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Becool
Jul 24th, 2002, 06:21 AM
THE LIPTON CHAMPIONSHIPS - 1998

KEY BISCAYNE, FLORIDA



March 19, 1998



S. WILLIAMS/D. Chladkova

6-4, 6-0


An interview with


SERENA WILLAMS



Q. Talk a little bit about your win tonight.

SERENA WILLIAMS: I think when I first went out there I was a little nervous because I wasn't doing as best as I could. I was making a lot of errors. I wasn't playing the game as I practiced. But as the match went on, I was playing better. So it was okay.



Q. Weather didn't bother you? On and off, on and off?

SERENA WILLIAMS: No, those type of things don't bother me.



Q. Did the delay bother you at all?

SERENA WILLIAMS: No, the delay didn't bother me. Those type of things don't bother me.



Q. Is it different for you being here considering it seems like a lot of attention is placed on your sister and now you are coming up?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, I don't think -- I think it is better that it is placed on her because she has a little more pressure on her to do well, whereas I wouldn't have any pressure at all. Probably didn't realize I was so good until recently in January with the results that I have had. I guess they realize now. I guess I was good back then. I didn't have any pressure on me at all, I was able to compete and do well.



Q. Your father was comparing the two of you yesterday. He called you "the meaner of the two."

SERENA WILLIAMS: Everyone keeps asking me that. I don't think I am mean at all. I am very nice person, sometimes.



Q. I don't think he was characterizing your personality.

SERENA WILLIAMS: I understand what you are saying. I don't know, sometimes. It depends. You can say I am, but it is not as a personal manner that I would be angry at you or I would be mean or anything like that.



Q. When you go out do you have --

SERENA WILLIAMS: When I go out I think I am a little more of that way.



Q. More aggressive?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah. I mean, you have to be if you really -- I think I have to be.



Q. Did last year help you feel that you belong now?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I definitely think so. I think playing those tournaments and doing well in them made me feel that I can really hang with the top players.



Q. Did you take it very personal when you got hit with that ball? I noticed you came back with an ace.

SERENA WILLIAMS: I was very upset because I meant -- I was going to get that ball. I was very -- because the ball was right there, all I had to do was hit it. I was very upset because I thought I was going to miss it. But I think I was a little angry that she did that with me. Who knows, maybe I am mean.



Q. There is no way to overlook the two of you being here. Can you describe the relationship that you have, also being here together.

SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, I think it is good that I am here with her because I am able to hit with her and we are able -- we don't have to worry about: Do I have to look for somebody to hit with. So I think it is the best for us to be able to be here together. And we get a lot of attention. And if you see Venus, you will probably say "Where is her sister" or if you see me they will say, "Where is her sister." I don't mind at all.



Q. In the back of your mind, you look at the possibility of maybe the two of you meeting together in ten days?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Semifinal?



Q. Yes.

SERENA WILLIAMS: I have to play really well, because I have to -- from now on I have to play really good. For me, it will help me get my ranking up. Actually, when I am in a tournament, hopefully -- I am happy I have this draw. I am going to be playing a lot of seeds. I am going to be -- I have -- I am going to have to play hard because it is not easy.



Q. The aggressive aspect, you could attribute that to jumping up 400 spots in the ranking?

SERENA WILLIAMS: 413, yeah. I definitely think so. It has a major factor with it, yeah, because maybe if I was a little softer going, I probably wouldn't be able to come back because couple of times I was able to come back in some matches. So, I definitely think so.



Q. You are standing about three feet behind the service line on a bunch of those serves. Is that just sheer confidence?

SERENA WILLIAMS: No. I do it in practice and I feel that if I can do that and get to the net, then they would just have to pass me. If they do, that is great. If not, I am going to make my shot. I want to do that because I want to come to the net; be more aggressive.



Q. Did you have any family in the stands?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yes, my sister is here. She is right there.



Q. Which sister is that?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Lyndrea. My mom and my dad and Venus, was she up there? I didn't see them at all. Until the end of the match my dad said, "Good job," and I looked up and there they were.



Q. So you weren't looking to them for any --

SERENA WILLIAMS: No, I don't do that because I feel when you are out there then it is for you to do whatever you practice on. If you practice bad things, and obviously you are going to go out there and do bad things. So, when I practice, I try and practice very well so I won't have to look into the stands to get a little help and aid here. I don't think that is fair.



Q. You had a number of backhand winners. What happened?

SERENA WILLIAMS: What happened was my -- last month or last week in Oklahoma, whatever, my backhand was bad and I went out and I worked on it. Now it is my stronger side again. My forehand, it was off today, maybe because I wasn't working on it as much as my backhand. Tomorrow you guys will see improvement on my forehand. I have to improve if I want to win.



Q. It is your aggressive side coming out?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yes. Might be out tonight hitting some forehands. I need to work on that.

Becool
Jul 24th, 2002, 06:26 AM
March 20, 1998



S. WILLIAMS/I. Spirlea

7-6 (4), 6-0



An interview with


SERENA WILLIAMS



Q. What was your feeling as to what happened in the second set?

SERENA WILLIAMS: See what happened was in the first set I think I was a little nervous being at home, Florida, and got off -- I didn't get off to a slow start because I won the first game. We were on serve until like 4-All, I believe, and she broke me. But anyway, I don't know, I just tried to -- in the second set I got a lot more balls over the net because I knew if I could do that she would miss.



Q. Few people seem to have a hex on Spirlea, you and your sister I mean.

SERENA WILLIAMS: No. She is playing good. In the first set it was pretty tough for me to do anything there. I was trying to be ready, and she was making great shots. And I was just -- I was just trying to make my shots. It is pretty tough in the first set.



Q. Other than your sister and Martina Hingis, what would you consider your toughest opponents on the Tour?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I don't know. I mean, there is a lot of good people coming up, like Lucic. And everyone is doing good, so -- I would say Lindsay, because Lindsay is really playing good tennis. And every time I play her it is tough, so, I have to be ready when I play her, yeah. Besides Venus, yes, I would say her.



Q. Have you had any approaches from the US Tennis Association about Federation Cup?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yes. I was going to play Federation Cup this year, but I am not going to be able to because I have to go to school. And since I am on the Tour a lot this year I am going to have to go to summer school because I'm getting behind in Algebra 2.



Q. Bloody Algebra 2. Yeah, I never got past Algebra 1.

SERENA WILLIAMS: So I have taken the geometry already, and I am now in Algebra 2. It is pretty tough. I am going to have to go to summer school too. I was going to do it, but...



Q. So you wouldn't?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Not this year.



Q. You were invited?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yes, I would love to play. I actually wanted to play. I don't think I will be able to because I have a lot of school too, and I kind of want to get through with the school so I can play next year.



Q. This is not public school now?

SERENA WILLIAMS: No, I go to private school. Probably rooting me on.



Q. What is the school called?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I am not going to give the name of the school.



Q. But it is --

SERENA WILLIAMS: It is in --



Q. -- Palm Beach area?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah.



Q. When you finish high school, Serena, are you planning on going continuing with college?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Definitely. Basically my plan is to go on. Because I always want to continue my education. I like to do a lot of other things. Like if I am on the Tour, I can always read a book. There is always a book available for me to read and do some work, so I would love to take some classes in college.



Q. What other interests do you have other than tennis and reading?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I like to do a lot of things. I like to -- I was skate boarding until I injured my wrist. So I don't do that anymore. I just do a lot of different things. I try to have fun and be a kid.



Q. Do you have the sense that if you broke serve that first game in the second set, given how tough the first set was, the minute you broke, that the match was over?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I never sensed the match was over. I try not to do that until matchpoint is over with, because there is always comebacks available, and -- (Laughter) -- and I always see one -- like if I am behind, I always say, oh, this is available, I can come back if I want to. I try and say this person probably thinks the same thing, even though they might not. I try to say that to make sure I stay concentrated. That is what I do when I get ahead.



Q. She has a different head than you have?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I don't know. You would have to ask her.



Q. Will we see you in Wimbledon?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I was thinking -- are you guys going to tell it to stop raining this year?



Q. We will try to.

SERENA WILLIAMS: If you guys tell it to stop raining, I will come.



Q. How do you see your chances on grass?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I have decided when I go on the grass, I am going to serve and volley. There is one man player who plays great on the clay, and then on the grass he actually serves and volleys. And I said, Serena, I have to do the same thing. Because last year on the grass Venus stayed at the baseline. It wasn't so good, as we all know. So I saw this guy, I was like I had to be just like him.



Q. Who are you thinking of?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yevgeny Kafelnikov, he plays great on the clay. He actually won the French Open. He actually serve and volleys on the grass. I said, you know, I have to do this too. If he can do it, I believe I can do it. That really helps me.



Q. Came back from 4 matchpoints down today.

SERENA WILLIAMS: He won?



Q. What is your schedule next year as far as school and playing?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I am supposed to finish high school this year. I am a senior this year, but in Algebra 2, since I have so much work to do, I might have to go to summer school and finish that.



Q. Algebra 2, what it is about Algebra 2?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Oh, God, I don't know. It is the blues. Algebra 2 blues. Really, I mean, it is hard -- things that you actually -- I can understand some of it you would use in life, but some things you never use, really. I mean, it is really ridiculous: Like physics -- you use physics a lot every day in life. While you are able to walk -- I love physics. It was may favorite subject. But you don't use Algebra 2.



Q. You hire people.

SERENA WILLIAMS: I really don't like it.



Q. That is what accountants are for?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Unless you are going to be something like that. It is a nightmare.



Q. What are your expectations for this tournament?

SERENA WILLIAMS: My goal this tournament is not to make a footfault because I have been doing that a lot in the past, so wherever I go, singles or doubles, I am not going to make a footfault.



Q. None today.

SERENA WILLIAMS: None today. None yesterday.



Q. Where did you make a lot?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Every other tournament: Footfault, footfault, footfault. I am not going to make anymore footfaults. Hit a nice big serve, footfault.



Q. Is it that simple, your goals?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I like to keep happy goals, yeah.



Q. Are you thinking of any exhibitions against any men players at this tournament?

SERENA WILLIAMS: It might be a possibility, but you will have to ask me later. (Laughter)



Q. When you say "simple goals," does that mean you don't think about the possibility of maybe getting to the semis?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I always keep that in my mind, but I also have to realize that this is my 9th tournament, 8th, 9th, so I have to realize I am just having fun. A lot -- I don't think anyone -- well, maybe a couple of people have done as well as I have done in just a few tournaments like this, so I have to realize that I am just going to go out there and have fun.



Q. Some of the girls are very frustrated about the lack of tournaments they can play in. Do you feel the same way, the fact that you are restricted?

SERENA WILLIAMS: No, no. No. Because I am glad that they have that lack of tournaments or else I would be even farther behind in Algebra 2.



Q. What happened to zoology?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Oh, I am still taking that. I am ahead in that class. I love zoology and biology, I like that.



Q. You are going to get an A in that one?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah.



Q. You seem to get really psyched for the top players?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I like playing the top players.



Q. Are you lacking a little mental toughness when you play someone who you think you can beat?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I think I definitely need to work on that, like, I play some players that I think I can beat and I might have a tougher time with them. So, I think I would definitely need to work on getting my mental edge over them the way I have -- I actually don't -- yeah, I would have to get that mental edge.



Q. You don't seem quite as psyched for the others, but for the top players you do?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I have to be ready. I like playing the seeds.



Q. Do you have in your algebra book with you?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yes. No, I left my algebra book in Australia. (Laughter) I have someone else's algebra book with me. I left mine in Australia. I was so upset.



Q. Must have been Freudian?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Might have been a Freudian slip. (Laughter) Thanks.

Becool
Jul 24th, 2002, 06:39 AM
THE LIPTON CHAMPIONSHIPS - 1998

KEY BISCAYNE, FLORIDA



March 23, 1998



S. WILLIAMS/P. Schnyder

6-0, 4-6, 6-3


An interview with:


SERENA WILLIAMS



Q. Serena, that was a great first set.

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, what happened in the first set was I was on fire. In the second set, she put my fire out. I was really on fire in that first set. That was the best set I think I ever played. I didn't make that many unforced errors at all. I made all my shots. I was just doing a great job. But in the second set, I slowed down. I started thinking about a lot of things like at home, I'm doing well, I'm going to be in the quarterfinals. I just started thinking about a lot of things. Then I probably got a little uptight, nervous, lost the second set.



Q. Came back in the third?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I came back in the third. I was like, "Serena, you can't do this." I just started thinking about staying calm, I had to do it.



Q. Could have gone either way in the end.

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yes. Only one break at the end. I knew that I needed to break her. I knew I needed to win my serve every time. If I won my serve, it put -- since I served first, it put pressure back on her to win her serve. That's what I wanted to keep doing. I had struggled a little with my serve. I should have won at 40-30 with that forehand I didn't put away. But I was able to win.



Q. Did you sense she wasn't that comfortable at the net?

SERENA WILLIAMS: That she wasn't?



Q. Yes.

SERENA WILLIAMS: I don't know. I was just sensing that I was going to try to run down every ball. I saw Marcelo Rios -- another example with the men -- I saw Marcelo Rios playing Tommy Haas yesterday. I couldn't believe the balls he got back. I said, "Serena, you have to get these balls back, too." I wanted to get every ball back.



Q. At the point in the 5-3 game?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yes. I was trying to get every ball back.



Q. There was this one situation when you misjudged the ball, the lob.

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I should have hit that ball.



Q. You lost that game because of that point.

SERENA WILLIAMS: Uh-huh.



Q. Do you feel strange about the situation?

SERENA WILLIAMS: See, in that situation, I always have to move on. I can't dwell on the past. If I were to dwell on that, I probably would have lost. I probably would have been thinking: "Why didn't I hit that? I should have hit that." I would have freaked out, which is really ridiculous to do something like that when you can just stay calm, stay quiet, just continue.



Q. I was trying to figure out whether you were hobbling after you fell in the second set. Were you having any problems after falling?

SERENA WILLIAMS: No, I didn't have any problems after falling. What happened was, I slipped. I wasn't able to get the ball. I slipped. It was like "AHH." I was angry because I knew I could have got that ball. No problems involved.



Q. Can you see one day you and Patty in a U.S. Open final, of course Venus may be there also?

SERENA WILLIAMS: How old is she?



Q. 19.

SERENA WILLIAMS: She won a tournament, beat Jana Novotna in the finals. She's playing very, very well. I knew in order to play today, I had to be ready to rally and be serious. Very excited right now.



Q. Didn't have a radar gun out there. Do you have a sense of how fast your serve was?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Today I wasn't hitting my serves hard at all. I missed a lot of first serves out there. I've got to work on that. I wasn't hitting them as hard as I could at all.



Q. What was your top speed?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I think the top speed I hit was 110. In a match normally, I don't try to hit the ball hard. I just place it. When I did that, it was the other night, I wasn't even trying to hit the ball hard. Maybe if I pump it up, pump it up one day, I'll be able to hit it hard.



Q. Serena, what are you doing especially well this week?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Two and a half weeks ago, I didn't have a backhand (laughter). But I have a backhand now. Actually, my backhand might be a little better than my forehand, I don't know. It just happens. I think my backhand is really bad. Barbara Paulus really tried to attack my backhand, and it didn't work. It's not the same as two and a half weeks ago. It's much different.



Q. Where did it come from?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I don't know. Maybe it's that other person gave it back to me.



Q. Venus has occasionally made the remark that the two of you would be 1 and 2 in the world today. If that's the case, which of you will be No. 1?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I'm not sure right now. We're both working very hard. Maybe it will switch, maybe it won't. There are still other players who still want to be No. 1. There's going to be a lot of changes maybe.



Q. Is there a rivalry between you? If she were No. 1, would you be happy being No. 2?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Who would be happy being No. 2 when they have the same opportunity to be No. 1? I don't think anyone would be happy. I mean, I'd probably be happy, but I wouldn't really be joyful. So I will go out and work hard. If I worked hard and I did my best, and I still was No. 2, I couldn't beat her, then I would be happy then. After I did all the hard work, I will see.



Q. Are you comfortable being compared to her and being asked who is better at this, who is better at that?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I think we're about even when it comes to surfing. We're both pretty bad. She might be a little better. She's definitely better at the paddling than I am.



Q. The other day I asked Venus who her favorite all-time player was and why. She said she couldn't tell us because you didn't agree with us. I think it was Magnus Larsson. She wanted to know who yours was and why.

SERENA WILLIAMS: Favorite player now? My favorite player in the past was John McEnroe. I had a very bad John-McEnroe attitude in the doubles match the other day.



Q. Is that why you liked him, his on-court feistiness?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah. I like to start trouble (laughter). I like John McEnroe a lot. I just always liked him. He was pretty cool. But now things are different.



Q. How about now? Who is it now?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Everyone's out there doing their best. I really respect people who are fast. It makes me want to be just like fast and lightning-like. I don't know. It doesn't matter.



Q. Chang? Rios?

SERENA WILLIAMS: They're both very fast. Whoever, yeah.



Q. Any thoughts? Martina is probably the next opponent.

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, definitely. I don't have anything to lose. I'm like 50?



Q. 40.

SERENA WILLIAMS: I'm 40 in the world. She's No. 1. All the pressure is on her. I'm just going to go out there and have some fun for once.



Q. For once?

SERENA WILLIAMS: For twice (laughter).



Q. Recently, it looks like it's Switzerland against the Williams family.

SERENA WILLIAMS: What's up with that?



Q. Is that a new country, the Williams family?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I don't know. We like the Romanians. Hope no one takes that personal (laughter). I just go out there and play. Doesn't matter who it is.



Q. Why the bare feet? Do you want to show us the nail polish?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I forgot to put my shoes on. Someone was telling me some very exciting news.



Q. What is it?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I'm not going to tell the news.



Q. It's not news unless you tell us.

SERENA WILLIAMS: Just that me and what's his name? I think it's Kuerten are going to do something. He already agreed so I'm trying to decide if I should.



Q. Is that going to be one of those matches that you play on the back courts?

SERENA WILLIAMS: God, no. I would lose.



Q. Serena, what have you learned from playing Hingis in the past?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I've never played Hingis in the past.



Q. You haven't?

SERENA WILLIAMS: No.



Q. So what are you looking forward to?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I'm looking forward to just going out there and have fun, try to prove myself. I think I've already proved myself. I'm looking forward to playing, as long as I don't play tomorrow.



Q. You said your dad brought you up to be confident, that your parents did. What did they do, do you feel like, to instill that in you?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, the way they always carried themselves, the way their attitude was toward us as children, our whole family, and the way they were toward other people. They were not rude or obscene. They were always confident. They always managed to stay calm and monotone toward people. I think that really helped us out. That's it.



Q. What kind of watch are you wearing?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I'm wearing the same one I was in Sydney. Green Eggs and Ham on the right wrist and the Goofy on the left.



Q. Why the two now?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Whenever I go somewhere, I would have the Green Eggs and Ham watch would change time with wherever I go. If I go to Australia, it's on Australia time. This one is always on home time.



Q. But you're home.

SERENA WILLIAMS: So they're both on home.



Q. Are you superstitious?

SERENA WILLIAMS: No. Not at all. I try not to be. If you go out there, you just -- if you lose, it's your fault, not because you didn't put your hair in the same ponytail today.



Q. Did you like Dr. Seuss growing up? Is that why you like Green Eggs and Ham?

SERENA WILLIAMS: They're okay. I never liked how the parents would always leave the kids at home. They were always staring out the window. I was always upset about that. I think the cat would mess up the whole house. I hated that. It was ridiculous.



Q. Abusive parents.

SERENA WILLIAMS: I didn't like that.

Becool
Jul 24th, 2002, 06:46 AM
THE LIPTON CHAMPIONSHIPS - 1998

KEY BISCAYNE, FLORIDA


March 24, 1998


M. HINGIS/S. Williams

6-3, 1-6, 7-6


An interview with:


SERENA WILLIAMS


VERONIQUE MARCHAL: Questions for Serena.


Q. Serena, in your opinion was there a need for her to call the trainer at that point in the match?

SERENA WILLIAMS: No. I think she was very nervous so she called the trainer to get some time, get some coaching, I'm not sure what she did.


Q. What makes you say that?

SERENA WILLIAMS: If you watch her matches, there's a pattern in that.


Q. How did you feel that she got coaching? She was only sitting with the trainer?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I didn't say she got coaching. I said she could have. Everybody probably gets coaching out there. I don't really know. Really doesn't matter to me.


Q. What was going through your mind while you were waiting for her to get worked on?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I was just -- I don't know. I was just concentrating, trying to concentrate on what I was going to do.


Q. And then what happened when you went back on the court?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, I don't know. Maybe I think I tried too hard. Missed a couple of shots yeah, that's it.


Q. Did you lose that final lob in the sun or the wind, Serena?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I was going to let it drop. I couldn't make up my mind, so I don't know.


Q. Were you unsure of how much of a bounce you would get if you let it drop?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah. I decided maybe I should take it out of the air. By the time I made my decision, it was a little too late.


Q. Were you encouraged by how much support you got from the crowd? Is that important to you?

SERENA WILLIAMS: You're the guy that asked me that one question, aren't you?


Q. About the crowd?

SERENA WILLIAMS: No, about something else. I wasn't surprised at all because this is my home. Yeah, so I wasn't surprised, no.


Q. How pleased were you with your effort today?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I think I feel I could have done better. I don't think I played so well. I think I could have made a lot more of my shots, especially in the first set. But I guess I should be satisfied, but I don't know.


Q. Were you pleased that you were able to rally with her?

SERENA WILLIAMS: A lot of people think that black people can't rally, just think they're athletes and they can't think. As you can see, that's not true. I can rally, Venus can rally. A lot of people out there that can rally. What was the question?


Q. I really meant you're playing the world's No. 1 player. I wasn't talking about the color. I thought that you rallied very well with her. You kept right up with her.

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah. I think I could have rallied a little better. I was missing a lot of shots that I should have missed, so, I'll go home and work on that.


Q. Serena, can you talk about what happened on those match points? What was going through your mind?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I don't want to talk about that. Maybe I'm just like Pete. Maybe one day I'll be No. 1, too. He lost two match points yesterday also.


Q. Were you nervous at that point?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I don't want to talk about that.


Q. Pete did speak about it.

SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, he's different.


Q. Does the Williams family have any personal feelings about Martina Hingis?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yes. I have personal feelings about Martina Hingis. I think she's a very nice person. Every time she is in the locker room, she makes the effort to say hi. I really appreciate that. So that's my personal feelings towards Martina Hingis. Other than, that I feel she's a great player. She was able to pull out a tight match like today. Other than that, I think she always tries to be nice. She's a nice person.


Q. But you didn't think it was nice for her to call for a trainer?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I don't know. If I was tired, I probably would have called for a trainer, too. She just wanted to stay in the match. I really don't blame her, because I would have wanted to stay in, too

Becool
Jul 24th, 2002, 07:02 AM
1998 U.S. OPEN CHAMPIONSHIP
Flushing Meadows, New York

August 31, 1998

S. WILLIAMS/N. PRATT

6-3, 3-6, 6-4

An interview with:

SERENA WILLIAMS

Q. What exactly happened to your leg?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, what happened was I was in practice, actually the other day and I kind of strained a hamstring muscle, so I am -- it was -- it served as a little distraction to me in my match today.

Q. Is that the same one that was injured at Wimbledon?

SERENA WILLIAMS: No, this is hamstring. At Wimbledon I had a calf. So I don't have any calf problems.

Q. How do you rate Nicole's play today?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I believe she came out with a plan to try to win, a lot of people usually come out just to get a couple of games or see how well they can do. I believe that she came out with a plan to do her best and try harder than she would probably actually try and do under different circumstances I think that she played pretty well. I don't think I played that well though.

Q. Because of the leg or what?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I think that and just my game is off today. Maybe next time -- I am definitely going to have to play better whether I want to or not.

Q. What was your Open debut like, anything like you thought it would be?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I guess it was pretty exciting, particular for me because I definitely wanted to win. I didn't want to go out in the first round. I kept saying to myself: Serena, you can't be a first-round casualty. It just would have been horrible. I didn't want that to happen. So I had to keep concentrating: Okay, come on, Serena, come on.

Q. What did you learn last year watching your sister go through what she did? Does that put any added pressure on you thinking, I can't go out in the first round or --

SERENA WILLIAMS: I never thought about that this whole match at all. I am glad I didn't. I probably would have put even more pressure on myself. I never thought about that. So it never came to my mind.

Q. Did it help being in the No. 2 stadium or was it a distraction for you?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I think it helped a lot. I think the stadium was pretty much full at the end, actually it was very full at the end so I think that helped. I like playing in big stadiums.

Q. Venus took three sets to win her debut match last year. Did she give you any advice for your opening match?

SERENA WILLIAMS: She said: Serena, why don't you go through three sets, you can make it to the final. (Laughs)

Q. -- The first two match points that got away?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yes, I had a volley and I thought I made it, but obviously I didn't. I went for it too much because I wanted to end it and I didn't want to have any problems closing out the match. But that happened and the second one, I guess it was just a case of classic, I don't know, nerves, I guess, I don't know.

Q. When you saw you had pretty much half the court open on the volley, did you have time to think about how much space you had?

SERENA WILLIAMS: No, I never thought about that. I just thought about making my shot. I just didn't -- my techniques, they were not correct, and if you don't have the correct techniques, it is going to breakdown and I didn't have the correct techniques and it broke down.

Q. On Saturday Venus was in here. She said that she didn't even look at the draw except to know that you were in opposite halves. Are you the same way, I see maybe Spirlea looming ahead, have you looked at it at all?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I just know I played Nicole Pratt in the first round. I don't know who I played in the second round I am not looking toward that. I am just looking at one match at a time and usually in all the tournaments I look at the draw and obviously I haven't won any, so it hasn't been working so let me try something different. (Laughs) So, I am taking a different approach.

Q. Was it difficult with your sister playing, playing well last year, it must have been exciting and all that, was it difficult to be patient and say: Gosh, I'd like to be out there right now, let me try some of this?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yes, last year it was but right now I am out there and I am having a lot of wins myself. I just -- I guess last week I was No. 20 and I did not even know that I thought I was 21. This week I am 19 and I didn't know that until today. So I really don't look at those things -- I just think I am playing pretty -- okay, now and I just want to keep going.

Q. What family members are here in New York this year?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, all my sisters are here except for the eldest, she is in California. My dad is here - guys, if you want to say anything about that.

Q. What are your expectations here?

SERENA WILLIAMS: My goal here is just to do the best that I can do. I am not looking at the draw, so, I had actually -- I was watching TV last night and they showed the draw, I was like: Serena, I had to turn my head. I wanted to peak, but I did not peak, so I was pretty good. Those are my goals, just to do the best that I can do and I know if I can do the best I can do, I can go along ways.

Q. What do you think the chances are for the Williams sisters in the finals?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I think I have as good a chance as anyone else has here. Everyone, when they enter the tournament, it is 1 out of 128. That is how it begins as it narrows down each time, so, we will just have to see.

Q. Are you playing doubles this year?

SERENA WILLIAMS: No, I am not playing the doubles event. Although I had points to defend, two points, so that is going to drop off. That is really disappointing because it really is a lot of points to defend. (Laughs) Really wanted to defend those double points.

Q. No mixed?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I didn't say no mixed.

Q. I know you didn't say no mixed.

SERENA WILLIAMS: Actually I am entered into the mixed.

Q. Got a chance for a family Grand Slam?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I have to. My ranking is not that good. My partner is not that good so I had to get a wildcard.

Q. Who is he?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Wimbledon.

Q. Same guy?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yes, Wimbledon champs.

Q. How bad was the injury today? What did it prevent you from doing, and did you ever think about not being able to --

SERENA WILLIAMS: Usually my matches I never hit more than three doublefaults and the injury really, really hurt my serve a lot because I don't like doublefaulting. I never have, and I probably never will. So it really served as a great impediment to my serve; I wasn't able to move on with that basically. Other than that, maybe my -- obviously my moving skills. I wasn't able to move as fast or as much, so --

Q. You said Nicole Pratt had a plan for you today when she came out. What did you think that was? What was she trying to do?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I think her plan was to go out and try to beat me obviously because she can say: I have beat Serena Williams or then her next round she probably wanted to do well in this tournament also, but I think that sometimes a lot of players come out play really hard against a lot of playing, really hard against the younger players because they don't -- I don't know, younger players, yeah, so --

Q. Was she trying to do anything different with the spins or make you hit a lot of balls or anything like that?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I really don't think so. No. I couldn't really say. You were there, were you not?

Q. What kind of treatment will you have on your leg?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I am just going to get some treatment on my leg maybe soft tissue work, maybe some ultrasound, I am not sure yet. Had to come talk to you guys.

Q. Your dad left second set?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Usually when I am in a match I really don't look over too much -- I guess I did notice, but I didn't notice until in the third set. You really don't have time to think about that when you are out on the court because you are completely focused on different things, so I guess if I was playing, if I was in the crowd and I saw someone playing the way I was, I would have left too. (Laughs)

Q. Did you talk to him after the match?

SERENA WILLIAMS: No. I am not sure -- I think he might have had a meeting to go to. I am sure that wasn't the reason that he left, because I wasn't playing that well, but he had a meeting or something.

Q. Would you have liked to have more match practice before this?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I only played one tournament after Wimbledon. I think I should have played a couple more. I think -- I would have liked to have had a few more matches, so I think that would have been good for me. It is too late now.

Q. Why didn't you?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I don't know. I had some school -- I was entering one tournament, but I had to go to summer school so I could try and finish and get my diploma. It was really tough, so, I am still working on it.

Q. Do you have the diploma yet?

SERENA WILLIAMS: No, I had to take two final exams and couple of the tests and I will be finish.

Q. In what?

SERENA WILLIAMS: High school.

Q. I mean, I knew you hadn't gone through college yet.

SERENA WILLIAMS: I took my final exams in physics and Algebra II. I am done with all that.

Q. What do you have remaining?

SERENA WILLIAMS: On the physics I got 82, I was very proud of that. I have no comment on the Algebra II.

Q. What do you have remaining?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I just have to take the easy ones like some science and economics.

Q. What science?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Environmental science.

Q. You will make it.

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, definitely.

Q. Reading the Wall Street Journal there was an article about your dad. Do you think the media has made too much of your family and your father? Do you think there is too much focus on it? Does it bother you?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, my dad always said negative attention is better than no attention, so, as long as the truth lives inside of us and we know what the truth is, that stuff really doesn't bother you because you know what the truth is, it doesn't really matter.

Q. It seemed as the stadium got more crowded, the crowd really got behind you. Talk about the New York crowd.

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yes, I really liked it. It was great, especially when I came out to try to break her for the match. They really started-- like I always saw on TV the crowd goes wild, so it was pretty exciting to have it happen to me for the first time, first of many.

Becool
Jul 24th, 2002, 07:14 AM
1998 U.S. OPEN
FLUSHING MEADOWS, NEW YORK

September 2, 1998

S. WILLIAMS/P. Stoyanova

6-2, 6-1


An interview with:


SERENA WILLIAMS

Q. How did it go?

SERENA WILLIAMS: It went very well out there today. I played a lot better than I did the other day, so I was pretty excited.

Q. Where do you stand on the big patch controversy?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Are you inferring to the WTA patch?

Q. Yeah, that is the one.

SERENA WILLIAMS: I wear it.

Q. Do you think all players should wear it?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I think everyone makes their own choice, the WTA COREL has done a lot for the WTA Tour, they sponsored it for the past two years, so, I think it is a good idea, but -- yeah, so.....

Q. How do you feel about playing Spirlea next round?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I feel pretty good going into this match because I have played her twice this year. I am going to have to be serious because every time I play her I have a tough set, so I am going to be looking forward to it, just make sure I am playing well and try to be serious.

Q. Are you thinking at all about Jana Novotna?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I haven't looked at the draw. I don't know anything about --

Q. You face Novotna.

SERENA WILLIAMS: Great. You just had to tell me? (Laughs)

Q. How is your injury?

SERENA WILLIAMS: It is great. It didn't hurt at all when I went out today, but the trainer suggested that I wore something just to make sure it was in a happy medium throughout the whole match so,....

Q. Do you think part of you getting match experience and playing more and more matches is you will have some inconsistency, you will play not so great last time out; very good this time out; more so than most players on the Tour, or is it the grind of the Tour and you can't --

SERENA WILLIAMS: I don't really -- I don't think I have played inconsistently in my career. I think the little career I have had is pretty consistent with my wins, trying to do the best I can do. I haven't any of this. Any of these inconsistencies maybe you have to ask another player.

Q. You came out of the last round, you said: Boy, I didn't play that well. You were clearly on today. Your skills stayed the same from week-to-week. How do you explain --

SERENA WILLIAMS: I think I was a little nervous in the first round and I just didn't play well in the first round. My shots weren't going in. I was going for a little too much. This time I came out with a plan, maybe last time I didn't necessarily have a plan, so that had to be the factor there.

