Victoria Azarenka sunk Ana Ivanovic’s hopes of defending her French Open crown with a comprehensive 6-2, 6-3 win in the fourth round on Sunday. She will play Russian top seed Dinara Safina for a place in the semi-finals.
An interview with: VICTORIA AZARENKA
THE MODERATOR: Questions in English, please.
Q. What was the key today? Only seven unforced errors, 80% first serves for you.
VICTORIA AZARENKA: I didn’t really see the statistics yet, but Iwas very consistent today and very aggressive. I didn’t let her play her game, which she normally does. I was just being I think too aggressive.
Q. Was is it your best day in the tournament?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: So far, yes.
Q. Most of the crowd, of the fans, were behind Ana. Is it a concern for you to put the crowd withyou, to put the crowd supporting you for the rest of the tournament, for the next games?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: That would be great. You know, it kind of was expected becauseshe’s the champion, and it was obvious that the crowd would be for her. But I hope they will be a little bit more forme now.
Q. How is your leg? Whathappened? Does it bother you at all?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: No, no, it’s good. It’s just for protection.
Q. Did you feel a bit jittery when you had your first match point and realizing that you were about to beat the defending champion?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: Sorry, I was what?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: I don’t know what that means.
Q. Stressed, nervous.
VICTORIA AZARENKA: No, I was playing point by point. I didn’t look at it as it was a match point,I just looked at it as it was another point that I had to win.
Q. I think in the previous round you had a tough match against SuarezNavarro, and you were on the verge of elimination in the second set. Do you think because you had a tough match,where Ana had relatively easy matches before, made a difference?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: I don’t ‑‑ I don’t know. I was just going through the match, and I wasready to fight no matter what. Because Ihad tough matches, and I knew what it is to come from 4‑1 or 5‑1 and win theset. I was just ready for it. I was just playing point by point.
That’s what really madethe difference. I think it really helpedme that I had big fights before.
Q. Could you talk a little bit about the next match? It’s going to be a tough one, obviously.
VICTORIA AZARENKA: Well, definitely. Dinara just lost one match on the clay court,and she’s been playing great tennis. Shewas just killing people so far.
I just need to getready, really well and play my best tennis to beat her.
Q. Audience wasn’t on your side in the last two matches. You’ve got also small conflicts with it. What do you expect in next match?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: Sorry, what?
Q. Audience wasn’t on your side last two matches. You have got also some small conflicts withthe public, with the audience. What doyou expect in the next match?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: Idon’t really expect anything. The crowdwill do whatever they want. They cheerfor whoever they like more.
For me, I just hopethey can cheer for me better.
Q. Do they motivate you more when you notice that they are against you?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: No, I just ‑‑ I just try to focus on mygame, not to focus on the crowd.
Q. What represents that kind of success today? Is it only one gain inthe process, or something more?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: What?
Q. Is it only a success today, only a victory, or something more?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: I don’t know. I mean, it’s the first time I ever made the quarterfinals. It’s something really big for me. It’s a new step, and I’m just really lookingforward for the challenge to see how well I with do in my next step.
Q. I don’t think the clay court is your favorite surface, but it seems likeyou’re adjusting very fast. How much areyou comfortable now on the clay court?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: Well, the first tournaments I wasn’t reallycomfortable, even though I played pretty good in Rome.
But now I reallylook ‑‑ I really feel like I found my game on the clay. I’m playing very good right now, especiallythe last match and the last day I played Suarez Navarro.
Q. You just defeated the defending champion, Ivanovic, and I think in theman’s singles Nadal is also out. Are yousurprised by that?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: Very surprised that Nadal lost. I am. I actually really wanted him to win, because he’s one of my favoriteplayers.
I don’t know if I cansay that I’m surprised that I beat Ana, because I think I deserve to beather. I played very well.
But I’m really surprised that Nadal lost,but I think Robin just did a great job. He was playing unbelievable.
Q. What’sthe importance of the coach in your present moment?
VICTORIA AZARENKA: My coach is very important in my career,especially my tennis coach. He’s been with me for a very long time. Without him, I wouldn’t be here.