“To be honest I feel like I had few last years was kind of difficult,” she said. “So in a way, after a lot of uncertainty with the pandemic and me kind of finding my way to approach a different perspective, it's been a breath of fresh air.
“I would say I was a lot more miserable a few years before than I am now, so I think the journey to get here has been tough. But right now I kind of look at it that as it was a great opportunity for me to kind of finally just look outside of my narrow thinking.
“In a way it's been better for me personally. Everywhere around it's just been a disaster, so that gets me emotional a lot. But I hope we this time will (see) a lot of good changes for people and we will rise above (it) all.”
Azarenka beat Venus Williams in the first round in Rome but said that match would have little or no bearing, should they meet in round two here.
“I think (the influence will be) very minimal because, as I said, it's going to be a lot about adjusting,” she said. “Rome was hot, there was a lot of high bounces, I felt that sometimes I had to jump to hit the return. I'm definitely (not) going to do that here, so I think it's just going to be about adjustment.
“There is no surprises for me or for Venus, I think it's about execution. We all know that execution, even if you know things, you still have to do the job. So that's all about that.”