“I have literally never seen her in L.A.,” said Stephens, who could face Azarenka in the fourth round of the Australian Open, which would be a rematch of their controversial semifinal in Melbourne last year. After Azarenka’s 6-1 6-4 win, the Belarussian was criticized by some for taking an extended medical timeout while leading 5-4 in the second set. Stephens claims she barely remembers what happened in the match.
“She had more experience,” Stephens said. “She's won a Grand Slam; she's been in that position a lot of times. It's definitely a learning experience for me. Definitely now, if I was in the same position, which I am obviously not in the semis -- I know what I have to do. I have to play my game and focus on myself and focus on what I do best.
"And last year has nothing to do with this year. It's a totally different year. A lot of things have happened. So I'm just looking forward to getting back on the court. I definitely [feel mentally stronger], I have worked on a lot of things and I've gotten better and I've improved. I feel a lot better on the court.”