Q. So, that counts as --

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah.

Q. What was your plan?

SERENA WILLIAMS: My plan was not to miss.

Q. Is it different, Serena, to have your dad on site at a Grand Slam providing you coaching advice when you are getting it from your mom, your dad, or are you pretty much on your own once you get here?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, I don't think it is different having my dad at the Grand Slams because we have been doing great with my mom also. We have been doing great with my dad. So I think it is actually the same coach. They both teach the same skills and the same things. So it doesn't matter whether I have my dad or my mom here.

Q. Is it like getting twice as much coaching or do they like take turns?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Sometimes like overload. (Laughs)

Q. Could you take a moment and tell us what your memories of Compton were, or what was it like growing up there?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Okay. Well, when I was younger I just remember growing up there, just going to school, and having fun. Yeah. I think that is enough. I am really -- I don't want to talk about that right now. Maybe some other day.

Q. Now, you are out and experiencing the circuit. Have you ever disagreed with your father on any coaching matters?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I haven't disagreed so far. I don't think that he has taught me the wrong thing in coaching. If anything, I am not doing all the right things. So, if I would do all the right things, I would definitely do a little better. It is kind of hard, sometimes you go out there and do everything perfect, so I don't disagree at any points that he has.

Q. Any aspects to match preparation that you approach differently than Venus or is that part of the Williams' system?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, I think I might be a little more serious before my matches, where Venus goes out -- because I tend -- maybe I might even be a little tense, maybe a little stressed, not as stressful as some people. But I think I sometimes go out there a little stressed. I could learn from Venus to be a little more relaxed and just more flowing and smooth before I go out there.

Q. Your father said last night that he liked to see a big professional tennis tournament come to Compton. He says a tournament should be played maybe in a ghetto, build a big stadium. Any thoughts about that?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Anyone hear know where the word ghetto came from?

Q. Where, Poland?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I will answer that question when someone knows.

Q. This is your father's words when he said that.

SERENA WILLIAMS: That is great. Maybe you can ask him further on that. Wait until you know.

Q. He says the two most exciting players are from Compton --

SERENA WILLIAMS: I think I am very exciting. I think Venus is very exciting. Maybe those are the two players from Compton that he was suggesting there. I think it is exciting. But you still don't know where the word ghetto came from. It is important.

Q. Maybe you should tell us.

SERENA WILLIAMS: I think you should look it up. I think everyone should learn. It will be great to come in here after my next match and you guys actually have the definition for me. I know where -- actually it will be a test. I would like to see that.

Q. Are the beads ever going to come off?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I am not sure. Right now I am just trying -- I am not even thinking about that right now.

Q. Talking about the beads.

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yes. That is -- I am not sure right now. I just have to think about that a little in the future. Maybe, maybe, I don't know.

Q. Someone whose grandparents grew up in a ghetto in Lithuania, I could ask you: What do you think of this site? Is this too sterile to have a tournament sort of out by itself? Is it better to have a tournament sort of in the middle of cities? I don't care if they are in ghettos or whatever?

SERENA WILLIAMS: You are using that word again. I think it is good. I don't see anything wrong with the US Open here. I think it is a good area by the city. You are by a couple of urban areas, more or less, so, I think it is actually a great idea to have the US Open here. It is nice, you get to see a lot of things. You get to see how other people live of different backgrounds.

Q. First time playing this, a tournament after hearing about it for so many years; now you are playing in it. How does it meet your expectations as a tournament?

SERENA WILLIAMS: It really meets my expectations. I know Arthur Ashe stadium is really huge. It is the biggest out of all the slams, so -- as for the other stadium, I was a little shocked. I remember when I was younger, I saw Boris Becker, it was like slow motion, he threw the racket into the stands, I was like: Wow, what a throw. But now, I can see why. So.... Other than that, it meets all my expectations.

Q. You said one of things that maybe you can learn from Venus is how to be more relaxed before you play. Do you think there is something you do really well that Venus might be able to learn from you?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I am sure there is a lot of things that I do well that she can learn from me. I think that will be better if you asked her because I wouldn't want to force anything on her.

Q. What are you doing for fun this week?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I was going to go to the Warner Brothers store because I am a great avid fan of Scooby Doo. So I was going to go over there and actually I have a Scooby Doo baret. I have -- so I am going to see if I can find a pin, maybe a watch and more barets, so that is what I am going to do.

Q. Last year after the bump with Spirlea, I think your father said Spirlea was lucky it wasn't Serena because Serena would have decked her if that happened. Do you have more of a temper? Is that true? What would --

SERENA WILLIAMS: Actually I couldn't tell you what happened back then. But I do know that sometimes I can get a little out of control, you can say, but I think actually if I had that happened, I probably wouldn't be here right now. (Laughs) I wouldn't probably be able to play on the COREL WTA Tour; probably have to join the ATP Tour. So, I will be over there, maybe. Probably would have lost in the first round, would have been tough. Thanks.

Becool
Jul 24th, 2002, 07:16 AM
1998 U.S. OPEN CHAMPIONSHIP
Flushing Meadows, New York

September 4, 1998

I. SPIRLEA/S. Williams

6-3, 0-6, 7-5

An interview with:

SERENA WILLIAMS

Q. How are you feeling?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Good. All right, no one has any questions?

Q. I have got one. You were able to beat her twice this year, what did you not do tonight that you were able to do in the other --

SERENA WILLIAMS: Today my serving was off. I couldn't serve at all, and second set I did serve pretty well. But I don't know, my serve just wasn't there tonight. So --

Q. Was that the difference in the match or did she raise her game from the time you played her previously?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I think ultimately it was the serve, yeah. I couldn't hold and completely break -- broke down in the end.

Q. What do you take away from the experience of this year's US Open that might help you for your game down the road?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, I just know that I need to work on -- I need to work on a lot of things and, yeah, just need to be more -- I can't say be more serious because I think I am pretty serious all the time. So.... I just need to take out that everyone is out to win.

Q. Are you surprised at the outcome tonight? You seem pretty obviously disappointed, but are you surprised that she was able to beat you?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I am not surprised, but I never did expect to lose. I threw out the whole match even though I was down even on a matchpoint. I just never expected to lose. I just -- it didn't hit me until it was over.

Q. When you broke the string in the fifth game of that final set, you lost that game. Did it have any effect on you changing rackets?

SERENA WILLIAMS: No, it did not. The rackets usually don't have an effect on the way you play. Usually it is the way you play that has most effect.

Q. She said everything as far as what happened last year is all part of the past, no problems. Do you feel the same way as far as Irina goes?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I mean, no one really remembers that anymore.

Q. By "no one" you mean yourself and Venus, or you mean no one, the public?

SERENA WILLIAMS: That it is just so in the past. It is just -- only people that remember it are those who dwell in the past and can't get over it and might have problems. Those are the only people who remember it. Do you remember it?

Q. I remember it. It is pretty hard to forget.

SERENA WILLIAMS: You are one of those people.

Q. I dwell on the past. I love history.

SERENA WILLIAMS: Do you have problems?

Q. Yeah.

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yes? No?

Q. I have problems.

SERENA WILLIAMS: Not that you are aware of? Coming out of the closet? Did anyone do their homework? When you came here next time, I wanted -- I see you are looking down? It has been two days, you know.

Q. It has been a rough two days.

SERENA WILLIAMS: Not dictionary around anywhere? You could look at the computer. I am very disappointed.

Q. Can you put us out of our misery?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I think that you guys -- I am not the encyclopedia here. I am very disappointed. You guys all get Fs. I always wanted to say that.

Q. When you see a drop shot coming over the net, your back is still on the baseline. What goes through your mind? How do you tell yourself that you are not going to miss that? Seems like you run down everything?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Usually when I see a drop shot I usually smile to myself because I know I am going to make it and I usually think I am going to win the point. I love running down dropshots. I like running for it like that.

Q. Second set, at that point seemed she was just letting the games go. What was going through your mind?

SERENA WILLIAMS: (Laughs) Well, I think I have played better in the second set and I was -- I see someone over there looking --

Q. I got the dictionary?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I stuck with my plan the second set, but I kind of -- she played a little better in the second set and my serve, it was really kicking in the second set also. So it was after that, I guess, it went away again. It wasn't there in the first and the third.

Q. Ghetto: A section of a city in which a minority group lives because of poverty or social pressure. Websters.

SERENA WILLIAMS: That is Websters --

Q. Official.

SERENA WILLIAMS: You are supposed to look in an encyclopedia.

Q. We can't cart those around with us.

SERENA WILLIAMS: A ghetto was -- it was actually a German word that was derived from when the Jewish people, they lived -- they actually took the Jewish people out of their homes, because the Germans wanted to be on a pedestal, compared to the Jews and they took them out of their homes and they just put them in a community and it was the community they called it -- they named it a ghetto. It was named that because there was no sanitation area, facilities to use inside or anything. So they named it the ghetto. They named the facilities the ghetto and they actually had roads that led from ghettos to ghettos and the Jews could not leave the ghettos. So, sometimes when you guys say: How does it feel being born in the ghetto - that is -- I think of that definition. So after that, Americans start using ghettos as a place of bad -- just a bad area because that is what it originally was. That wasn't that hard; was it?

Q. That goes back to the middle ages. That is not just from the 20th century.

SERENA WILLIAMS: That was World War II.

Q. Goes back way before that.

SERENA WILLIAMS: Okay, we can talk. You have your information and I have mine.

Q. Way before that.

SERENA WILLIAMS: Okay.

Q. Absolutely a lot of history there.

SERENA WILLIAMS: Anymore questions?

Q. Curious if you look back at your Grand Slams --

SERENA WILLIAMS: I have got the answers.

Q. What is your feeling overall about your Grand Slam season?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I am very disappointed this year because I feel that I could have won and at least a Grand Slam this year, especially this one particular, but I obviously didn't do it. I guess I have to start next year.

Q. Venus give you any specific advice going into this about what the Open is like?

SERENA WILLIAMS: No, I was here last year so was able to see what the Open was like.

Becool
Jul 24th, 2002, 07:18 AM
1998 U.S. OPEN CHAMPIONSHIP
Flushing Meadows, New York

September 10, 1998

WILLIAMS-MIRNYI/Raymond-Galbraith

6-2, 6-2

An interview with:

SERENA WILLIAMS &
MAX MIRNYI

Q. You said over the television that your father was the matchmaker.

MAX MIRNYI: Yeah.

Q. What is his name?

MAX MIRNYI: His name? Nikolai.

Q. N-i-c-o-l-a-i?

MAX MIRNYI: N-i-k-o-l-a-i. The reason for that, I'm too shy of a guy to come up and speak to Serena. He did that part for me at Wimbledon. Before the deadline sign-in, he came up to Serena and asked if she wants to play. I was definitely ready for that, so. It was just a matter of her saying yes.

Q. How would you behave generally with other girls?

MAX MIRNYI: Very shy. Very shy. Still undeveloped (laughter).

Q. They also said on TV that you didn't really talk strategy on the court. Does that mean that strategy really isn't an important part of mixed doubles or you just didn't talk about it on the court?

MAX MIRNYI: No, I guess it is important. But Serena is a good player, and she knows best what to do. She's just a better player all the time on the court than the other girl. With me, sometimes I know what to do on the doubles court, as well. We just try to bond together, just being friends, you know, try to speak about different things. Just try to be focused and positive there.

Q. What kinds of things did you talk about today? You weren't talking strategy.

MAX MIRNYI: I don't know. Today we had something --

SERENA WILLIAMS: We can't remember.

MAX MIRNYI: Just every changeover, we had something new we had to talk about.

Q. Was it like movies?

MAX MIRNYI: Movies, I don't know. Music, food.

Q. When his father came up to you, did you have any idea who Max was?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yes. I've known who Max was since the Australian.

Q. How did you discover, how did you find him?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, actually I was -- I've seen him at Bollettieri's before. Sometimes I'd go over there.

Q. Is that why your English is so good?

MAX MIRNYI: Yeah. I was there in school for two years, my junior and senior year in school at Nick's camp. I trained there for three years. It was a good learning process for me.

Q. Were you surprised at how it was over in two sets? Galbraith and Raymond had played two years ago, they were the champs here. They play a lot together. They just seemed to wing it today. Were you surprised how easy it was?

MAX MIRNYI: Well, I would think on my behalf that we felt very confident going into the finals because we had tough matches up to the finals, three-set matches against Bhupathi-Lucic, and last night against Stolle and Graham. We just knew that even if we would be down in the match, we would find a way to come back. We just stuck to our plan, you know, being aggressive, let the result speak for itself. But just in general, it didn't really feel great on the court today, even though we won. It was a little bit off rhythm. It was windy. They didn't play a great match. It's good that we won. It's good that we won, but I didn't feel that we played our best match.

Q. What is your best singles results, Max?

MAX MIRNYI: Well, I've qualified for several ATP tournaments over the last two years I was on the tour. New Haven was my last event where I qualified before US Open. My singles ranking now is the highest as it has ever been. It's 234, I think. But I am, you know, working on my singles game as much as I do on my doubles game. It's taking a bit longer. I'm going to do whatever it takes to be a good singles player, as well.

Q. Did you lose in the quallies here?

MAX MIRNYI: Yes. I lost to Karbacher 6-4 in the third.

Q. Have you ever qualified at a major?

MAX MIRNYI: I've lost several times in the last round of qualifying at Wimbledon. That's it, actually. Never qualified for Grand Slam.

Q. He paid you a very high compliment, almost saying you were the one who carried the match today.

MAX MIRNYI: She always does.

Q. Serena, you have a great smile, but I'd like to hear some words.

SERENA WILLIAMS: Are you finished? Well, generally we both play very well throughout the match. Sometimes I have to admit I'm really off, usually in the first set, then I try to pick it up at the end of the second. I was encouraged not to do that today, because that's happened in the last couple matches. He usually carries me through the first, throughout the second. It just depends. We just were having a great day today, that's just how things were.

Q. What do you guys have in common?

SERENA WILLIAMS: We both like reggae.

Q. What happened to Luis Lobo?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Oh, he was a great partner. I really loved Luis. He didn't come to Wimbledon. I had to find a new partner. It's been fait accompli ever since.

Q. Maybe he'll have to duel Max for your hand.

SERENA WILLIAMS: Maybe you guys can have a wrestling battle. I'll be the referee.

MAX MIRNYI: Sure.

Q. Do you argue at all on the court?

SERENA WILLIAMS: No, we've never had any arguments on the court, no.

MAX MIRNYI: Always staying positive and just sticking up for each other. Because when I do something, she's always there for me saying that "It's all right, we'll get the next point." I try to do the same for her.

Q. I think you guys have a family Grand Slam this year, don't you?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yes, we do. It was very exciting for the Williams family.

Q. Were you guys talking about it last night?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yes, we were. We were talking about it ever since the Wimbledon. We were really working hard.

Q. Are you guys going to share the trophies?

SERENA WILLIAMS: She won the Australian and the French. We won Wimbledon and US Open. So I don't think there's no need to share. Even though she beat me in the finals of the French, that's okay.

Q. Serena, what happened when Mr. Mirnyi came to you? What was your reaction?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I don't even remember. It was such a long time ago. I just remember he came to me. I really wasn't -- Luis wasn't there, so I wasn't going to play with Luis. I guess that was the only option available. It was a good choice.

Q. Will this be big news in Minsk?

MAX MIRNYI: I would say so. Still hasn't come back home. Hasn't been home after Wimbledon. So I don't know how big it is. But I would think so.

Q. What does your father do?

MAX MIRNYI: My father was a professor in the University, taught geography. But he quit that job since I became serious with tennis. And that was maybe six, seven years ago. And he's dedicated his life to my tennis. And I want to thank him for that.

Q. Do you live in the United States?

MAX MIRNYI: Yes. We have a place in Sarasota, Florida. We spend some time there.

Q. How did you come to the United States?

MAX MIRNYI: How? Just on one of the junior trips, I came to play, in fact, here to New York, Port Washington, junior tournament in December. It happened to be so that I stayed afterwards.

Q. How old are you?

MAX MIRNYI: I'm 21 now.

Q. How would you assess the education at Bollettieri?

MAX MIRNYI: The education?

Q. Your father is a University professor. Do you think about going on to college?

MAX MIRNYI: I don't consider this now. I would always keep this option open for myself. As far as education there at the academy, I don't know, I haven't been to many different high schools, but it's just -- I went to private school there. It's called Bradenton Academy. It seemed like it was good education. Just a regular school with a regular program.

SERENA WILLIAMS: With a uniform requirement.

MAX MIRNYI: Yeah, that's true. You got to know that. But as far as just the program, it's just like any other high school.

Q. Are you going to have a celebration, doing something fun, or just finish here like this?

MAX MIRNYI: We'll probably work something out. Maybe we would like to do that when Venus takes the singles trophy. So maybe we do something together.

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah.

Q. Did you do anything to celebrate at Wimbledon?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I stood him up.

MAX MIRNYI: It's on our agenda now.

Q. Where were you supposed to be?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Things got mixed up, let's just say, and I couldn't make it. There's a Wimbledon Ball that the champions go to. Unfortunately, I couldn't make it. You went, did you not?

MAX MIRNYI: Yeah. I went and I couldn't find you there (laughter). We're going to have to celebrate the Wimbledon victory here in New York, as well.

Q. To save a lazy guy from looking it up, how much money did you win today?

SERENA WILLIAMS: 60,000 apiece.

Q. Even split?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah.

Q. Have you guys ever gone reggae dancing together?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I've never been anywhere with reggae. I just got into reggae at the French Open, and I really love it, though. It's really great.

Q. You wouldn't have introduced her?

MAX MIRNYI: No. I like reggae, Bob Marley, I like his albums. Just the other day, I was trying to sing it. Serena heard it. She said, "I like reggae, too."

Q. In the middle of a match?

MAX MIRNYI: Maybe.

SERENA WILLIAMS: We were going to the match.

MAX MIRNYI: We were going to a match.

Q. Did she like your singing or the music?

MAX MIRNYI: No.

SERENA WILLIAMS: I liked the singing.

Q. Can we have an example?

MAX MIRNYI: No, no, I wouldn't do that. I'm actually learning how to play music, playing guitar. I'm just taking classes wherever I have time to learn how to sing, just proper breathing and all of that. I wouldn't want to say it now; I wouldn't want to sing now.

Q. What was the song?

MAX MIRNYI: Well, I like all of his songs.

SERENA WILLIAMS: It's Bob Marley. He was singing particularly "We're Jammin'." I like to jam.

Q. You got into it for the first time at the French?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yes.

Q. Someone gave you a CD?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yes.

Q. Someone?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yes.

Q. Do you want to say who?

SERENA WILLIAMS: No.

Becool
Jul 24th, 2002, 07:21 AM
1999 EVERT CUP

INDIAN WELLS, CALIFORNIA

March 7, 1999

SERENA WILLIAMS/L. Davenport

6-4, 6-2

An interview with:

SERENA WILLIAMS

Q. You're arriving so fast. Where do you see yourself at the end of the year? Top 10? Top 5?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I definitely see myself in the Top 10, but, right now, I'm not looking at that. I'm just trying to play every match for match, do the best I can. I know if I'm playing well, doing the best that I can do, I'm definitely going to be in the Top 10, and probably the Top 5 if not better.

Q. You just beat Lindsay, very big win. How do you assess this achievement today?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, it was good for me. I wasn't hitting that well. I mean, there weren't that many balls going back in play. I was really mentally focused, and I really was mentally there. It was a good win for me.

Q. Is it mental, the things that are happening now suddenly, or are there other things? Why are things clicking together now?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I don't know. It was really good for me to win that tournament last week because I really was able to see that I can go out there and I can win. I don't know. I really practiced really hard for the last -- since the end of last year and the beginning of this year, I was really practicing hard and really focused. My hard work is beginning to pay off.

Q. Was there a point in the match today that you thought you had it? Was there any point where you thought, "It's mine"? Was it until the last point is over?

SERENA WILLIAMS: There's always a time in the match where you say, "Hey, this is mine, I'm going to take it." I did see it. But I was really just focused on playing point for point.

Q. When was that point today that you said, "This is mine"?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I mean, it was -- I don't know, it was probably in the second set I realized. Actually, during the first set I realized. Let me rewind, take that back. Before I went out there, I was out there with a positive mind because I had beat Lindsay before. I knew that she was going to be ready. She was probably going to attack the weaker part of my game. She was going to try a lot of things. But I knew that I could do well. I knew that I had a chance.

Q. How is the transition from indoor to outdoor? Was it easy? Did it take you a few days to adapt?

SERENA WILLIAMS: It's easy for me. It was the same. It's the same surface kind of to me. It's all the same, all hard. I don't have a problem with any surface I play on.

Q. Any problem with the wind? The flags are whipping around.

SERENA WILLIAMS: Were they? I had no problem with the wind or any of those factors.

Q. How does your leg feel from that little tumble near the end?

SERENA WILLIAMS: That was really tough. I had no idea I was going to slide. Maybe my shoe wasn't so solid (laughter). Actually, I got a little burn, but it's okay now. It's okay.

Q. How did you mentally turn the corner against Mauresmo in that third set?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, I don't know. It was tough for me because the whole crowd wanted her to win. They were really for her and against me. I think I had so much fight in me, I was determined, that I just couldn't lose. I was up 4-1. I actually should have closed it out at 6-2 or 6-3 at the most. But she really came fighting, roaring back. She hit a lot of unbelievable winners. I think what really turned it, I just wouldn't -- I just had a lot of fight in me.

Q. Was that important for you to close out a match like that in a final?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I definitely think it was. I really didn't want to lose, especially after being up, I didn't want to get a bad rep or anything, I have a rep to keep.

Q. You and Venus made history last year by winning two different tournaments the same week. Is this going to happen in the future when you go to different tournaments?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, we're definitely looking forward to going to different tournaments in the future because it's better for us. We get to see a different environment, et cetera. Right now, we are just trying to play different tournaments, do a lot of different things, see how it turns out for us. We played a lot of the same tournaments for us last year. It didn't work. Something is not working, let's try something different. That's what we're doing.

Q. You're playing in the same event next week, right?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah.

Q. What decides whether you will enter a tournament together or you won't?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, I mean, there's some tournaments that Venus just didn't want to play. I think I actually said this so many times now. There's some tournaments that I didn't want to play. I just don't like the tournaments. I just didn't want to go, but Venus wanted to go. I was like, "Hey, I'll play doubles there, why don't you just take play singles." If I don't like the tournament, I don't want to be at the tournament; I want to take a week off; she likes the tournament; she'll just play it. I'm actually tired of answering that question. Let's move on.

Q. I understand the pace of the women's Tour. How much do you two get a chance to hit with each other? How much of an advantage is it to be the kid sister of somebody that hits the ball so hard?

SERENA WILLIAMS: It's a great advantage. Last week, could have been two weeks now, when everyone was saying that Mauresmo hits the ball so hard, I was hitting against Venus all my life, and she really hits the ball hard. When I played Mauresmo, she did hit it hard, but I was so used too to it, it was like, "Hey, I can handle this." It was definitely a good thing for me. WTA: Any other questions? No (laughter).

Becool
Jul 24th, 2002, 07:24 AM
1999 EVERT CUP

INDIAN WELLS, CALIFORNIA

March 12, 1999

S. WILLIAMS/S. Testud

7-5, 6-0

An interview with:

SERENA WILLIAMS

Q. How do you feel about how you're playing this week as compared to Paris?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I guess I'm mostly playing pretty good. I'm in the finals now. I don't think I've lost a set yet. No, I haven't. I think last week, though, game-wise, I was a little more consistent. Things were a little better. But, I mean, I can't complain.

Q. Sandrine said that winning that first set was very, very important. Did you feel when you won the set that you had an edge, apart from the score obviously, mental edge on her?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I definitely felt when I won that first set that I had a mental edge, a physical edge, whatever. I knew that if I had lost that set, I would have kept fighting, too. We had a lot of tough matches in the past. I think it definitely had a lot to do with it.

Q. What did you learn from playing against her so much in the past? You've had so many tough matches.

SERENA WILLIAMS: Actually in the past I did have a lot of tough matches against her. They really shouldn't have went the distance. She never gives up. She's really improved her ranking. Good player, so --.

Q. When the first set ended, did you have any idea you could go on the kind of run you did in the second set?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Not at all. Always when the first set ends, I always want to make sure I get the first game, whether I'm receiving or serving. I always say, "Now, Serena, let's really fight for this game like you're down, like, this is the last game of the match." I really try to fight for the first game. I guess I just kept making my shots.

Q. You weren't able to close her out in Australia. Today, you closed her out pretty well. What was the difference?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Wait a minute. That was the past. I mean, Australia was a long time ago.

Q. Six weeks.

SERENA WILLIAMS: Was it?

Q. Yes.

SERENA WILLIAMS: I don't even remember back then, man. I was young (laughter).

Q. But there you had a substantial lead. You were playing well. You let her back into the match. But today you didn't. What did you tell yourself?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, I don't lose those type of matches anymore, if I'm ahead, unless the player of course comes up with some great winners, and there's nothing you can do about it. Say I might be up, then I'm serving for the match, and the person just hits four winners. There's nothing I can do about that. Other than that, if they don't do that, I just can't allow myself to lose those matches anymore. I have to grow up mentally.

Q. Testud said that you seemed to be playing with a lot of confidence right now.

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I definitely think I am. I haven't lost a match in a little while. I'm really playing much better than what I have in the past, six weeks ago. I definitely think I'm playing with a lot of confidence. Who wouldn't? I've won a tournament. If I'm playing well and mentally focused, I can probably take this one, too.

Q. You appear to be growing by leaps and bounds right in front of our very eyes. Is that an accurate perception?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Did you get that from -- That was a statement in our newsletter.

Q. It was?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yes.

Q. Great minds think alike.

SERENA WILLIAMS: I'm sure of that. I definitely think I've matured a lot in the past six weeks. I've really realized it's not time to play around anymore. It's always someone's turn. Like five years from now, there's going to be another player who's going to be just great. It's not going to be my turn, it's going to be someone else's turn. So now is the time.

Q. You and Venus are role models for up-and-coming junior players. What advice would you give to some aspiring young tennis players?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, I think for anyone that's young, coming up, I think it's important to go out there and have a lot of fun. If you're going out there, not enjoying what you're doing, it's really hard just to keep winning or do well in something that you don't enjoy. It's important to have a lot of fun.

Q. Could you talk about the role Nick Bollettieri has been playing with you and Venus the last few weeks or months?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Nick is a great guy. He's a great person to be around. He's a great coach. He's just been able to help Venus and I mentally, physically. He's just been ^ fairly well for Venus and I. That's the type of role he's been playing.

Q. How would you describe that role? Is he a coach? An adviser?

SERENA WILLIAMS: No. My dad is my coach. My dad, he's always been my coach. He does a great job with that. Nick is always around, though. Sometimes my dad says, "Nick, why don't you take it." He's just a great person to be around.

Q. What is the thing you like the most about him?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I mean, he's always positive. He always at the same time tells you the truth, what you need to do, what you're not doing. So that's good.

Q. Is there any particular change he made to your game?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I mean, I really am starting to come to the net more than I have six weeks. I just wouldn't come. Now I'm trying to come. Soon I'm going to come.

Q. Steffi's forehand is often considered to be the foremost weapon in the game. Testud said basically that your forehand was as effective as hers, in particular because you take the ball so early. How does it feel to hear that? Could you comment on that?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, I think it started a little while ago when I injured my wrist on my backhand. I was skateboarding. That's a long story. I don't want to get into that. I couldn't hit backhands, so I was always running around backhands, hitting huge forehands. I actually think I have the best forehand out there on the Tour. It should be exciting tomorrow.

Q. Speaking of the newsletter, you're one of the reporters here who talked to Pete Sampras, I think the only person. What kind of questions did you ask him?

SERENA WILLIAMS: That's for our newsletter. You can check out the article. It's going to a be a feature Wimbledon article, tennis monthly recap, we're exclusive, we can get all kinds of interviews.

Q. Was he very cooperative?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Oh, Pete's a great guy. I thought Pete was boring. You guys really make it seem that way. But he's really not. He's funny. He was laughing the whole time. He's a great person. I really admire Pete. I guess that you guys just don't. He's totally not what you guys write him to be. He's so much different than that.

Q. What's the best part of being a tennis writer?

SERENA WILLIAMS: The interviews. I like getting interviews. Sometimes it's hard to get an interview. I know for a fact I've been declined once (laughter).

Q. Who declined you?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I'm not going to give out any names, just to save this person. I don't think he has such a good reputation, this particular person.

Q. So it's a male?

SERENA WILLIAMS: What this particular person said was, "Time is expensive."

Q. (Inaudible.)

SERENA WILLIAMS: No, Rios is a nice guy.

Q. Tell us how you see the final shaping up? What do you have to do to win?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I'm going to have to be very consistent because Graf, she's on her way back. She's playing great tennis right now. She's really focused. I see her all the time. She's in a focused mode. I think she's gotten even more confident. But I know right now I'm playing really confident. It's going to be a very exciting match tomorrow. Last time we played was actually in Sydney. To be honest, I couldn't play back then. I didn't have anything. She won 7-5 in the third.

Q. She started off very slow against Chanda. Can you jump out to a lead yourself tomorrow?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, I don't know. I'm just going to go out there, just going to try to do the best I can. If I make my shots and not make errors like what I did in the first set today, it will be different. Who knows? Steffi is playing a great game. She's a good athlete. She's fast. I'm fast. I'm a great athlete. It's going to be exciting.

Q. What other celebrities or tennis players are you planning on interviewing for your newsletter, who would you like to interview?

SERENA WILLIAMS: If you read our newsletter, it always says we hope to get Pete Sampras and Pat Rafter. We're going to try to get Chanda Rubin and Jana Novotna. Just like you guys, we want to get everyone.

Q. Do you have more sympathy for us now that you've been doing this?

SERENA WILLIAMS: You know, I really do. I really do (laughter). I understand what it's like when I say, "I can't do that. My time is expensive."

Q. What's it like playing the tournament with Venus not in the single's draw? Does that change your feeling a little bit?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, I don't know. I mean, I guess it must because I don't have to worry about meeting her in the quarters, finals or semifinals, even the second round. I guess it definitely changed my feeling. I know that I can just go all the way. It's a good thing. It's definitely a good thing.

Q. Are you both playing the Lipton?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, we are.

Q. So you may run into her?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I might. It depends how the draw is pulled.

Q. Steffi said yesterday she didn't think it was fair that one semifinal be one day and the other one the next day, because then you don't have that day off into the final. What are your feelings on that?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Since I don't have a day off? I'm just happy. I'm actually ready to go home now. I've been away for a long time now, it seems like. I was saying earlier after my match, I felt like I could go another two sets. It's not going to affect me at all. I'm young. I'm only 17. I can go all day.

Q. Do you think the final will end in two sets?

SERENA WILLIAMS: We'll have to wait and see.

Becool
Jul 24th, 2002, 07:28 AM
1999 EVERT CUP

INDIAN WELLS, CALIFORNIA

March 13, 1999

S. WILLIAMS/S. Graf

6-3, 3-6, 7-5

An interview with:

SERENA WILLIAMS

BROOKE LAWER: First question for Serena.

Q. You've had some experience now as a writer and journalist. If you had a really tough editor who said, "Come up with a creative lead to start your story on today's final," what would you write?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Wow. Actually, I think I'm going to do an interview on myself for the Tennis Monthly Recap. It's a hot story. I'm not going to give you what I'm going to say (laughter). You have to make up your own. I was just about to say something, too. Good try.

Q. What's the first question you're going to ask yourself?

SERENA WILLIAMS: How do you feel about just winning? This is the biggest tournament I ever won. I know that I can win the big ones now. I don't know how many matches I've won in a row, but it's enough to win a Slam. It's seven in a row to win a Slam. I'm prepared to do that.

Q. Tell us about your knee problem.

SERENA WILLIAMS: All week I've been having a little trouble with my knee. In , actually the second set, it was really troubling me more than it has. I just really had to fight through it. I said to myself. Serena, if you're going to be a champion, you've got to learn to fight through it or quit." I have to keep going.

Q. What exactly is the problem?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I just have a little inflammation.

Q. One of those things that presumably only rest will cure completely?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I can always take rest. These tournaments are, as Dad always said, "These tournaments are going to be here forever." He always looks after my well-being. I think maybe I should listen to him.

Q. In your so-called interview, imaginary interview for your magazine, would you ask yourself, "Now do you feel vindicated?"

SERENA WILLIAMS: My dad has always been proud of me. He's always known that I can make it; I can do the best that I can do. I don't have to worry about him now feeling vindicated, whether I win or not. That's just the way he is, so -- .

