?
VICTORIA AZARENKA:Â Black.Â But in the heat, it's not the best (smiling).
Q.Â When you and Djokovic get together, do you have a special connection, given the last couple years, both winning this tournament?
VICTORIA AZARENKA:Â Kind of.Â I think, you know, he was joking and said like it became a tradition, do this every year.Â I said, Yeah, we got to try our hardest to make sure we do this every year.
But, you know, it's been fun the last two years.Â Hopefully we can do it again.
Q.Â The fact that you lost to Serena recently, does that have any effect on your mental confidence leading into this event?
VICTORIA AZARENKA:Â No.Â I think it was a great preparation, the whole week in Brisbane, to play actually so many different types of players.Â That's what you want to get in the beginning of the season and in preparation for the event like this.
But, no, it was a great week for me.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports