<font color=red>S. WILLIAMS def. R. Kuti Kis
MODERATOR: Ladies and Gentlemen, Serena Williams.
Q. What does it feel like to be back at Wimbledon?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, it feels great. I was walking out there on the court today. To be, you know, against the green, lush grass, in the white dress, I just felt, you know, back at home. I love it here. I feel really special.
Q. Can you tell us what it feels like to play on the grass? How are you finding that the court was playing today?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, it feels great to play on the grass. It's a bit quicker, so you have to make sure you're doing all the right things.
Q. Is it consistent with the way it was in past years? Do you find it faster?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yes, it is.
Q. It's quicker or it's the same?
SERENA WILLIAMS: It is, it's the same. I've been practicing on it for a few days. When I went home, I was practicing on the grass also. It's suitable, the same. It's always the same. They really do a good job, you know, of taking care of it for the years to come.
Q. How pleased were you with your performance today?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, me, I'm kind of an insatiable person. I've never had a perfect match. I think I lost a little focus out there today. I started thinking about different things. My eyes started wandering. I found myself down 15-40 a few times. But other than that, I think pretty much my game was okay.
Q. Would you have liked to have had a tougher match?
SERENA WILLIAMS: You know, everyone deserves a break every now and then. I always have a tough match. I just think I played well today. It's not that she wasn't tough. She might have been a bit nervous. Who wouldn't be?
Q. You haven't played that much. Are you concerned about that absence of match toughness that you need for an event like this?
SERENA WILLIAMS: No. I'm not concerned at all. I have a lot of match toughness. Everything should have been done in practice. If I'm not ready, then I probably should have to practice harder. But I definitely feel fit, in form - not only physically, but mostly mentally, I think.
Q. When you won The Open a year and a half ago, did it feel like more of these major titles would come faster?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, for sure. It's been way too long since I won another major. But don't hold your breath. It's time to let go.
Q. Are you fitter than you were at the French Open?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Am I more fit than I was at the French Open (laughter). Sorry. Obviously, yes. I've been working harder. I've been working more hard. I've been doing more. I was fit there. I think I'm more match tough here now.
Q. What have you been doing since then?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Oh, been practicing. You know, I do lots of secret things I don't really share.
Q. How do you get strong mentally? You mentioned that's an advantage you have now; you feel stronger than before. How does a player work on that?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I think it's tough to be mentally tough. I think that's more or less something that's already inside you. I think one can acquire it, but I think it might take -- hey, you might be 25, 26, 24, before they can really acquire and learn. Other than that, I think that's innate.
Q. What is the grass court like at your house, condition-wise, versus something like here? Is it similar grass? Obviously, humidity would be greater when you're practicing at home.
SERENA WILLIAMS: Everyone thinks it's hot here. Everyone's complaining about the weather. This is like heaven compared to what it was like back at home in Florida. You step outside, you're just filled with sweat. It's so humid and hot. But the grass court there, there's no grass court like Wimbledon. I mean I've never been in the tournament in the Netherlands. I know there's a tournament in Eastbourne. It's beautiful grass, but it's not like the one here in Wimbledon. It's really nice, but it doesn't play like the one here.
Q. Would you say this is your best surface?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I'd say it's one of my best, yeah. I guess. Doesn't really matter what I play on. I grew up on hard. For five years I played on nothing but clay. I love the grass. So, whatever you interpret that to be.
Q. After what happened to you last year between you and Venus, what's the feeling between the two of you as to what might happen this tournament?
SERENA WILLIAMS: We're both taking it one match at a time. One down, six to go, hopefully.
Q. Next opponent is Barbara Rittner. Any thoughts?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I'll ask Venus. She's played her a few times. I know she's from Germany. I'll definitely consult Venus. I didn't know that.
Q. At the French you said there were a couple of things on your serve you hoped to correct before getting here. How much more comfortable do you feel now that the tournament has started?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I'm feeling definitely more comfortable. I've been working on it. I think it's definitely a bit better. We'll see as the rounds go on how it is. In practice right now, it's doing very well.
Q. You said that there were moments during the match your eyes were wandering. Was there anything particular that you saw?