Q. I think what you did today, though, came through in terms of the predictions he made some years ago.

SERENA WILLIAMS: I guess so .

Q. When did you start to really believe in yourself?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I always really believed in myself. I never had really low self-esteem. I've always had high self-esteem. I always believed I can beat the best, be the best, achieve the best. I've never had a problem with not believing myself.

Q. What was going through your mind with the medical time-out?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I was just thinking, was I going to be able to continue with giving Steffi a good match. At that time, she was really just beginning to play some great tennis. She was really starting to move her feet. I guess something motivated her, so --.

Q. Did you think at all of the problem you had at Wimbledon this year when you had to leave your match?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I don't think about that. I might have told everyone in here once before, I don't dwell on the past so much. I look toward the future.

Q. You played a wonderful first set. What happened in the second set?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, in the first set, I did play a good match. I was making a lot of my shots. Then the second set, I didn't make so many of my shots. I began to hit plenty of unforced errors. When you make a lot of mistakes, it's easier for your opponent to get the advantage. Therefore, she was able to get an advantage in the second set and the beginning of the third.

Q. If you could look into the future, where do you see yourself at the end of this year?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I always see myself in the top position. Right now, I'm just looking to play one match at a time. I'm just going to keep that for myself right now.

Q. How did you manage to keep aggressive, even after the second set and first half of the third set where there were a lot of unforced errors?

SERENA WILLIAMS: It was a little difficult for me because she was hitting lobs, she was hitting some splendid passing shots. I had to keep saying to myself, "I'm not going to win at the baseline. No one's ever won at the baseline. Everyone eventually comes to the net." I had to just keep fighting and keep coming in.

Q. Was that your plan today, to get into the net and break down her backhand some?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Steffi has a great slice on her backhand. I don't think she broke down at all.

Q. What was your plan?

SERENA WILLIAMS: What was my plan?

Q. What was your plan for the match?

SERENA WILLIAMS: What would be your plan if you played Steffi?

Q. I'd come in a lot to her backhand.

SERENA WILLIAMS: Maybe that was mine (laughter).

Q. How much do you count on your athleticism?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I think it comes to a point where you can't just depend on being athletic; you have to depend on also having the right techniques and doing the right things. But I think in a way, I do have an advantage because sometimes I can be completely out of the point, but I'm able to come back and get into the point because I'm a great athlete. I definitely think that I do have an advantage there.

Q. What does it mean for a 17-year-old to beat someone with her record and reputation in an event as important as this?

SERENA WILLIAMS: It means a lot to me because Steffi is a great champion. She has more titles, from what I hear, than any man or lady playing tennis. It's very exciting for me to be able to have this win. I had a tough match against her earlier this year in Sydney. I knew today was going to be a tough match, it was going to be a good match. It's very exciting for me. I'm only 17. I have a lot to look forward to in the future.

Q. In Grand Slam terms, what do you think is your best surface? What do you feel most competent on?

SERENA WILLIAMS: It doesn't matter what I play on. I love the hard. I grew up on the hard. I love sliding on the clay. I love coming to the net on the grass.

Q. You mentioned this was the biggest win in your career. When the match was over, you ran over to your family. Was that one of the proudest moments you've had as well?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yes, it definitely was. It's great for my dad to see, and Venus to see me winning a big title for once because you can see they're always there, in the past, always on the practice court, motivating me, trying to get me to work harder, even when I was down, giving me that extra motivation (laughter) , that extra motivation. It's very exciting for me to have my dad there and for me to have such a big tournament win. It was great.

Q. Did your dad take you to the doctor earlier this week and encourage you to get treatment on it?

SERENA WILLIAMS: No. Actually, he did. I just went to the doctor's to see if everything was all right with my knee. He said if I won today, he was going to take me to McDonald's. I'm looking forward to going.

Q. What do you eat at McDonald's?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I get whatever he gets (laughter).

Q. How important was your serve today? You served pretty well.

SERENA WILLIAMS: In the first set, I was really serving extremely well. I really had the advantage there. I think serving was very important today to get ahead in the match. In the commencement of the second set, beginning of the second set, I wasn't -- she broke me immediately. I didn't get a lot of first serves in, and that was the main key. The main key in the match today was who made first serves, if you look at the stats, I believe. When she got her first serve in, majority of the time she was able to win the points. I think it all boiled down to who had a better first serve. I think today was the best I served in the tournament, so I'm pretty excited about that.

Q. When you get onto the kind of winning roll that you're on, do you get a feeling almost of invincibility?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I've never been on this winning roll.

Q. The one you're on at the moment.

SERENA WILLIAMS: I definitely feel that I've beaten almost everyone now, that I'm on this roll. I just have a couple more people to play. There's always someone out there who's going to work harder and who's going to try to beat me, especially when you're on a streak. Everyone wants to end it. I'm just going to have to work as hard, if not harder, than everyone else to keep it up.

Q. Steffi indicated she didn't feel like she took enough risks, played it too safe. Did you get that feeling at all?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Personally being out there, I saw her hitting a couple winners, moving me around. Maybe she didn't in her game.

Q. Were you surprised and perhaps a bit disappointed that most of the American crowd seemed to be supporting a German player rather than the home girl?

SERENA WILLIAMS: It was okay with me. Seems like when I'm always playing, the crowd's always against me. I think today I had a lot of fans for me. I think most of the crowd was for Steffi. It's okay, because in Paris, the entire crowd, take my mom, was against me. Like when I won that match, it was great because I knew I'd have to play in a bigger atmosphere one day. It doesn't matter.

Q. What did you say in French to the Parisians?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I don't remember. I just said, "Thank you for all the support." It was all in French. That was two weeks ago, so . That was a long time.

Q. You had to play yesterday. She had a day off. Yet you came out and won today. Do you wish you would have had a day off?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I'm 17. I shouldn't be tired at all.

Q. You played a lot of tennis over the last two weeks, 11 matches, beaten three Top-10 players. Do you think in the next couple months you'll be in the Top 10?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I definitely think in the next couple months, I'll be in the Top 10. The only way that can keep me away from the Top 10 is if I quit playing tournaments for the rest of the year. Other than that, I definitely see myself there soon and farther.

Q. You're going to get a pretty big check for winning the tournament. What are you going to buy yourself or your family?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I'm going to put my check in the bank and earn lots of interest on it.

Q. You said you matured a lot in the last six weeks. Was there a key, a key moment that you felt this was coming together?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I think one day in practice, I was practicing really hard. I realized I had to make changes in my game if I wanted to get to the top level. I think that particular day in practice was what really made me change. It was maybe about three weeks ago. It was just before I went to Paris. That's when I realized I can't keep going out there losing to people I should beat if I want to be a top player. I'm going to have to win more matches.

Q. What was that change?

SERENA WILLIAMS: It was, like I said, three weeks ago.

Q. No, what was the change in your game?

SERENA WILLIAMS: If you don't see it, then I can't describe it.

Q. You mentioned in the players' guide that Indian Wells was your favorite place. I bet that hasn't changed.

SERENA WILLIAMS: Indian Wells is a beautiful place, it's a wonderful tournament for me. To be honest, I enjoy anywhere that I can win, just to be honest about it.

Q. How much has your success in doubles improved you as a player?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I think it really improved my volleys. When I serve and volley, I'm able to really get those backhand volleys in singles that I wasn't able to get before. Venus and I are definitely playing better doubles. We didn't do as good as we wanted to do here, but there is a future. We've only played ten tournaments, and we've enjoyed a career high of No. 19. It's very exciting for us because we hardly ever play. We never practice. We only practice our singles games. Maybe one day we'll start practicing.

Q. I wonder also, in the mixed, when you played and won two Grand Slam titles, the fact that you play against men in that situation, do you think that helps as well?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I think in a way it could help. The guys have big serves out there. When I play the ladies that have larger serves, it would be -- it would make it much more easier for me.

Becool
Jul 24th, 2002, 07:34 AM
THE 1999 LIPTON CHAMPIONSHIPS

KEY BISCAYNE, FLORIDA

March 20, 1999

S. WILLIAMS/A. Molik

6-2, 6-3

An interview with:

SERENA WILLIAMS

REVEN OLIVER: First question, please, for Serena.

Q. Was it an easy game for you tonight?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, I mean, tonight it was okay. It was my first match in a couple days. I didn't play so well, but I think she played a pretty good match. She was able to pull through. What am I talking about?

Q. Are you looking forward to the final, you and Venus?

SERENA WILLIAMS: It's going to be exciting if I can make it there, Venus can make it there. I definitely know that I'm playing great tennis right now. There's a couple people in the way.

Q. Venus said she likes to watch you. Do you like to watch her play?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I love to watch Venus. She's a great player. I definitely think she's my toughest opponent out there. So, yeah, I love to watch Venus.

Q. Do you have any ability that she doesn't have?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Not really. We have both similar games. She's just like me. I play a little like her. But we both have differences, too.

Q. What differences?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, actually I don't like answering that question. You can come out and watch our matches and you can probably see.

Q. When you travel together, it's not so often that you travel together, are you able to spend a lot of time?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I travel with her all the time, except for one tournament I didn't go with her. I was in Paris. Before that, it was like one more tournament. Other than that, we always travel together. We always spend a lot of time together. We do everything together. We're best friends.

Q. Who will be the first No. 1?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Looks like a close competition now. You never know. We'll just have to wait and see.

Q. Are you tired of being asked always of the sister thing?

SERENA WILLIAMS: No, not really. Doesn't really bother me to be asked. I don't think the other people should hear the answers if they don't want to participate.

Q. Do you talk about the outfits, hair, the dresses?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah. I love her outfits. I have some nice outfits, too. We talk about a lot of things.

Q. Do you discuss tomorrow we have yellow, do you discuss what kind of color?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I don't change the color every day. I keep this color for about a month or so and then I'll change.

Becool
Jul 24th, 2002, 07:40 AM
THE 1999 LIPTON CHAMPIONSHIPS

KEY BISCAYNE, FLORIDA

March 22, 1999

S. WILLIAMS/S. Serna

6-1, 6-0

An interview with:

SERENA WILLIAMS

VERONIQUE MARCHAL: Questions for Serena.

Q. Was that as easy as it looked?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I think actually today I was playing pretty well. I was out there. I was serious. I stayed focused. I was motivated. I did pretty well.

Q. Your mental and physical games and abilities are brilliant. I was wondering when you started and who was your biggest influence on the mental?

SERENA WILLIAMS: My parents are always a big influence to me, my mom and my dad. They really influenced me. My mom especially mental, and my dad was more physical. My mom was mental, my dad was more physical. In both ways, I would have to say it was them that was really able to get me in such good shape, both mentally and physically.

Q. It's a good balance.

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah.

Q. What percentage of your success in tennis do you think depends on your mental fitness?

SERENA WILLIAMS: My dad always told me, "99 percent of the game it's mental. If you beat them mentally ..." A lot of players out there are not in best physical shape or look in the best physical condition, but they have a lot of strong mental power. That's what really helped them in the past, now and in the future.

Q. You said you were motivated today. What are you motivated by?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, I was just motivated to just stay focused, just go out there and do well.

Q. Now that you're inching closer to a possible final against your sister --?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I have a lot more rounds. I'm not thinking about finals right now. I'm just thinking of playing it one match at a time, doing the best that I can do. That's what caused a hindrance to me in the past was looking too far ahead. I really am just playing one match at a time.

Q. When you spoke about the Australian Open, telling yourself that it was time to grow up, what exactly went into that?

SERENA WILLIAMS: The Australian Open, I was so very disappointed with the way I played. I didn't play well. I was practicing well, but I went there and didn't play well. I felt that I wasted my time during that January season because I could have spent some time at home with my dog. I could have done different things besides go to Australia and lose in the second round in Sydney and third round in the Australian Open. That was a waste of my time and money. I decided I could no longer travel if I was going to continue in that manner; things had to change.

Q. You say you decided.

SERENA WILLIAMS: It was my dad. No one was very happy with the results we had there. I was really planning to go there and do well. Obviously, I didn't. I think from then on, I got definitely mentally stronger instead of physically. I was able to make some dreadfully needed changes.

Q. What kind of dog do you have?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I have a Beagle mixed with Labrador and another mutt, then I have a Maltese.

Q. So it's two?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Three.

Q. What are their names?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Queen, Star, and Angle.

Q. When you say changes, are you talking about the decisions you made, different decisions?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Just changes in the way I think on the court. There are some shots I should have made that I didn't make in the past.

Q. Changing your mind?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yes. Just thinking different when I go out there, having a positive view.

Q. You're a great example.

SERENA WILLIAMS: Thank you.

Q. Yesterday's Times there's a quote from your dad how he doesn't want you going --?

SERENA WILLIAMS: LA Times?

Q. No.

SERENA WILLIAMS: Elaborate.

Q. The New York Times.

SERENA WILLIAMS: Okay.

Q. Saying he doesn't want you playing together too much, and if it hurts the results this year playing against each other in the Slams, he may start doing something different, "I may allow both of them just to play two Slams. We'll see how they feel about that one."

SERENA WILLIAMS: That doesn't sound like my dad at all. Did you get that quote directly from him?

Q. No. It's from the New York Times.

SERENA WILLIAMS: I don't know. You can't just go and skip some Slams. I definitely want to win the Slams. I want to win them all.

Q. Even if that means having to play her?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, yeah, I guess. I'm going to have to play her sometime. I mean, we're not necessarily skipping all tournaments together. We're playing like the Lipton, a lot of other tournaments like Rome. We're just playing a lot of tournaments together. Just see how it turns out.

Q. It's not unprecedented. Siblings have played against each other in other sports. Have you studied that?

SERENA WILLIAMS: No, I'm not really into studying that too much.

Q. How important was the win over Steffi for your confidence factor?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I guess you could say it was important. We had a pretty close match the last time I played her. Hopefully my results can be a little better.

End of FastScripts....

Becool
Jul 24th, 2002, 07:44 AM
THE 1999 LIPTON CHAMPIONSHIPS

KEY BISCAYNE, FLORIDA

March 23, 1999

S. WILLIAMS/M. Seles

6-2, 6-3

An interview with:

SERENA WILLIAMS

REVEN OLIVER: First question.

Q. Serena, one of your best matches ever?

Serena WILLIAMS: I think I really played solid today. I was really focused. I didn't lose serve at all, so that was what I was really looking forward to doing. I think I really did that pretty solid.

Q. Serena, how much confidence do you have right now?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Right now I'm feeling pretty confident. Who wouldn't, you know. I haven't lost a match in a little while. I'm playing tough opponents and having pretty solid wins over them. I'm feeling very confident right now. Very.

Q. Last year you had some leads, crucial matches, what's different this year for you?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Last year I was young. It was my first time playing matches against top players. This year I guess you can say I'm old.

Q. At 17?

SERENA WILLIAMS: So I'm a little more experienced. I know how to handle those. I'm determined not to lose those points anymore. That will be my own doublefault.

Q. Serena, it took you two matches to face a breakpoint, can you talk about just the focus in you to -- I mean ,in a dominating match playing a player like Seles who knows how to take advantage of those opportunities?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yes, she was really taking advantage of a lot of opportunities to get to the breakpoint. It's just I didn't want to lose serve today and I just was trying to stay focused and really hold serve, or hit a big one in, or try to get a good second serve in.

Q. Did you also plan on running her around because maybe her speed, lack of speed is a major factor?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I actually think she played very well today. I've really never seen her play this well. She probably came out really trying to play me well and I actually saw her run fast today. Any other day it was different, but today, boy, she was on the run. She got balls I really didn't expect her to get. That was my fault because I should expect everyone to get every ball.

Q. Is there anyone you fear right now?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Oh, I don't fear anyone. I fear God only.

Q. Who is better right now, you or Venus?

SERENA WILLIAMS: We are both playing very well. If we both make it to the final, I guess you'll have to see. Venus is playing awesome. I'm playing good.

Q. Serena, Venus yesterday said you just put it in your mind that you decided to win these past couple of weeks...

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, who doesn't want to decide to win.

Q. Exactly. If you can kind of break it down? What is working for you, what are you doing differently recently?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, just, like I said in all my interviews before. I just think the only thing I'm doing differently now is, I'm just thinking positive. I only have positive thoughts in my mind. I'm not thinking anything negative. I'm thinking optimistically.

Q. Perhaps you are less anxious now?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Less issues?

Q. Anxious.

SERENA WILLIAMS: Oh, yes, I guess so. Last year I had my goals set too high for me to reach it. This year I said just to win one match at a time, do the best I can do. It's good for me. Really good.

Q. A lot of time siblings, the older one has the upper hand mentally?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Oh, really?

Q. Are you concerned about that?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I never was aware of siblings having the upper hand mentally. I think that's just something that's just in a book. You can't always trust that. (Laughter)

Q. Does it make a big difference for you playing so close to home or does it influence you if you play --?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I like playing here at home because I always get to play on stadium. I like to play on the big courts, so it is exciting. I have a lot of fans here.

Q. People supporting you?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yes, I have a lot of supporters. A lot of fans in the crowd. Yes, so I like playing here a lot.

Q. Do you think you and your sister are kind of redefining the women's game with the power and the speed?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I definitely think so. We are both powerful, but we are also consistent. We both can run fast and we also have like a lot of touch. Just a lot of different things in our game. We are really setting the standards for the future generation. Tennis is always going to take a step up now that we've come along. That's good for the game.

Q. Can you talk about, I know you've heard this question before, but each time you all advance farther in a tournament or win a tournament, you all went through the process a lot differently; you didn't go through the rigors of the juniors. Can you explain how that has helped you?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I think what helped me develop was watching Venus play, win her matches, to see how people play, how people were on the tour. I was able to come on faster than what Venus was. I think that's what helped me more than anything. You have to ask her about Juniors.

REVEN OLIVER: Any other questions?

Q. Serena, you have a doubles match tomorrow I think not before 3:00.

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yes, but I'm not playing doubles tomorrow.

Q. Okay. Amanda Coetzer -- you get a lot of balls back obviously?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yes, I get a lot of balls back, too. I've been looking forward to playing her. Venus played her a couple of times. She is going to tell me how to play her. I don't have anything to lose. I'm pretty excited about it.

Q. Serena, why are you not playing doubles tomorrow, did you all withdraw or is it being delayed?

SERENA WILLIAMS: You never play a doubles before a singles match. You always play singles --.

REVEN OLIVER: It's been postponed because of her singles.

Q. Why are you wearing two watches?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Why am I wearing two watches? I always have -- I have these rubberbands on right now. I always have two watches since like last year in Australia. I used to have a green Eggs & Ham watch, now I have a Scooby-Doo watch. I Love Scooby-Doo. I watch it all the time.

Q. I know you like to take one match at a time, do you and Venus talk about it from time-to-time, meeting in the finals?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I don't like to talk about tennis when I am off the court. I like to talk about a lot of other things. Tennis is not my whole life. It is just something I do as a professional. Like when you go home, do you talk to your wife, or whatever, about -- do you talk to her about, you know, your journal all the time?

Q. Never.

SERENA WILLIAMS: No, so I don't talk about tennis all the time either. You have to have a balance.

Q. Serena, it seems like it is easy for you to get up to play your opponents, but what if it is your sister in the final, will that be -- how different would that be?

SERENA WILLIAMS: It will just be great for me to make it to the final and Venus to make it to the final and just for us both to be there. So it will just be a great experience, I think. It will be fun for me. Venus and I. It will be fun for a lot of people to watch. It will be exciting.

Q. What are your plans, if you have them already set up, for Europe this season?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I'm playing a couple of tournaments in Europe, yes.

Q. What?

SERENA WILLIAMS: What are my plans? I plan to go to Europe.

Q. Everybody knows your father is really important for you, and everything, in your life, about tennis, so where is your father, didn't he watch the game?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Was he here tonight?

Q. Yes.

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yes, he was up with Venus and he's always at a lot of my matches. He really supports me. Sometimes if I hit a bad shot I look up and he goes come on, come on. He makes me feel good.

Q. Did you talk with him after this game?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Not yet. I haven't seen him yet. I will definitely talk to him today.

Q. Did you watch Venus play, and if so, were you a little stressed out when she was struggling?

SERENA WILLIAMS: No, I didn't watch Venus play because I had my own match. I was at the hotel and they didn't show it on TV. I was stressed out about her previous match. Really stressed.

Q. Serena, tell me about this newsletter and whose idea that was and why you do it?

SERENA WILLIAMS: It was Venus' idea why don't we do it, the Tennis Monthly Recap. She just came to me and said, hey, look at this. I was like wow. So I wrote an article about -- my first article was the great Brazilian Hope, and her -- I did an article on Hanover, like the ATP Tour Championships and she did the Chase Championships. So, it was her idea and we just grew on it, and now it's getting pretty big, too big.

Q. You like being a journalist?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I do. Maybe one day you will see me in here asking questions for the Tennis Monthly recap.

Q. Do you talk about your writing on the tennis court? What's best question that you would ask yourself?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I haven't yet done an interview with Serena, so we will have to wait and see.

Q. How you feel about the Brazilian people? The Brazilian people really like you.

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I've noticed that. Long time ago, when I was playing in Sidney, I was playing Steffi, and it was so tough on me because I didn't really have any fans. Then I saw some Brazilians on the side, they were pulling for me. Whenever I see a Brazilian I always give them an autograph and a sign. I'm really nice to them. It's really great.

Q. Brazilians like to say Serena?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Serena. Serena. There is actually a new tournament in Brazil, I'm not going this year, but I'm definitely considering going next year.

Q. Serena, you are obviously not going to play every tournament, every week all year, do you see yourself wanting to do something like that, go to a tournament just to cover it?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yes, I definitely -- some tournaments, not every tournament. I go to enough.

REVEN OLIVER: Can we have last question, please.

Q. Serena, you are the girl with the most interesting funny outfit today on the tour, do you enjoy to be the focus for that?

. SERENA WILLIAMS: I think my outfit is cute. I don't think it is funny.

Q. It is cute.

SERENA WILLIAMS: Thank you.

REVEN OLIVER: Thank you.

Becool
Jul 24th, 2002, 07:48 AM
THE 1999 LIPTON CHAMPIONSHIPS

KEY BISCAYNE, FLORIDA

March 24, 1999

S. WILLIAMS/A. Coetzer

6-4, 6-0

An interview with:

SERENA WILLIAMS

BROOKE LAWER: First question for Serena.

Q. Were you happy with the way this match was going in the first set? Seemed like it was a little sloppy out there.

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I didn't play so well in the first set at all. I don't think I played so well in the first set. Yeah, it was sloppy a bit. A lot of mistakes. I didn't do the right things out there. I don't know. I guess I was a little tired in the beginning, but I was able to come through.

Q. What changed things around then?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I decided that I didn't want to miss too many more balls. I was making too many errors in the first couple games. It was a little ridiculous, so I had to stop.

Q. You haven't been broken before in this tournament. You got broken three times in the first set. Was that an indication --?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I didn't really get broken in the first set. I just ran out of time.

Q. I don't understand your answer.

SERENA WILLIAMS: I ran out of time. If I had more time, I wouldn't have been broken.

Q. Could you talk about your next round opponent?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I think I play Hingis. Yeah, we haven't played in a little while. We have a lot of business to deal with out there. It should be a good match. I don't have anything to lose. She's No. 1. I'm No. 16. Yeah, it should definitely be a good match because I haven't really heard too much about her from this tournament. I'm sure she's playing well being in the semifinals. So am I.

Q. What kind of business do you have to deal with?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I have to go out and play. I have a job next time I play.

Q. Is there anything more important in this semifinal than the fact that she's No. 1?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I don't find that so important, her being the No. 1 player. I'm going to have to play the top players, No. 1, No. 2, sooner or later. It's important that I'm ready and focused. She didn't get No. 1 by just joking around. She was serious.

Q. You say it's a while since you last played her. What differences do you think she'll find coming from across the other side of the net?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, I think I saw her mom here tonight, so I'm sure she was at my match watching me, trying to get the latest scouting report. I have hers, too. What was your question again?

Q. In another way, I'm asking you how much a better player are you now than when you last played her?

SERENA WILLIAMS: When I last played her, I couldn't play. I'm sure you can decipher the difference.

Q. Is that still in your mind, that last year when you had the two match points? Is that something you're thinking about as far as the business you have to deal with, get that off your slate?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I had two match points last year?

Q. Yes.

SERENA WILLIAMS: It must really not be on my mind.

Q. Did you feel you broke Amanda's spirit when you broke her to win the first set? Did you just pick up your game that much more in the second set?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I didn't really do much pick up my game much more. I think she was a little down. Yeah, so.

Q. Do you feel this roll could go on for quite awhile, the number of wins you've had?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, I hope it goes on for quite awhile. I hope I can keep winning. I always want to keep winning. I just want to go out there and do the best I can do. Even if I end up losing, if I played my best, gave my all, then it's okay with me. Actually, it wouldn't be. I'd go out and work harder. You know what I'm saying.

Q. Does winning make you want to work harder?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, sure. If you keep winning, you don't want anyone to beat you. You want to keep jumping up the next level, the next level, until you're the best. I'm not at the top yet.

Q. But are you working hard? Are you working harder now maybe than when you last played?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, sure. I'm playing more tournaments. I'm playing more matches. I'm working a lot harder.

Q. Do you have any time frame for getting to the top spot?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, my goals this year are just to play a match at a time. Like last year, I had too many high goals. I had too many frames set like that. I'm trying something different this year. It's working out so far. I'm going to stick with it. Play every match, every tournament, not literally every tournament, but play every match in the tournaments I play, and do the best I can just match for match, point for point, break it down.

Q. Rankings are one thing; current form over the last couple of tournaments is another. Your current form is second to none at the moment. How much confidence does that give you going into matches?

SERENA WILLIAMS: It definitely gives me a lot of confidence going into matches being in my best form I have in my career so far. It's pretty exciting I'm doing so well already. I really haven't been out that long. I guess it can make anyone feel good.

Q. Are you drained right now?

SERENA WILLIAMS: No.

Q. Is Hingis the ultimate test for you as a player at the moment?

SERENA WILLIAMS: No.

Q. What would be?

SERENA WILLIAMS: If you wouldn't know, I can't tell you.

Q. Can I guess it would be playing your sister?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Exactly. Is that it? Thanks.

Becool
Jul 24th, 2002, 07:52 AM
THE 1999 LIPTON CHAMPIONSHIPS

KEY BISCAYNE, FLORIDA

March 26, 1999

S. WILLIAMS/M. Hingis

6-4, 7-6

An interview with:

SERENA WILLIAMS

MIKE BROEKER: Questions for Serena.

Q. Is this your biggest victory?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I guess it is. I've never beaten the No. 1 player before. Now that you mention it, I guess it is my biggest victory.

Q. Were you just trying to make it interesting starting out Love-4?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Not exactly.

Q. Why did it take so long to warm up?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I don't know. I didn't make my shots that I was supposed to make. Things didn't go the way I planned in the beginning. After a while, I was able to get the rhythm and come through.

Q. Why are you playing so well?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I don't know. I worked really hard for all my life, since I was four years old. There comes a time when you have to start winning, too. I have been trying for years. It's finally paying off, all my hard work.

Q. How do you feel about playing your sister in the final?

SERENA WILLIAMS: It will be a great feeling for me because then it wouldn't really matter who won or who lost. It would be like we both won. The trophy would definitely go to our house. It would definitely be very exciting for the both of us. Venus has one more match. We'll just have to wait and see.

Q. Is it hard to keep your competitive spirit when you play each other, or does it increase?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I think actually it increases when we play each other. We really both want to win very badly. We both try our hardest. It's always pretty interesting, so.

Q. How do you usually do against her?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Oh, come on.

Q. How did you pull it around from Love-4, when you seemed to be in trouble?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, I just kept thinking, "fight," tried to get motivated. Kept thinking to myself, "fight." Before the match, Venus told me something. "If you get down, just say this to yourself." I'm like, "Okay." I started saying it, one point at a time. All I had to do was hold, break, hold, break and hold and break (laughter). Wait a minute, that doesn't sound right. I was just able to do that, hold, break, hold and break, break and hold.

Q. Some girls would be gone at Love-4, wouldn't they?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I guess so. I've never given up in my life. I just don't have that spirit in me. It's not a part of me. If it was, it's no longer.

Q. For years there's been stories about both of you, but the focus always was on Venus. That's changing now. Did that ever bother you in the past?

SERENA WILLIAMS: It never really bothered me at all. I've always been in the background. I always liked the background. It's time for me to move forward now. It's definitely time. I'm playing the best tennis I have in my young career. It's definitely time for me to be up a little more.

Q. How do you think she deals with that?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, Venus, she's always been in the front. She's still. I don't know, I guess you could say we're even now. She's always going to be Venus; I'm always going to be Serena.

Q. How is the knee?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Good, thanks.

Q. Are you going to take a rest after this?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah. I don't play tomorrow.

Q. I mean next week.

SERENA WILLIAMS: You have to elaborate. Yeah, I'm not playing for a couple of weeks. I'm going to have a little rest after this.

Q. Before you turned pro and Venus was on the Tour already, your father had a way of saying that you would be even better. Did he always tell that to you also?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Oh, my dad is a great dad. He never told me I would be better than Venus. He said that so I could make my way through, people will start paying attention to me, not just see me as Venus' younger sister, they'd see me as Serena. It's not like any dad to go up to one daughter and say, "You're going to be better than this person over here."

Q. He would say that to reporters. He would say, "Venus is good, but Serena is going to be even better."

SERENA WILLIAMS: You have to say something that's believable. It's definitely believable.

Q. You talk about believable. Can you believe 16 straight wins against some of the best players in the world?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Oh, I definitely can believe it. It's happened.

Q. Did it surprise you just a little bit, despite your confidence?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Not really. I've always expected to win. I really got tired of losing in the past. Every time I looked around, I was losing, losing and losing. So now it's time to do a little more winning. Even if I don't win, as long as I'm playing better and have people afraid to play me, that's a score right there, score.

Q. Is there any part of your game that you're not happy with right now?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I can do everything, but right now I'm not hitting my shots so well. I'm missing a lot. I'm not serving as well as I was in the beginning of the tournament. Yeah, I definitely think I can come to the net more and volley. I think my whole game can use improvement.

Q. Can you talk a little about the difference in the game if it happens to be Steffi Graf that you see?

SERENA WILLIAMS: If it happens to be Steffi, well, I played her last week, a couple weeks ago in the final. It was a very interesting final. I don't think it should have went that distance, if I had stayed focused. But now I have a lot more experience. Listen to me. I have a lot more experience under me. It should be interesting either way. I don't care who I play.

Q. Do you change your game plan depending on who it is?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Oh, most definitely. I mean, if I'm going to play Steffi, of course I'm going to have to change my game plan than if I'm going to play Venus or someone else. If you're playing someone, you always have a game plan when you go out there.

Q. Can you talk about that?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I'm not going to talk about it because she might want to read it in the paper.

Q. You said you had some business to take care of a couple days ago. Business all taken care of?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I think I've taken care of business, but not enough. Maybe next time.

Q. How much does this win mean to you, given what happened here last year?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Oh, yeah, it really means a lot to me. I definitely should have won last year also, but I was young then. Now things have changed. I'm more experienced now. I'm playing better. I'm looking better. I'm doing a lot of better things.

Becool
Jul 24th, 2002, 07:57 AM
THE 1999 LIPTON CHAMPIONSHIPS

KEY BISCAYNE, FLORIDA

March 28, 1999

V. WILLIAMS/S. Williams

6-1, 4-6, 6-4

An interview with:

SERENA WILLIAMS

VERONIQUE MARCHAL: Questions.

Q. Does it get any easier emotionally to play your sister?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I guess you guys had a lot more emotions than what Venus and I did. I mean, I really wasn't that emotionally involved today, so, not necessarily.

Q. Was it as easy to focus against her as it would have been against some other opponent?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah. I mean, especially after a little while, you want to win. You're thinking, "I can win." You're not thinking about who's actually over there. You're actually just thinking about you being the player. I looked over at her sometimes, and I didn't consider her Venus or my sister; I just considered her an opponent.

Q. Seemed like in the second game of the second set, you put some emphasis on your second shots. Jump-started your game.

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, really tried to come out with a different plan because obviously my plan wasn't working and she was getting a lot of balls back, forcing me to hit the errors trying to go for a better shot. But I really tried -- even if the first game of the second set, I tried something different. And it was working, but just not in that game. But I knew if I kept doing it, then I would be able to come through.

Q. Even though it was not emotional, are you glad now that this first final together is over, you don't have to face this anymore?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, sure I'm glad it's over. I wouldn't want to still be out on the court right now. I think I'd be lying down. Venus would have to come over and help me up. So, yeah, sure. I'm definitely looking forward to another final with Venus. It's great to play her in the final because it's like what we've always dreamed of. Always dreamed of seeing her on the other side of the net instead of someone else. So now that my game is taken to a different level, I'm playing better, winning more matches, it's going to happen more.

