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Quotable Quotes: No.1 In Their Eyes

What does Victoria Azarenka think of the depth in the women's game? What does Serena Williams think of Rafael Nadal's return? What does Maria Sharapova do with all her trophies?

Published February 11, 2013 12:00

Quotable Quotes: No.1 In Their Eyes
Victoria Azarenka

DOHA, Qatar - The Top 3 players in the world - Victoria Azarenka, Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova - all have a shot at No.1 at the Qatar Total Open this week, and they all met the press on Monday, talking about everything from winning Grand Slams to Rafael Nadal to hat hangers...

Victoria Azarenka
On the three-way race for No.1 and strong challenges from outside the Top 3, too...
"It's important for the players to keep their competitive spirit and to be on the watch out. For me, it's just extra motivation to live and play in this era. So many great girls are really stepping up their game. We can really see the elevation in the women's game. For me as a player, it's really exciting."

On how today's Azarenka is different from the one from two or three years ago...
"I've learned and grown a lot throughout the years - and I'm still only 23 years old, so there's a lot of time to keep improving. With all the years I've given myself a chance to learn and improve, not only tennis-wise, but physically and mentally. It's definitely something that defines me as a player. I try to write my own script, my own story, not letting anybody else define the player I am."

On the hard work that goes into her game...
"It's a combination of a lot of things: determination, hard work, talent, really wanting to do well - at this level there's so much more attention to details and executing the details on the court, because everybody knows how to run, how to play tennis, how to serve and how to return. It's the moment where you really need to bring your heart, bring your A-game - that's what defines the best player."

On what winning her second Australian Open meant to her...
"The first one is like your first love - you think it's the best thing that ever happened. Then you get the second one and think that one is the best thing that ever happened. My first one was like a kid's dream come true. When I started to play tennis, that was the ultimate goal - I wanted to be a Grand Slam champion. The second time you just want to repeat that feeling, because it's amazing. It's very hard to describe with words. You're always looking for the opportunity to relive that moment."

Serena Williams
On whether she has recovered from her injuries from the Australian Open...
"I'm feeling a little better, just taking it one day at a time, basically. We'll see how I feel after my first match here in Doha. But I'm here and I will just play and we'll see how it goes."

On which of the injuries is hurting the most, the back or the ankle...
"Right now, neither. So it's a good sign."

On Rafael Nadal coming back to the ATP World Tour last week...
"He was really missed in tennis. He has such great energy. He's just really awesome to watch."

On what regaining No.1 would mean to her...
"I think it will be a great feeling. I obviously want it, but it's not the only thing I want."

Maria Sharapova
On her focus this week with the No.1 ranking on the line...
"From a personal perspective, I think the further you go in the tournament, the better chance you give yourself to regain that ranking. So I think that all of us will be focusing on just one step at a time. And it also depends on other players' results, so it's tough to focus on that too much."

On her results in Australia and her preparations for Doha...
"I played good tennis. Certainly not in my last match - I wish I could have done a few things differently. But that's the past. You can't look back too much. You look back at it to know maybe what you can do a little different in situations in the future, or maybe a different game plan. But as far as my preparation for here, last year I went straight to Europe to play Fed Cup and it was actually quite busy and a lot of travelling, so this year I went home to train for a bit. It was nice after being in Australia for over a month. It's quite a long trip for only one event, but I love being here. I certainly want to raise my level."

On what she does with all of her trophies...
"They're scattered around. My mom is kind of in charge of organizing. She's like the interior designer in my homes. Honestly, if you come to my home, I don't know if you'd actually know that I was a successful tennis player, because some of the trophies might even be in the kitchen somewhere. I think actually one of my awards we use as like a hat hanger. They're kind of all over the place.

"The main ones are on the same shelf with my medal."

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