The two-time Grand Slam champion sat down to discuss her comeback, motherhood, the state of the game and her surprise appearance in Paris.
WTA Staff

Former World No.1 Victoria Azarenka stopped by "Live at Roland Garros" on Monday to chat with host Nick McCarvel about her imminent return to tennis, which is set to take place in three weeks at the Mallorca Open.

Though she is not competing in Paris, Azarenka made a surprise appearance at Kids' Day prior to the start of the second Grand Slam of the season.

"It was amazing - I was a little bit nervous actually because they said you have to hit targets, and I was like, 'Oh my god, in front of all these people,'" the two-time Australian Open champion said. "Once I stepped on the court, it felt like home, so I was very happy to be there."

Azarenka will make her return to the tour after the birth of her son Leo in Mallorca ahead of Wimbledon, ahead of her previously announced return date of July 18 at the Bank of the West Classic.

"It's not really a comeback for me, it's more starting a second part of my career," Azarenka said. "It's different, it just feels different. The competition, I've been training and...I need to go out and play, I need to play matches, I need to be in front of the crowd, so I'm happy I'm going to start playing in a few weeks. Before I started to practice, I wanted to make sure I could accomplish some of the goals [I had] with training. That's why we said hard courts, [which] give us a lot of time to work.

"They told me like a month ago, 'You should go out and play,' and I said, 'I'm not sure, I don't know, I wanted hard courts,' but then I started playing more, some sets and stuff, and I just want to go...compete.

She added: "[Motherhood] kind of just puts tennis matches into a less serious mode, and it's just something that you enjoy more. I just love playing, and that's the only reason why I'm playing again. If I didn't love it, I wouldn't have come [back]."

In the meantime, the former World No.1 has been taking in the sights and sounds of Paris - something she said she never got much of a chance to do while in the routine of the tour.

"I came here for one of my best friend's weddings, and while I was here, I was like, 'Well, I would love to do a Kids' Day,'" she said. "The tournament's always been so nice to me, and I wanted to give back and I love Kids' Day in general. Then my trainer came and is like, 'Well, you might as well just train, and you can still have some of your free time, but we should put some work in.'

"I don't have that routine pressure, where you don't have to sleep at a certain hour, to eat and recover so I'm able to communicate with players and other people, which is great."

Watch the full interview with Azarenka below!