Serena's 4thrd. interview. "No need to worry."
Q. Feeling anything from the fall?
SERENA WILLIAMS: The fall?
Q. Didn't you take a fall?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Not at all. I'm okay.
Q. Can you talk about the match? Did she play really well? Was it more what you were doing?
SERENA WILLIAMS: You know, I think she played very, very well. I made a lot of errors and I wasn't hitting my contact point where I wanted to. I was slightly off today.
Q. How much was that based on your serve? You seemed to be really struggling with your serve a lot of the match.
SERENA WILLIAMS: Actually, I think I'm serving better. Actually I think my serve is better than it has been in the tournament. So, I mean, I'm able to get more power on it. So actually I think I'm doing a little better. I'm still missing a few, but it's coming along much better.
Q. When you were talking about the contact point, you're obviously extremely fast, but it seems there were times you weren't getting to the ball and setting your feet like you normally do.
SERENA WILLIAMS: Oh, yeah, it's just -- I don't know. I don't remember.
Q. Do you relish a challenge like that? That first set it seemed like there were some terrific points. It will maybe help you in rounds to come.
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I think it was definitely good to play her. She's getting a lot of balls back. It was great because I know the next few people I'm playing, hopefully the few people I'm playing are going to be getting a lot of balls back, running a lot of balls down and hitting shots. So I'm really glad I had a match like this.
Q. What were you thinking at 4-2 down in the first? What was going through your mind there?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Was I serving at this point or receiving?
Q. At 4-2.
SERENA WILLIAMS: Hold break, hold, break.
Q. Were you nervous at all?
SERENA WILLIAMS: It's definitely early in the match. Like I said, I was just off and my shots were going out. In practice they weren't going the way they were earlier. They were just off today. I knew once I just try something different, I can get myself out of trouble.
Q. Justine Henin was in here and said they're not allowing the heat rule break after the second set for some reason at this tournament. Does that bother you at all in any way?
SERENA WILLIAMS: No, not at all. I didn't even think about it actually. It was definitely hot out there, but I would have been ready for three sets.
Q. You've won a lot of prize money. How does that figure in to your motivation? Is it a small factor, large factor? Has that changed over the years for you?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, when I first began, it was a larger factor than what it is now. I'm always motivated at the US Open because they always pay a lot. I mean, this year I think it will probably be 950. Who wouldn't want to win that?
But it's tough for tournaments like Australia (smiling). I definitely play to win the Grand Slam when I go there.
Q. Can you talk about the possible match-up next round against Mauresmo? You obviously lost to her the last time you played. She'll be the heavy crowd favorite. She's won the first set.
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I just -- I had my chances last time, and I wasn't playing well. So I think hopefully I'll have a few more chances next time we play. I'm just going to have to play a little bit better than today.
She's playing really well. Not only is she playing well, but she's riding on confidence as well. I think this will be the best she's done in this tournament in a while. She's definitely going to have the crowd on her side and all those factors. But in the end, I'm just going to go out there and do my best and really enjoy myself.
Q. Do you like playing in a hostile arena? Does that motivate you in any way?
SERENA WILLIAMS: You know, I've played in the most hostile arenas possible, so it definitely won't bother me at all.
Q. What was the most hostile arena?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Oh, it was definitely Indian Wells, no doubt. But I've had some unbelievable matches in Paris here, in the Paris Indoors. Like the crowd is really for the French.
Q. You had a perfect match last time. Today was so-so. How can you explain that?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, I don't know, I just wasn't hitting the shots the way I was the other day. I was just a little off. No need to worry.
Q. One of Amelie's biggest weapons is her down-the-line backhand. Is it easy or difficult to read where she's going with that ball?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Actually, I think she hits a cross-court almost better. Every time -- I played her last time, she was hitting some great balls cross-court.
I don't really focus on which person's side is better or what's -- going, they hit this at this degree and this angle. Normally when I'm out there, I focus on what I'm going to do.
