Thursday, August 30, 2012
Victoria Azarenka US Open Day 3 Interview | Wednesday, August 29, 2012
Q. Another strong match. Talk about the match and how you feel you played.
VICTORIA AZARENKA: I think it was another good performance today. You know, it was a little bit difficult with the wind today, you know, to adjust. It was blowing a lot from one side. You kind of had to adjust every time you changed sides. When the wind is behind you had to be more patient, sometimes more aggressive, more spin. On the other one you had to kind of fight against. So I think I adjusted really well. You know, her game is also a little bit unpredictable. She likes to move the opponent around; she has different variety. It wasn't as easy maybe as the score was, but I think I played well. I moved well, which was important, you know, to execute in these conditions.
Q. Her weapon seemed to be the slice backhand. What did you do to counter that?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: I practiced yesterday. (Laughter.) I practiced yesterday for that. She has a really, you know, deep slice and it's a little bit tricky. It took me first few shots to kind of adjust and feel her ball, but, you know, I had to stay aggressive and not to let her try to command me with that shot.
Q. Jie Zheng in the next round.
VICTORIA AZARENKA: Okay. I didn't know that.
Q. You have played her before. What can you anticipate from that matchup?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: Yeah, I mean, she's definitely a really tough opponent. She had big matches; she had big results. You know, she's unpredictable. Really stable. She's very consistent. It's going to be interesting. We haven't played in a while, I think. I don't actually remember the last time we played.
Q. It was in 2009 in Tokyo.
VICTORIA AZARENKA: Tokyo. Oh, well, so, it will be definitely a big challenge, you know. She can definitely show good tennis, and I kind of need to step it up in the later rounds coming up. We'll see. I'm looking forward to play against her.
Q. Two years ago you had to retire. The third round has kind of been your threshold. In your mind do you feel you need to get past that in order to validate anything?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: I don't feel like I have to prove something. Of course I would rather always win than lose. Taking last year's experience or the year before that, I can't really look back on it and take something. I mean, I can take something from it, but not really look back. The next match is gonna be, you know, the usual match for me. I don't have anything that, you know, it's the third round or I have to win that I didn't pass last two years. It's just gonna be another match. I have a tough opponent. You know, I'm up for the challenge.
Q. Do you feel very different coming into this year than any previous year at the Open considering everything that's happened so far this year? Should we consider you a different player than the one who has come here in the past?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: I hope so. But, you know, the expectations are higher, for sure. You know, there is more attention that people expect you to play better. For me, I always take it match by match no matter where it is, what my ranking is. I have been doing it for pretty much my whole career. I'm just always focusing day by day. As far as I can go, we'll see, but I try to stay humble and focused.
Q. This is Kim Clijsters' final tournament. Can you share some of your memories of what it was like playing against her?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: I never played her here at the Open, but we had great matches. Definitely the one we had in Australia this year was absolutely amazing. As I said before, Kim is, you know, a great role model for all of us. She has a great personality. I was actually just chatting with her about shopping in the locker room before we came out. I mean, she's just great for our sport. For sure we'll miss her.
Q. Would you describe shopping as your hobby?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: No. Not hobby. I think it's something that every girl enjoys to do when they're in a good mood, but mostly when they're in a bad mood, I would say. (Laughter.) It's just something ‑‑ for me, it's when I have free time, which I don't have a lot, I can do something. You know, I like to shop. I like to look at things around. I like to buy gifts most of the times.
Q. This tournament and all the other slams we have a day off between matches. Is that easier on you, or is it a challenge to keep your focus instead of playing every day and showing up the next day knowing you have to play?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: I'm not sure about that, because I always take Grand Slam not only as a two‑week tournament. I take it as a three‑week tournament. You are here always normally earlier, so it kind of starts already a little before. In terms of physically‑mentally, I think that Grand Slams are the toughest ones to play for sure. We have more matches. You have, I don't know, more things to do always. I'm actually not sure. It's good to have day off sometimes ‑‑ if you don't play doubles, for example. So if you just focus on your singles, it definitely gives a little bit of a, you know, a breathe through such a long tournament.
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