Serena's Interview -
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post #1 of 3 (permalink) Old Jun 9th, 2002, 02:19 AM Thread Starter
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Serena's Interview

S. WILLIAMS/V. Williams 7-5, 6-3

Q. For some of the public, it's hard to understand two sisters have been as competitive to each other as to somebody else. Is there a point in the match that you forget that she's your sister?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I think a point in the match when you forget is when you first walk out there. Because, like I said, this is a Grand Slam final, and it's been a while since I won a Grand Slam. Long time.

Q. Where are you going tonight to celebrate?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I'm going to bed. I'm tired. You guys want to ask me a lot of questions (laughter). I don't know. I don't know. I usually don't celebrate. Like after I won The Open for the first time, I went to sleep because I think I had a doubles match the next day. I think going out there and winning is more than enough.

Q. Can you talk a little bit about your emotions just after that final point was hit, then also when you were getting your trophy and everything.

SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, you know, when I was young...

Q. Way back then?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I always dreamed of winning Wimbledon. Well, I always dreamed of winning the US Open and Wimbledon. The French Open, I've always wanted to win it, especially when I came here and people said I couldn't play on clay. It always made me want to fight even harder. It's not that I would say that I would have never imagined that I would have won Roland Garros, because always whenever I go play any tournament, I always think that I'm going to win. But it's just really exciting, very exciting.

Q. The atmosphere at the end was pretty relaxed and fun with Venus taking pictures. Were you surprised when she went and did that?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yes, it was very funny when she was doing that. Hey, none of us have won the French Open yet, so we had to get that first moment.

Q. Is it what these matches are going to be like if you meet a lot of times? Are they going to be relaxed and easy?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, it wasn't easy.

Q. Not easy play, but easygoing.

SERENA WILLIAMS: Definitely after the match. But once you're on the court, you're fighting, and only thinking about winning the tournament. But after that, it's back to normal, for sure.

Q. Just talk about the ups and downs of the match, especially the first set, so many ups and downs, "break city" for a while.

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I was thinking when I was out there, "Gosh, my dad would be very upset at the way we're both playing right now." Wouldn't stop getting broken. I was a little fatigued. I played in a lot of matches, you know, 16. I've been playing a lot. It's just, I don't know, mentally focused enough, and we just were making a lot of errors. I mean, it was good games and good points, for sure. It was definitely a longer match than what I think it has been in the past.

Q. But from 3-5 down in the first set, you really put your foot on the pedal there and played pretty well.

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, sometimes I have to get down to get up. I don't know why. But not normally, but sometimes when I do get down I really fight even harder. So I just maybe start playing a little better.

Q. And how big was your return of serve today? You really did a nice job returning her, getting yourself in front on the points, dictating pretty well.

SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, I didn't think I did that very well. I think I definitely did it much better at the Nasdaq. I don't know. I don't think I was that great.

Q. You said before when you walk out there, it's at that moment that you forget that it's your sister that you're playing against. But between points today when you would win or after a game, it was almost as if you were really calm, like you were trying to be gracious.

SERENA WILLIAMS: No. I just think sometimes when one gets overly excited, especially in the final, they begin to lose sight, "I'm really close now." I just have to stay calm and take it one point at a time because this is a big event and a big atmosphere for me.

Q. It didn't have anything to do with the fact that the Venus was the one on the other side?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Maybe. I don't know. I don't think so. I don't even realize. I was just out there playing.

Q. What about winning it? Does it feel any different to have won against Venus than it does to have won against any other opponent?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I think -- no. I think it's better that I won against Venus, because at least we both took home the maximum amount of money and points (laughter).

Q. Have you spoken with your dad before and after the match?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, I talked to my dad a lot. I talked to him last night and this morning. He just, you know, told us to have fun when we go out there and enjoy it.

Q. After the match?

SERENA WILLIAMS: No, I haven't. I haven't had time. I'm down in the tunnel, so my phone doesn't work very well.

Q. Do you and your sister split the money?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Do we split the money?

Q. Yes.

SERENA WILLIAMS: No. We're over here fighting like dogs and animals. My money is going to go to Uncle Sam immediately (laughter), unfortunately.