Q. So are you just reacting to whatever she hits rather than trying to anticipate where she's going to go?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah. Obviously, I try to have a little anticipation, but at the same time you just stay on your toes and watch the ball; that's the best way.
Q. The fact that you've had a match which by your standards is probably not perfect, does that mentally -- is that a positive thing for the next match? Does it help you get really focused for the next match?
SERENA WILLIAMS: It does. I'm a little upset with myself and I'm definitely going to try to be more focused in my next round, try some different things. Just be more positive, as well. But it helps me. It's nice to have a tougher match under your belt.
Q. You spoke of a couple instances where there were tough crowds. Can you single out one crowd where the crowd was behind you, where it was really satisfying?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I don't know if I can. I've had some great crowd support in South Carolina. I love it there. I was shocked because I'd never been there until a couple years ago. I was actually almost afraid. It's like, "Oh, my God, they're cheering for me." Usually they cheer for the underdog. But there, they really want me to win, so it's great.
Q. They didn't take into mind that you at one point wouldn't play there because of the flag situation.
SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, once the flag situation was kind of -- at least, it's not on the state, it's not waving now. I understand there's still some issues with it. There's a lot of people there that I could help in the communities, a lot of different things that I can do.
I really enjoy going there, for that different part of it.
Q. You played a lot of big matches, every single Grand Slam. When you're going up against Mauresmo, playing at home, does it give you any special excitement?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Special excitement?
Q. Is it something you can get pumped up for, charged up?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I think it does. Just going out here, playing against her at home. I played her at home in the indoors earlier this year. I was pumped up then. In a way, it does definitely get me motivated, get me going.
Q. Now that you only have potentially three matches to go, can you kind of see the title? Is it in your sites?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I just see my next opponent right now. I'd hate to disappoint myself.
Q. Who are your heroes in the game?
SERENA WILLIAMS: When I was younger, I always admired Monica Seles actually, Martina Navratilova.
Q. Can you say why?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Monica, she always seemed to have this sort of determination about her. She was young and feisty. I was young. I think I just liked her for that.
I don't know why I liked Martina Navratilova. I mean, I don't play anything like her. I don't know why I liked her so much. She was always my favorite.
Q. To win the title you need to be consistent in every match. Today you said you were slightly off. Are you concerned about your title chance?
SERENA WILLIAMS: No. I think having been able to come through a match today, you know, not playing my best, you know, not being as consistent as I wanted to be, but when it really mattered, I was able to pick up my game. I think that's been one point about me that I've always been able to do, especially lately, is to be able to pick up the level of my game when I really need to.
Q. Is it more satisfying to you to be swept along with the crowd behind you to victory or to extinguish a crowd when it's behind your opponent?
SERENA WILLIAMS: It's definitely more fun to extinguish them (smiling).
Q. It was suggested on TV that the only person that can beat you is you. How accurate do you think that is?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I think that's definitely a hundred percent accurate. I mean, all the matches I've lost I've pretty much beaten myself. It's not like I went out and did everything I could have done and played great, was just amazing. It hasn't been. It's been that way for a couple years now. Whenever I lose, it's not because the girl I lost to just played an outstanding match; it's normally because I'm making 80 errors, just not doing the things I need to do.
So I think that's a very accurate statement.
Q. Do you miss good old Martina Hingis?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Of course. She was a joy to -- she was always fun. She was always smiling. I enjoyed playing her. Yeah, definitely miss her (laughter).
She was always really nice to me. When I was younger, it was different, because I was coming up, I didn't know much. You know, once I got to know her, she was really nice. Definitely kind of miss her being around. But she's happy now.
Q. Hingis came here. Have you met her?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I really wanted to see her. I didn't get a chance to see her. Missed her.
-one of those "bad" Williams fans that everyone keeps talking about
OFFICIAL BLACKSMITH OF THE ROYAL COURT
I don't mind straight people as long as they act gay in public!