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An Interview With: Victoria Azarenka

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Q. For two sets it was pretty tough. How were you feeling?

VICTORIA AZARENKA: I think she played really well, you know. She served really well and took the opportunities on the service games. I felt like I had some chances, but I didn't really commit well enough. You know, she really went for it. So the second set was all about try to stay with her and try to create more opportunities. I felt like I started to be more aggressive. So, yeah, I think that switch of just staying out there and keep fighting, it was important today.

Q. Physically you felt 100%?

VICTORIA AZARENKA: I'm so tired of answering this question. What is 100% physically?

Q. No pain.

VICTORIA AZARENKA: Well, as an athlete, you will always have a little bit of something there. But I felt good. You know, I felt throughout three sets I was pretty consistent with movement and everything. So it was all good.

Q. What is your reaction to a 15-year-old winning a match here for the first time since 1996?

VICTORIA AZARENKA: Winning a match in a Grand Slam?

Q. It hasn't happened in so long.

VICTORIA AZARENKA: I think it's a great opportunity. You know, I have no idea who she beat or who the girl is. I think it's a great achievement. Hopefully she can keep it up.

Q. She upset the No. 12 seed, Cibulkova.

VICTORIA AZARENKA: Well, that's impressive. That's really impressive for at 15. But I can't tell you much because I have no idea what we talking about. By the result, just by result itself, it's impressive.

Q. You said on the court after you won that you were enjoying the fight this summer. You showed a lot of fight in the third set. What has that been like, the process of your competitiveness?

VICTORIA AZARENKA: Well, you know, I think coming back from not playing in general is always tough because you need to get that momentum. You know, I've been working hard on my body. I feel like I'm improving in every aspect. Sometimes what it is, it's challenging to get the rhythm because your physical ability raises up and your tennis has to catch up. So during the tournament it's sometimes a battle to do that. But I just take that as it happens. I feel like I'm working on the right things, you know. And the most important for me fighting-wise is just to enjoy my time on the court. You know, no matter how hard it is or what's going on, I just need to enjoy. I need to have that passion. I do play with passion. And I think I have a little bit of extra motivation in a way that I didn't play in a while. I just realize I love tennis that much.

Q. It seemed like there were a couple moments when you were giving yourself a pep talk on the court, to get yourself back in a point or a game. Where does that come from? It almost seemed like you were having an argument with yourself or your game.

VICTORIA AZARENKA: Well, I'm my own toughest opponent. So I talk to myself. I curse at myself. I pump myself up. Whatever it takes to do, I don't really give a damn how it looks really because when I'm in the moment I need to be me and I need to do me. Whatever helps me to be out there and fight and give my best on every single point, that's what I'm going to do.

Q. You just came back from injuries. This is the first match of the US Open. You lost the first set to almost an unknown player. What was your feeling at that point? Were you panicking or were you very calm? How did you feel?

VICTORIA AZARENKA: I think that's a little bit unfair to say that way. I think it's a little bit disrespectful to say about my opponent, an unknown player. I know her, I think she has big potential. She showed it today. She has great shots, great serve, and she was really fighting hard. I'm not going to feel the way you probably think I should because I was just giving my best fight. In any match you play, you got 50/50 chances. No matter how much of a favorite you are or somebody else is, you still got to go and win. You know, you got to fight hard, and that's it. Anything can happen. So to have respect to my opponent, I definitely had that.

Q. What about the speed of the court? What were your observations with how it compared to previous trips to the Open for you?

VICTORIA AZARENKA: Previous Opens? I don't know. But all the courts here are different, so we just have to get used to it. And, you know, play out there and don't really think is the court fast or is the ball flying more. You just got to compete.

Q. If you were put in charge of the sport and could change any rule about the matches, or add a rule, delete a rule, what do you think you would choose to change?

VICTORIA AZARENKA: About the rules of the game? I think it's a very complex question. It has to be discussed with some players and take in consideration just how players feel in general. On my own opinion, I don't want to structure it that way. The only thing that sometimes I get confused is when it's a late call or a not late call, and the umpire decides if you replay the point or the point is yours. That, I don't never understand that rule. I think we might have to look at that.

Q. What do you think could be adjusted so that lack of clarity could be fixed?

VICTORIA AZARENKA: I don't know. I think that's probably between players to try to figure out. It's not a media discussion. I think if it needs to be addressed, it should be addressed at the player meeting, talk to the tournament directors, you know, the tour. So I believe that.

Q. At a Grand Slam you have a lot of chances to play a lot of matches. Do you feel the momentum could build here?

VICTORIA AZARENKA: There's a better chance for that. If it's going to happen? I don't know. I wish I could be a psychic and tell you what's going to happen in the future. I think I put the best chances on my side that way. You know, I'm going to take every day and try to make the best out of every day. I know results is going to come. It's just a matter of time. I believe in myself, so I just got to keep working hard.

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