Q. Was there anytime today that you realized you just weren't practicing against each other, that this was a real deal? Was it obvious from the start?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I realized that when I first walked out there and hit the first warm-up ball. I realized, "Hey, this is not a practice match." I never even thought of it as a practice match. Maybe you did, but I didn't.

Q. What does Venus bring out in your game that you don't necessarily have to deal with with a lot of the other players?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, I think she brings out just me having to hit a lot more shots because she gets a lot of balls back. And I have to really, really play a lot of shots. Usually I hit -- usually, like against Martina Hingis, she's a pretty fast player, too, but not like Venus. Venus is not only fast, but she just has a long reach. Even if she doesn't hit a good shot, she'll just get it back.

Q. What did you two say to each other at the net after the match?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Venus just said -- I don't remember. I just shook her hand, yeah. You mean directly after the match during the handshake or later on?

Q. As soon as the match was over, at the net.

SERENA WILLIAMS: Usually when I play people, I just say, "Good job."

Q. There was nothing different today?

SERENA WILLIAMS: No. Maybe she said something I don't remember, but no.

Q. You worked so hard to get to 4-All in the third set, then you lose eight of nine points, mostly on errors. Was it mental fatigue? Physical fatigue?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I think I just really made a lot of errors, like eight or nine. That was really out of control there. I should have got more balls in play and just played better. I went for too much, too soon. Maybe I should have tried coming to the net or just do something a little different.

Q. Did you put pressure on yourself feeling had you to make certain shots more so than you would in other matches?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Not necessarily, no. You have to know when you're playing Venus, she's a great player. You have to know when you're playing me, I'm a great awesome player, too.

Q. Your dad said that you didn't play up to your potential. Are you disappointed with the way you played?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I mean, I definitely didn't play very well at all. I was making way too many errors. Seems like I couldn't keep many balls in play. It just wasn't the same Serena like the rest of my 16 matches.

Q. Were you always aware that you were playing Venus or did it drop out of your mind at some point?

SERENA WILLIAMS: When I'm playing someone, I don't think about who I'm playing. I'm just playing the ball. I'm not playing my opponent. Doesn't matter who I play, when I play them, where I play them. I wasn't necessarily thinking, "Oh, I'm playing Venus." No, I wasn't thinking that.

Q. Your dad told us that he couldn't watch, he was close to crying.

SERENA WILLIAMS: Really?

Q. Yes. I'm just wondering if at any point today, has there been anything out of the ordinary for you or the sister or the family? Are you surprised to hear that about your pop?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I guess so. I guess he had his reasons to why he was almost to tears. He's worked so hard with Venus and I since I was four and Venus was five, or whatever. I mean, he's done so much for us. Just to see us succeed like this, in his dreams, it must be a very emotional time for him and my mom. It's really amazing for him seeing us grow and just grooming us into champions. It must be a great feeling for him. So I can imagine.

Q. You and Venus haven't said anything out of the ordinary today, breakfast, anytime?

SERENA WILLIAMS: What do you mean "out of the ordinary"?

Q. Have you talked about how big this is?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I don't consider it that big. I guess it is. I don't know.

Q. When we watch you played in the semifinals, both of you were very emotional, pumped up when you hit a great shot. In this one I saw a couple of fists from you. But neither of you showed much emotion when you did something really well. Do you have to think about that, subconsciously maybe?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I didn't really hit many shots, that's why I didn't have many fist pumps. If I had hit some great shots, things might have been different for me. Maybe for Venus, it might have been different. I don't know what the stats are, but I don't remember too many winners throughout the match.

Q. Was it hard to play Venus because she knows your game so well?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I guess in a way it is because she knows my game very well. I know her game extremely well. When you play an opponent that knows exactly what you're going to do, the exact moves you're going to make, it's going to be tough definitely.

Q. Who is going to write this for your newsletter?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I'm trying to decide if I should do a story on Serena or Venus. I'm not sure.

Q. You said you're looking forward to meeting in more finals. There's only so many Slams, but playing in the lesser tournaments, could it hinder your progress if you keep knocking each other out, as far as your goal to be No. 1 and 2 or No. 1 and 1?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I don't understand what you're --.

Q. If you keep knocking each other out early in tournaments.

SERENA WILLIAMS: Like before the final?

Q. Right.

SERENA WILLIAMS: Oh, okay. I didn't understand that.

Q. In smaller tournaments as opposed to the Slams.

SERENA WILLIAMS: Can you repeat the question, please (laughter)?

Q. Obviously, there's so many Slams you both have to play those. In the smaller tournaments, would it be better to play in different places as opposed to knocking each other out?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, I don't know. I guess so. We try to do a lot of things alike. We like to go to the same places a lot. It's just going to depend on how the draw is picked sometimes. It so happens at this tournament that we were picked on different sides of the draw.

Q. Your dad said that the family hired some psychologists who said that tennis is a sport that can be disruptive to a family, that's why he didn't want you to play each other that much. What's your reaction to that? Do you think your relationship with Venus is going to be affected by you playing her a lot more?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I can't necessarily say that our relationship is going to be affected by tennis. We have a strong background, we're Jehovah's Witnesses, we really believe that family comes first, not a game that's going to last ten years at the most. I don't know if I'm going to be playing ten years. It can last. Why would I want that to become between someone who has always been around, always been a very special friend for me. I couldn't imagine that. I definitely don't think she could either. I don't think, no matter how many times we play each other, I could never say that it would affect my relationship with Venus.

Becool
Jul 24th, 2002, 08:02 AM
*phew!*

More tomorrow :o :)

Becool
Aug 4th, 2002, 05:02 PM
1999 U.S. OPEN CHAMPIONSHIP
Flushing Meadows, New York

August 31, 1999

S. WILLIAMS/K. Po

6-1, 6-0

AN INTERVIEW WITH

SERENA WILLIAMS

Q. That looked like that went pretty quick.

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, it was.

Q. Were you anticipating it to be that quick?

SERENA WILLIAMS: You never anticipate a match to be that quick. You just go out and try to do your best and stay focused as much as you can.

Q. How were the courts playing? I understand they are moving really fast out there?

SERENA WILLIAMS: They are really fast, actually. Deep balls that come really fast. They are really fast courts.

Q. Is that to your liking?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I don't care. I'm just ready to go either way.

Q. Venus was talking yesterday about how she's seen more and more African Americans coming out and watching tennis and that's something that she's become more and more aware of?

SERENA WILLIAMS: There's a lot more African American people coming out and watching our matches, and matches, period. It's definitely becoming more of a universal sport. That's really great.

Q. How would it feel to play your sister in this tournament? What would that be like for you?

SERENA WILLIAMS: That would be really exciting, because either way, one of us would be able to win our first Grand Slam. I'm six matches away.

Q. When you guys play against each other in practice a lot?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Not really. We hit together a lot and we practice together. We don't really compliment each other. We play left-handed sometimes and that's it.

Q. If you did meet her, what would you do to beat her? What do you see as a weakness?

SERENA WILLIAMS: In case she reads the paper, I'm not going to tell you. (Laughter.)

Q. Who is better left-handed?

SERENA WILLIAMS: It's tough to say. We would be split all the time. At first, I was winning a lot, and then she won a few; so, we're kind of even. No one can slice my backhand; I can't hit it.

Q. How do you feel about Pete withdrawing?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I was definitely disappointed when I heard. At first, I didn't believe it myself because I thought it was a joke. And to be quite honest, my heart missed a beat when I heard he pulled out. I was very, very disappointed.

Q. Venus said that she feels as though when she's on her game, nobody can beat her. Do you share the same sort of feeling from your standpoint, and is confidence perhaps the greatest trait that you and your sister share?

SERENA WILLIAMS: When I am on my game, nobody can beat me, and I think it's impossible for anyone to have a chance against me when I'm playing my best.

Q. Including Venus?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Anyone.

Q. So if you're both at your best, you expect to win?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I would. I definitely would. I'm sure she would; so, that would be a very good match.

Q. Yesterday, your dad said he missed most of the match because he was eating a hamburger and wanted to finish it. Was he having dinner tonight during your match?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I don't know. I'm not sure.

Q. Was he out there?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I don't think I saw him there, but I'm sure he was somewhere watching. My dad, he does a great deal with us during practice -- in practice he's done all he can do; so it's up to us out there in the match. He's been coaching us all of our lives; so, it's up to us now.

Q. Venus designs her own outfits. Do you do the same?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I did a few, but they didn't want to use my designs. (Laughter.)

Q. Why not?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I don't know. I'm going to try to get some better designs. I think they are really nice, myself, but I'll get some better ones. I'll design some more.

Q. Were you a little surprised at how easily you kind of dismantled Po?

SERENA WILLIAMS: The score was pretty surprising, I guess, because I played her before and I lost. I was really young then. I think I was 15 or 16. It was when I first came out; so, I knew that she was a pretty good player and had beaten me before and it was going to be a good match. So I guess I kind of dominated today. I returned very well. I don't think I played that great, but I was really returning well and I was serving okay. Other than that, I could use a lot of work with this tournament.

Q. Why did you choose to go with Wilson?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Wilson definitely makes the best racquets. We used Wilson when we were younger. When we lived in California we were like eight, nine that age. They are the best for me. They really make a great product. I like to use a lot of power. The racquet I use is really light, and I can get an unbelievable amount of power on the ball. It really suits me and my body and I really love those.

Q. Did you work closely with them before you decided?

SERENA WILLIAMS: We worked really close for 18 months trying to get the perfect racquet for me and what suited me best.

Q. Can we expect to see a Serena Williams autograph racquet soon?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Oh, yes, it's definitely we're working on getting one out for juniors, like the little junior racquets for kids, and little ones also. I'm really excited. It's going to be really cool. I think I'll get one myself.

Becool
Aug 4th, 2002, 05:10 PM
1999 U.S. OPEN CHAMPIONSHIP
Flushing Meadows, New York

September 2, 1999

S. WILLIAMS/ J. Kostanic

6-4, 6-2

An interview with:

SERENA WILLIAMS

Q. She was pretty tough, huh? Do you feel like you had to play well to win the match?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Definitely. She was definitely a good player. As everyone's playing these days. No one is kidding and no one's joking anyone. Whenever you play, you have to go out and play.

Q. Were you happy with how you played? You didn't make too many errors.

SERENA WILLIAMS: I really didn't play so well today. I think I made way too many errors. I didn't get enough first serves in. I was pretty erratic, and kind of not playing that great. But... I came out with the big "W."

Q. Is there less pressure on you from the media, from the fans, from the family, to win than your sister?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I wouldn't -- I wouldn't say there's any pressure on either me or Venus. I think that any pressure that's put on either of us, it would definitely be the one that we put on ourselves. I don't think being younger has anything to do with it. It's just about who's playing well and who's not.

Q. Are you approaching this Grand Slam like any other tournament, or do you feel like you have to mentally prepare in another way because it's a Slam?

SERENA WILLIAMS: You definitely have to do a lot of mental preparation and be really focused and just get real serious. I'm trying to be more mentally focused than what I have been in the past and try and be more serious than what I've been.

Q. Yesterday, Martina Hingis talked about your father's comments about you and Venus being in the Finals. She said they all have big mouths, or something to that effect. Does that offend you, or do you shrug it off? How do you react to that?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, I mean I really don't -- that's just her problem. She's always been the type of person that -- she says things, just speaks her mind. I guess it has a little bit to do with not having a formal education. But you just have to somehow just think more, you have to use your brain a little more in the tennis world. She does that well on the court. She's No. 1. She's doing very well. But, I mean, I just don't have anything negative to say about anyone. It just literally does not pay to say anything negative and bad about anyone. So... That's her opinion and she's entitled to her -- everyone is entitled to their own separate opinion. Obviously she's No. 1 so she can say whatever she would like to say. I personally don't think my mouth is big, if you're looking at it. (Laughter.)

Q. Would something like that motivate you more if you were to eventually face her?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I've already been motivated before, just to play the best I can against everyone. So... It doesn't matter. I just go out and play my best, just do the best that I can do.

Q. You brought up the notion of a formal education. How has your formal education helped you in the tennis world?

SERENA WILLIAMS: It's really helped me to realize that tennis isn't everything. There's so much more beyond tennis. You could break a leg any day and you never know what's going to happen. My dad always tries to stress education. I believe education is really important. I just -- I really just do the best I can to go farther -- further my education and my mental development.

Q. What was your education this summer, your school this summer?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I haven't gone to school this summer but I am going to school this fall. But usually I'm always learning new languages. I'm learning Portuguese right now. I'm going to learn Spanish next. I always try to keep my brain focused on something. I don't like to get too much involved with a lot of nonsense. I like to be a little focused a little more.

Q. What kind of school are you going to?

SERENA WILLIAMS: An art school for fashion design. I'm also going to take psychology classes. Maybe I can help some of you guys. (Laughter)

Q. Thank you so much. (Laughter.) In which, the fashion or the psychology? (Laughter)

SERENA WILLIAMS: Both.

Q. Is this in the Palm Beach area?

SERENA WILLIAMS: It's in, like, it's in the south Florida area, yeah.

Q. So do you have your high school degree now?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yes, I do. I was pretty excited when I got my diploma. A lot of people can't say that, but I guess they pursue other things. In a way, I guess it's better for them. For instance like Martina Hingis, she was No. 1 when she was 16. That's something I've never done personally. I still haven't won a Grand Slam and she's won five. She's pursued other things, I'm pursuing education. I'm catching up in tennis, though.

Q. When did you complete your course work for the degree?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I graduated last year in December. So I graduated a little young. I was working really hard. So I was 17 when I graduated. It was cool.

Q. Everybody wants you and Venus together just because you're sisters and both on the tennis Tour. How are you guys different, your personality?

SERENA WILLIAMS: We're different in a lot of ways. I think I'm a little more outgoing but yet at the same time more introverted than she is. It's a little weird.

Q. Explain that. What does that mean?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Okay, it's -- okay, I'm more outgoing. I would say more to more people. But at the same time, I'm introverted. If we have a conversation, I wouldn't talk as much as Venus would. She's definitely less outgoing. I guess many of you can see that. In a way, she's more extroverted than I am. Capishe (ph)?

Q. You're more likely to make the initial contact and then she'll start talking?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Right.

Q. What's the name of the school you graduated from?

SERENA WILLIAMS: It was a private school, Driftwood Academy, in Florida. A private school.

Q. Both you and your sister have such a strong mental approach to the game. Do you think that having these other ambitions, going to school, studying fashion and having ambitions beyond tennis, do you think that helps you to sort of put tennis in perspective, you know, it's not your everything? Do you think that helps you mentally in the game; having a world outside of it?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yes, definitely. I think sometimes having a world outside, but then sometimes also if you're too much involved outside, you -- it's too much because you have to realize this is your profession. And you have to take this important -- this foremost because this is what I've done for all my life. I have to realize that. So it's fun. It's important to have fun outside of tennis but it's also important to stay focused in what you're doing. That's why I can only go to school in the fall, because I only play a few tournaments.

Q. Speaking of school, Venus hasn't entered into any tournaments this fall, has she?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I don't know. I thought she was. Maybe she isn't.

Q. If that's the case, if you have to concentrate on your profession, is it a -- do you think it's a little bit of a mistake to not play from September to December?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I'm playing tournaments between that time. I don't know about her. I usually don't play that many tournaments to start out anyway. I don't have that many points to defend this fall. If I can just play a few and go ahead and be serious and take the titles, then that's all I need to do.

Q. Can you think of anything in all your education and studies where you said, hey, this can really translate to tennis or can really help me in the tennis world?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I was always able to relate to psychology and physics, kind of in a way. You know, everything in physics is just -- it just relates just to everything, you know, which is kind of weird. I guess -- I don't know. I don't want to get too much into that. I used to love physics, it was great. I really enjoyed the classes. So.

Q. You said education helped you but there are things beyond tennis. Does that suggest maybe you don't plan on having a very long career in tennis?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I don't -- I can't see myself ten years from now in here. But I know Steffi Graf, when she was younger, she said the same thing and she was here ten years later. So I really don't know. I mean right now I can't see it but I'm not going to have a myopic view and say I'm not going to be here because you never know in the future.

Q. Where are you going to be in ten years?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Where am I going to be in ten years?

Q. Where do you see yourself if you're not right here?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I see myself definitely as a fashion designer, I will probably have a couple clothes -- I'm into wedding dresses as well as a lot of other things. I'm trying to add color to wedding dresses but I'm into other things as well.

Q. What color?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I mean pure white, but some trims. I mean with a lavender, even a black and red, burgundy trim around it. I think that will be really nice.

Q. Are you going to suggest to Mary Joe you'll help pick out her wedding dress?

SERENA WILLIAMS: We talked about that. But she already had her dress picked out.

Q. Venus said she was envious of her] Sister. You get to go to college.

SERENA WILLIAMS: She did? I think Venus likes college more than I. I'm nervous about going. It's been a while since I've been in school. I think she's going to really help me with my classes. Hopefully, we'll be in the same classes and she can really help me out. It's going to be an experience.

Q. What's the school that you're going to in the fall for fashion and psychology?

SERENA WILLIAMS: It's just in south Florida, just an art school?

Q. Which one, do you know?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Fort Lauderdale. It's in Fort Lauderdale.

Q. From the time that Venus made her debut in '97 here, your father's been saying that, you know, wait till Serena comes along, she's even better. She's going to be better. What do you feel about that when you hear that, and do you agree?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I always believe in myself, and of course I'm going to agree that I'm doing the best I can. You cannot underestimate anyone. Venus is playing great. Everyone's playing their best. So my dad has been right all along, all these years. I've been a super riser, I've risen very fast. And I just look forward to just going farther and reaching the top spot and do the best that I can do.

Q. (Inaudible) Did you hit the storm in Manhattan Beach?

SERENA WILLIAMS: No, I didn't. I had to buy some furniture. I'm very disappointed. I wasn't able to get anything.

Q. Except furniture.

SERENA WILLIAMS: Thank you.

Becool
Aug 4th, 2002, 05:15 PM
1999 U.S. OPEN
Flushing Meadows, New York City

September 3, 1999

S. WILLIAMS-V. WILLIAMS/A. Coetzer-I. Gorrochategui

6-7, 6-4, 6-4

An interview with:

SERENA WILLIAMS & VENUS WILLIAMS

WTA: Questions for Venus and Serena.

Q. What's the best part of being the Williams sisters?

VENUS WILLIAMS: I love being me. I wouldn't change it. I can't pick anyone else out.

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah. You always have a friend around. You always have someone to hang out with, always do everything with.

Q. Did you know your father was going to ask Martina Hingis for her autograph?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Did she give it to him?

Q. She gave him a T-shirt.

SERENA WILLIAMS: That's nice, yeah.

Q. But you haven't been asked for your autograph by Mrs. Hingis?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I'm sure she'll come up soon.

VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah.

Q. Venus, your dad told us you have the flu; he doesn't want you to be playing doubles. Can you deal with both of those aspects of the effects on your singles game at this point in the tournament?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Definitely so . I think I'm able to handle it. But I'm not feeling too fatigued right now when I'm playing on the court. So if I feel that the doubles holds me back, I guess I'll have to pull out of the event. But so far, so good.

Q. Did you give any thought to not playing doubles after your dad told you, "I don't think you should"? He said he told you this before the tournament.

VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, I did. I was feeling tired. But once I get out on the court, I feel okay. I feel okay till I start sitting down. Once I start playing, I feel great.

Q. Are you running a temperature?

VENUS WILLIAMS: I don't think so.

Q. He said you have a fever, runny nose, the works.

VENUS WILLIAMS: Well, sometimes I feel hot, but I'm not sure if I have a temperature. I don't think I have a temperature.

Q. Do you have any regrets at this point about entering the doubles?

VENUS WILLIAMS: No, I love doubles. Serena and I have won Grand Slam doubles. We love it. No one else has that title.

Q. Serena, did he give you the advice not to play doubles also to focus on the singles because for both of you this is such a good opportunity at The Open?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, he told us both, he recommended to us, but in the end, he said it was our decision, so. I don't know. We'll see. So far I'm feeling good. I think Venus is feeling good. Just have to see.

Q. Do you plan to play any more mixed doubles?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I'm retired.

VENUS WILLIAMS: I haven't really -- yeah. We really kind of retired. We got all the titles that we could get.

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah.

Q. Serena, do you keep Venus at arm's length because you don't want to catch whatever she's got?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I think I actually passed it to her because I had it first.

VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah. Kind of got worse with me. I don't know why.

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah.

VENUS WILLIAMS: Did you have it last week?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah. I had it at the beginning. I just recovered.

Q. People are still talking about your wonderful Wimbledon quarterfinal, where you did come up short, but what quality that Steffi has do you think will be missed? What did she really bring to the game?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Well, people loved watching her play. She just became someone that people were used to seeing. When you think of tennis, when people come out to see tennis, they want to see Steffi. It's like something that's always been there all this time. So now people will probably just feel like something's missing because Steffi's not here.

Q. Your dad says that he would talk to both of you about emulating Steffi, her work ethic, her professionalism. Could you talk about that for a moment?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah. My dad was reading an article about Steffi and said her coach, I believe it was Pavel -- I was reading the paper, and it said - I'm being redundant here (laughter) - that she never had one bad practice. He showed me that article. He said that I should try to emulate that, try to be like that, just go on the court and never have one bad practice. That's what he really admired about Steffi.

Q. Do you think it was necessary to have this display with your dad and Martina to show there was no ill will? Is there any ill will between you two sisters and Martina Hingis?

SERENA WILLIAMS: We are philanthropists and we love everyone.

VENUS WILLIAMS: I would have to agree.

SERENA WILLIAMS: We're the philanthropists. We love everyone.

Q. And your thoughts on your dad getting involved in this publicly?

SERENA WILLIAMS: We love him, too.

VENUS WILLIAMS: Great guy, wow (laughter).

Q. What do you think of him getting together with Martina in this public show of affection?

VENUS WILLIAMS: My dad is friendly with everyone. He's the most friendly, outgoing person. He'll talk for hours after hours of hours, if you have the time. That's just the way he is, no matter who it is.

Q. Do you ever tell your dad, "Cool it, don't talk that much to the media, don't talk about my flu or not playing doubles, any disputes with another player"?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, I wouldn't have said anything about my flu. But he said it, okay, no problem. I'm not going to tell him what to do. It's his life. He's a parent. He's doing what he loves. That's making sure we're okay.

Q. What does Oracene think about all this?

VENUS WILLIAMS: We're all just together.

SERENA WILLIAMS: We all kind of think alike.

VENUS WILLIAMS: Yes.

SERENA WILLIAMS: What are you thinking (laughter)?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Whatever you're thinking.

SERENA WILLIAMS: See (laughter).

Q. So Billie Jean says that you should be Venus and you should be Serena and forget the Williams sisters. What are your thoughts about all that?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I mean, I definitely agree that I'm Serena and she's Venus. But we're always together. We always get along. It's like she's just a best friend.

VENUS WILLIAMS: I think that it's not us that say Williams sisters. When they say, Who are you? I don't say, Williams sisters.

SERENA WILLIAMS: That doesn't make sense.

VENUS WILLIAMS: You guys are writing Williams sisters, so you guys are making us plural now. I'm just one person.

Q. Was it funny timing that your dad had this press conference with Martina while your match was going on?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Oh, really?

VENUS WILLIAMS: I don't know anything about it. I was out there playing tennis. We were fighting.

Q. Did a doctor diagnose your condition as the flu?

VENUS WILLIAMS: No. He said it could be --.

SERENA WILLIAMS: -- A Serena virus.

VENUS WILLIAMS: Or more or less a cold or infection, something of that nature. I don't think it's a flu. If it is a flu, I'm not feeling like it exactly.

Q. Are you on antibiotics?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, I'm supposed to be taking them.

Q. You are taking them or you're supposed to be?

VENUS WILLIAMS: I'm supposed to be. I kind of forget.

Q. Are you sleeping well or not?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Yes, I sleep well.

Q. Did you feel a hundred percent out on the court today? You mentioned if things got to a certain stage, you might consider not playing doubles to focus on the singles. How bad do you have to feel before you would really consider not playing doubles?

VENUS WILLIAMS: I would just have to feel just to the point where I'm just tired and I can't run or I feel like I can't put the full effort in because I'm just too tired. But right now, I'm not feeling really tired.

Q. Serena, last year you turned the tables on us and asked us the origin of the word "ghetto." This year I brought my dictionary.

SERENA WILLIAMS: Really?

VENUS WILLIAMS: It's an Italian word.

Q. There you go, the Venice ghetto?

VENUS WILLIAMS: The first ghetto was in Italy, Venice.

Q. Well, some say Venice, some say Russia. Are you going to have a word this year?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I'll think of a word for you guys in the next press conference. I'll have a word for you. I know you love it, so I'll make sure I have one.

Q. What's the status of the newsletter?

VENUS WILLIAMS: The editors have been on strike.

SERENA WILLIAMS: Chief editors are on strike.

VENUS WILLIAMS: There's been a couple disputes about cover stories.

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah.

VENUS WILLIAMS: Type of interviews. Right now we're working with a labor union, too.

Q. Are you going to ever include an interview with a sports writer in your newsletter?

VENUS WILLIAMS: If you want to be interviewed, okay, just submit it.

SERENA WILLIAMS: Submit it TMRECAP@AOL.COM.

Q. Any feeling you have with Pete Sampras and Patrick Rafter out, a lot of focus away of the men, such glamour players being out, that you kind of have to take things a step further to exalt the game right now?

VENUS WILLIAMS: We were sad that Pete had to pull out. That's really tough. He had to be in a lot of pain. But I don't know --.

SERENA WILLIAMS: It's okay (patting Venus' shoulder).

VENUS WILLIAMS: Thank you. The men's game was doing good. I still think it is. I think people are just as interested almost, just about. The ladies still have the appeal because there's so much going on.

Q. How much attention do you think is on you right now?

VENUS WILLIAMS: I don't know. You tell me. A lot (laughter).

Q. You guys going to go to Stanford to play Fed Cup?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah. We're scheduled to go.

VENUS WILLIAMS: We're trying to go. We want to.

SERENA WILLIAMS: I don't know if the team is picked yet. I think they're still picking the team.

VENUS WILLIAMS: If they'll have us, we'll be there.

Becool
Aug 4th, 2002, 05:24 PM
1999 U.S. OPEN
Flushing Meadows, New York City

September 4, 1999

S. WILLIAMS/K. Clijsters

4-6, 6-2, 7-5

An interview with:

SERENA WILLIAMS

WTA: Questions for Serena.

Q. Did you expect it to be this tough?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah. I've seen her play before at Wimbledon. I know she played well. She's young. When you're young, you're really not feeling it. Especially when you're playing a higher seed, you have nothing to lose. I knew I was in for a good match. I was very well prepared.

Q. Down 5-3 in the third set, she was serving for the match. What was going through your head?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I was thinking, "This can't happen to me. Why me?" I was just really tired of having to go out all the time early. I just wanted to take it one point at time. That's when my determination really kicked in. I really was determined at that point.

Q. Did you ever think you were going to lose during the match?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I never think -- no matter if I'm down 6-0, 5-0, Love-40, I never think I'm going to lose until the point is over. Then it's really like stunning for me, it's just really amazing for me, because it's weird that I actually lost. I never think about that.

Q. Did you expect her to get tight at that point or did you say to yourself, "I'm going to play aggressive"?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I just said to myself, "I'm going to play the way I've been taught to play." I don't think she got tight at all. I think I came up with several winners, I think four winners. I came up with four big serves.

Q. What was it about her game that kept you off balance in that first set?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I was just really, throughout the whole match, making way too many errors, to be quite honest. She was just making her shots. She was hitting the lines all the time. It's kind of difficult to play someone who every ball hits the line. I mean, I could have definitely played a lot better just all around, especially serving.

Q. What did it mean to you in your development and mentally to be able to come down from 3-5, win I think 12 straight points and be able to pull out a match like that?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, that's really good for me because I've always been very determined. I've always been able to come back. That was okay. It really means a lot because now that I'm able to do it in the larger tournaments, not just smaller tournaments. I want to be able to do it in bigger tournaments also, so that was very important.

Q. To survive this, do you think it's meant to be you're going to go far?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I am just taking it one match at a time. I'm not looking too far ahead in the draw. I'm focusing on every match. As you can see today, everybody is here to win. So am I. I'm just taking it one match at a time.

Q. When you got your first serve in, you were pretty unstoppable. What happened in that stretch when you didn't get many first serves?

SERENA WILLIAMS: The whole match (laughter)? I don't think I got any serves throughout the whole match. I'm going to work on that. Actually, I'm going to hit today. Actually, it was ridiculous the way I was serving out there. Finally, the last couple games I got four good serves in. Other than that, I was only kidding myself.

Q. How happy was your father? He looked really excited on television.

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I guess he was very excited. I know I was. I was pretty stoked.

Q. Did he say anything to you after the match?

SERENA WILLIAMS: No. He was just like, "Good job." I did good.

Q. Any thoughts on your next opponent, Conchita?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I'm ready to play her. I played her before on the clay. I haven't played her on the hard. I know she rallies a lot and she runs super fast. She can do everything: she can hit lobs and slice and dropshots. I have to make sure I'm ready.

Q. Do you ever remember closing a match out with a run like that? You won like 16 of the last 17 points.

SERENA WILLIAMS: No, definitely not. That was definitely pretty magnificent the way I was able to be determined and come back and just really stay focused like that. I think that was really great. I don't recall having done that before, so that's good for me.

Q. How much did you know about her? Had you ever seen her?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I saw her play at Wimbledon. She played Steffi Graf. I'm glad I saw that match. I knew she was a tough player. She's young and she's doing her best. She's pretty big. She's a big girl.

Q. What do you think of the atmosphere in Armstrong? The crowd was not really always on your side.

SERENA WILLIAMS: I'm used to that everywhere I play, no matter where I go. I think it was pretty good actually. Usually, they're all against me, so. This is pretty good. This is better than usual. I think the crowd were pretty much on my side. If the crowd is against me, I'm used to it. I was playing one time in Paris, in my first tournament. The whole crowd, because I was playing Amelie Mauresmo in the final. It was a French person, so the whole crowd, take my mom, my hitting partner, were against me. When I was able to pull that through, I said, "Serena, you're able to pull out anything if you can do that."

Q. Do you think it might be a beginning of a love story between the US Open fans and you?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I think so, definitely. I like the US Open. They're one of the few people that do support me at times. Your greatest support is going to come from your own racquet.

Q. How much of your success do you suppose relates to your mental toughness that you showed there today?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I definitely think it relates a lot to my mental toughness because if you're not mentally there, it's really hard to come out and do anything. You really have to be mentally focused.

Q. Why do you think people don't support you at different places?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I don't know. I mean, usually when you're overseas, they support their own players. It's not like America, like Steffi Graf can come over here and she has all the support. She's a great player, though. So I can understand that. It's just like that. I don't know. It's okay.

Q. Where do you get the most support other than here? Maybe Australia the first year?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah. I really realized that Australians really support me. I went there this year, and they were very supportive. I saw lots of little girls with beads in their hair. I was actually very surprised at all the support I received from Australia. Besides New York, then I would say the Australians.

Q. Do you remember ever coming back from losing the first set? I know you've gone to some three-setters that you've won. Usually you won the first set. Do you remember any where you lost the first set?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah. This is actually not my biggest comeback. I actually have a bigger comeback. This is the best comeback because it's actually in a Slam. I lost first set 6-2 -- 6-1, down 5-2, 15-40. I came back to win the match. I mean, it wasn't a Slam. It definitely wasn't as big.

Q. Against who?

SERENA WILLIAMS: It was against Lindsay at Sydney.

Q. That was this year?

SERENA WILLIAMS: That was last year. She won Sydney this year.

Q. Still upset about that?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yes. I'm still sensitive about that. Very sensitive subject.

Becool
Aug 4th, 2002, 05:31 PM
1999 U.S. OPEN CHAMPIONSHIP
Flushing Meadows, New York

September 6, 1999

S. WILLIAMS/C. Martinez

4-6, 6-2, 6-2

An interview with:

SERENA WILLIAMS

WTA: Questions for Serena.

Q. Little fright in the first set or just a matter of making some adjustments?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, basically just a matter of making some adjustments, getting my consistency together, getting myself together basically.

Q. Was she on top of her game? Were you able to test the best Conchita Martinez?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I played her better. She was definitely playing better than what she was in the past. She's definitely improved a lot. She was playing a lot better. I don't know if she was playing her best. I don't know, but she was doing pretty well.

Q. How was it out there with the weather? Seems tropical out there.

SERENA WILLIAMS: It was kind of sticky out there. It was really humid. But I'm used to that weather because I live in Florida. It doesn't matter.