SERENA WILLIAMS: More my mind than my eyes. My mind was thinking of different things.
Q. Anything in particular?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Nothing in particular. Just you know, what I might do when I get home (laughter). I shouldn't have been thinking about these things. I'm reading a book, and I was thinking about the book. I'm like, "Wait a minute, I can't do this."
Q. What was the book?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I'm reading a book called "The Eye of Rah" (phonetic). It's really good. Usually I'd be finished by now. But between the practice and the matches, you know, there's no time.
Q. What's it about?
SERENA WILLIAMS: It's a book about this guy and his travels in Egypt, his adventures. It's really good. I love it.
Q. Does the beginning of each Grand Slam feel like a really great opportunity, a clean slate, another opportunity to get what you want?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I've been feeling like that for like six times now. I'm still taking it one match at a time. You know, hold up the championship trophy again soon.
Jun 27th, 2001, 10:19 PM
<u><font size=3>Day 3</font></u>
<font color=red>S. WILLIAMS def. B. Rittner
MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. It looked like it took you a little while to get on track out there. Why was that? What turned the match so completely your way?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, today in the first set, I was just wanting to come to the net a bit more and try a different game I've been practising. I decided in the earlier rounds, if you know maybe you have a good chance against a player, you know, try something different.
Q. What turned it around for you?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Oh, I just decided that I'd rather get off sooner than later (laughter).
Q. Your dad has just told Radio 5 Live that he didn't think you played very well and left halfway through the second set.
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I wasn't playing very well today. It's an earlier round. The match is over with. Nothing I can do about it. I'm going to practise really hard and work for the next round.
Q. But if you win 6-Love and you didn't play very well in the second...
SERENA WILLIAMS: You can only imagine what I have the potential of doing.
Q. Seems that tabloid coverage here at Wimbledon is like strawberries and cream: you expect it when you come here. It's kind of a phenomenon for Americans because we just don't have it in as much bulk. What is your take on that? Is it just kind of a frivolous, fun thing?
SERENA WILLIAMS: We have it in America. I've seen those tabloids in the grocery store. They're there, for sure. Trust me, I know about it. This country, they like a lot of gossip. Everyone is trying to sell a paper. You have to do things to sell a paper and make that money these days.
Q. Do you ever read them, get a laugh out of them?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Oh, no. I only look at the pictures. I like to look at the pictures. If it's a nice picture of me, I'll keep it. Sometimes it might even be a picture of something I did well, if I'm not looking at the ball. I like to look at the pictures a lot. That's it. I don't get involved in that.
Q. Do you have a dog problem, too, like your sister?
SERENA WILLIAMS: What type of problem does she have?
Q. She was missing Bobby a lot.
SERENA WILLIAMS: I have pictures of my dogs in my purse. I look at them every day. I don't want to talk about it.
Q. You were saying before that you're trying to use some of these matches as more or less practise, I'm guessing, for later rounds. Do you feel like you need to be coming in a lot to win the tournament?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I don't think I'm using them for practise. I never said I was using them for practise. But I just think that maybe in the earlier rounds, I have a chance, maybe I should work on coming in like I want to when I get to the later rounds. Hopefully coming in and playing more of a grass court game. So, yeah, I think for sure you need to come in to win here. You're not going to win rallying 20, 30 balls over the net.
Q. Do you feel comfortable yet doing that?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I definitely feel comfortable. My volley is looking a little better. I feel comfortable coming to the net. So, yeah, I've always had good hands and just good hand-eye coordination.
Q. You came so close to winning here last year. You had such a great run. How much do you think about that? What do you think you need to do to make it different this year?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I think maybe I had too many easy matches last year, and I got a tough match, and I just went ballistic. It's over, said and done. I missed a great opportunity then because I didn't get to play singles in the Olympics, so I was really disappointed. But, you know, this year, there's nothing I have to worry about. I'm just going out there one match at a time. I have two down. I'm just taking it one match at a time, take every opponent very seriously because people, they want to win also. Fight, just go for the plate.