Q. Uncle Sam Williams?


Q. Venus came in here a few minutes ago. She said she lets you get away with everything, and that you stole her toothpaste and she had to come and get it, but she let you have it. Could you defend yourself on this important issue?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, it all started when I was in Miami because I was staying there with her. You know, I normally use a different brand. I tried this brand. I just felt my teeth were so clean afterwards, just a totally different feeling. So when she wasn't looking, I grabbed it, and I got caught. But I didn't get caught until maybe six, seven weeks later.

Q. And she also claims that she's a far better photographer than you.

SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, she's been doing it a little longer because she's more serious about it. But I've been trying to get a little better. I have a better lens. No, she has the same lens I do. So my dad's the better photographer out of all of us.

Q. Do you sometimes get the impression that the media and some of the public have a harder time figuring out that sisters are playing out there than the pair of you do? It's more of a problem for us than for you two?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Oh, most definitely. I definitely think that you guys definitely have a harder time trying to figure out that we're just going out there just to play a match. For us, it's just a match. I want to win, too. I know Venus wants to win. She always wants to. There you go.

Q. You've been talking much of the year about fulfilling the promise that you were going to come back, play at an elite level. Now you've done it. You won the Grand Slam title. You're No. 2, getting somewhat close to No. 1. How does it feel? Gratifying?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Okay. No, I'm just kidding (laughter). Obviously, I'm very, very happy - especially to win another Grand Slam because I was really fighting so long. At one point, I wouldn't get past the quarters, then I got to the final, maybe a semi here. But it was just kind of discouraging. I didn't want to be a one-hit wonder. I had to get it again. So I think, if anything -- I forgot the question.

Q. You pretty much answered it.


Q. Have you worked a lot harder this year? Could you talk about your preparation and your work?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I guess. You know, I'll be honest with you. I'm not one to really go out and work extra hard. I figure I've been playing -- I'm 20, and I've been playing since I was four, 16 years. If I can't do it by now, I'll probably never be able to do it. That's how I look at it. When I go out and practice, I do quality over quantity now. There's things I'd rather be doing than staying on the court all day. When I go out there, I'm really focused. Maybe I do a little more stuff off court, but I think in order for me to stay focused and still love it the way I do now, then I can't stay out there, you know, 10 hours a day. I just couldn't fathom that.

Q. You mentioned your phone. Your mom said it was real important to you. Is that your most important companion? What happens when it goes down?

SERENA WILLIAMS: My phone? My phone used to be my most important companion. Now I'm very unpopular. I never get phone calls anymore.

Q. If in four weeks' time you two meet again in another final which could very well happen, you'll be top seeds, how will your approach to that final differ from here because of the surface? How do you think the match will differ?

SERENA WILLIAMS: It would probably be a much quicker match. I think on the grass, maybe I'd come to the net a bit more. Maybe Venus would also come a bit more. It will be a quicker match; we'll have quicker points. In a way, it will almost be a bit more fun because that really suits our game. The clay, we've done very well. But the grass, with our style of serving, the returns, it would really bring the best probably out of both of us.

Q. Do you think the grass is perhaps the best surface for both of you or is it more the hard court?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I don't know. Whatever surface the tournament is on, I'm ready. It doesn't matter. I just come to compete. It really doesn't matter.

Q. As you and your sister are not (inaudible), and you are probably going to make another finals furthermore. Don't you think the public can be a little bored by that?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Oh, I don't think so. I think hopefully we can build a rivalry that we'll be able to do this a lot, just make a legacy, then retire champions.

Q. Do you think Serena Williams is the best tennis player in the world now?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Serena Williams I think has, in my mind, always been the best tennis player. It's just maybe the lack of results maybe. But in my mind I've always felt that I've been No. 1. But that's how you have to think going into any sport, I think, or else if you don't think like this, you'll lack confidence. I think you need to have a lot of confidence.

Q. You've always said that in terms of confidence. But now do the results back that up and are you the best based on results?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I don't know. I'm No. 2 now, so I'm just trying to stay focused and try to get -- just play a few more tournaments. No. 2 with 12 tournaments isn't bad at all.

Q. You said that you want to build a rivalry, build a legacy. What do you envision that being?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, just in the future getting more kids into tennis, having more people watching. Just get more people into tennis basically. People start playing tennis because of us.

Q. Do you think you can have some great Grand Slam matches over the years?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, we have two. So hopefully. But you never know. As long as we stay healthy.

Q. Is it an exciting prospect, though?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I hope it is, for sure.

I love you Serena.

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post #2 of 3 (permalink) Old Jun 9th, 2002, 02:46 AM
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