Q. Your thoughts on facing Monica in the next round?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Really looking forward to it. I love playing Monica. It's a great match. Whenever we play, it's always very intense and very fun. So I'm looking forward to it.

Q. Do you think in some ways it helps you to be tested the way you haven't in the last couple of rounds, having to escape from 3-5 in the last round, dropping a set today? As you go ahead, not just here, but in your career, to have these kinds of tests where you have to really -- gut checks?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I think these kinds of tests are important if they should happen. It can also kind of cut your career short.

Q. Why is that?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Playing too many hours out in the sun, it will definitely cut your career short. I have to get more serious, unless I want to have a shorter career. Two years, I'm out (laughter). That's a little exaggeration.

Q. What was it like out there with all the airplane noise? Was that distracting at all?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I don't remember the airplanes being that bad the day before. I don't know what was going on. There was so many passing over. Didn't bother me. I'm from Compton, California. I'm used to that, really.

Q. Do jets go over from LAX over Compton?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Kind of, sort of. There's just all kinds of other activities going on. People in the background playing basketball. There was just a lot of things happening usually. I really had no problem with it.

Q. When you face somebody like Monica Seles, does that really pump you up? Does that get you psyched?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, because now I don't have anything to lose. She's ranked better than what I am. I really don't have anything to lose. I'm really looking forward to it. It gets me more psyched up and pumped up. I tend to play better. I'm really looking forward.

Q. As you advance and this tournament goes on, is your mental approach any different? Are you more nervous because you're playing Monica than you were for the first or second round? Does it kind of rachet up every round?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Actually, I think it gets less. In the beginning rounds, it's like you're supposed to win, you have to win; whereas, the farther you get, it's more or less either the fact that you're going to win, like that. I think in the earlier rounds it might be a little more tougher than the quarterfinals or the semifinals.

Q. This is your first Grand Slam which you come in as a seeded player. Does that carry an added burden?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I was seeded at the French Open. I was seeded at Wimbledon, so.

Q. But you withdrew from Wimbledon.

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah.

Q. Compared to last year, you come in this year, expectations are certainly higher. Is that added pressure or motivation?

SERENA WILLIAMS: There's no pressure on me. I don't have any pressure on me at all. I guess motivation, I don't know. I couldn't say because I'm seeded 6 this year I'm really motivated. I guess, so. It definitely doesn't add any pressure at all.

Q. Now that Steffi has retired and Jana Novotna announced her retirement, you and Venus are getting a lot of night matches, matches on show courts. Do you sense that the Tour is now different for you, you're now more prime time?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I don't know. I always kind of tended to play on the show courts, really. It's really sad that we're losing two great players. They were both great for their times; had a lot of Slams between them.

Q. Do you have a favorite recollection about Jana?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I like her voice. It's the sweetest voice I've ever heard. It's like so light. You think someone with her stature, her size, how long she's been around on the Tour and stuff, I never realized that her voice was like that.

Q. Is she a pretty tough doubles player?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Oh, yeah, she's really good in doubles. She's great. In singles, too.

Q. She had a terrific, delicate serve-and-volley game. A lot of the younger players are baseline bashers. Do you see the serve-and-volley in the future fading away? Do you think young players will emulate her style?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I think it's fading away. I think maybe the next generation is going to bring it back, incorporate it more into the game. I think it's -- it's taken away now. I think it's going to come back. But I don't know.

Q. "Next generation" meaning you or even younger girls?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I mean even younger girls. I can't stick around too long. It's always going to be someone else's turn. This is my turn now. The next generation before me, they're just going to be -- it's just going to be their turn soon.

Becool
Aug 4th, 2002, 05:39 PM
1999 U.S. OPEN CHAMPIONSHIP
Flushing Meadows, New York

September 8, 1999

S. WILLIAMS/M. Seles

4-6, 6-3, 6-2

An interview with:

SERENA WILLIAMS

WTA: Questions for Serena.

Q. What is the dog's name?

SERENA WILLIAMS: She has two names, because I couldn't decide. She's named Jackie or Baila, which means "dance" in Spanish.

Q. What kind of dog is it?

SERENA WILLIAMS: She's a Jack Russell.

Q. Did you buy that puppy somewhere near Lexington?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Lexington and 62nd. She said, "No more questions."

Q. Did you buy her today?

SERENA WILLIAMS: No.

Q. How do you explain what happened in the third set?

SERENA WILLIAMS: In the third set, I was really focused. I really just came out with a better plan. I was a little nervous in the first set because it was obviously my first quarterfinal in a Grand Slam. I put too much pressure on myself. The third set, I completely calmed down. I just began to play my game. That's how I play normally.

Q. How excited are you?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I was pretty excited at first. I mean, believe it or not, it's already settled in. I'm ready to move on.

Q. You've had some problems early in the year with split set matches. You've won three straight at The Open. What's changed?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I'm definitely a more wiser person. I'm overall just a better player. That's what's changed. Time goes and you just become a better player.

Q. You have a different attitude going into the third sets now?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I think so. I have the attitude that I'm just not going to lose. I've been doing pretty well in third sets this tournament. I need to start doing better in the first sets. I never had this problem, though. Usually, you'll notice, like in Acura Classic, I didn't lose a set. I usually never have these problems. I don't know.

Q. How are you a wiser person, Serena?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I think better on the court. I see the whole court instead of just one side, one-dimensional. I see the whole court now. That's really important.

Q. You said you never had this problem. But in Grand Slams, however, you've lost your share of important matches.

SERENA WILLIAMS: I sure have.

Q. Here, anytime you've gotten into a tight spot, you've pulled it out, been more controlled, played more aggressive. Did you have a different game plan coming into the tournament or are things just kind of happening naturally?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, I did really prepare mentally for this tournament for quite some time now. I think that's maybe what it has to do with. I'm really convinced that I was definitely going to do well here. This was a great opportunity for me. Especially skipping Wimbledon, that was really terrible for me because I was really ready to play. I wasn't able to play. I was really ready to be here. I was so mentally prepared, I think that was the difference. I'm going to try to do that in the other Slams also.

Q. You had that trip in the third set. Were you worried?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Actually, I tripped because my shoe got caught a little. I thought maybe it could be a crack in the ground. I kind of fell on my hand, and it was like a little stiff. I said, "I don't have time for this. I have to move on."

Q. How similar is your game to Venus'? What are the similarities and differences now that you're both here in the semifinals of the Open?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, Venus is definitely a more powerful player than what I am. I would say I'm a little less powerful player. I use more of the court than what Venus does, although she's doing that a lot better now. She has a bigger serve, but I have more aces (laughter).

Q. How much do you feed off the US Open crowd? Do you think they're pro Serena Williams or in this match do you think it was mixed?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I think it was mixed. A lot of people out there are really for me. I was pretty excited about that. Usually when I go into courts, the crowd tends to kind of be for the other person. Here in New York, it was pretty exciting that everybody was pretty much clapping for me. Monica had a lot of fans out there too.

Q. On TV you said you were so excited, you've been working on this for so long, then after you left, Tracy and some of the others teased you. You've been working so long, you're just 17 years old. Could you reflect on that? Do you feel like a veteran already? Do you still feel like you're new to the game?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I definitely don't feel like a veteran. I feel like I've been practicing for years and years. I've been practicing since I was four to do well not only at the small tournaments; I've been doing well at those, but your ranking really doesn't move unless you do well in the big tournaments.

Q. First game of the third set, you hit a running lob. Can you describe that play for us.

SERENA WILLIAMS: Monica had me on the run. She's very good at putting people on the run. She had me side-to-side. Actually had 40-15 in that game. I kept thinking to myself, "If I can get this first game, that was really important." It was really important for me. I kept thinking, "One point at a time." I just happened to get there and hit a lob. Like I said before in a lot of other interviews, I don't like people to hit winners on me. Monica hit quite a few today. She's that type of person. When you play her, you know she's going to hit a couple winners on you.

Q. Does a lot of pulling out the match have to do with your mental game on the court? Seems like you mixed up the shots at the right times.

SERENA WILLIAMS: I think I definitely could have mixed up my shots better. I haven't seen the stats, but I think I definitely made way too many unforced errors. I think I played a nervous game out there, to be quite honest.

Q. Seems like both you and Venus have added a slice serve to the deuce side recently. Something you've been working on recently?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Actually, yeah, kind of, sort of. It's always a good thing to have those wide serves on both sides of the court. It's a good thing. That makes a player stress. You have the whole opening. I've noticed that's a good serve. I, of course, want to adopt that.

Q. Someone in your family is really famous for making predictions. Do you think this is the tournament for his prediction to come true?

SERENA WILLIAMS: We're not mentioning names here?

Q. It's late.

SERENA WILLIAMS: I still have one more match. My dad has been right about a lot of things. You have to admit. He said I was going to come up. I have. He's been right about quite a few things. I still have one match to go. If I can do well in this match, I know it will be great. If not, I don't have anything to lose.

Q. But you didn't answer the question.

SERENA WILLIAMS: I didn't?

Q. Is it going to come true? Is your dad's prediction going to come true?

SERENA WILLIAMS: You know, I think everyone should wait and see.

Q. Could you assess the two semifinals?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I'll start with Venus. She's playing more thinker. She's playing Martina, who thinks very well on the court. I've watched her last matches. She's hitting balls more harder. She's moving the ball around. She's really moving up. She's doing a lot of good things. So Venus is going to have to attack, not make too many errors. I think she can do that. She has to stay mentally sound. The other semifinal, which includes me, we have two power hitters. Lindsay hits the ball really hard. I hit the ball hard. It's going to be a fun semifinals. It's pretty exciting for women's tennis. Again, we're always carrying the men's tennis (laughter).

Q. Will you watch Venus' match as a sister or as someone scouting a potential opponent?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, I mean, absolutely I'm going to do both. I'm going to have to play the winner. If I'm able to make it through, I'm going to have to play the winner of that match. Of course, you want to see what the other person is doing on the other side of the fence. That's what I'm going to do.

Q. Do you think there's one thing about her game that you possibly don't know?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Who?

Q. Venus Williams.

SERENA WILLIAMS: She might have something in her back pocket that she hasn't pulled out yet.

Q. Do you prefer to have her watching you or do you prefer playing her?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Have her watching me?

Q. Watching you and being in the crowd. Do you feed off of her presence or would you much rather relish the challenge of being on the other side of the net?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I mean, just to be honest, I prefer, I guess, to have her watching me. In this tournament, I definitely would prefer to see her on the other side of the net. In most tournaments, I really prefer to see her on the other side of the net because I would like her to win her matches and meet up with me. That would definitely be the most obvious choice.

Q. It's only in the last year or so that Venus has sort of drawn even with Lindsay, been able to compete with her on a more equal basis. You're having much more success with Lindsay at age 16 and 17. Why do you match up better with Lindsay Davenport?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I don't know. I think Lindsay really likes for people to hit really hard, I guess. Venus really brings that game to her. Like I said, Venus is more powerful than me. She's bigger and stronger. I can't have as much power as Lindsay and Venus do. Maybe that gives her a little trouble. I don't know.

Q. She's particularly tough in the forehand cross-court rallies. How do you do in those with her?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, I personally believe I have one of the best forehands out there. Actually, it was me and Steffi competing. Every time I played her, I would get in a rally, forehand cross-court. I probably won two. She won a lot of them.

Q. Are you talking about Steffi or Lindsay?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Steffi.

Q. What about Lindsay?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I haven't played her recently enough to get her in the forehand cross-court rallies. I watched her matches. She's really swinging it.

Q. Do you relish the challenge? Will you go down the line or say, "Okay, Lindsay, here we go, let's hit five or six in a row cross-court"?

SERENA WILLIAMS: We'll just have to wait and see what I'm thinking at that point in time.

Q. You said that your dad has been pretty much right all along. Do you ever tell him that he's wrong?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Not necessarily, no.

Q. What are the consequences if you do that?

SERENA WILLIAMS: If you read my dad's comments, you'll notice that he says it's a liberal family. What is it, a democracy? Yeah.

Q. Before this match you were asked what was your secret in playing Monica. You wisely said you would not divulge your strategy. Now we're after the match, can you tell us?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I really have no secret. I just go out there and play. If you're playing Serena, honestly, even on a bad day, I'm tough to beat.

Q. The family has been here now in New York for about two weeks. It's a very convenient time to begin negotiations for the Rockefellar Center. Do you know if your dad has begun those negotiations?

SERENA WILLIAMS: You know, I think so. With Venus and I both still in the singles and doubles, we can walk home with a pocketful of money. We might go ahead and compete for Rockefeller Center.

Q. You said at the beginning of the press conference that in prior tournaments you didn't necessarily feel a lot of crowd support. Is that true and can you talk a little bit about that?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yes. Like overseas especially. Like at the Lipton, that's definitely the most support. Overseas when I'm playing the other French people, Germans, if I'm in Germany, they really support their people. There's nothing wrong with that. It's a great thing. That's basically it.

Q. But in the US how is it, other than Lipton? How is it for you at other tournaments?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Here it's really good. I remember Indian Wells, I was playing Steffi in the final, she had a lot of fans. But she had most of the crowd, I think. She's a great champion. Who wouldn't want to cheer for her? What other? I mean, it was ironic, though, in LA where I was from. I was playing Julie Halard in the final. She totally won the crowd because she had so many wonderful wins. I think she beat Lindsay and someone else. I can't remember.

Q. Do you think it's maybe because you guys have moved to Florida, that might be part of it?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I don't think so. Everyone comes up to me, seems like everyone comes up to me and said, "Good luck," yet I didn't have that much support there. It's okay. I took home the title. That's all that matters.

Q. When you guys are like a match away from playing each other, I know you're concentrating on the match ahead, but when you're at the Lipton, was there ever a reason to feel uncomfortable because you were going to be playing your sister or you got excited you would be playing against each other?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I think it was uncomfortable maybe during the coin toss and maybe the first game. After that, it's like you see her as an opponent because you want to win. You don't think about anything else. Other than that, other than like the first game, it's normal. You're out there and competing and you have to compete.

Q. Would you say that you have the ultimate situation, to have a sister to hit with, to have support from, just have that love?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I definitely do. I definitely have the best situation because it's like traveling with a friend. Yeah, I mean, I get to travel with my mom and dad. It's great, awesome.

Q. How often do you play sets when you're in training back home?

SERENA WILLIAMS: We really don't play sets much. We usually just practice and do a lot of drills, really prepare with that stuff. We don't too much play any sets. I think we like to keep that for the tournaments.

Q. Do you play points?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Not really. Usually we hit against other people. We have other guys that we hit against. We don't really play points. Thanks.

Becool
Aug 4th, 2002, 05:45 PM
UNITED STATES TENNIS ASSOCIATION


1999 U.S. OPEN CHAMPIONSHIP
Flushing Meadows, New York

September 9, 1999

WILLIAMS-WILLIAMS/Seles-Fernandez

6-3, 6-3

An interview with:

VENUS WILLIAMS &
SERENA WILLIAMS

WTA: Questions for Venus and Serena.

Q. Do you enjoy playing doubles?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yes.

VENUS WILLIAMS: We love playing doubles. We'd never play with anyone else.

Q. Is there a lot to carry over from singles to doubles? Are you thinking about what you'll do in singles?

VENUS WILLIAMS: I'm thinking singles, definitely. I'm ensuring that Serena thinks singles also.

SERENA WILLIAMS: I'm definitely thinking singles when I'm out there, most certainly.

VENUS WILLIAMS: Definitely getting the practice in. But yet playing great doubles, working on your shots.

Q. Are you worried that it might make you lose energy for tomorrow, take a little something out?

SERENA WILLIAMS: No. No, I don't think so. We're pretty strong physically and mentally. We're definitely very physically strong. If it takes something out, we have a problem; we need to go fix that.

Q. Your next round match has been changed till tomorrow, is that right?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah.

Q. So you'll play your singles matches and then play your doubles?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah.

Q. Venus, do you think there's one thing you don't know about Serena's game?

VENUS WILLIAMS: I don't know. I hope she's telling me everything (laughter). Not really maybe. I hit with her a lot, but we both have things that we do very well, strong points. Everyone has that, things you do a little better than the next person.

Q. You had a little problem earlier in the year playing an opponent whose game you didn't know. You're not going to have to scout Serena's game?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Probably not, no.

Q. If either of you wins tomorrow, will you play a doubles match later in the day, given that you'd be in the finals the next day?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Yes, we will.

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah.

VENUS WILLIAMS: We'll try to keep it at a minimum. Get a quick win.

SERENA WILLIAMS: Try to do our best, for sure. It's really a good practice, if you're not hitting. A great practice.

Q. Even to go back out there at 5:30 or 6:00 or something like that?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, no problem.

Q. Can you talk about what you think Serena has to do tomorrow? Serena, can you talk about what you think Venus has to do to win tomorrow?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, I think Venus just needs to go out there and play her game. If she plays her game up to the way Venus can play, I really don't think there's too many people out there that can beat Venus.

Q. Including Martina?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I really don't think -- if Venus is playing on - we've seen the way she plays sometimes - I don't think there's anyone out there that can beat her.

Q. Venus, can you talk about Serena's match?

VENUS WILLIAMS: I just think Serena will go out there and start fighting, that's all that matters. As long as she wants to win, is going to put the effort forth, I think that's great, that's good.

Q. Are you both aware of the magnitude of your drawing power and what the effect has been on women's tennis?

VENUS WILLIAMS: I'm not sure exactly at all times if we quite understand how much we do for the game. We just are trying to do our best for ourselves. We're trying to get some Grand Slams under our belts besides, let's say, mixed doubles or doubles. We want to do a little better than that.

Q. When you go in to play doubles this afternoon and you see the Louis Armstrong stadium filling up, how do you feel about that?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, it's a very competitive match, Venus and I, Monica and Mary. We're all Americans, so an all-American match-up. I wouldn't know anyone who wouldn't want to go out there and watch that match-up.

Q. What does that say about women's tennis right now?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I mean, you guys -- I think you guys should evaluate that. You see it. I don't necessarily think you have to hear it from us.

Q. Venus, are you going to be able to watch Serena's match from the stands? You're back-to-back tomorrow. Where will you be when Serena is playing her match?

VENUS WILLIAMS: I probably won't be in the stands, most likely not. Who plays first?

Q. Serena is playing first, then you're next.

VENUS WILLIAMS: Oh, yeah. I probably won't be in the stands. I'll probably be watching somewhere in the locker room.

Q. I'm sorry?

VENUS WILLIAMS: The chances are, I won't be in the stands.

Q. You'll be in the players' lounge?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Most likely.

Q. Will you be thinking about your match, also watching Serena? Is that going to be tough for you? Are you going to watch all the points?

VENUS WILLIAMS: I'll watch all the points. No need to get nervous and shaky. That's just wasting time. Go out there and start hitting. I don't want that anymore for myself.

Q. In terms of women's tennis, can you kind of describe the influence you two have had and how great the competition is, how great the players are? It's at its peak. Why is that?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, there's a lot of young people out there. Everyone is interested in seeing what the latest generation is doing. So far, Venus and I are part of this generation. Everyone wants to see it. If you're doing something and it looks good, I mean, if someone was going --.

VENUS WILLIAMS: People want to be part of what's happening.

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah.

VENUS WILLIAMS: Right now, this is what's happening. People are running to be part of it.

SERENA WILLIAMS: Jumping in.

VENUS WILLIAMS: Honestly. If you saw something good, wouldn't you want to be in it? I would.

SERENA WILLIAMS: I definitely would.

Q. Are you thinking of the matches as we speak, or were you just thinking the doubles? How is it influencing you inside?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I don't know. It really doesn't have too much influence on me inside. Does it have one on you?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Well, we've played the players that we're playing before. I've been in the semifinals of a Grand Slam before. Serena has been in the semifinals of pretty large tournaments before. She's seen me in large matchhes before. We've been here. If, for some odd reason, we can be unable to come through, there will be other opportunities.

Q. When you were kids, spending so many hours on the court practicing, did you let yourself think about playing a Grand Slam final against each other? What would you do when you were that age?

VENUS WILLIAMS: We always thought we would. That's what we were practicing for.

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah.

VENUS WILLIAMS: We weren't practicing just to be practicing aimlessly; we had an aim and a goal. It was a given what we were going to do in the future.

Q. Lots of kids growing up playing basketball talk about taking that final shot with the clock running down. They imagine it's Madison Square Garden. Did either of you guys have that image in your minds?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, I mean, naturally you would have that type of image; you're hitting a backhand down the line or a forehand, overhead, whatever the case may be. Naturally, yes, I have had these feelings. Have you?

VENUS WILLIAMS: I've actually never had that.

SERENA WILLIAMS: Really?

VENUS WILLIAMS: No.

Q. Has anything surprised you this year at the US Open or has it been predictable? Any surprises?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Not really. I mean, there was a lot of surprises on the men's side of the draw. On the ladies' side, everything is going smooth. The top four seeds were almost in the semis. Everything is going smoothly.

Q. You guys have talked about how great it is to be on the Tour together, growing up together. Others have talked about it. Can you reflect on one moment where it was particularly great having your sister there, in the stands, being your buddy on the Tour?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I'm sorry, I didn't hear what you were saying. Did you?

VENUS WILLIAMS: I heard the question. I think the question was, was there any great times when you were happy I was here on the Tour.

SERENA WILLIAMS: Okay.

VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, sure. When I'm down in the stands -- not in the stands, but on the court, losing a match, playing awful, can't seem to do anything right. Serena is there, "Let's go, let's go." I find a new hope.

Q. Was there one time when you recall when that happened, any particular tournament or match?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah. I was playing in Australia. I was playing a terribly sick match. 85 unforced errors.

SERENA WILLIAMS: Wow.

VENUS WILLIAMS: Still won. It was insane (laughter). She was really supportive there.

Q. What has been the hardest moment for you, since you are playing so well the last two years, for each of you? One moment you would like to forget, but you haven't forgotten.

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yes, there's a moment that I'd like to forget. Actually, I don't remember it.

VENUS WILLIAMS: I don't talk about those moments because I deny those things ever happening, so I just don't talk about them.

Q. A lot of kids think about making the last second shot in a big game. They don't ever get to the NBA or get the opportunity to do that. You guys are pretty lucky.

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah. Tennis, it's your choice to make it or break it, it's all you. Whereas the NBA, you have to really, really have inside you a really special talent or else it's really hard to make it. Whereas in tennis, you work hard, you get a chance. You can go out and actually prove yourself. In the smaller tournaments, you're not well-known, you can actually make it. These other sports, it isn't.

Q. You think because it's an individual sport?

SERENA WILLIAMS: It's individual. It's up to you; it's not up to anyone else.

Q. I know this is probably hard to imagine, but if you weren't playing tennis at all, what would you be doing?

VENUS WILLIAMS: I'd be in school.

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I'd be in school.

VENUS WILLIAMS: Right now.

SERENA WILLIAMS: As we speak, I'd be in school.

Q. Have you guys hit against each other this week or during The Open at all?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yes.

VENUS WILLIAMS: Yes.

Q. Who is playing better?

VENUS WILLIAMS: We're both -- we're both playing pretty good at times.

SERENA WILLIAMS: My dad, he's playing the best. He's really serving well.

VENUS WILLIAMS: Uh-huh.

SERENA WILLIAMS: Hitting the ball also.

VENUS WILLIAMS: He is.

Q. If you reach the singles final, which you both assume you will, who are you going to hit with going into the final? With each other?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I don't know. We haven't got there yet. We're just still taking it one day at a time.

VENUS WILLIAMS: Definitely.

Q. Unless I'm mistaken, there's been virtually no mention, no discussion that there are two African American women through to the semifinals. What are your thoughts on that?

VENUS WILLIAMS: It's super because there's about five black people on the Tour. So for two to be in the final, that's great -- the semifinals.

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah.

VENUS WILLIAMS: Hopefully, if we get to the doubles final, there will be three black persons on the court. That will be just amazing. "Really, what's going on here? We haven't seen this."

Becool
Aug 4th, 2002, 05:54 PM
1999 U.S. OPEN
Flushing Meadows, New York City

September 10, 1999

S. WILLIAMS/L. Davenport

6-4, 1-6, 6-4

An interview with:

SERENA WILLIAMS

WTA: Questions for Serena.

Q. How do you feel, Serena?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I guess it feels great. You know, I'm in the final. I have one more round to win. Go out and do very well. It's very good.

Q. You were so excited on the court. You look very quiet. Is the tension, it's left?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, definitely it's gone. The tournament isn't over yet. I'm still trying to win the tournament. I just still have another round to play. I'm not through yet.

Q. Did you notice your father at all in the final set?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I don't think so. I don't know. I think he wasn't there at first, and then he was there in the end. I guess I noticed him coming, yeah.

Q. You seemed a bit nervous in the second set, frustrated. How did you eventually pull it all together?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, I really just got determined. Lindsay was playing just unbelievable. She was hitting shots for winners, just attacking everything, literally everything. I just tried to go out there. I became really determined. I was like, "I'm tired of this. I want something also."

Q. What is "this"?

SERENA WILLIAMS: She was just playing great. There's nothing you can do when Lindsay is playing like that. She's so powerful. It was all I could do just to be out there.

Q. There was a point in the 7th game of the deciding set that you broke Lindsay. It appeared to be a miss-hit on a return that just got over the net. Was it a miss-hit, or did you place that forehand?

SERENA WILLIAMS: After 17 years, I say I deserve a break once in a while, too (laughter).

Q. During that game, that very long game, did you get the feeling that whichever player won that game was going to win the match?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I felt that if I won that game, I would have a great chance of winning the match because all I had to do was hold serve. I felt if Lindsay won the game, I would have to fight. I was never going to give up. I never at one time felt I was going to lose. I was just thinking, "I'm never giving up."

Q. Your serve seemed to be a key part of the match. Lindsay brought up that you were varying speeds a lot, some at 70-something, then banging in some at, like, 115 miles an hour. Were you doing that purposely? Did you feel that was a real key in the match?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I definitely think so. My serve really came through, especially in the third. That was definitely a key. It really brought me out of some points. I was down breakpoint; I come up with a good serve. So, yeah, that was definitely a key.

Q. Obviously you want to win the title, but what does it mean to you just to be in the final, particularly when you faced elimination in the third round?

SERENA WILLIAMS: It's great. I was definitely almost out of the tournament in the third round. I didn't want that. I came here with the goal to do very well here. I didn't come to lose in the third round. I was really determined to get through that. I guess it's great. Like I said, the tournament isn't over yet. I don't want my tournament to end here. If it does, it's great, but I want to keep on going.

Q. What time did you get here this morning, and how did you handle the long wait?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I actually was hitting elsewhere. I kind of got my workout in. I got here - I'm not sure - maybe around 1:00 because it was raining so hard everywhere.

Q. What did you do during the delay?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I played with my dog. I have a dog I played with, yeah. I didn't get here till 1:00, so I was, like, in the car for an hour and a half, almost three hours, trying to get here.

Q. When you and your sister were young and playing on the courts against each other, is this how you imagined it would happen: You two having a chance to play in a Grand Slam final?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah. Actually, I thought that Venus and I always would have a chance to play in the final. It's a good opportunity that I'm there. I don't know. Just trying to make it now, just trying to go on.

Q. Did you see Venus after the match? Did you exchange any words?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah. She asked for her hairbrush, because I had it.

Q. Whom do you prefer to play in the final?

SERENA WILLIAMS: It doesn't matter to me. Naturally, I would like to see Venus get through because she's my sister. But I would -- so I would like to play Venus. If she's not able to get through, then I don't mind playing Martina at all.

Q. Lindsay said you had a lot of trouble against Venus; that you should actually be rooting for Martina. Do you think that would be maybe an easier match for you?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I don't know. Martina is playing well. She's practicing hard. It looks like she's trying to get into shape. She's really determined to be out there. What was the question?

Q. You've had one three-set win after another. What do you think that says about your growth and development of your game, your mental toughness?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I really think I really developed mentally a lot. I'm really more composed out there. I didn't get nervous or anything. I just stayed determined and focused. I'm able to pull it through.

Q. Is that just from pure experience, or is that something you've been focusing on?

SERENA WILLIAMS: That's definitely something I've been focusing on; it definitely is. I really have been working hard, especially with my last two tournaments, really focusing more mentally than physically.

Q. You got lots of attention here. You played with lots of attention. How did you deal with the pressure? How did you go through the pressure?

SERENA WILLIAMS: It's really not that bad. I don't read anything about myself. I just look at the pictures. I'm actually trying to collect pictures of me. I get the pictures from the USA Today and New York Times. I try to collect the pictures. If you read the articles, it gets to you because you start thinking, you know, you should win, you should do well. If you don't, then it's all okay.

Q. Are you superstitious at all, not wanting to talk about the final? Is that any part of it?

SERENA WILLIAMS: No. I'm not superstitious, no.

Q. Do you generally prefer to play somebody, an opponent like Lindsay, who tries to match you power-for-power, or does she give you as much trouble or more trouble generally than a player like Martina Hingis who changes pace and angles a little bit more?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, they both can give you your problems. Lindsay can just hit outright winners like she did today. You have no chance. Whereas Martina, she will try to run you to death. I don't know. It's your choice. You have to be able to have some type of plan for yourself also.

Q. You said that you mentally improved. Did you grow up here as a player or as a woman or as both?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, mentally as a player, because I was tired of losing close matches. I figured that I've been working a long time. Physically, I was there. I was really strong. Just everything physically is innate in me, so I didn't have to work too hard on that mentally.

Q. And as a woman?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yes.

Q. You were talking about Venus asked you for a hairbrush. Is that all that happened? Did you talk a little bit?

SERENA WILLIAMS: She was going right out for her match. I didn't have time to say anything. I said -- I don't even remember what I said really.

Q. Did you say, "Good luck"?

SERENA WILLIAMS: It's not a matter of luck, I don't think.

Q. Is the excitement of what you've done here today being tempered while this still goes on?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Pardon me?

Q. Is your excitement being tempered while this match is still going on, what you achieved?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I think so, definitely. I saw that Venus lost the first set. I was pretty disappointed about that. I think so. Had she won the first set, I would be more excited.

Q. When do you think that point will be, whether she wins or loses, that you'll appreciate what you've done here today?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Maybe next week (laughter). Then it will all be over and I will know the outcome, whether I was able to win or lose.

Q. For a long time you've been known as Venus' little sister. Do you think, no matter what happens in her match, what happens tomorrow, you have kind of made a name for yourself here?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I think so, in a way, yes. This is a big tournament. Also, I did very well this year just winning three tournaments on my own. I actually won a car. That was pretty exciting, so. I think I'm pretty much -- I don't think I'm known as "the little sister." I think everyone marks us as the Williams sisters. Instead of Venus and her younger sister, it's more dubbed the Williams sisters. I definitely felt that a little while ago.

Q. Can you describe the emotions when you played her in the finals in the spring?

SERENA WILLIAMS: In the beginning of the match, it was a little tough for us. It was weird because it was like you notice that you're playing your sister. After that, it was like I had completely gotten over it. I was able to be beyond it. It was just like a regular opponent.

Q. You said you collect photographs of yourself. What would it mean to you to wake up Sunday morning and see a picture on the front page of the sports page of you holding the US Open Trophy?

SERENA WILLIAMS: That would be very exciting. I will have to get serious and more consistent if I want to do that.

Q. As the younger sister, had you always expected that Venus would win a Grand Slam before you, just because she was a little bit older?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I never really thought about that. I just never thought about that, to be quite honest. She played a couple Grand Slams before me. I figured if she was in the tournament, she would have a good chance of winning it. I just never really thought about that.

Q. What scares you about playing her, about her game?

SERENA WILLIAMS: What scares me?

Q. About her game.

SERENA WILLIAMS: I fear no one. I only fear God.

Q. Can you talk about what your preparation will be for the match? And, also, maybe if you had some preparation last night? Did you stay home, watch the MTV Music Awards?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I'm not too much into that. I stayed home, stayed really focused. This is the moment in time. This is what I've been working for, for the Grand Slams, big tournaments, the big moments. I was really focused. I'm going to do it again tonight.

Q. Do you have a routine? Do you go to sleep at a certain time, eat a certain meal?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I can't go to sleep early. It's hard for me to go to sleep early. I'm more or less nocturnal, I guess.

Q. When one of you wins and the other one loses, is there a certain courtesy, that the winner behaves differently around the loser?

SERENA WILLIAMS: No. Predominantly we're both very bitter and resentful (laughter). I feel just as bad as she does, if she lost. If I lost, she feels just as bad as I do.

Q. Do you try to stay out of her way if she loses?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Not necessarily. Venus, she's different from me. If she loses a match, it's like she can move on. She knows she has a lot of opportunities. Whereas, if I lose a match, I'm really down for a couple of days. I'm really down. So I think I need to learn how to be like, you know, not take it so seriously.