Q. Do you feel like if you were in that kind of situation again, not necessarily against Venus, that you'd be better at it this time?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I think so, for sure, because I was in that situation before. You learn out of everything.
Q. What's the one thing you like the best about England?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Let's see. Well, there's so many things. You know what, actually I like the fans in England. Usually, like in Paris, I always seemed to play French girls in Paris. In England, it's really nice here. I like the support and the atmosphere here. I like that. I like the fans.
Q. Could you ever imagine the centre court fans getting on your case the way they did in California or at Roland Garros?
SERENA WILLIAMS: No, I couldn't. But, you know, I never underestimate those fans (laughter). I leave that behind. That's all said and done. It's been real and it's been fun.
Q. Given that your game is based so much on confidence, do you feel that you can come out and say that you are here to win Wimbledon this year?
SERENA WILLIAMS: If I wasn't, I wouldn't be here right now. That's for every tournament that I play. If I don't feel that way, then there's no need for me to play. It's time for me to retire at that point.
Q. People are talking about you as maybe the favourite now.
SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, I'm taking it one match at a time. My serve, it's really looking a lot better. I'm really working hard on it. If I didn't believe it, I wouldn't be here.
Q. You're looking probably at a quarterfinal match-up with Jennifer. This is what you had at Roland Garros. How much better are you going to have to play this time to win that kind of a match?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Oh, I didn't play well at all last time. I'll just have to play better. You know, she's playing pretty good. I just need to come out and perform. Last time I didn't even perform. I should have been taken off immediately. I don't want to talk about that either (laughter).
Q. Have you had time to finish your book?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Not quite. I'm almost finished. A lot of twists and turns in it. Getting a little weird. I should be finished by next time. I'll be definitely starting a new one.
Q. Is it based on a true story?
SERENA WILLIAMS: No, no. I hope not.
Q. What's more weird, the book or the tennis circuit?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I'll pass. I don't want to get quoted anything. I'll pass.
Q. Were you ever attempted to be sort of made shy or retiring or inferior because of having such a powerful elder sister like Venus?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I don't quite understand your question.
Q. Someone as powerful as that in the family, a lot of people would wilt and be nervous.
SERENA WILLIAMS: For me, it served as a great inspiration because we both grew up together practising on the same courts, the same thing, every day working really hard. Obviously when she was doing very well, I wanted to be there. I saw everything she was having, getting. I wanted it also. I wanted to be up top. I wanted to be a player. I wanted to be a Grand Slam champion. I wanted to be the best. That's what I'm still trying to work for. I'm glad I didn't shrink.
Q. What are your dogs called?
SERENA WILLIAMS: There's Jackie and Bambi.
Q. They are?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Jackie is a little Jack Russell, my little girl. Bambi, he's a pit bull. He's my son.
Q. Bambi is a pit bull?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yes. Anyone think about coming to my home, you know.
Q. What happens to Venus' Pete?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Pete has a broken heart.
Q. Back on tennis for a moment. Today on court and yesterday, Venus was talking a bit about the nature of power in the ladies' game. Growing up together, she probably slammed the ball at you, and you slammed it back harder. You built up this raw aggression to your game which has taken the world by storm. This emphasis on power, do you think it's here to stay, something that all women need to sort of take note of?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I think so, yeah. But then you still have Martina Hingis, she doesn't hit the ball hard, but yet she's No. 1 in the world; she wins a lot of matches, consistently getting to the semis. But I think naturally the game is meant to change. I think Martina Navratilova added a little more power, added serve and volley to the game. Monica Seles came along, hit it even harder. Definitely there's more power to the game. But every now and then there might be a player that has more finesse. I think that's going to kind of play out a little bit maybe.
Q. Weight training is now an important part of the women's game. This is something again the British girls were saying. Maybe it's something they need to address.
SERENA WILLIAMS: I'm a firm believer that if you're mentally there, you're mentally stable, you really -- it's more mental than physical. I have always thought tennis is 80% mental and 20% physical. I still believe that. That's my personal belief. I think if you're really there, really determined, you have a little talent, it's going to be hard to stop you. Mission impossible.
