Serena's Interview (Nov. 12, 2002)
INTERVIEW WITH SERENA WILLIAMS
Lost to Kim Clijsters, 7-5, 6-3
Q. Serena, was it a question of having a long match last night? You looked a little tired.
SERENA WILLIAMS: I don't know if it was because of a long match or not. Maybe, maybe not. I don't know. Kim played really well tonight.
Q. Did you have your legs? It looked like you were huffing and puffing a little.
SERENA WILLIAMS: You know, like I said, I don't want to take any credit away from Kim. She earned the win. She played pretty good. Throughout the whole tournament, I don't think she lost a set.
Q. Were you shocked on her movement?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Not at all. She's a very fast player, as well as Capriati and myself and Venus. I think we're all very, very, very quick. Not at all.
Q. Serena, with the prospect of not playing Venus tonight, did you have to struggle to get motivated for this match?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Definitely not.
Q. Were you having any trouble with your left leg?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I mean, it's just maybe one forehand too many type situation, two weeks ago, one forehand too many. At this point, like I said, I was happy to make it this far, really.
Q. This loss aside, can you just talk about what this year has done for your confidence as a player and what it does for you looking forward to next year?
SERENA WILLIAMS: For me, it's always good to have a good year. I mean, obviously, I had a decent year, but you know, I like that I didn't win today, because I'm so motivated right now to win the Australian Open, and also because after that, it was like last year when I didn't play the Australian, I got super motivated. I told myself I was going to win the French, Wimbledon, US Open. Sometimes for me, I need to take a step back and say, keep going ahead and ahead.
Q. What are some of the things you need to improve on?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I mean, just my game, in general. This whole week, I don't think I played very well at all. At all. You can look at my past, and I've definitely played better. I mean, from the first match to today, I was kind of lucky to get this far.
Q. You started out ahead tonight. What kind of feeling do you have there?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I don't know. I don't know. I was trying to start out ahead. I wanted to get off to a quick start.
Q. Do you enjoy the challenge? You had that with Jennifer last night and you had a challenge with Kim tonight. Do you enjoy the challenge rather than winning easily?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I would be lying if I said I didn't enjoy it. I enjoy it.
Q. Is there challenge in that?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Sure there is. You earn your money quicker and easier. Come on.
Q. Serena, you served for the first set at 5 4?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Did I?
Q. You did. Do you want to talk about what happened there?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I don't know. To be honest, right now, I feel like I'm 98 years old. Everything right now is just broke, and I'm ready to go home. Really I am, so it's just, I'm an old lady in a young woman's body.
Q. Is that part of why you played the way you did tonight? This has been a long year, and it's time to take some time off?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I don't know. I mean, I think just tonight maybe I didn't I worked out before this event. It's just that I don't know. I had some time off personally between my last tournament and this tournament. I had a little time off. I think Kim played a few tournaments. I don't think that really had a lot to do with it. Like I said, it was one forehand too many two weeks ago.
Q. Do you think part of it is due to the match yesterday was so tough? Normally you get a day's rest.
SERENA WILLIAMS: I don't want to say that it was. I think Kim played well today. She deserved the win and got the win. I wouldn't necessarily say that just because Jennifer pushed me. The first time I won the open, I played four 3 setters in a row. I kept going and going and going. It's just that my body feels pretty old right now.
Q. Having said that, how much time are you going to take off where you don't touch the tennis racket?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Unfortunately, it won't be too long. I have to play in late December. I have to go to Australia.
Q. Were you thinking about not playing in Dublin?
SERENA WILLIAMS: No, not at all. I'm looking forward to going there.
Q. You talked about taking time off before this tournament. Do you think your preparation for this tournament was as good as it could have been?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Definitely not. I know that myself. I'm not going to kid myself and say I worked super, super hard, but imagine if I did.
Q. Serena, this is a pretty big break for Kim. Talk a little about how good she is now and how good you think she can be.
SERENA WILLIAMS: She's always done really well, had a lot of talent. We've always had some pretty good matches. She, obviously, has a very good future. We will see what next year will bring. I think she'll do very well.
Q. Serena, what are some of your goals for next year?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, my goal is just not to lose. Just pick very few tournaments and win all the ones I play.
Q. Are you going to play fewer than you played this year?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Probably not. I'll probably try to play a little more to add a few points here and there.
Q. In the second set you started coming up to the net.
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, you know, when I get down, I tend to come to the net, which is good. I probably should come to the net when I'm ahead. I probably want to do that a little more.
Q. Serena, you fell behind last year at Indian Wells. You fell behind Clijsters, and then you fall behind again this time. Do you have the same kind of confidence when you fall behind somebody like Dokic and tonight that you're going to win anyway?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I didn't think I was going to lose tonight, but I guess I did. I did kind of feel my time winding down in my legs and my arm and my back. You know, I felt time running out, but other than that, I never give up until I shake hands and I realize it's over.
Q. You haven't lost in a while, and I know that can't be a good experience. How do you feel after a loss? I know it's not a common experience for you this year.
SERENA WILLIAMS: I don't feel that great.
Q. The Gland Slam, is that a realistic goal for you? Do you think seriously about that next year?
SERENA WILLIAMS: The four, could be. When I'm playing bad, I'm causing trouble, so I think if I'm playing decent, I'll be doing a lot better.
Q. Serena, just what are your reflections on this year?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, you know, I wish I could have done a little better in this tournament, but hey, I think I had a decent year. I won three Slams. I guess that's all right. My most important Slam was the Wimbledon and US Open.
Q. What's the high point in your year?
SERENA WILLIAMS: My goal last year was to...I've won the US Open. I always wanted to win Wimbledon and load up the trophy, all the history behind it, and becoming No. 1, I didn't even know I was going to be No. 1. You know, I guess being No. 1, being the best, that's always a plus, knowing that you're...I thought about it. I'm the best in tennis in the world, at least on the women's side.
Q. Do you have any TV roles coming up?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah. I'm going on some auditions, so I'm really excited. I'm going to try to slim up.
Q. Anything in particular?
SERENA WILLIAMS: A couple different movie roles I'm going out for. I'm really, really, really excited.
Q. They're particular about that weight thing?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I'm really slim and svelte. Off season I don't tend to eat too much. I lose a lot of weight. Now I will eat, so I'm really excited.
"For now, Roddick seems to play with the intelligence of a fence post."
Greg Couch, Chicago Sun Times