Serena 4r Interview
Q. At any time did you think about not completing that match?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I thought about, uhm, not finishing, but very briefly. I thought I wouldn't be able to live with myself if I hadn't at least tried.
Q. What's your feeling now, having come through that?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I feel good about the accomplishment. I've never dealt with such pain. I can't believe ‑‑ I can't believe I won really.
Q. How much of a break was it to be able to leave the court and what kind of treatment did you receive? Could you have played had you not had the rain delay?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I think I was definitely saved by the rain. I couldn't move before the rain. Just everything stopped.
I was definitely saved by the rain.
Q. Is it a cramp?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I had a very bad acute muscle spasm in my left calf. Acute, as you know, is a really intense pain. I think I was crying at one point (laughter).
Q. What kind of advice did you get from the doctor when you went in during the rain delay?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, I got a lot of advice 'cause it could be more serious than I think ‑‑ he thought it could be more serious till we got some scans on it.
You know, for me, my career for me is still young, and I feel like I have a big future. He was worried about me ruining the future potentially. But at the same time, once we got everything in order, it looked pretty good.
Q. How did you assess your options at that point?
SERENA WILLIAMS: At that point I just thought ‑‑ I thought I was going to go back on the court no matter what. I thought, you know, I just had to go back out.
Q. What within you gave you the strength to come back?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, like I said, I would have felt weird if I hadn't tried. I mean, if I'd have came back and I wasn't able to do anything, then it just ‑‑ I would have felt okay. At least I tried. You can't knock anyone for trying.
So I just would have felt bad if I didn't try.
Q. Do you rank this among your gutsiest matches?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Definitely because I had little to no movement at all. It was all about just hanging in there and hitting aces, you know, just going for it.
Q. Did you sense at any stage that she was crumbling, you were showing that strength to come back and that was having an impact on her?
SERENA WILLIAMS: You know, I was just really focused on me because I was dealing with so many things, I just wanted to focus on what I was going to do. I didn't really sense it too much.
I think at some point every player senses something about their opponent, and I did get something. But I was always really just focused on what I was going to do.
Q. Straight after the rain break, it looked like you could barely run. It obviously did loosen up a fair bit during that final set, didn't it?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah. I just decided at one point, you know, it was over and I was going to die trying. I figured my heart wouldn't give out, so I had a good chance of making it.
Q. What kind of treatment did you have on the break?
SERENA WILLIAMS: A lot of ice, a lot of massage, drinking a lot of fluids, like tons of fluids. Ice, massage, yeah, that's it pretty much.
Q. We're not used to seeing you physically vulnerable on the court. Is that the most exposed you've ever felt physically in a match?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I definitely think so. I never really got so emotional on the court. I definitely think so. I think, you know, when you can pull through those matches, no matter what happens, it's like it's a good step in the right direction.
Q. The way you played the final set, does it tell you something that you can use that for the rest of your matches? Two, the pants you wore, the Nadal pants, you wore, you looked great in them. Are you going to continue to wear them?
SERENA WILLIAMS: First, going for broke is all I could do pretty much. You know, I have that game. It was good that the rain came. It was good that it was on grass because the court stays low, you can hit hard and pretty much go for winners.
Is it something I would do in the future? Probably not, because it's a very low‑percentage game. It's very low percentage. You make a lot of errors, a lot of winners, but it's pretty much...
Q. Did you take a pain killing shot at all?
SERENA WILLIAMS: No, I don't do shots. I don't like needles.
Q. And the pants?
SERENA WILLIAMS: This is the Serena line actually from Nike. I like Nadal's pants, so... (Smiling).
Q. Can you turn around and think in terms of playing an opponent of Henin's quality as early possibly as tomorrow?
SERENA WILLIAMS: You know, I think getting through today is great. That's the only thing I'm focused on right now, just to fix what I have going on and go from there . So I'm excited about getting that done.
Q. How did you keep going for the last four games considering you wanted to go for the toilet break?
SERENA WILLIAMS: God, I had to use the bathroom so bad because I kept drinking so much fluid. I don't know. I just kept thinking to myself, one more game. I kept saying to myself one more game, until finally there were no games left.
Q. Were you irritated when she hit the dropshot in the fourth game?
SERENA WILLIAMS: That pretty much set it off for me. After that, I was so motivated to win. I was like, you know what, I'm going to do this. You know, I'm going to die trying.
You know, I just ‑‑ I don't know why that particularly made me so upset, but it was just like, you know what, this is it. I'm not going down today. I mean, no. There's no way.
Q. I couldn't quite read your lips on that. Could you share with us what you were saying?
SERENA WILLIAMS: (Laughter) I said, Well, Serena, get the ball next time (using an English accent). That's what I said.
Q. Would you have done the same thing in her shoes?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Absolutely. Like I don't know why I got so upset. Maybe it was just something in me that I needed to give me a push. But I would have absolutely done the same thing, if not more.
But I don't know what it was. Maybe it was just the wrong play at that time against me.
Q. Did you feel anything coming on at all in the games before or before you went out?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I felt a little something. But I've never had an injury like this ever, ever. So I didn't know what it was. I just thought, okay, I need some more Gator Lights and some salt. I asked the umpire for some salt and stuff. Little did I know.
Q. When you conferred with the umpire, were you asking to stop, that it was too dark?
SERENA WILLIAMS: No. I had to use the bathroom really bad and he told me I couldn't go.
Q. You said you weren't going to smash the gold racquet. That was the gold racquet you smashed.
SERENA WILLIAMS: I didn't smash a racquet.
Q. You were warned, weren't you?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I have a bad memory (laughter).
Q. What of this situation for the doubles match?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I'm desperately hoping I can pull it together tomorrow. I'm really ready to play the doubles. I've been looking forward to this match since the draw came out. I can only hope and pray that I can make it.
Q. Given what happened today, could you walk away if you took a loss to Justine and say that you gave it your best this tournament, no biggy?
SERENA WILLIAMS: You know what, I don't want to lose. I mean, I just want to get better. But with that being said, I didn't ‑‑ when I went down, I didn't expect to be able to get up. So I was really like ‑‑ so in a way, to kind of get this far is pretty good because, like I said, I was in a lot of pain.
Q. How does this compare to the Sharapova match at The Championships when you had all that abdominal trouble in the third set?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Hmm, I don't know. They're about the same. Abdominal is different because everything you do, you use your abs from moving your arms to laughing to walking, everything. You don't realize that until you strain your abdominals.
Honestly, I was literally saved by the rain. It gave me a second chance.
Q. What did you think when you went down with the injury?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Okay, I thought I was going down. It was slow motion. I was like ‑‑ 'cause I felt it in my leg. And I was like, oh, I tried to hit it, because someone told me if you ever get something, if you punch it like right in the area it goes away.
Just as I was trying to hit it, like I saw my leg go in and I just went down. It was like I was falling in slow motion.
Q. Daniela is obviously hurting for different reasons at the moment. How would you feel if you would have gone out and lost to a woman who was playing on one leg?
SERENA WILLIAMS: If she was Serena Williams, I wouldn't feel that bad (smiling).