Q. Particularly on grass, we saw Martina go out earlier in the week. Do you think perhaps her game, particularly on grass, suffers from not having that sort of extra bit of power that someone like yourself or Venus has?
SERENA WILLIAMS: You know, I'm really not quite sure because I've always played with a lot of power. You might have to ask one of the players that are more finesse.
Q. Do you have a grass court at home to practise on?
SERENA WILLIAMS: No, we do not have a grass court at home, no. We don't.
Q. How important is, say, finesse around the net or the dropshot for your game?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I think it's very important. I think to put in a dropshot every now and then, you can win a free point. It could be set point, you really need it. All of a sudden, hit a dropshot, there you have it. I think it's a very important shot. I try to use it quite often.
Q. Would you say finesse and touch is maybe more important when you're playing the net than it is from the back court?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Maybe. Obviously, yeah, for sure, yeah. Also I think maybe you can use it if someone is at the net, you can lob over them with a nice finesse shot.
Jun 30th, 2001, 12:38 AM
<u><font size=3>Day 5</font></u>
<font color=red>S. WILLIAMS def. E. Gagliardi
Q. Match today seemed to go okay.
SERENA WILLIAMS: You say it seemed to go okay?
Q. Yes. You don't seem to be having real problems here at all.
SERENA WILLIAMS: I don't think I played very well at all today. I couldn't get my feet moving. I thought I made a lot of errors. I haven't seen the stats on how many unforced errors I made. I lost serve twice, which was really upsetting. My goal is usually not to lose serve, so...
Q. You've often spoken about being a student of history, not necessarily tennis history, but world history. In terms of tennis history, Jennifer Capriati has made this incredible comeback. She's more than halfway to the Grand Slam. What for you has been most impressive about the way she's turned her life and her career around, as you've observed it?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, the most impressive I would say has been just to regain focus, you know, because -- I guess, I don't know, I wasn't on the tour at the time, but I assume she was having some tough times. It can be tough at times. Maybe I think the fact that she was able to regain her focus and regain her tempo and everything was great.
Q. How do the players, such as yourself, not necessarily your opponents, feel about what she's done? Has she sort of, in addition to being the fans' choice, kind of players' choice, because of all she's been through to come back this way?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, I don't know really. I know -- you know, I don't know. I really wasn't paying attention to the question. Sorry (laughter). I don't focus well.
Q. Does she have players on the tour kind of rooting for her to do well because of all she's been through?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I would imagine so. I would imagine so. I definitely was rooting for her in the Australian and stuff. I definitely would think so, yeah.
Q. When you met her last time, what was most difficult about her game? What sort of level is she at right now?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, she's definitely playing a good level game. She's definitely doing her best. When I met her last time, she played a great match, yeah.
Q. If you weren't happy with how you played today, what will you try and change before the next match?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, I got a little nervous with running out there because it was slick and I fell. I kept slipping a few times. Maybe I should try to be on my toes a little bit more. I will just try to -- I didn't hit as many winners on my forehand and my backhand the way I usually have done in my other match. That's what I'll just work on, hitting the shots the way I've been practising.
Q. Did you tweak your knee a little bit? Were you afraid that maybe did you when you slipped out there once?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I did, because I kind of -- my left leg went under my right. It was just really weird. I was like, "Whoa!"
Q. You don't feel anything now?
SERENA WILLIAMS: No, not now.
Q. It was written recently that you and Venus have a kind of authority like no one else. If you were guys, we would all be cheering your competitiveness and your intensity. But since you're women, you're called catty or some have said that you lack humility. Do you think there's kind of a double standard or whatever?
SERENA WILLIAMS: In all honesty, I think so. I think Venus and I, I don't see where we don't lack humility. I'm a very friendly person, I'm a very nice person on and off the court. People when they beat me, I tell them, "Good match and good luck." There's no need to be bitter. Tennis, there's a next year, a next week. Basketball, I can understand there's a difference. You don't have a chance till the whole next year. You know, tennis you get every week. I don't know. I know with the way we've been doing, our wins, who knows. I know Tiger Woods wins a lot. Maybe we don't win as much as Tiger Woods. We need to start to. I don't know if they call him cocky or not. I'm not sure because I don't -- I really don't follow sports, believe it or not, outside of tennis.