Q. If she wins, will the routine between you two change tonight? Will you still talk to her as you normally would?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Sure. I'll tell her that she has to keep her dogs away from mine because they cough too much. I don't want mine to be sick.

Q. I'm curious about your comment on what you said to Venus on your way out of the stadium. You say it is not a matter of luck. Before The Open, there was an interview of Rafter. He was asked, "What is it about you that makes you play well?" He said, "I guess it's luck." In a commentary about Pioline, the Frenchman surviving that match, John McEnroe once said that Sampras said to win a Grand Slam event, you need luck. How much premium do you place on luck?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I had a pretty lucky shot today with that one return. I don't too much believe in luck. I think it's skill. You go out there and you fight and you work. You don't work hard to have luck; you work hard to work hard. I know. Personally, I know that I'm not lucky. I have to go sweat in the sun every day when I could be at the pool with some lemonade. That's not luck; that's work. I'm sure that Pat, when he won his Slams, Pete, I'm sure they were doing a little sweating, too. It wasn't necessarily luck.

Q. Do you think you deserve to be in the final today?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Oh, yeah, definitely, uh-huh.

Q. You said you had to be more consistent. How do you think you can work on that?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, it's a little late now to try to work on it (laughter). I don't know. Maybe I can fix a screw in my brain or something.

Q. You say obviously good results come from hard work. Have you worked harder this year than any other year in your life?

SERENA WILLIAMS: No. I remember when I was younger, I used to practice like from 8 to like 11, then from 1 to 5. I definitely wasn't doing that this year. I wouldn't be here right now. I'd be burned out somewhere. It was important to get those foundations when you're younger because that's what really sets you when you get a little older. I more trained mentally. I've been in the gym a lot, working out like that more than what I have been in the past. I have really gotten serious on things outside of the court, like to get stronger. I look really strong, but I wasn't that strong. I had to go to the gym. I got a trainer. I've been working really hard.

Q. A lot more weights this year?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I think so. I did weights last year, but I just wasn't serious about it. Now I was more determined and I will go more often.

Q. In the second set, Venus is now up a break. How does that make you feel?

SERENA WILLIAMS: It's not over yet. It's a little better. I'm going to have to go out and support her.

Q. None of the three tournaments you've won this year was Venus entered in the singles. Would your family really appreciate you guys getting together in the final? Seems like they've been striving to keep you apart.

SERENA WILLIAMS: No, not necessarily. Venus and I make our schedules on our own. We decide what tournaments we're going to play and what we're not. That's about it.

Q. When you were growing up, do you remember teasing Venus about, "Someday I'm going to catch you and pass you, be better than you"? Was that conversation sort of off limits?

SERENA WILLIAMS: No, I don't remember teasing her about that actually. Does anyone know if I moved up any in the rankings?

Q. You will.

SERENA WILLIAMS: 5? I came in here No. 6 and I'm only No. 5 now. That's pretty disappointing. I mean, I thought for sure if I do well in a Grand Slam, I can take a top spot, you know, gee.

Q. Has there ever been something that's been important in both of your lives that you have done first before she has?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I guess not. I mean, I guess she's always been the big sister. She always went ahead to do things first.

Q. Are there other things you're competitive over besides tennis, whether it's checkers?

SERENA WILLIAMS: We don't play checkers.

Q. Anything?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Not really. I remember when we were younger, when you warm up, you run around the court. That was so silly. I used to always want to race. Venus was so upset. She's like, "Serena, why do you always want to race me?" I don't know why I wanted to do that. Don't worry, I don't do that. I run real slow now.

Q. Did you two drive over together this morning?

SERENA WILLIAMS: No. I came over first because my match was before hers, so.

Q. Why have you had success against Martina Hingis on hard court this year?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I guess because hard court really suits me. I'll really quick. I really, really like to play on hard courts. It really suits my game. She's playing good now. I guess it suits her game also. I'm going to have to be ready for anything. I can't underestimate anyone.

Q. You mentioned that you and Venus make your schedules independently. It sounds like your family is very close. Do you feel in the past year that you've both kind of really become independent, in a good way, that you are sort of directing your career? Are those things a family decision?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, I mean, my dad is my coach still. My mom is also. They do a great job with us. As for directing my career, I don't know. I really don't know. Sorry.

Q. What are your thoughts when so much is being made of you and your sister being called sort of Trailblazers, role models in terms of not just for African American younger girls and athletes, but also in the world of tennis. What are your thoughts on that? Do you see yourself as that?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Kind of like a role model?

Q. Yes, just making in-roads for others that are watching you.

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I definitely see myself as someone that would watch my game, want to follow it, say, "I want to be like Serena." Every day I go out, it's really tough for me to go out now because everyone recognizes me. It's really hard. But every time I do go out, someone says, "I never used to watch tennis until you and your sister started playing." Apparently we've had some type of impact, not only in the minority groups, but just everyone around. It's pretty exciting in a way, it really is.

Q. You're okay with that or is that too much of a pressure on you or it goes with the territory?

SERENA WILLIAMS: It goes with the territory. I'm okay with it. It's all right with me. I have to accept it if I want to do well, or I can take another path and do really bad, people not watch tennis.

Q. Again today a lot of the workers, restaurant workers and so forth, came out at the end to watch your match. Is that something that touches you?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I mean, I touch everyone. Everyone wants to see me. I don't blame them (laughter). "Got to get a look at Serena."

Q. The whole subject of a role model comes up all the time. Is that the sort of thing you think, "I'll let the role model thing take its own toll, I won't burden myself"?

SERENA WILLIAMS: No. I don't burden myself with that. I actually think it pumps me up to think that there's some little kid out there that wants to be like me, is actually depending on me. If I have bad techniques, they're going to have bad techniques, too. That actually influences me to actually want to go out and do better.

Becool
Aug 4th, 2002, 05:58 PM
1999 U.S. OPEN
Flushing Meadows, New York City

September 11, 1999

S. WILLIAMS/M. Hingis

6-3, 7-6

An interview with:

SERENA WILLIAMS

WTA: Questions for Serena.

Q. Now you are the first Williams sister.

SERENA WILLIAMS: No. Venus was born before me actually.

Q. How good does this feel to you? Must be kind of amazing, strange, unreal, wonderful.

SERENA WILLIAMS: It's really amazing. I mean, you totally prepare for this. I was always one to say, "I want to win the US Open. I want it." Venus always wanted Wimbledon. I guess when she wins Wimbledon, she's going to have the same feeling. It's really exciting.

Q. How will this victory affect Venus, do you think? Do you think it's going to shatter her confidence a little that her younger sister was first to do this or motivate her?

SERENA WILLIAMS: No, not at all. I think, if anything, it's going to motivate her. She was up there supporting me. After I lost my first two match points, I looked over to not my mom or dad, I saw them also, but I saw Venus over there really making sure, pumping me up. It really helped me, so.

Q. Why The Open? Why was this the tournament?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I don't know. I don't know. My dad used to say to Venus and I, "Which big ones do you want to win." I just said the The Open. Venus said Wimbledon.

Q. Was it anything about New York?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I don't know. I was young at the time.

Q. You got a call from President Clinton?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yes.

Q. Was that in the locker room?

SERENA WILLIAMS: No, the CBS studio. It was very exciting. I thought for sure my day couldn't get any better. Next thing I knew, someone was telling me, "The President of the United States wants to talk." I was thinking, "Wow."

Q. That's never happened in women's tennis. What does that say about women's tennis?

SERENA WILLIAMS: He said that they had watched my last three matches and they were really rooting for me, him and Chelsea also. I talked to her also, she's really nice (laughter). She said she'll show me around Stanford when I go there for Fed Cup if I wanted to. Pretty exciting.

Q. Do you have any special plans to celebrate?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Not yet. I haven't even had time to think about it really. I've been doing all you guys' request and the media. I haven't had much time.

Q. When you lost the two match points at 5-3, did you tighten up at all or did you think, "I'm still going all out"?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I think after I lost those two match points, I was very upset with myself. I think I remember at the Lipton how I was at two match points against her then. I actually lost the match. I was like, "Serena, this can't happen. You have to think positive things." I thought for sure I was going to hold my serve when I went out at 5-4. I guess something went dreadfully wrong and I didn't hold.

Q. A lot of players playing in their first Grand Slam final in that situation, losing the two match points, could have just totally caved. Why didn't you?

SERENA WILLIAMS: There comes a time where you just have to stop caving. You have to stop. I encourage all you guys to stop (laughter). You get tired. You just get so tired of having to just go down because of one simple problem. In the end, I told myself, "You're going to have to perform. Even if you win or lose, you're still going to be out here and you're going to have to perform." That's what I did.

Q. Have you ever won a tournament before, other than Paris?

SERENA WILLIAMS: In singles, yes. Paris was the first tournament I won, was in Paris. Now I have four.

Q. In your career?

SERENA WILLIAMS: In my career.

Q. Your father said that your confidence and your lack of fear of anyone was your greatest quality. How have you gotten that quality?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I would say from my parents, my mom, she doesn't fear anyone. It's pretty exciting. She's always been a tough person like that.

Q. From your mother mostly?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah.

Q. Did Venus help you at all in terms of preparing for today? She played Martina yesterday.

SERENA WILLIAMS: She was really down. That really encouraged me to be even more tougher out there, just to have to see her that down. I've never seen her that down before, so, yeah.

Q. You said yesterday that your physical attributes aren't what's either on or off; that it's the mental game for you. You're such a strong player. Can you put a percentage on how much the mental game is for your performance?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah. I was really mentally tough out there. I wouldn't give into anything. The first set, I wanted to come out strong and tough, and I did. It's not that I was actually hitting really hard out there; I was just really mentally focused because I didn't want to go down. I worked hard, too. I wanted to have an opportunity myself.

Q. Your first 'thank you' was to Jehovah. I know you've been asked this before. Could you sort of summarize your belief?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, I'm one of Jehovah's Witnesses. We believe in the theory of monotheism.

Q. And you don't believe in luck. Obviously, you believe in making things happen for yourself, opportunities. Does that play a big part in your game?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I would say so, yeah. It definitely plays a big part in my game.

Q. For all the excitement today from the fans and people, you had to see the people hanging from rooftops. Was it you or women's tennis?

SERENA WILLIAMS: It's definitely women's tennis. I couldn't have been out there alone playing against myself to have that many people out there at all. I mean, I was playing the No. 1 player in the world, Martina. She's really playing some great tennis. She had just an unbelievable match last night against Venus. I'm sure if I was out there alone, there could have been a lot of fans, but nothing close to that. She had a lot of fans out there. A lot of people wanted her to do well also. It's definitely women's tennis.

Q. Are you surprised you could hold on with 57 unforced errors?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Wow. I mean, imagine if I stop making those errors, can you guys imagine? That's like inconceivable, huh?

Q. Can you talk a little bit about following the legacy of players like Arthur Ashe, Althea Gibson and drawing other fans to tennis?

SERENA WILLIAMS: It's really exciting. I once heard Althea Gibson, one of her best friends told me she wanted to see another African American win a Slam before her time is up. I'm so excited I had a chance to accomplish that while she's still alive. It's just really great.

Q. What about the fans you've brought to the game?

SERENA WILLIAMS: What about them?

Q. You certainly are drawing a different group of fans, and not just minority, but different types of people to tennis. Is that something you pay a lot of attention to?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, I mean, somewhat, yes. You have to because, before, the tennis before Venus and I, to be honest, there wasn't that many other people, different races coming out. Zina and Lori and Katrina Adams, they all definitely brought some interest to the game. Then there was a little of a hiatus before there was another player that was able to come out and do as well as they did.

Q. When you won the match on that point, it kind of looked like you were in disbelief. How many different emotions were going through you at that point?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, it was pretty exciting. I'm thinking, "Should I scream? Should I yell? Should I cry? What should I do?" I guess I ended up doing them all. It was so exciting. I mean, it was like -- it's like in the whole tournament, "One more match, one more this." There was no more. That was it. That was the apex. That was it. It was so exciting.

Q. Was there any point where you were saying, "I hope it doesn't go to the third set"?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I mean, naturally, yeah, I hope it doesn't go to the third set. If it does, I would have -- it would be my own punishment.

Q. At that point when Martina made her little comeback there at the end of the second set, was it a point of, "Let me hold on"? Did you say, "I have to be aggressive, keep hitting winners"?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Did I hit that many winners in the match?

Q. Four times as many as she did, 28.

SERENA WILLIAMS: Wow. What were you asking again?

Q. When she made that little comeback, was it a matter to you of, "Let me hold on here," or, "Let me be aggressive and go after her"?

SERENA WILLIAMS: No. I think I said to myself, "All I have to do is hold serve here." I didn't when it was 5-All. She held serve. I guess in a way I was thinking about holding on. I should have been thinking on the contrary: "Let me attack. Let me move up to the ball." Those final games, I didn't do that at all. Definitely bet your money that I will be working on that.

Q. What did your father say to you?

SERENA WILLIAMS: He was so proud. He said, "I'm so happy. This is great."

Q. You served incredibly well the last couple matches. Is that the one shot where you never get nervous, more or less your money shot?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I would say so, definitely. I can feel it. I can serve it. Even if I miss all my first serves, I go for it. I feel in my heart I'm going to make it.

Q. What are your thoughts in following Althea Gibson's footsteps 30 years later?

SERENA WILLIAMS: It's really amazing. It's really amazing for me just to even have an opportunity to be compared as great as Althea Gibson. She was a great player. It's pretty exciting for me. I've actually went out and won a Slam. It's very -- it's great.

Q. Did you ever see any of her matches?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yes, I have. I haven't been able to see them all. I see a little footage of her running, hitting some backhands, stuff like that.

Q. How do you think is changing your life tomorrow morning?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Wow, I don't know. I guess I have a lot of requests, go on the Today Show.

Q. Do you want to buy something?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I didn't think about that. Hmm. . .

Q. What are you going to do with all this money?

SERENA WILLIAMS: No, no. I have a project right now, so I won't be able to do anything.

Q. You don't buy any present for yourself, a little thing maybe?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I don't know. I'll have to see.

Q. You have a chance to get a second title now. How do you feel about that, the doubles?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Oh, I definitely feel motivated and ready to go (laughter). Here I go again. Just two more matches (laughter). I'm really ready, psyched up about it.

Q. Are you able to concentrate on all of this today?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Oh, yeah. I don't want to let Venus down at all. I'm really going to hold my own on my side of the court.

Q. When you watched the end of Venus' match last night, what did you pick up about Martina that you decided to expose today?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I mean, really, she was playing so well last night. She was really moving. I picked up how she was just really moving the ball around. That's what she did well, is she did that well.

Q. You went out and practiced last night on the practice court. Would you share what you were doing?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I decided it was time for me to go out. Apparently, it worked. After I saw that Martina had won, I didn't want to go out in the same manner. The way she was playing, I was thinking, "Wow, Serena, you have to go out and improve also." I went out and hit some groundstrokes and some serves.

Q. After your match, I called my parents, both of them were crying with joy. How do you feel about the emotional attachment that your fans have with your game?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Oh, that's really great, that I can have this type of impact on people. It's pretty exciting. I'm very happy that they were happy for me because I was happy, too.

Q. Will this cause any problem between you and your sister, in the family? Is she okay with all of this?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I don't see where it would cause a problem at.

Q. You're the first one. You could have met in the finals. Your dad predicted that. You already said she was very down, never seen her this down.

SERENA WILLIAMS: No, I don't think so. We really believe in family, in the family. I just don't see where it can affect her. Tennis is a game; it's not your life. It's just a game. She has many, many, many opportunities, and so do I. We both will be fighting for the next Slam, just try to go out and do the best we can.

Q. What did you learn today about Martina?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Boy, that she's a real fighter. She never gives up. She's a great champion.

Q. Do you think African Americans in tennis, they have the same chance as other athletes? Do you think you can change this?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Sure, I think they have the same chance as other athletes.

Q. Now that Mr. Clinton talked to you, do you have to get more familiar with politics?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I'm not into politics. I don't talk politics.

Q. What did Clinton say to you?

SERENA WILLIAMS: He was just saying, "Congratulations," that I did well, that he was watching the matches, everything went smoothly. They were rooting for me and very happy.

Q. Are you going to follow up on Chelsea's offer to show you around?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I think so. I definitely think so. I heard it's a nice campus. I've never been to Stanford.

Q. Go to the top of the tower.

SERENA WILLIAMS: I'll have to check it out. She says it's beautiful.

Q. Which is your next dream?

SERENA WILLIAMS: You guys should know the answer to this. To go to Disneyworld (laughter).

Q. What do you think your chances would have been against Karsten Braasch today?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I don't think he's a lady player, so I don't think he would have been in the lady's competition. I'm sorry about that, though. Maybe he can go ahead and win on the men's side.

Becool
Aug 4th, 2002, 06:06 PM
1999 U.S. OPEN
Flushing Meadows, New York City

September 12, 1999

WILLIAMS-WILLIAMS/Rubin-Testud

4-6, 6-1, 6-4

An interview with:

SERENA AND VENUS WILLIAMS

WTA: Questions for Venus and Serena.

Q. How is your first day as the US Open Singles Champion?

SERENA WILLIAMS: It's great. I have 363 more days to go as the defending champ. It's definitely exciting.

Q. Your thoughts on winning both? I don't think anybody has done that since Martina.

SERENA WILLIAMS: I've actually won all three events. I'm thinking maybe next year I should try to enter the men's event and see if I can at least win a round (laughter). It's pretty exciting. Just hope not to play anyone like Andre or Pete in the first round.

Q. Karsten waiting for you?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Who is that?

Q. How is it for you, Venus, winning this tournament?

VENUS WILLIAMS: I love winning. It's great. And, yeah, I'm happy.

Q. How late did the celebration last last night?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I didn't have time to celebrate. I'm not really a celebrating person, to be honest. I did a lot of celebrating on the court yesterday.

VENUS WILLIAMS: She'll celebrate with her credit card.

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I guess that's where my celebrating unconsciously comes in.

Q. Was it hard to wind down and go to sleep?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Not really, because I was really tired. I did a lot of press. I took a lot of pictures. I played a doubles match. I still had to do something after that. I was really tired. Took me really no time to go to sleep.

Q. Are you still planning to tour Stanford with Chelsea?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, if I have time. Yeah, it would be fun.

Q. What is your schedule after that?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I just have one more stretch of tournaments. I'm playing one in Luxembourg and two in Germany, and then that's it, and the Chase. That's all.

Q. Venus, yourself?

VENUS WILLIAMS: I'm just playing in Germany, one in Switzerland, maybe the Chase.

Q. How do you think this will change your life, Serena?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I think it's definitely going to change. It was bad before I won the tournament, so I really can't imagine if it could get worse. I really don't think it could, to be quite honest.

Q. Your father said it will impossible for him to go out. Is it going to be the same for you?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Probably so. I mean, it's actually impossible for me to go out now. It's like no real difference. I can't go anywhere. From the beginning of the tournament, I just can't walk down the street. At the end of the tournament, I probably won't be able to, either.

Q. What about at home?

SERENA WILLIAMS: It's the same. You're driving, people honk their horns. It's actually kind of annoying. You can get in a major accident, you know (laughter). I mean, really. It's deadly. It's just something that you wouldn't want to happen.

VENUS WILLIAMS: I don't respond to any honks of the horn. I don't look. Honking is not good.

Q. When you got back to the hotel room last night, how many messages did you have?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I didn't check my messages. I had 21 messages on my cell phone. An all-time high. I think I'm very popular now. I would only have one before.

Q. Are you going to increase the frequency of the newsletter?

SERENA WILLIAMS: It comes out --.

VENUS WILLIAMS: Should be coming out in about a week.

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah.

Q. What's going to be on the front page, I wonder?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I think I might make the cover.

VENUS WILLIAMS: You know, there was like an all-Czech quarterfinal, or fourth round. We could do that for the front cover.

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah.

Q. Serena said yesterday she'd never seen you so down after you lost to Hingis. Was it good to have this doubles match?

VENUS WILLIAMS: It doesn't help at all.

SERENA WILLIAMS: Doesn't help.

VENUS WILLIAMS: It never helps. I'll never forget. Very bitter.

Q. Do you plan to carry on playing doubles at all the Grand Slams next year, as far as you can see ahead?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yes. You have two weeks to play a lot of matches. It's great practice. One day before I played - I don't remember - I think it might have been my semifinal match, we played doubles. It was great practice. I was able to work on my returns actually in a match situation. It was good for me.

Q. Do you find the same, Venus?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Most definitely. I like playing doubles in the Grand Slams. We like playing with each other most of all. We don't play too much in the year. So the Slams, a good opportunity for us to play well.

Q. Do you find it also helps your singles game?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, definitely, because you can go out there and start working on your singles. You just think 'singles' when you're out there.

Q. After you beat Lindsay, you went out and practiced. Was that the first time during this Slam that you had gone out and practiced after a match? What did you work on specifically?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah. I think that was the first time I practiced after a match in a Slam. I worked on some groundstrokes, trying to get a lot of balls back and be consistent, and some serves.

Q. Was that your suggestion?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, it was my suggestion. It was after the Venus match. I knew I'd have a lot -- I would definitely have a chance of winning the tournament. She was playing great tennis, so I wanted to go out and practice and make sure I had my game together. If I had my chance, lost, at least I could say, "At least I did everything I could do." If I hadn't gone out and I had lost, I would have felt very bad.

Q. Are either or both of you planning to play a tournament in Australia before The Open?

VENUS WILLIAMS: We're not sure.

SERENA WILLIAMS: We're not sure. We haven't got our schedules yet. We're not sure.

Q. Serena, as one of the historical sides of this, you're the first African American woman to win in 41 years. Has that sunk in? Can you comment on that?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I really don't think any of it has sunk in, really. It's a great win. It's very fascinating. I knew when I went on that 16-winning streak, I could win a Slam. I knew that I really could. It's definitely great that I was able to come through here.

Q. Have you heard from Althea?

SERENA WILLIAMS: No, I have not. I have not.

Q. You've won almost $1 million in two days. What are you going to do with that?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Whoo-hoo (laughter).

Q. Have you thought about that at all? So you want to be a millionaire?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I mean, yeah. That is really great.

VENUS WILLIAMS: You have a quarterly to pay pretty soon.

SERENA WILLIAMS: I guess Uncle Sam is really happy.

Q. In retrospect, do you think you should have talked to President Clinton about that?

SERENA WILLIAMS: You know, I should have, because he did raise the taxes. I should have said, "How about cutting me a deal?"

VENUS WILLIAMS: Taxes were raised?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah.

VENUS WILLIAMS: What do you mean (laughter)?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I guess you just have to go ahead and pay. They will get you. I mean, really.

Q. Were you guys sharing a room here or separate rooms?

SERENA WILLIAMS: In the beginning we had separate rooms (laughter). We actually had five rooms in this hotel.

VENUS WILLIAMS: Different rooms at different periods of times throughout the two weeks.

SERENA WILLIAMS: Venus had her own, I had my own, my dad had his own. Then my mom came.

VENUS WILLIAMS: We all switched rooms.

SERENA WILLIAMS: We all switched rooms.

VENUS WILLIAMS: The hitting partner had another room. We had another room on the other side that someone had before, but switched.

SERENA WILLIAMS: We started out in different rooms the first round. Eventually we ended up back together.

Q. Why did you do all the switching? So no one could find you?

VENUS WILLIAMS: A lot of stuff happened.

SERENA WILLIAMS: A lot of people moved in.

VENUS WILLIAMS: It was six rooms.

Q. Was it actually one suite and a bunch of rooms or scattered all over the hotel?

VENUS WILLIAMS: All over the hotel.

SERENA WILLIAMS: We almost had every room at that hotel.

Q. As things got better, more people were coming?

VENUS WILLIAMS: No. It was just that we switched.

SERENA WILLIAMS: We just switched rooms.

Q. Did you ever go back to the wrong one?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Yes.

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yes. One time I was almost knocking on someone else's door. I tried to call Venus. I got a voice that said, "The person in this room is no longer. We're connecting you to the reception." I was like, "Oh, wow, what's going on?"

VENUS WILLIAMS: I was in a different room.

SERENA WILLIAMS: She was in a different room.

Q. How did you keep track of the keys?

VENUS WILLIAMS: It was difficult when you got a different key. I got a different room; I remembered I was in a different room, I had to go back down and get another key.

Q. You've been in New York all this time. What's it going to be like to go back to California?

VENUS WILLIAMS: It's going to be cold.

SERENA WILLIAMS: Is it?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, chilly.

SERENA WILLIAMS: It's going to be good. I guess -- we're California girls. We like it. California, Florida and New York. We like it all.

Q. When was the last time you were in Compton, either of you?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Maybe last year.

Q. What brought you back there then?

VENUS WILLIAMS: I'm not sure. Actually, I was just passing through, yeah.

SERENA WILLIAMS: We were driving. We were lost.

VENUS WILLIAMS: We were driving. I remember how you get places. When we moved, we were 12. I don't remember any shortcuts. I have to kind of go the long way around.

SERENA WILLIAMS: We were driving.

VENUS WILLIAMS: This is where we used to live. My dad said -- we were driving to go practice at one of the parks. My dad said, "Hey, strangely enough, we're in Compton." I had to kind of turn around and figure it out. It was crazy. We were by the chicken place.

Q. You've played all over the world. When are we going to have you in Africa?

SERENA WILLIAMS: We're definitely planning to travel to Africa next year or maybe at the end of this year. That's definitely someplace we really have in our plans to go. I really want to go there. I'm really excited about going there.

Q. Any particular countries there?

SERENA WILLIAMS: We were thinking about going to Senegal, Nigeria and South Africa.

Q. To play or just to visit?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Visit.

SERENA WILLIAMS: Both.

Q. How will you prepare to go forward from here to Fed Cup? Will you take time off?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah. We're going to take a little time off and relax, yeah. We have to go. We practice there, yeah.

Q. When did you have the last holiday, real holiday, and where?

VENUS WILLIAMS: The last real holiday I had was - maybe you, too - I was injured once like last year after a tournament. It was kind of like a holiday. I didn't practice for a month. I didn't go anywhere. I stayed home. You had a month off.

SERENA WILLIAMS: At the Lipton, we went to the Keys.

VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, but that was three days.

SERENA WILLIAMS: We really don't have holidays. We don't have time for holidays right now.

Q. Someone asked you yesterday how your life was going to change today. You said, "I don't know." Now it's today. How has your life changed?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I don't know.

Q. How good a player is Richard and how is he able to coach you?

SERENA WILLIAMS: My dad's a great player. Actually, I prefer him to serve to me because he really is really consistent. It's great. He's consistent. Actually, he gets a lot of balls over the net. He doesn't miss. When Venus is on the road, I know when I travel with my dad, I'll have a hitting partner. That's good.

Becool
Aug 4th, 2002, 06:22 PM
1999 CHASE CHAMPIONSHIPS OF THE WTA TOUR
MADISON SQUARE GARDEN, NEW YORK CITY

November 16, 1999

An Interview With:

SERENA WILLIAMS

(Via Telephone)

Q. Did you have any inkling before today that you may not be playing in the tournament?

SERENA WILLIAMS: None whatsoever. None at all.

Q. Do you feel that you were feeling good and ready to play?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Oh, yeah. Most definitely ready to play; compete and play and practice really hard for the Grand Slam Cup.

Q. Serena, you had a match tonight at 6 o'clock. What were you doing practicing at 7 o'clock in the morning?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I always practice early in the morning. I like to get my practice done really early so that I can go home and rest until -- so I can have the whole day. And I always practice early. I always practice at 7:00. It's what I do. I don't like anyone beating me out on the court.

Q. But doesn't that take away from some of your rest; like you might have to get up at 5:00 in the morning to get to a practice court to play at 6:00 and 7:00? Don't you think that's pushing it a little bit in terms of rest and relaxation?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I don't think so. I get up at -- at 6:30. I'm always up early anyway. I'm not a lazy individual. I usually wake up early, and I get back home and I have break and relax for the rest of the day.

Q. Are you still in pain, Serena?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, more than what I was originally.

Q. What are you supposed to do to help this get better?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I think rest, and I'm actually going to see two doctors tomorrow.

Q. Did you see a doctor at home in Florida today?

SERENA WILLIAMS: No. I just got home. So I'm going to wait until tomorrow, just rest tonight and then wait until tomorrow.

Q. Has it ever felt this bad before?

SERENA WILLIAMS: No, no. Not this bad ever. I had this before, but, I mean, this is definitely the worst.

Q. How does dropping out of this tournament affect your impression of the season?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I think overall, I had a really good season. I felt like I could have played better at some events and done a little better. I can't say that this is -- I had actually -- I didn't -- sorry. I wasn't able to make it to this tournament last year, but this year, I made it and I really wanted to play. I wanted to play last year, also, but I didn't make it; so I was really looking forward to it.

Q. What will stick out in your mind about the past season, what will you remember most?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Most definitely, my US Open win in singles and doubles.

Q. If this injury is not long-term, are you planning to play the Australian Open after all?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I'm thinking about it. It's in consideration. There's a chance I might go. There's a chance, I'm not sure. I just want to make sure everything is okay.

Q. Considering that you won the last Slam on a hardcourt, why would you not play the Australian?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I don't know.

Q. Could you describe again what it was that you did this morning that hurt your back initially?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I really don't know. I'm still trying to figure it out. I was practicing. I was almost done. It was like 7:40, and I took a break for some water and I was out to hit some volleys and after about 5:00, all of the sudden, I had a little pain in my back, and, you know, I just thought it was just maybe -- just like a pain that will come and go. But it actually got worse and worse, and I was starting to come off, and worst came to worst and here I am.

Q. Is it disappointing to have had to withdraw from two major tournaments this year before they started, Wimbledon and here?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, for sure. I mean, this one is really disappointing because I was there, and there's actually nothing I can do about it. Just unbelievable pain.

Q. Did Venus or your dad have any comforting words for you today?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Of course. They always do. My dad is always there to support, my mom, also. Yeah, they always are very comforting.

Q. Anything in particular?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Not really. Just -- not really. Nothing I really care to share right now.

Q. Do you have any idea how soon you will be recovering?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I can only hope for as soon as possible. Hopefully, you know, within a week or two, three.

Q. Is this the lowest point of your season so far?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I would say so, because I was really, really focused and really, really ready to go at this event, and ready to end the year on an awesome note. I think I had -- I have a pretty good ending to the year; so I just wanted to end it on an even better note. But, unfortunately, you can't always have it your way.

Q. Do you think you'll play more tournaments next year?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, for sure. Definitely. Yeah, for sure.

Q. Are we going to see you and Venus in some more of the same tournaments or are you going to try to keep it separate?

SERENA WILLIAMS: We'll be in more of the same tournaments but I'm not sure. We'll have to work it out, going over our schedules.

Q. How are you going to decide?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Venus and I might go to the same tournaments, like L.A., san Diego, things like that. We'll see how it works out. We might play a few events together. Who knows? We'll just have to wait and see.

Q. What's the longest you've gone without playing tennis or without doing any kind of exercise?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I would say about -- four years when I was born. No, I don't know. I really can't answer that question. I haven't thought about it. Maybe three, four weeks.

Q. Is it frustrating for you when you're not -- when you're not out there, whether it's practicing or playing?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I would say playing is more frustrating because there's players out there I know I can take, especially like they haven't -- that I know I would have a great chance of actually coming out the winner. It's definitely frustrating.

Q. So when you came into this tournament, you expected to win?

SERENA WILLIAMS: In the past, I've always expected to win tournaments. So my goal has been with the past few tournaments; so I'm playing one match at a time and I've been doing better at that. So I'm just taking it one match at a time.

Q. Can you describe how you've matured this season?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I've just matured, mentally, with my game. I'm more mentally stable. I know what I want. I know that I -- I don't want to have to lose a match. I want to be able to go out there and do my best.

Q. Were you surprised by the number of fans you've accumulated throughout the season?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I guess so. I have a lot of people out there supporting. I love everyone's support, and it's really great to have a lot of people on your side, because the fans mean everything to me.

Q. How does it feel to be a role model for young women?

SERENA WILLIAMS: It's a great feeling because I know I look up to other people, and it's nice to have other people that can be a role model for young people. I feel great and I hope I'm setting a good -- a good example.

Q. How does it feel to always have the support of your family?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, it's great. They have always been supporting me. I think it's been, no matter what decisions I make, they help me make decisions. And if I'm confused. I know I can go to my family for help. I really believe in family, and I'm really happy that I have the set of parents and the set of sisters that I have.

Q. How are you right now, are you lying down, standing up, sitting down? What do you have to do to rest your back?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Right now, I'm in a recliner just trying to rest. It hurts every time I take a deep breath.

