Victoria Azarenka is relishing her return to Melbourne Park as double defending champion and while Serena Williams is a hot favourite to deny her a hat-trick of titles, the Belarusian says she will not focus solely on the challenge from the world No 1. Azarenka's two grand slam titles have both been achieved without facing the American, who was eliminated in both those tournaments after being hobbled by foot injuries. As second seed in the lower half of the draw, Azarenka would not meet Williams until the final but the 24-year-old was reluctant to talk up their grand slam rivalry, which has her on the wrong side of an 8-0 head-to-head record. When asked on Sunday if Williams was the player to beat in Melbourne, Azarenka responded: "Well, if you meet her, yes. "But everybody is the one to beat here. We have such a high competition right now. You always have to look for every opponent you play. You cannot look past anybody because everybody is prepared, everybody wants it badly. "[Regarding] her last season, of course, everybody will be motivated to beat her." Azarenka controversially avoided Williams in the lead-up to last year's tournament when she pulled out of their match at the Brisbane International citing an infected toenail from a bad pedicure. You always have to look for every opponent you play. You cannot look past anybody because everybody is prepared, everybody wants it badly Victoria Azarenka She was beaten in straight sets for this year's Brisbane title by Williams, however, the American landing a psychological blow before the year's first grand slam. Azarenka said that defeat had no impact on her confidence. "It was a great preparation, the whole week in Brisbane, to play so many different types of players," she said. "That's what you want to get in the beginning of the season and in preparation for the event like this." Azarenka faces 90th-ranked Swede Johanna Larsson in her first round match on Monday, a player she beat comfortably in straight sets in the opening round of the 2011 US Open, their sole meeting. An intriguing matchup looms against the 13th seed, American youngster Sloane Stephens, in the fourth round. The pair played in a semi-final last year in a match plunged into controversy when Azarenka took a prolonged medical timeout after blowing five match points against the 20-year-old American. Former players and pundits accused Azarenka of gamesmanship and the Belarusian displayed commendable grit in the face of one of the most hostile crowds in memory at Melbourne Park when she beat sentimental favourite Li Na for the title. On the eve of the final, Azarenka launched a media campaign to try to swing public opinion in her favour, and she was on the front foot again on Sunday in praising the Australian crowds, despite the harsh reception she received in her last match at Melbourne Park. "It's amazing. Every time I come back here, I love Australia so much," she said. "It's been like this since I actually came here for the first time as a junior. "Just enjoy playing here. I think the fans are amazing here. It's called a players-friendly grand slam for a reason, that's for sure."