Q. How do you think you've changed and matured in the last two or three years since you came on tour?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I think mostly I've matured mentally. I used to have a lot of problems. I used to get down on myself a lot. Now, after watching Venus a lot, I just try to keep the same look on my face, no matter what happens. I think most of all, especially in the past year, I've done a lot better with that.
Q. What about growing up from being 17, 18, how have you changed now as a person?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I guess as a person --.
Q. Feel like a grown-up?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Sometimes (laughter).
Q. Venus said yesterday - I'm sorry to bring this up - she says you still have a bunch of growing up to do. Did you hear that?
SERENA WILLIAMS: No, I didn't. I would imagine that I do. I'm only 19. I know that I can definitely -- there's always room for improvement, always. I'm ready to grow a little more, for sure, for sure.
Q. Venus also said she was very proud of you. When you play, how much of you is thinking of your family name? How much do you draw on that for inspiration during a match?
SERENA WILLIAMS: None. I don't think about that on the court. I leave all that off. When I go out there, I think about the opponent that I play, doing the best I can to win that match.
Q. I've been waiting all week to ask you a crazy question. Your previous answer sort of tied in. If you had to go to dinner with any one of the following five people, who would it be: kobe, Shaquille O'Neal --?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Sorry, no facial expressions (laughter).
Q. Kobe, Shaq, Tiger, Bush or Clinton?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, I would have -- I would say Clinton. I would say Clinton, for sure.
SERENA WILLIAMS: Truth being, I'm not a Laker fan. Miami Heat, Toronto Raptors. I'm not a fan of the Lakers. I like Kobe, though. He's a nice guy. I'm just not a fan of the Lakers. As for Tiger, I don't know. I mean, he's a great guy, great personality. If I have a chance, I would definitely pick Clinton if I was brought that opportunity, for sure.
Q. And George W?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, he has brought the taxes down, so I do like that. Hopefully he can keep doing it. I don't know much about him yet. He just got into office. I myself was always a democrat. But I don't get involved in politics. Now that he's brought the taxes down a bit... I'd just choose Clinton out of all of them.
Jul 3rd, 2001, 01:15 AM
<u><font size=3>Day 7</font></u>
<font color=red>S. WILLIAMS def. M. Maleeva
MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. That looked pretty comfortable. Were you happy with your match?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, I guess you can say I was happy to win that match, for sure, yeah.
Q. And how do you feel now about the prospect of playing Jennifer Capriati?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, I feel real good about it. You know, it's about time I start playing better. I love this surface. Why not?
Q. Elaborating on facing Capriati, can you break down what happened the last time you played and when would be the keys in the next match?
SERENA WILLIAMS: The last time I didn't play. I think it was someone impostering (sic) me. I was hitting a lot of errors and going crazy.
This time I just need to make sure I'm out there performing and I'm not making all those errors, playing the way Serena Williams knows how to play.
Q. What's special about her game right now? How much has she raised her level, and what's most impressive to you?
SERENA WILLIAMS: She's definitely raised her level a lot, obviously, to win two Grand Slams in a row. Yeah, playing great.
Q. How do you feel about your game compared to the level you were at last year at this time at Wimbledon? You were playing fantastic last year. You seem a little bit more dissatisfied with your level here, or is that wrong?
SERENA WILLIAMS: No, not at all. I'm definitely playing a bit better this year, or maybe -- no, I think every year I improve. Last year I was playing pretty much immaculate tennis. But this year, I don't know, maybe -- I don't know. Score lines are kind of the same. I'm just trying to make it.
Q. How long did that loss in the semis last year stay with you?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I really don't know. I try to put things behind me and move on. So, I don't know, it was a tough loss for me. That one was a tough one for me to put behind.
Q. Is it normally easy for you to put things behind you or do you have to work at it?
SERENA WILLIAMS: No, it's normally easy for me to put things behind me. Usually I insist that they never happen. Obviously, in some cases like that, I know that they happen (laughter). But some things, you know, "Hey, that wasn't me."