Becool
Aug 4th, 2002, 06:26 PM
THE MASTERS SERIES 2000
INDIAN WELLS, CALIFORNIA

March 11, 2000

S. WILLIAMS/A. Stevenson

7-5, 3-6, 6-2

An interview with:

SERENA WILLIAMS

WTA: Questions for Serena.

Q. Alexandra finished her press conference with what you told her at the net. She said you told her, "You are there," considering her game. Is she there? What did you mean by that? Obviously a compliment to her.

SERENA WILLIAMS: I mean, the way she played tonight, I've never seen her play - her serve was really on. Every time, you know, she was down, she came up with a big winner. That was pretty good. That was really great. My serve wasn't kicking at all. I mean, tomorrow I think it will be better.

Q. Tennis Week listed you and your father and your mother and Venus as one of the most influential people in tennis. What did you think about that?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I thought that was really exciting. We are pretty influential. We changed the game. We came out on the scene, and everyone started playing harder, hitting harder, running faster, getting stronger, going to the gym, doing things different. Kind of like what Martina Navratilova did when she came out. They started going to the gym also. We're pretty influential in the game. My dad has done a lot, my mom also. It's like attracting a new crowd of people, a new crowd of fans. Everyone is really excited about it.

Q. You told her she's there, but you came up with the win, and in the third set pretty handily. What do you have? Experience? Having the sense of winning in the past? Shot-making? What makes you the better player?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I mean, I don't know about experience. I mean, she plays -- I think she played a little more tournaments than what I did. I just never give up. I fight till the end. I can't accept not fighting. I have that never-say-die spirit. It just lives inside me. You can't go out and say, "I want a bag of never-say-die spirit." It's not for sale (laughter). It has to be innate.

Q. Was it strange playing her after all these years?

SERENA WILLIAMS: We've never played in the Juniors before or anything. It was definitely a first. You always get a first.

Q. You said your serve wasn't kicking today. What about the rest of your game?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I don't know, maybe it was the stadium, the atmosphere. I could never get my rhythm. I've played so much better than this. You know, that's what you have to do. You have to be able to come out with a big match when you're not playing your best tennis. That's what I was able to do. She played pretty good. That's all that really matters.

Q. Are you less recognizable? You were at a Lakers game. Did people recognize you less without the beads, you and Venus?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Actually kind of, sort of. Without the beads, they stare at me (laughter). With the beads, they run to me. In the tournaments, I have a few beads in. When I was at the Lakers game, I didn't have any beads in. I was just trying to be incognito. The players came over to say hi. It was really nice. They recognized us.

Q. Any autographs?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I wanted to get an autograph from Shaq and Kobe Bryant for my nephew and niece. They really love them, but I didn't have any paper (laughter). It's so ironic. Everyone comes up to me, "Serena, this is for my brother." I'm like, "Yeah, right." I wanted to get their autograph, but it's like it's for my nephew and niece. I know how these people feel now.

Q. I heard that Kobe Bryant actually taped an event for something you and your sister were hosting. Can you tell me about that, please?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I don't know anything about this. Will you repeat it?

Q. Kobe Bryant taped a message for an event you and your sister were hosting, information, I think.

SERENA WILLIAMS: No, I don't hear much.

Q. Do you like these tough first round matches? Last year, you started off with Lindsay, I believe. This year was another tough one.

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, it gets me going. I've been playing pretty well in California. Last time I lost was a couple years ago, so I'd like to keep that record going.

Q. What is your next tournament?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I'm playing the Lipton -- the Ericsson (laughter).

Q. How are you physically? You've kind of had an up-and-down year with injuries.

SERENA WILLIAMS: Just in the beginning with the back. That was it. Right now, I'm great. I'm in great shape. I can run and stay out there. My maximum is eight hours. If anyone wants to stay out there for longer than eight hours, they can have the match.

Q. Didn't you get hurt in Paris in the final.

SERENA WILLIAMS: That's right. It was so strange. I don't know what happened. It was so strange. Maybe it was some move that I did. The next day, it was nearly back to normal, and I could play the next week. I won the next week, so that was really, really odd.

Q. What was going on there that second set? You had a break, then all of a sudden she just kind of gained a lot of momentum and won out the rest of the games of that second set. What was going on there?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, I mean, she really brought up her game. I kind of hit an error here, hit another error there. Maybe I wasn't as focused as I should have been. I think maybe that's pretty much what happened.

Q. Then what did you do in that third set to get it back?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, in the third set I knew I just have to fight for every point. If I was up, she would probably hit an ace. I couldn't let that get me down because I know Venus has a huge serve. Whenever I play her, she usually hits a ton of aces. I couldn't let that get me down.

Q. How did playing her kind of compare to when you play against Venus in terms of the serve?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, I mean, they both have big serves. I think the three of us have the biggest serves on the Tour. I don't think you can really compare the games because they're totally different styles.

Q. Is Venus hitting at all now?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Rumor has it she's hitting and she's getting in shape, she's practicing hard.

Q. You don't know that's a fact, though?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I wouldn't know. She's only my sister, you know (laughter).

Q. How does it feel to come into a tournament defending a title?

SERENA WILLIAMS: It really feels great. I was in Paris defending my title. I really felt great. I actually liked being the No. 1 seed, too. It was a special feeling. I have to get that No. 1 seeding again (laughter).

Q. Stevenson said that she couldn't (inaudible) on the baseline, didn't give up the baseline at all. What did you think about that?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, I don't know. I don't realize. I have to watch this match on tape and learn from it. I'm pretty tough to beat off the ground. It's kind of hard. I can understand, you know, you have power, it's coming deep. It's kind of hard to keep getting these shots back consistently.

Q. Do you think Lindsay stepped up a little bit this year and is playing better than she did at the end of the year, given what she did in Australia?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I definitely think so. I saw that match. We were at home. Our whole family were watching that match. Everyone's stepping it up. No one's giving away anything any more, nothing's for free. Every match you play, you have to fight. At least I don't get a free match anymore. Everyone that plays me really plays tough. She's really improved, unbelievable, just over the past few months. Everyone's improving. I've improved, too. Everyone's taken their game to a different level. It's a new millennium (laughter).

WTA: Last question, please.

Q. You met the president. He wrote something in your notebook.

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yes.

Q. Can you tell us what?

SERENA WILLIAMS: He wrote, "To Serena, all the best in your future career." He signed his name. I have to get more people to sign my book. I've got to get a lot of special people in it.

Q. How did you like meeting the president?

SERENA WILLIAMS: It was pretty exciting. He was really what I had not expected. I expected him to be more uptight. But he was so down-to-earth, so casual, like any normal person that you would meet on the street. I found that really quite hard to believe, that he was that way. He was what I would call cool. He's in my cool book (laughter). Not many people are in there, you know.

Q. Was it that hard to get into the White House itself?

SERENA WILLIAMS: It was pretty hard. You have to go through so much security. Everyone makes you roll your window down, you have to get your ID out. It's really hard to get in there.

Q. Who else is in the cool book?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Not many people, you know. You have to be cool to be in the cool book (laughter).

Q. Nobody in this room?

SERENA WILLIAMS: No one else I'm going to mention is on the cool book. Venus is on the cool book, a lot of people. I'm not going to mention any. That's next time.

Becool
Aug 4th, 2002, 06:33 PM
THE MASTERS SERIES 2000
INDIAN WELLS, CALIFORNIA

March 12, 2000

S. WILLIAMS/R. Grande

4-6, 6-1, 6-2

An interview with:

SERENA WILLIAMS

WTA: Questions for Serena.

Q. You told us to ask you again, so who is in the cool book? It was your suggestion.

SERENA WILLIAMS: Today I'll have to release another name. My dad's in the cool book.

Q. What does he do that's so cool?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Everything. You know, he's a cool guy. He's just in my cool book.

Q. Did you expect to lose that first set today?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Not at all. Not at all. No, I did not.

Q. What happened?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I didn't play my game right. I made a little too many errors. I wasn't doing what I was supposed to do in practice. The rest is a fait accompli.

Q. In the second set, she seemed to come back a bit. The third set, you just swept her aside. Was that your game plan?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Pardon me?

Q. The third set you seemed to have swept her aside.

SERENA WILLIAMS: I just started playing a little better, moving the ball around. I just realized I really had to come to the net against this player because she kind of got everything back at a very slow pace. If you didn't kind of come to the net and put it away, I would probably still be out there in the first set. So I didn't want that to happen.

Q. Do you know why you've kind of struggled a little bit with the two matches this week?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I'm not sure. I feel that my rhythm is going to come tomorrow. I can just feel it. I just have this thing.

Q. Did you feel like you started getting your rhythm in the second and third sets?

SERENA WILLIAMS: In the second set, I definitely felt I was getting my rhythm, just felt I was doing a little better out there.

Q. Anything in particular that kind of helped you get in that rhythm?

SERENA WILLIAMS: No, not really. I just started kind of connecting with the ball a little better.

Q. Did the breaks you had in the first set kind of give you a wake-up call, because then you won eight straight games?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yes, it did. She did break me in the first game. After that I told myself, I want to win every game. I don't want to lose another game. And I tried not to.

Q. Do you have to make big improvements this year or is it just gradual, week-to-week, fixing little things here and there?

SERENA WILLIAMS: There's so much room for improvement. Everyone's out there trying to ameliorate their game. That's what I'm trying to do. There's never a dull moment. I think there's always room for everyone to have improvement. So I think not week-to-week, I think I just improve all over.

Q. I see you're working with Todd Nelson this week, saw you out at the practice courts. How is that working out?

SERENA WILLIAMS: It's working out very well. He said he met me before when I was young. I met so many people when I was younger, of course I just didn't remember. But he's really a nice guy, very well player, working out very consistent.

Q. Do you think you'd work with him anytime again, or is it because he's in this area?

SERENA WILLIAMS: It was kind of in this area, but I would love to again, yeah.

Q. You've played in all the big stadia now. What is the feeling of playing in this ballpark?

SERENA WILLIAMS: This stadium, I can't describe the stadium. It's kind of like the air is different. I really excel in larger stadiums, I must say. I seem to have struggled a little in this stadium. I'll have to improve that tomorrow.

Q. The air is different, you say?

SERENA WILLIAMS: It's kind of just really different out there. No big deal. If you're a real player, you don't really notice it anyway, so I don't notice it at all.

Q. You were on Hollywood Squares. Any more of those types of endeavors in the future?

SERENA WILLIAMS: We're just trying to get a little outside court things besides tennis. You know, there's a life after tennis also. We're just doing different things.

Q. Did you enjoy being on there?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Sure. It was a great fun meeting Whoopi. A pretty good opportunity.

Q. Do you watch Do You Want to be a Millionaire?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I think they should ask my dad how to be a millionaire (laughter).

Q. Have you watched the show, though?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I watched it briefly.

Q. If you had to call somebody as a lifeline, who would you call?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I would actually call my older sister Isha, she lives in DC. She's in college. She seems to always have a lot of intellectual answers. I think I would call her.

Q. Last night I mentioned Kobe Bryant. He did do something for the academy which is in your and your sister's name in Los Angeles, he had a message in support of the academy.

SERENA WILLIAMS: All right, I understand now. That's great, because our academy is doing very well in LA. We're really excited about it. Glad he contributed.

Q. I believe Billy Jean King and Nick Bollettieri, they also gave.

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yes, they did.

Q. Have you seen any of the kids who played at the academy?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yes, I have. They come out every year to the LA tournament. I don't know if they're coming to this one or not. I think they're in school right now. But I see them every year in LA. Sometimes I go over there also and see how things are doing.

Q. Are there any good players?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yes, there's a couple good Juniors. They're being ranked. I think one is No. 5. They're really coming along. It's great to see a different mixture of players coming into the game.

Q. Do you still like to practice?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Practice?

Q. Yes.

SERENA WILLIAMS: I love to practice. I love to work hard.

Q. What about off-court stuff?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I always do things off court (laughter).

Q. Obviously. What I meant is, working out off court.

SERENA WILLIAMS: Pardon?

Q. Do you have to drag yourself to weight lifting or sprints, or is everything still fresh?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Oh, no. I never have to drag myself. I'm always telling my dad, "Come on, let's run."

Q. Your dad's running with you?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yes.

Q. He keeps up?

SERENA WILLIAMS: My dad, my dog, the little one, he keeps up, too. We all run.

Q. What kind of dog do you have?

SERENA WILLIAMS: A Jack Russell. She's really fast. Venus has a real miniature, small dog. He's super fast.

Q. Did Rita do anything different than the other times you played her?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I played her in Fed Cup. It was on clay. Her slice didn't stay down as much. It bounced up. You could put the ball away really quick, really easy.

Q. Are you concerned about Venus' wrist injuries? Are they significant or are they small things that you think are going to go away?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, we were concerned about it. But Venus has been going through a lot of therapy in the past couple weeks. She's really been improving. Like I said yesterday, rumor has it she's working hard.

Q. Is there worry that they might come back again and again, month after month?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I'm really not sure. You will definitely have to ask her this.

Q. Do you have Olympic ambitions? Alexandra Stevenson told us she wants to play badly at the Olympics. Do you want to play, too?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Sure.

Q. (Inaudible) playing the Federation Cup?

SERENA WILLIAMS: You have to play on the Federation Cup. I'm not sure if she played on the Federation Cup. It's going to be tough to try to make the team.

Becool
Aug 4th, 2002, 06:38 PM
THE MASTERS SERIES 2000
INDIAN WELLS, CALIFORNIA

March 12, 2000

S. WILLIAMS/K. Clijsters

6-4, 6-4

An interview with:

SERENA WILLIAMS

WTA: Questions for Serena.

Q. That "Make a Wish Foundation" on the court, you signed every ball, is very nice.

SERENA WILLIAMS: I'm sorry. I didn't hear your question.

Q. Was that "Make a Wish Foundation" on the court, you signed every ball, every cap. Very nice. Why did you do it?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, I really don't sign too many autographs off the court. I'm usually in a hurry, always walking. The fans are here to see the players, get the autographs. I figure while I'm on the court, why not?

Q. Feeling a little better with your game today?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I am. I think I'm playing a little better than what I did the other days.

Q. Can you talk about your ace for 5-3, 121?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, that was so exciting. I'm really getting up there. I couldn't believe it, it was 123.

Q. 123 or 121?

SERENA WILLIAMS: 121. That's tomorrow or whenever I play again (laughter). It was unbelievable. I had a 119 in my first match, second round, I don't know, one day. I'm going to call Venus and say, "121." I'm going to start answering my phone, "121."

Q. That's the fastest?

SERENA WILLIAMS: That's the fastest for me. I'm not that tall, so that's pretty good. I'm definitely catching up. I think hers is like 127 or 129, 127.4, so I'm not that far off.

Q. Kim looked stunned. She kind of stared at the board for a while. Is that the first time you broke 120?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah. I had 18, 17. Actually, this week is the first time I got up to 119. I've really been working out and trying to get stronger. It's paying off.

Q. Can you put matches like this into your cool book as well as you do people?

SERENA WILLIAMS: You know what? I don't have a cool match book. Now that you mention it, I'm definitely going to start that. That sounds really exciting. I should have thought of this earlier, like US Open I had a couple cool matches. I'll have to write them down tonight.

Q. Do you think this match belongs in there?

SERENA WILLIAMS: No, no, I don't think so. I don't think I played that well for it to belong in there.

Q. But the 121 ace?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, that will be in there. I'll have to mark this day on my calendar. But I'm going to pass that.

Q. You have a nice little run going in the desert.

SERENA WILLIAMS: Actually in California, in the States. I'm really hard to beat here. I've lost once in a couple of years, yeah.

Q. Why do you think that is? Any reason for that?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I don't know. You should just pick one place that you're not going to lose that much at. Like Pete picks Wimbledon. He doesn't lose much there. I think I should pick the United States where I won't lose that much here.

Q. You are facing Mary Pierce now. She won?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yes, I believe I play her next.

Q. How is that going to be? Can you tell us?

SERENA WILLIAMS: You know, I hardly ever get to play her. I played her twice, I think. Yeah, twice. I'm glad I get to play her again because it seems like I play her once every year or every other year. Seems like Venus is always playing her. It should be fun.

Q. Did you win both those matches?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I did.

Q. Comfortably?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yes.

Q. How come the score was so close? You're the defending champion, Kim is 16, youngest person in the draw, two years younger than you. How did you find a way to beat her?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I was just playing a little -- I don't know. I've been playing long enough to be able to win. There was no excuse for me to be able to win.

Q. There's only one game separating you from being 5-5 in each set, 6-4, meaning if she wins one more game, you lose one less, you're 5-All both sets.

SERENA WILLIAMS: There's actually only two games from it being 7-6 (laughter).

Q. Your glass is half full.

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yours is a quarter.

Q. All in all though, you've got to be happy. But what do you have to work on for tomorrow or the next day?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I'm just going to work on everything, my groundstrokes, my serves, hopefully come to the net more. I wasn't happy how I didn't come to the net much today. Seems like I couldn't get there for some reason. Hopefully I'll be able to do it a little better.

Q. You played Mary here last year.

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I did.

Q. What do you remember of that match here?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I remember it was a nice match. I can't say both my wins against her were really comfortable, but she played well. She always plays well. You know, she's a person that you can't just look over. She's a good player.

Q. A lot of people think Clijsters is going to be among the next wave of great players. Do you agree with that statement?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, yeah, for sure. She's coming up. There's a lot of players coming. Everyone wants to win. I'm sure she's been working hard. She's only 16. She's a very strong young lady. She smiles a lot. She seems happy. She seems very happy off the court. You don't find that too much around the young players nowadays, but she seems really happy and comfortable. I think she'll do well.

Q. Wasn't too long ago you were part of that next wave, 16 playing against somebody 19. It's weird, you're only 18, yet there's a whole wave coming behind you.

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, there is. I'm now old (laughter). I'm not young anymore. There's a new crop coming in. I'm about to be picked. The wheat, going down the field, you pick the wheat. Some players have already been picked. Seems like I'm up there.

Q. Does that feel strange? As he mentioned, you're not 19, but now you're old.

SERENA WILLIAMS: No, I just feel experience. I feel I can get these wins over these younger players. I know what to do here.

Q. How young do you think it's going to go? Do you think we'll see champions younger than we have now? How young do you think it can go?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, probably so, as long as I'm not in the draw. No, these young players are really watching the matches, really playing tough. You know, you can't go out and not be serious anymore or else you find yourself booking your next flight home.

Q. If you're old at 18, what does that make Pierce at 25?

SERENA WILLIAMS: 25. Who knows?

Q. She's in her prime.

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, she is.

Q. This is a great facility, great stadium, great grounds. If had you to summarize your view of the new stadium and facility here in one or two words, what words would you choose?

SERENA WILLIAMS: About the stadium?

Q. Yes, the new facility here.

SERENA WILLIAMS: I would choose it as a very relaxing atmosphere. I think it's a really relaxing place. I like how they have the whole thing set up for the players. Another word I would use is just a beautiful site, beautiful and very relaxing.

Q. How about "cool"? No?

SERENA WILLIAMS: It's tough. I told you, it's tough to make it.

Q. If you happen to be upset, will you go right to Key Biscayne or stay?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, yeah, because I live in Florida anyway. I'll just go home and practice.

Q. Do you have any suggestion? Everybody is trying to be nice, saying about the facilities and all, which is okay, but the best way to help is if there's anything you see that might be improved, courts, anything like that crossing your mind about this facility.

SERENA WILLIAMS: I've only been able to play on the center court, all my matches on the center court. I think it's a nice place. I like how you're on the road and you just see the stadium. I think that's so different, how you just see it. It's like in the middle of nowhere. It's kind of, "Wow." It's weird.

Q. Can I ask you about the difference between this time playing Kim and when you played her at the US Open?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I don't know. At the US Open I just remember -- I don't remember much. I just remember hitting a lot of aces. This time, I don't know. I guess, you know, she got a little better, for sure.

Q. When you had your 117, was that at the US Open against her?

SERENA WILLIAMS: No. I think I hit that a few times in that tournament.

Becool
Aug 4th, 2002, 06:44 PM
THE MASTERS SERIES 2000
INDIAN WELLS, CALIFORNIA

March 15, 2000

M. PIERCE/S. Williams

6-2, 6-1

An interview with:

SERENA WILLIAMS

WTA: Questions for Serena.

Q. You look like you weren't moving very well. Was that part of the problem?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I mean, it was -- I don't know. I mean, everything she hit was either on the line or a winner. So, I mean, what can you do?

Q. Even when you had opportunities, you were missing shots you normally get.

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I usually make those shots. I mean, I didn't have all that many opportunities. The ones I did have, I didn't make it. You don't take your opportunity, then someone else will.

Q. The other day after the match and after the press conference, you went out and hit some balls with a strong opponent, your father. You were working on a particular part of your game, backhand. Was that the problem you were working on?

SERENA WILLIAMS: No. I was -- yeah, yeah. Yeah, I was, backhand.

Q. Did your serve let you down, because she was really pouncing on your second especially?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, she -- every ball that I put in place, I guess she pounced on it. She had a plan. You know, usually she doesn't make that many shots. I'm sure her next match, hopefully she'll do well. I've never seen her make that many shots that consistently in my life.

Q. Seven aces in your two first service games, then you struggled. Why was that?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I don't know.

Q. How about the heat, did that bother you at all?

SERENA WILLIAMS: No. I'm used to the heat. You know, I live in Florida. It's no big deal.

Q. You called it, you said you're going to be back on an early plane if you didn't (inaudible).

SERENA WILLIAMS: Did I?

Q. Yes, last session. Have you played many matches when your opponent played that well?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I've never played a match where my opponent has played pretty much nearly impeccable the way she did today. There's some days when your opponent's on, you're not on. It's kind of hard to play when you're not playing your best, but your opponent is playing, you know, out-of-this-world tennis.

Q. This whole tournament, did you ever feel you were playing your best tennis?

SERENA WILLIAMS: At this tournament, not at all.

Q. 50 percent, 80 percent?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I mean, 10.

Q. How disappointing is it not to defend your title?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, obviously this is disappointing because I just go in every tournament to try to win. You know, it's just a game, and next year.

Q. Even though you did not play up to your game today, I think you played wonderful.

SERENA WILLIAMS: Thanks.

Q. How is your confidence now compared to the past? Do you feel as confident as in the past or are you having problems in that area?

SERENA WILLIAMS: No. I mean, my confidence right now is really soaring. I feel like I can fly.

Becool
Aug 4th, 2002, 06:54 PM
THE MASTERS SERIES 2000
THE ERICSSON OPEN

MIAMI, FLORIDA

March 25, 2000

S. WILLIAMS/M. Maleeva

6-4, 6-4

An interview with:

SERENA WILLIAMS

WTA: Questions for Serena.

Q. How did you feel you played today?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I played okay. You know, I think I'm feeling a lot better. I feel I'm really trying to cut back on the errors. I think I made more in the second set than I did in the first. I'm doing a lot better than I was.

Q. You haven't played her. Was it a little hard to gauge her game?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I hadn't ever played her. I didn't know she hit so many balls cross-court. The majority, I would say 99.9%, of her balls would go cross-court. It was kind of strange, you know.

Q. How are you feeling with where your game is at right now?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Right now I'm definitely feeling a lot better than I have in the past. I went home and I really worked on a lot of consistency, a lot of movement. I just worked on different things that I hadn't worked on. There's always a change in someone's game, so I'm trying to change for the better.

Q. You had that great family party here last year, you two getting into the final. Does it feel weird being back here without Venus playing with you?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, it does a little. Venus is the defending champion. She only lost once at this tournament, I believe. Unbelievable. It feels weird. But, you know, I'm a player. I'm definitely ready to play.

Q. Do you feel some pressure to win it for the Williams' house again?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I really want to do that. I want to go ahead and take it home. I'll do my best.

Q. "Take it home." Has a nice ring to it.

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, take it home.

Q. You love mixed doubles. Did you ever tell Butch to add mixed doubles to this tournament for you?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I don't know. It's a lot of events to play in a ten-day tournament.

Q. If they had mixed doubles, would you play in it?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I don't think so. I'm really concentrating now on my singles. That's where it is mostly.

Q. You and Venus are working on a house you're getting ready to move in. How is that going?

SERENA WILLIAMS: It's going very slow. The stadium at Indian Wells was built in like, what, 12 months. Our house has been like 16 months and it's still not built. It's like 6500 square feet, but still there's no reason.

Q. Who oversees the construction?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I should give the name, but I won't.

Q. Has it been fun to plan and design and figure out how you're going to decorate?

SERENA WILLIAMS: No. There's so many things you have to choose. At first in the beginning it was great. "Wow, I want this." Now it's, "I'll take that." It doesn't matter anymore." "Do you want this?" "Sure, it doesn't matter." We got to pick out chandeliers. I didn't even see the chandeliers. I don't really care anymore. I really just don't care. It's so tiring. All the decisions, it's unbelievable.

Q. You sound very grown up talking about this house. Do you feel more grown up than you were a year ago, substantially?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, definitely for sure. My game has definitely grown. I've won more titles. I'm a more consistent player. I'm a better person, looking better, yeah (laughter). Everyone is really trying to improve. You've got to improve the whole all-around Serena, not just the tennis one.

Q. Has The Open win reverberated in your life in any way that you didn't expect, people coming up to you, somebody you didn't expect? What has it been like?

SERENA WILLIAMS: There was a lot more people. To be honest, I was bothered so much before The Open, during The Open and after The Open, I couldn't really tell you the difference. I couldn't go anywhere really. I really still can't. I guess people recognize me more, maybe my name more. Usually it's always Venus Williams and the other sister. Now more people - everyone - is saying Serena Williams, sometimes they say the other sister. Sometimes it goes vice versa. If they say Venus, I can keep walking, because I'm not Venus. "Can you sign this, Venus?" "Oh, I'm not Venus." I can just walk by. It doesn't happen so often at all.

Q. With Venus being out, there's a lot of rumors, she's going to retire, it's all over, is she coming back, when is she coming back.

SERENA WILLIAMS: I read that.

Q. Is it absurd?

SERENA WILLIAMS: You really have to ask her. I mean, rumor has it she's retiring. I read it myself. Like, Wow, Venus, are you retiring? I have the inside information. Unfortunately, I'm not able to release that.

Q. Would you be surprised to see her never play again?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I'd be very surprised. I'm sure you guys would, too. I'm going to announce my retirement at Wimbledon (laughter).

Q. After you win it?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah. This is my last event. It's been swell. Wait, this is 2000 now. It's been great.

Q. People have likened the Women's Tour to a soap opera. Do you think there's any truth to that comparison?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I don't know. I guess. I mean, women deal a lot with emotions sometimes. I guess a lot of people act out. I know a few people say things to the press that obviously don't add up at all. As for me, I kind of like to stay out of it. I'm not in the soap opera. I'd rather do a movie. I'm not the soap opera type.

Q. Do you enjoy the kind of mix of personalities out there, or at least reading about them?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I guess it's fun. It gets women's tennis out there. Everyone is excited to watch, see what's going to happen next, who is going to go where. It's really exciting. It's the future.

Q. Are you taking courses this semester?

SERENA WILLIAMS: No, no. I only can go in the fall, then I have to play tournaments. I've played too many tournaments. I can't do it.

Q. Is Venus taking any?

SERENA WILLIAMS: No. I mean, she said she could have since she didn't play. But she thought she was going to play. She was really disappointed that she wasn't able to take any classes. She could have had another whole quarter under here. Unfortunately she doesn't.

Q. Is she bouncing off the walls not being able to play?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, she is. I see her out there actually working. It's her wrist. I see her out there working on her legs, strengthening, conditioning. I'm going to have to be ready when she comes back.

Becool
Aug 4th, 2002, 06:59 PM
THE MASTERS SERIES 2000
THE ERICSSON OPEN

MIAMI, FLORIDA

March 26, 2000

S. WILLIAMS/A. Sugiyama

6-3, 6-0

An interview with:

SERENA WILLIAMS

WTA: Questions for Serena.

Q. Can you talk about your match today?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, I played okay. I think maybe my opponent didn't play her best tennis. I made a lot of errors that I thought I had tried to eliminate out of my game. I don't know. I'm going work more on my serve. My serve wasn't really kicking today. Other than that, I got the win. That's what really counts.

Q. What kind of errors? Was it one part of your game?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I don't know. I would say it was more or less all over. You know, that's okay. As long as I'm doing good and think positive, that's what really matters.

Q. Is this tournament more special to you than others?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I would say so because it's at home, I love to come here, I can drive. It's not that far away. A lot of family members are here. It's great. It's one of my favorites. It's nice. I like the stadium. It's real comfortable. I like the air. I like everything about it.

Q. Who was here from your family today?

SERENA WILLIAMS: My dad. Venus is here. I guess that's it. My mom is tired. She's had enough for now.

Q. Is it windy up at your home?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Are you windy (laughter)?

Q. Conditions down her are supposedly windy. Is it as windy up at your home? Are you used to that?

SERENA WILLIAMS: The windiest it's ever been was definitely at Nick Bollettieri's. It's so windy there. I used to practice there a lot. It's not as windy at our home. Sometimes it is, but not too much.

Q. The conditions here don't bug you really?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I've never felt the wind. I remember I always used to watch the tournament when I was younger. I thought, "Wow, I have to be ready for the wind." I got here. Three years in a row, I have yet to feel wind. I feel windy at times.

Q. When I ask a question, you feel windy.

SERENA WILLIAMS: No, no (laughter).

Q. If you could get in tennis any wish that you could have, in any way, what wish would you ask for?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I'd wish not to ever lose another match.

Q. What do you think the chances are of that happening?

SERENA WILLIAMS: They're slim to none. Even the greatest, Martina Navratilova, I think she had a year 53-3. That's a fabulous year. I don't remember. She might have had more wins.

Q. Two losses.

SERENA WILLIAMS: Two. I want a year like that, hardly any losses. That's definitely what I would like to do.

Q. Can you imagine having played the original Martina in her prime; what would that be like?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I always wanted to play her. She's my favorite player. I used to admire her and John McEnroe so much. They used to be my favorite players. It would be nice to play against her, even hit against her.

Q. Do you think you could handle her serve-and-volley?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I have a strategy for serve-and-volleyers. I don't run into many, though, not on this tour. I would be ready. I'd have my game ready.

Q. What did you like about McEnroe?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I liked his attitude on the court. "You can't be serious." I loved that. It was in the '80s. Oh, man, the decade we all could forget (laughter). Fashion-wise, whew, yeah. Otherwise, it was great.

Q. What was so wrong with the 80's fashion-wise?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Oh, everything. The belts to the side, this to the side (shoulder off), the collar up. It's not fashionably correct. To this day, if I see people walking around, I don't like it. It was a fashion decade - just a decade we could leave behind.

Q. Are you going to lose the red shoes?

SERENA WILLIAMS: No, no, not at all.

Q. What is your secret strategy on serve-and-volleyers?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I can't tell you. You know I can't tell you. There might be some serve-and-volleyers. Novotna retired. Is there any serve-and-volleyers on the tour? There might be one coming up. I have my strategy for her.

Q. Is your biggest goal in life still to win Wimbledon?

SERENA WILLIAMS: My biggest goal, my dream when I was younger, was to win the US Open. Now I'm ready to move onto a different championship like Wimbledon, I want to get as many wins there, and at The Open, as possible.

Q. I assume you're very close with your sister. Does it take some of the pressure off not having her here this week?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Actually, no. It would be better if she was here because I know she would knock out some of those top players. It would be great. I have to do all the work now. When she's here, she usually takes them out.

Q. When she's watching you, like today, does she come back and give you advice?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, sometimes. She's played a lot more players than what I've played. She's played a lot of players that I've never played before. She usually tells me what to do against them.

Q. After the match, I was walking away, I heard you say something about your dad, nominating him.

SERENA WILLIAMS: The Tennis Monthly Recap nominated him for coach of the year because he has had two players in the Top 5 that he's coaching. Everyone says that his way is not the normal. What's the word I'm looking for? Gosh, I can't think of it right now.

Q. Conventional?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Exactly, it wasn't conventional. He did things different. No one thought that we would really be top, top players because we didn't play Juniors. My dad was my coach. We needed a new coach. He's what we need. He really just totally helps my game. He's definitely the best coach out there.

Q. When is the next issue?

SERENA WILLIAMS: The next issue is coming out. We're doing a couple special articles in April.

Q. Where did you say you nominated him?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Tennis Monthly Recap; it's a big publication.

Q. Since your father has been your coach, can you imagine what it would be like, Lindsay's dad has virtually no involvement with her career, can you imagine what that would be like, having a father who wasn't involved with your tennis?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, if he wasn't involved from the beginning until my career now. Was her dad involved when she was younger?

Q. Never.

SERENA WILLIAMS: It would just be something I would be used to, more or less. Whereas he's always been there. It's like kind of hard to say how I would feel if I've never had that. If he wasn't there in the beginning, I would be used to it, I'd have another coach that would help me the same. He's always been there, so he's my coach.