Q. Is that the case with the match against Capriati? Easy or hard to put it behind you?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, I don't know. I just -- I was so dissatisfied with the way I played. I've been more determined after that match. That's something that I don't want to put behind me because I want to remember all the bad things that I did in that match so I can improve the next time.
Q. Will you be thinking about that when you walk out onto the court against her?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Oh, no. I'll be thinking about, you know, this match, hopefully making it happen.
Q. Do you think you match up better against her on grass than on hard court?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Actually, hard court's my favourite surface. I love the grass, but I grew up on hard.
Q. But in the match-up with her, compared to, say, the Ericsson, do you think you might have an advantage here because you have a better serve, for example?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I think against any player on any surface, I have a great chance.
Q. Last year, having gone through the draw relatively easy through the early rounds like you have this year, will you do anything different this year in terms of your preparation, practising more, just to get more time in?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, my dad and I discussed how in the Slams, especially in the early rounds, I tend to fly through my matches. So we're working on a plan on doing some things that we'll work on in practise, so when I do play a harder player like I did against Venus in the semis or maybe Capriati now, then I'll be ready, and then I won't be so just used to getting, you know, more the players that weren't hitting that hard. These players hit a bit harder. Get a few more balls back.
Q. How do you prep yourself for the later-round matches so you are ready?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, I think I just prep myself mentally and keep reminding myself that this is Wimbledon, this is not your normal tournament. When I think about that, I really want to play better.
Q. And your hair looks absolutely mah-velous. Would you ever think of playing with it long or would you be afraid you'd get whiplash?
SERENA WILLIAMS: No, yeah, I might get that whiplash, so I have to pull it back, turn it up, twist it around so it doesn't look that long.
Q. How hungry are you to win here?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, right now I'm really ready. It's been a minute (sic) since I won a Grand Slam. I'm really focused. Before I got here, I really went home and I worked really hard. I just really think I might deserve this.
Q. Does Venus' success push you along, as well? It must be a good thing, in some way. Does that help in any way - you push her, she pushes you?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, for sure. I usually watch her matches, some of the things she does, I make notes to make sure I do it in my next round. You know, she has a good record against all the players out here, so I usually make sure I watch her, you know, learn from "Big Sis."
Q. What's the biggest lesson you've learned from Venus?
SERENA WILLIAMS: From Venus, I would say it would have to, again, be staying calm - wouldn't be able to tell if Venus was winning or losing in a match. I think just the way she does that, it's great.
Q. Last year you and Venus both talked about your escapades in buying a dress for the ball. Did you guys do that before this tournament?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah. I already brought my dress. I have a couple more rounds to think about that first. I always usually bring my dress ahead of time because I know I'm going to be there because I know I'm going to win an event. This year I'm definitely trying to win the singles event.
Q. Is it the same dress that you brought last year or did you buy a new one?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Oh, no, this one is more stylish, more funky, more trendy. It's not as bally.
Q. Have you finished the book on Egypt?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I finished it.
Q. Do you recommend it? Should we put it down as a recommend?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Venus really enjoyed the book. Out of a 10, I give it about a 6 or a 7. I think Venus gave it like a 9 or a 10. I didn't enjoy it as much as she did.
Yeah, I'd recommend it. It was a good read.
Q. What was the name of it?
SERENA WILLIAMS: It was the "Eye of Rah" by Mike Asher, A-s-h-e-r.
Q. Are you always a harsher critic than Venus?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I know it seems that way with tennis and books. I guess so.
Q. Now, in your spare time, you read. What else do you girls really enjoy doing in your spare time?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, we enjoy doing all kinds of -- lately I've been, you know, of course fashion. Like, I have a sketch book that I carry around with me that I try to sketch things, make it happen like that. What else? That's about it.
Q. Do you play cards or anything before a match?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Oh, no. When we're together, we usually just talk and laugh, reminisce. We're so young to be reminiscing (laughter). "I remember those days."
Q. Aside from you and Venus, what player on the tour, male or female, do you think has the most style that catches your eye?