Q. What is the best thing you've bought with your earnings from playing tennis?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I really don't buy much actually. I've cut that out. I'm trying to buy stocks now just in case I have an unfortunate accident, I will be settled and set. I don't know. I really don't buy much. I have never bought a car.

Q. What stock do you invest in? Internet stocks?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I want to buy them all. I'm getting some upcoming stock that's about to go public. I don't want you guys to get it because I want it. I think it's going to do really well. I'm going to invest in it. I want it all. I'm not going to let you in on it.

Q. If you had a choice to buy stock in the WTA or stock in the ATP, which would you put your money into?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Right now, I would definitely put my money into the WTA. I mean, there's a lot of young ladies out there that's really exciting to watch. But it might go up and then fall.

Q. When is Williams Bus Company going public?

SERENA WILLIAMS: You'd have to ask my dad.

Q. Do you think realistically that the WTA would have a problem with all the strong young talent that's there right now?

SERENA WILLIAMS: You know, tennis has become not so much a game -- I think it's more the excitement that the players bring, that we bring, Venus and I bring, that Anna brings. We're doing something different. We're not doing everything else that everyone else is doing. First of all, Venus and I are black. There's not many black people out here, to be quite honest. You want to see something different. It's different. I know there's a lot of young players coming out, but I don't know what type of personalities they have that can keep people interested. I don't know. That's why I said it might go up; it might fall.

Q. Can you talk for a moment about Anna. Do you respect what she brings to the game? What do you like and maybe what don't you like what she brings to the scene?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I have no problem with her. She's always real nice to me. She always asks about the dog. She has a dog, too. He's a big boy. I never met him, but she talks a lot about him. She's nice. She's real nice.

Q. Going back to Wimbledon. You said how much you wanted to win there. Is something really different about Wimbledon, obviously the grass, the weather, the whole mindset?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I want to be able to win the biggest tournament ever. I'm not sure if it's Wimbledon or the US Open, so I'm just going to try to win them both. I've just got one down, one to go.

Q. What tournament do you expect we'll see you and Venus playing in next?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Who knows? We might play Roma or French Open. I don't know. I don't know. I don't know her schedule, I only know mine. I don't know if she's going to be in it or not.

Q. You do expect to see her back on the courts?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I expect to see her back and competing soon.

Q. What do you think about Sugiyama?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I don't think she played her best today. I played her before. I think she played a little bit better. I don't know, it was a fun match for me. I'm glad to get it under my belt.

Becool
Aug 4th, 2002, 07:05 PM
THE MASTERS SERIES 2000
THE ERICSSON OPEN

MIAMI, FLORIDA

March 27, 2000

J. CAPRIATI/S. Williams

7-6, 1-6, 6-3

An interview with:

SERENA WILLIAMS

WTA: Questions for Serena.

Q. What do you feel you have to do now to really get back into things?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Actually, you know what, I feel I played okay today. I mean, she just played some great shots. Maybe I could have came in a little bit more, just try a little different things, yeah. I just -- I don't know. I'm going to go home, talk things over with my dad. We'll evaluate things.

Q. Does this shock you?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Shock me? Anytime I lose, it shocks me.

Q. Is it tougher now that you're no longer an underdog, people are gunning for you?

SERENA WILLIAMS: No, not really. People were always gunning for me. I don't know. I mean, they always played me real hard than I've ever seen them play other people. You know, whenever I go out there, I know people are going to play me extremely hard, whereas they might go a little easy on other people.

Q. What do you think of Jennifer's game at this point?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I think definitely today she played some of her best tennis. She did good. The best for her.

Q. Do you remember a big match where you started out not being able to get your first serve in like this?

SERENA WILLIAMS: No, I don't remember a big match. No, I can't remember. I mean, this tournament, I've been really struggling with my serve. I don't know. I'm going to go and work on that, too. I don't know why.

Q. No explanation for it? Toss? Wind?

SERENA WILLIAMS: It was really windy out there. I mean, it was hard to, you know, play my game. I think if it wasn't so windy, maybe I would have came out with the win. But I don't know. You know, just yesterday people were asking me if I ever played in windy conditions. I said, "No, I never played in windy conditions." What do you know, the next day it's really windy, so. You know, there's a first for everything. Today was my first. I'm still young. I'm only 18. She's 24. How old is she? 23.

Q. That foot fault call.

SERENA WILLIAMS: That was unfair. Things happen.

Q. Then after the call, your smash was called in, the crowd seemed to disagree with that. Did that surprise you a little bit, the crowd's reaction?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I don't understand. When the crowd was going crazy?

Q. Yes.

SERENA WILLIAMS: I didn't know what happened at all. I didn't understand. All I knew is I got the game. I thought maybe the umpire gave Jennifer a point penalty.

Q. Is that what happened?

SERENA WILLIAMS: That's what I thought. I don't know what happened at all. All I know is I got the game and I thought my ball was out. I don't remember what happened. I remember I hit a backhand and it was out. Jennifer, I don't know, I thought she got a point penalty. All I know is I got the game.

Q. They ruled it in, that it was good.

SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, it was out. But I didn't know that, you know. It's not my job to call the lines.

Q. Didn't seem like she could have gotten a point penalty.

SERENA WILLIAMS: That was the only thing I could figure. I didn't think they would call that in, though, because it was pretty far out.

Q. Do you think the chair has a responsibility to tell the players and crowd what's going on so there's clarity?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, I guess in that situation, usually it's pretty clear. But the crowd was so loud, no one could really hear anything. Even I couldn't hear anything. I don't know. Usually it's pretty clear, but today I guess it wasn't clear. Something that doesn't happen so often.

Q. When you say the foot fault was unfair, do you mean you thought you didn't foot fault?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I don't foot fault.

Q. On TV, replay showed you did on that one.

SERENA WILLIAMS: I don't foot fault (laughter).

Q. After that controversial point, you changed sides, hit three very un-Serena like service returns. Were you feeling tight in that game?

SERENA WILLIAMS: No. I mean, at that game, every time I tried to go for a return, the ball just at the last minute turned into me like the wind. I was like, "Wow, this is ridiculous." It was really strange.

Q. Have you ever seen anybody serve a ball into the crowd?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, Venus. I used to really not like playing doubles with her because she did that all the time.

Q. What was your reaction when Jennifer did that?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I didn't have a reaction. I was just ready to play, you know, try and get every point that I could.

Q. Did you sense that things were getting a little rocky for her there when she was trying to close it out?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Every time I play her, she might have a lead on me; I usually come back. I think I played her in Berlin, she was up 5-2, I came back and won.

Q. Martina said that while you played great at The Open, these days she and Lindsay were at a level better than the other players, a level by themselves. Could you comment on that?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I don't know. I'm ready to play Martina again because she makes a lot of comments. But she's right. Actually, I've been losing a lot. I lost in the Australian Open, I lost in Indian Wells, I lost here. So, yeah, it's her and Lindsay right now, yeah. Hopefully we'll play each other soon.

Q. You'd like to change that situation?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Obviously, of course.

Q. What's the key to getting that consistency back?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I don't know. Like I said, I'm going to go home and talk things over with my dad, you know.

Q. At one point during the match, the chair cautioned the crowd about cell phones. Is that ever a distraction for you during a match? Can they do something about that?

SERENA WILLIAMS: No. You see, I grew up in the ghetto. I've been used to worse distractions. That's really no distraction to me.

Q. What are you targeting for your year? Do you have a particular ambition, a part of the year you're especially looking forward to?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I usually look forward to the beginning of the year because most of the tournaments are on hard court and I do really excel. You know, now I'm really looking forward to the middle of the year because I love to play on the clay. I'm definitely going to get ready for the play.

Q. What's your schedule?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I'm playing a lot of tournaments, you know, Bausch and Lomb, Hilton Head, Berlin.

Q. Are you aware of the Confederate flag controversy up in South Carolina?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Is there?

Q. The NAACP is proposing a boycott of all events up there because of the Confederate flag flying over the statehouse. Do you have any thoughts about that?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Wow, I didn't know that. Maybe I won't play.

Q. Seriously?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Seriously, yeah. I mean, I'm really not involved in politics. But, you know, what's right is right, and what's wrong is wrong. I mean, that's so long ago.

Q. Are you scheduled to play in the Family Circle Cup?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I am actually. It's a shame. I hear they're moving it to South Carolina next year.

Q. Charleston.

SERENA WILLIAMS: So, I mean, maybe I'll play next year. We'll see. I'll have to talk things over with my dad again, see what he thinks. I'm not going to support anything that's putting down my race, you know.

Q. Jennifer Capriati doesn't look like the fittest player on the tour out there. Is she more fit, in your opinion, than she looks?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Oh, yeah, definitely for sure. She's a strong girl. She looks real strong. She's very fast. Every time I play her, she runs down a lot of balls. She's always been fast, even when she was younger. I remember I watched her when I was young. I remember she was really fast.

Q. Was that last game, filled with double-faults and unforced errors, a nervous game for both of you?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I guess. I don't know. I don't know. Not for me, no. You'd have to ask her.

Q. Was this a tougher loss to take with your sister out of the tournament? Is it easy to get over? Is it a devastating loss?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I mean, I try not to get devastated over losses anymore. I took a personality test, and I found out that I was a perfectionist. If I don't do things perfect and cross my T's and dot my I's, it's really hard for me. I have to realize that this is just a game; I'm just out there to please the crowd, just do the best that I can. If I go too extreme, I'll end up in the nut house with the other perfectionists.

Q. Were there losses that did devastate you, earlier in your career?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah. Every time I lose, I don't feel good. I mean, it's kind of hard to feel good after you lose. Like I said, I can't dwell on it because I'll go crazy, because I like to have everything perfect.

Q. Have you ever played a match which you felt was close to perfect?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Never.

Q. What was the one that was --?

SERENA WILLIAMS: No.

Q. Have you ever put out one of your newsletters that was perfect, didn't have a typo in it?

SERENA WILLIAMS: No. There's always a type error after it's printed.

Q. Us, too.

Becool
Aug 4th, 2002, 07:16 PM
THE MILLENIUM CHAMPIONSHIPS
WIMBLEDON

June 28, 2000

S. WILLIAMS/Y. Basting
6-1, 6-0

An interview with:

SERENA WILLIAMS

MODERATOR: Good afternoon, Ladies and Gentlemen. Serena Williams for you.

Q. How come you lost one game?

SERENA WILLIAMS: At 5-1 -- 5-Love in the first set, seriously I lost focus there. I tried to get it back, but if you lose it like that, it's kind of hard just to bounce right back. I was actually down breakpoint in the next game too.

Q. Was it difficult to judge how well you were playing because the match was so quick, or was it so quick because you were playing so well?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I think both. It's a little difficult to judge how you play when the match is so quick and there's not too many rallies involved in the match. Also I think maybe I just played better, coming to the net more, actually closing out the points. I think overall I've definitely improved from my first round.

Q. What about the serving today?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I was popping it today. It was amazing. Sometimes I just had to pinch myself. That's how it was going at The Open. I'm glad that it's back. I love just to pop them like that.

Q. Could you have played any better?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, for sure. I think I could have maybe made a little less errors on the return. But, you know, I was going for them. When you go for it like that, you're bound to make some mistakes. Maybe I could have, you know, did little things here and there slightly better.

Q. Would you have liked a more demanding match than you had out there?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, I mean, maybe, maybe.

Q. Are you surprised that you're playing so well soon after you've come back?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Actually, I was looking at an article the other day on me. It said how last year I didn't play the Wimbledon. I had two months off. I came back; I bounced right back to win the LA tournament and US Open. I said, "You know, Serena, you can do this again." Just because I had two months off doesn't mean anything at all. When I looked at, that really encouraged me. I've started playing better.

Q. Are you concerned about peaking too early?

SERENA WILLIAMS: No, not at all. I haven't even began to reach my peak at all. I think there's so much room for improvement; there always is.

Q. It was apparent today that you wanted to try to make some more volleys.

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yes.

Q. She couldn't get the ball back to give you any practise, could she?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I guess not. But she tried her hardest. That's all you can ask for out of an opponent, just to do your best. She did her best. That's good.

Q. Are you feeling very comfortable with the knee?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I'm feeling really comfortable. Especially today, I didn't want to stay -- in my first few matches, I don't want to stay out too long. I just want to go out, do what I came here to do, and move on. So that's what I was happy most of all with today.

Q. Why is it that Wimbledon is your favourite tournament?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I don't know. I like the grass. Did I say it was my favourite tournament?

Q. Yes.

SERENA WILLIAMS: I think I said it was my No. 1 goal, to win Wimbledon now. I like the grass. It suits my game. I have a fast-paced game. I have a nice serve. I can serve-and-volley. I can stay at the baseline. I have an overall game. I think this is the surface for me.

Q. Were you delayed coming out?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I was waiting for my opponent. I thought she was going to meet us and the guards. Apparently she was already out there. It was just a slight misunderstanding.

Q. Why no more beads in the hair?

SERENA WILLIAMS: To be honest, I brought beads with me. I just forgot to put them in. I had time. Who am I kidding? I have all the time in the world (laughter). I just neglected, more or less, to put them in. Obviously I've had time. Maybe I'll get around to it. I'm not going to put them all in because my hair is too long, just a few different strands.

Q. Your father has always professed a separation of tennis and the rest of your life. How do you think he would react if you, like so many of your peers, were dating another tennis player? Is that something that could ever happen?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I don't know. I mean, I guess there's a lot of action going on around the tour (laughter). I've been away. I missed a little of the action. Every day I see things, my eyes light up, "Whoa, I didn't know." You know, I don't know. I guess it's interesting for tennis for this to happen.

Q. Could it happen for you ever, or is that something, again, that's separate? Social life and tennis is something separate?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, I mean, you know, right now I'm really focusing on my career. Yeah, basically I'm really trying to keep that No. 1 in life. It's really hard if you get involved in a relationship. Next thing you know, your game goes down, all kinds of things happen.

Q. Here you are being gracious to your opponent in defeat, who you clearly murdered, saying there's room for improvement in your game. What do you make when John McEnroe says that you and your sister need lessons in humility?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I saw that also the other day. I don't know. I don't recall too many times where I say too many negative things. Maybe I do. I'm just not aware of it. I never recall saying anything negative in the public about anyone. I don't think it's fair. They have feelings, too. If I had, then maybe there was a problem there. But I really don't recall it.

Q. Do you think people say this kind of thing because you're a woman, you want to win, you're ambitious?

SERENA WILLIAMS: You know, I think maybe because there's a lot of guys out there who have - I don't know what - you know, just say a lot of things. If a lady comes out and says it, it's totally different. If a guy says it, it's acceptable, it's okay. But that's life. That's life.

Q. What sort of things do you mean?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I can't give you any examples right now.

Q. I guess on more than one occasion, critics have said that you and your sister are not as strategically aware as some of the other players; you're incredible athletes with great bodies. What do you make of that?

SERENA WILLIAMS: We definitely have great bodies, yeah (laughter). Nice, slim, sexy shapes. They're right.

Q. What do you make of the comments that you all aren't as strategically aware as some of the other top players?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Oh, obviously, to go out the way Venus and I have and win in a lot of tournaments, a couple -- a Grand Slam (laughter) between us, a couple doubles Grand Slams, I think that that has definitely grown in our game. I mix it up a lot. I'm able to think a lot on the court. I think maybe before when you're younger, you don't see it as much. Maybe another different person might because we have a different game when we first came out. We have a lot of power, whereas someone else doesn't have the power so they have to do different things. I think that now that we've added that in our game, we're definitely doing a lot better. I think I've definitely added that aspect in my game.

Q. Is it okay for you and Venus to have the same goals? I know she wants to win Wimbledon. That was always her top Slam. Now it's yours. Is it okay?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, it's okay. A lot of people have a goal to win Wimbledon this year at this event. Maybe four people who really dream that they can win it. It's okay.

Q. Just out of curiosity, would it take longer to bead your hair than it did to play that match?

SERENA WILLIAMS: You want an answer to that? Yes (laughter).

Q. How long does it take to bead your hair?

SERENA WILLIAMS: It takes a little while, especially now it takes much longer. To bead it now would take like, you know, two hours, two and a half hours.

Q. Do you think it would be fair to say that Venus is a little bit down in the confidence department right now?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I don't . I don't think it would be fair to say that, no, because she's playing pretty well now, she's moving good. I don't think so.

Q. So you think that her recent losses or, for example, when you watched her lose to Arantxa at Roland Garros --?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I didn't see the match. I was practising.

Q. When she told you about it, did you think, "She's been off the tour for a while; she's a little bit rusty"?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I mean, obviously you're off for six months, that's a long time to be away from doing your profession. A lot of the time she wasn't able to practise because of the tendonitis. In my case, I was able to practise a little here, maybe a day off, then a day on. You know, it was totally different. Whereas in her case, it wasn't as much practise incorporated. Maybe that definitely had an aspect to play.

Q. You've known her your whole life. Would you say she has enough confidence right now to win a Grand Slam title?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I would say definitely so, she has enough confidence to win this Grand Slam title, the next one or any one that she plays. Both Venus and I, we go out thinking with the attitude that we just believe that we can't lose until we actually get there. Personally, if I go in a tournament, I think I might not win, but maybe I can have a good showing, I'd rather not show up. I'd rather go there thinking, "Hey, can I take this," than maybe, "I can get to the quarterfinals, maybe I can get to the semifinals." We don't like to think that way.

Q. Do you have a picture where it might be healthy or good idea to practise away from Venus, possibly have different coaches?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I think right now we're in a good situation. Again, that's just in the future. I can't really distinguish what's going to happen in the future. But we have a wonderful coach, my dad and my mom. They have to be excellent coaches to produce what they have; not only one, but two.

Q. You had a short day at the office today. What do you do for the rest of the day?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I really, really, really like playing first on, finish before the rain, you can get out there, have the rest of the day and the next day off. Who knows. I might see if I have any messages. I don't know. No one ever calls me over here. My popularity has really went down, phone call-wise, that is. Maybe I'll go home and study and think about my match, you know, things like that.

Q. Will you watch Venus?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I'm going to watch her match, take a few pointers, might be a future opponent.

Q. How is your father on navigating the roads now?

SERENA WILLIAMS: We were having a little trouble, but now we're able to go to the village from where we live (laughter), without any accidents. We're making it a little farther each day. It's tough.

Q. Do you think you might make it into London at all?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Not in our car. Maybe like through the metro - the metro, yeah.

Q. You go and watch Venus now playing on Centre Court? Have you seen much of the Centre Court at all?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I played on Centre Court before. I saw it.

Q. Is it good having the two of you together again? It's been a while since you were at a Grand Slam hanging out together.

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, it's good. We haven't played doubles in a long time. Really looking forward to playing doubles. We have a lot of fun on the court.

Becool
Aug 4th, 2002, 07:23 PM
THE MILLENNIUM CHAMPIONSHIPS
WIMBLEDON

June 30 2000

S. WILLIAMS/C. Torrens-Valero
6-2, 6-1

An interview with:

SERENA WILLIAMS

MODERATOR: Good evening, Ladies and Gentlemen. Serena Williams for you.

Q. Long day; short match?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah. Long day; decent match. I'm glad I got that under my belt. It's nice.

Q. How long did you have to spend here today?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Actually not long. I got in at 3:30, so that was pretty short.

Q. Did you watch the end of Andre and Todd's match?

SERENA WILLIAMS: No, because I was practising. I left the house, Andre was down 5-2. I was like, "Wow." I can't root for Andre or Todd because they're both Americans; I like them both. I really like Andre. I really like Todd. It's like weird. Then I was practising, I hear a lot of screaming. I turn around, "10-8, wow, what a comeback." He was really determined.

Q. Are you impressed with that, that he's been able to pull that out so many times?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, that was pretty impressive because Todd was serving up two breaks. I really didn't think Andre would pull it through. That's what he's been working on these past few years.

Q. Are you good at that kind of stuff?

SERENA WILLIAMS: That's my specialty.

Q. Comeback kid?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Comeback, yeah. But I don't like to be down. I'd rather be ahead. If I have to, hey.

Q. You've been asked this before. Have you seen any racism on the tour yourself?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I believe I answered that question the other day. You can get the transcripts for it. I've already pretty much covered that question.

Q. You've only lost nine games in three matches here so far. What do you think your chances are next week?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Tomorrow's Saturday. I forgot I won't play Sunday. I'm looking good. I'm feeling good. That's most important. I'm just doing the best that I can do. Like I said earlier, I think that I'm doing a lot of things better than I actually was at The Open. I came here to win. I didn't come here for anything else, or at least give it a hundred percent. That's why I'm here. If I'm not here for that, then I just need to go home.

Q. What were you doing better specifically than The Open?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I just think mentally I'm more strong. I'm not making as many errors. I'm just more mentally there. My matches aren't as long. I'm the player I should have been a little while ago, unfortunately.

Q. What do you think you might do on your day off on Sunday?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I'm definitely going to practise, obviously, and try to stay focused, just know that the other girl that I have to play is working really hard, and so am I.

Q. How much harder is it to stay focused at a two-week tournament?

SERENA WILLIAMS: You know, I think it may be a little harder. But once you're winning your matches and you really want it, if you really want it, it's not hard at all. If you're just there just to be there and be seen, hey, you know, it's pretty hard to stay focused.

Q. Are you going to attempt to get a peek at this Champions Parade tomorrow?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I didn't hear about it. What is it?

Q. They're bringing in all these past champions back on Centre Court.

SERENA WILLIAMS: Okay.

Q. You said many times that you've learned a great deal from your father. He in turn said that he's learned everything from his mother. His mother means everything to him. Could you take a moment and tell us what you know about her?

SERENA WILLIAMS: My grandmother?

Q. Your grandmother.

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yes. I was pretty young when she unfortunately passed away, but I remember she was always smiling, she was always a positive person. And my dad always talks about her all the time. He calls her, "Mom." It's kind of strange to hear my dad say, "Mom." It's just weird. He always talks about she helped him to be the person that he is. He's a very positive person. He's really outgoing and really he's like -- I wish there were a way to describe it. He's the type person that wants to get a job done, that wants to be the best at whatever he does, no matter what it is. He's very determined. I just imagine her to have been the same way. I never really got a chance to know her very well, but from all the stuff that he says and the things that he does, because usually the apple doesn't fall far from the tree.

Q. He said that she was an especially good sharecropper, and he learned so much, that's why you guys are so wealthy these days.

SERENA WILLIAMS: That's why we're so tough, too.

Q. Alexandra mentioned yesterday that she was kind of glad her first year on tour was over because she encountered a bit of hazing. I just wondered if that was anything that came up your first year on tour, if you felt any of those kind of situations?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I'm always around my mom, my dad, Venus, my whole family. Obviously it's out there. I mean, the world is not perfect. There's sin in the world, and everyone is not a perfect human being. Obviously, yeah, it's out there. Just stick close to yourself and be not too friendly. That's why a lot of people have a problem with us because we're not too friendly with anyone. We're cordial, we say hi, et cetera.

Q. Did you encounter anything like your sister did with Spirlea anytime on tour?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I just answered that question.

Q. What is it about some players that lets them come back, good when they're down, some players never get the hang of that?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I don't know. It's something inside you that you have to have that's innate. You have to be born with it. It's something that you can't go out and buy. I said this before. It sounds like something I said before in a different interview. Yeah, you can't go out and buy tenacity - is that right - yeah. I think if you're down, you just have to fight like that. You have to either be born with it or really, really work hard. But I don't know if you can get it from working hard. I think it's something that's more innate.

Q. Are you at the point where you really like playing on grass or are you still making adjustments?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Oh, God, I love it. I'm ready to go right back out. If it wasn't dark, I would go out right now.

Q. What's so wonderful about it?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I don't know. I mean, the points don't last long. I feel I can come to the net. My shots are just blazing. I'm not really even hitting them that hard. It may look like I am. Sometimes I am. My serve, I'm just doing better on the grass. I can't believe that I never felt this way before. They should have more grass court tournaments, for sure.

Q. Why do you think the difference?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I don't know. Maybe overall I'm more of a positive person. Maybe I'm more experienced also. I'm a bit older, getting old (laughter). I don't know. It's weird. I definitely should have felt this way sooner. I love it. Although I didn't come to the net much today. I'm going to work on that.

Q. Martina said that the game has become more one-dimensional because there's less ability for a first volley amongst women. Do you agree?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, sure. There's some more players coming up that are trying to serve-and-volley. I have an all-around game. I can come to the net, if I want. I guess in the women's, it is a lot of baseliners. Probably why it's a little more interesting.

Becool
Aug 4th, 2002, 07:28 PM
THE MILLENNIUM CHAMPIONSHIPS

WIMBLEDON

July 3, 2000

S. WILLIAMS/T. Tanasugarn
6-1, 6-1

An interview with:

SERENA WILLIAMS

MODERATOR: Ladies and Gentlemen, Serena Williams.

Q. Feeling pretty good? You seem to be going through your matches pretty easily.

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I'm feeling okay.

Q. Just okay, huh?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, just okay. I have to feel a little better.

Q. Why? What's going on that's not making you feel great?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I mean, I wasn't really happy with the way I played today. I didn't feel like I had a really good practise. I didn't come out the way I wanted to.

Q. What made you unhappy, particularly unhappy?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I wasn't really happy too much with my return game. I felt I was missing too many. But, you know, I can't really complain that much.

Q. You're one match away from playing Venus Williams. Does that dwell on your mind? Have you been thinking about it since the start of this tournament? If so, what is your emotional reaction to having to do that?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I played her enough times now to be ready and focused. I've been aware of it from the beginning of the tournament. I know we're just taking it one match at a time. That's what we both are doing. We're both okay.

Q. Hingis thinks you'll be more dangerous than your sister. Do you think she's maybe underestimating your sister?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I don't know. I never underestimate anyone. I'm ready to play Venus or Hingis or whoever it will be. I'm playing very well. I'm trying to -- I'm watching a lot of matches, trying each game to stay more and more focused. I just have to take it how it comes.

Q. Do you wish you'd been more tested?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I've been tested enough. I think I'm just trying to conserve my energy right now.

Q. Since winning the US Open, how do you think your game has grown? What parts have you been working on to improve?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I think I'm definitely playing better here than I was at The Open. I was very erratic there. Too many three-set matches. I think overall, I'm more mentally strong. I'm not making as many errors. I'm just serving -- I don't know, I served pretty well there. I'm serving good here also.

Q. When you're training and working on your game, how many hours do you put in? How many hours do you put in on the court with Venus? Do you train with other people?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Usually on our days off, we train together. If we play a match, it depends on what time it is. She might hit earlier. We have hitting partners. I might hit later. It depends like that. On our days off, we usually are playing doubles, so we don't hit that long. All the hitting has been done before, all the preparation has been done before Wimbledon. Now it's time for matches and mental preparation.

Q. Will you hit with her the day before you have to play her, if you have to play her?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Maybe (smiling).

Q. Lisa Raymond says all the pressure is on you to win the match. Do you agree with that?

SERENA WILLIAMS: No. I don't ever put any pressure on myself. If that's how she feels, I guess it is. I'm ranked a little higher. She's been playing some really good tennis, she has a nice slice. I have to make sure I'm ready.

Q. There are a lot of American women left in this tournament.

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, it's really exciting.

Q. Is it a surprise? If not, what accounts for it?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I don't know. I mean, American tennis, at least on the female side, is looking up. Venus, I, Lindsay, Capriati, Lilia Osterloh was in it still, Monica. I don't know what it is. Maybe it's McDonald's.

Q. What aspect of McDonald's helps American tennis?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Definitely their cheeseburgers.

Q. Not the fries?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Not too much the fries. The cheeseburgers, yeah.

Q. Martina said it's been very hard for her when she's had to play you both back-to-back. What do you think it is particularly about the two of you back-to-back that would present a particularly difficult challenge to somebody?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Who knows. First of all, I still have another match to win. I don't know. I guess it's like playing us both twice in a row because we both run very well, we both have big serves, we both are attacking. I don't know. It's like playing the same person who's your nemesis, playing them all over again.

Q. You mentioned that you've been watching a lot of tennis also. Do you enjoy that side? Is it becoming something you get more of a kick out of? Do you like sort of the intellectual challenge of breaking down other players?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I do. Tennis, it's fun. It's a lot of thinking involved. I'm doing a lot more thinking on the court nowadays. What was the question? I'm enjoying watching it, yes. The English, I'm having a problem finding good programs here. Like I said, Total Recall was on. I fell asleep. I never saw that movie. I wanted to see it. They always have the tennis on BBC-1 and 2, so I get to watch a lot. You can always learn. You can always learn. There's always room for improvement, in life, in tennis, whatever.

Q. Can you think of one example of what you picked up from watching?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I can think of a lot of things, especially some forehands and serves, because I've been doing a lot of watching on those on the men's side.

Q. Have you ever gone back in your mind and rethought the match you played against Venus at Key Biscayne, thinking, "How would I have played this differently now that I'm a little more mature, my game is a little more developed"?

SERENA WILLIAMS: No, I never went back, not to that match, no. I never thought about that, actually.

Q. When you beat her at the Grand Slam Cup, what did you do specifically that broke her down?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I was really playing well. That's one of the few times I think I played well. Venus said, "I never see you play that well before." It was true. That day, I really wanted -- I guess either I wanted to win or I wanted the 800 or 900 thousand dollars. I'm sure that can motivate anyone. I was fairly motivated. Because she would have only got 800. Since I won the Slam, I would have got slightly more.

Q. Martina Hingis earlier, in a complimentary way, said that the Williams sisters have helped her lift her game in terms of the fitness that she's had to improve on. I'm wondering, conversely, if anything that Martina Hingis has done has forced you to have to lift your game in any one area?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I think when Venus and I came on the tour, a lot of people went back in the gym, started getting more physically fit, started trying to hit harder, everyone's serve went up, everyone's game actually improved. That's just the bottom line. I think we've basically not only helped lift her game. She saw us and she saw that, "Hey, I want to do better." A lot of people actually improved their games.

Q. One of the players told me you still have your game face on in the locker room pretty much. Is that still the case? Do you think you'll go by, wave, say hi, smile? Are you dead serious about winning the title?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I'm really serious about doing well here. If that's what it takes to have your game face on the whole time, that's what I'm trying to do. I don't want to come all this way to get only so far. I'm really ready to go all the way now.

Q. You and Venus don't pool your money? You keep your money separate?

SERENA WILLIAMS: No, we don't, no.

Q. You have it separate?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yes.

Q. The knee injury, is it related to teenage growth?

SERENA WILLIAMS: You know, I think so. I've grown since the US Open. I was shorter at The Open than I am now.

Q. Is that a potential problem for the next couple of years? What do the doctors say about that?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I don't think I'll grow anymore. But back then, I didn't think I would grow either. But who knows. I mean, some people don't have to worry about growing. Venus and I had to pretty much. You know, it's little setbacks here and there. I don't think I'll grow anymore. The doctors said I wouldn't.

Q. What is your height now?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I'm like 5'10" now. In The Open, I was below 5'9".

Q. Drinking a lot of milk?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I love milk. You saw the ad, right? Milk and McDonald's (laughter).

Q. Did you get that diet from Martina Navratilova? Did she suggest it?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Not exactly.

Q. Anything for desserts?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I can't think of anything, man. No more funnies.

Q. When you and Venus train together, do you ever play sets?

SERENA WILLIAMS: No, we never really played sets - never. Maybe in our whole life, you can take a handful of sets we may have played.

Q. Why not?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I don't know. You'll have to ask my dad really. I don't know. We just usually train, groundstroke, work on different things.

Q. Never been a day where Venus or you said, "Let's go out to the court and play for a couple of six-packs of soda, a couple McDonald's"?

SERENA WILLIAMS: No. In our spare time, we don't go out and say, "Let's go play tennis." We're more like, "Let's go to the beach."

Q. You've probably returned her serve thousands of times in practise. Can you read her toss?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I think so. I'm good at reading pretty much a lot of people's toss. That's one of my specialties. I think my return is really a strong part of my game. I have one of the best returns out there. I'm really capable of reading people's toss.

Q. Can she read your toss?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I don't know. I try not to mix up my toss. I was watching this one program about Pete Sampras, how he said when he was younger, his coach made him toss the same place, and at the last minute he would say, "Go out wide." I practise on that.

Q. You can take just about everybody's serve about two feet, three feet inside the baseline. Can you take Venus' serve inside the baseline?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Maybe. It depends. If Venus hits a 127, I would either have to block it back or go in immediately for wrist surgery, move back.

Q. If you guys play against each other, does your dad coach both of you? Does he give both of you strategies on how to play each other? At that point you just don't need it from anybody?

SERENA WILLIAMS: At that point, he doesn't give us any strategy. He just tells us to go out and have fun. At least one of us either win or make it to the next round. We'll have to see.