SERENA WILLIAMS: With the most style? I never really thought about that, honestly. I think a lot of people, their company puts style in them, makes them wear style. But as for like when I see them off the court, I'm a critic, there I go again, "Oh, no, wrong shoes." That's what a fashion person does.
I don't know. I know a lot of people are out there really trying, but they're not doing it right.
Q. Could you give us names?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Of course not (laughter).
Q. If we paid you billions of dollars, what about a worst dressed list? You could become internationally famous.
SERENA WILLIAMS: I could. I would like to do that. I would do a good job. I would be a good stylist, a good fashion stylist, what to wear, what not to wear. Maybe if your body type isn't for certain dresses, maybe you shouldn't wear them.
Q. Do you know the limitations in terms of how much colour? Someone like Agassi comes every year, always wears plain white. Would you do something to jazz up the basic white?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Not too much. Like my dress just has like a green trim around it, and I've added the little butterfly that it was self sewn on to give it a little excitement.
I think Wimbledon, I like walking on the court with a white dress, then the green grass, I just think it's beautiful. I think maybe you can stick to a small trim, maybe not black, maybe a different colour, because everyone does black. I think that would be nice.
Q. How would you respond to those low-minded critics who claimed your pink dress at Roland Garros clashed with the orange clay court?
SERENA WILLIAMS: That's preposterous (smiling).
Q. What are you most critical of in your own game?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, I think I'm most critical of -- I think my serve. I mean, yeah. I'm definitely most critical of my serve, for sure.
Q. What time did you know today that your match was first up?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I knew yesterday.
SERENA WILLIAMS: That's okay (smiling).
Jul 4th, 2001, 12:29 AM
<u><font size=3>Day 8</font></u>
<font color=blue>J. CAPRIATI def. S. Williams
6-7, 7-5, 6-3</font>
MODERATOR: Ladies and Gentlemen, Serena Williams.
Q. You said the other day that at the French, it was an impostor out there in your place. Who was out there today and what physical struggles did you have to go through?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, I was definitely playing out there. I think in the end I lost the match because Jennifer just picked up her game and played a bit better.
Q. What were the physical problems that you were having? Will it interfere with the doubles, for example, this afternoon?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, for four days now I've just been struggling. When was the last match I played before? The Round of 16, I think I played, that was on a Friday, when I played Gagliardi. Was that on a Friday? Yes, no?
Q. Friday or Saturday.
SERENA WILLIAMS: That's when I got this sickness. I haven't been able to really eat since. I haven't been right since. It was just, ugh, going on emotion.
Q. What was it diagnosed as by the doctor?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I went to the doctor twice. It was gas , I don't know, gastromunical (phonetic) virus, viral infection. I think maybe I've had it for a while, and it's just come to its apex now maybe.
Q. How have you been treating it?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, I've been taking a lot of Pepto-Bismol, Imodium AD, things like that.
Q. Did you think of pulling out of the tournament?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I did. I started not to play Maggie Maleeva. I went to the WTA and I was like, "I don't know if I can do it." So I was pretty happy that I did. I don't know how I got through. I was thinking about pulling out before that match.
Q. So you're getting, what, after three, four, five games, you start to feel weak because you're not able to eat before the match?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I just have no energy. Just like usually I'm a strong person, you know, I'm very well-conditioned. It's just like I'm just totally going on emotion, not anything physical at all.
Q. You came very close to winning this match, though. Were you surprising yourself given your condition?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I guess maybe, yeah. But, you know, I think I -- I still think I could have won had I just toughed up for a couple more points.
Q. You were up Love-30 in the second set, two points from winning it. Actually, just played a great point, surprising Capriati at the net for the volley winner. At that point how were you feeling?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, obviously I was feeling like I'm going in for the win, I'm just trying to take it, you know. But things didn't turn out that way.
Q. But right at that point when she served at Love-30, were you feeling okay, or did she just suck it up and play great tennis from that point?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I think, you know, she definitely sucked it up and started playing some great tennis at that point, for sure. I definitely think she went out there and just went for broke, didn't have anything to lose. So she was like, "I'm going to go for it all."
Q. Were you playing in pain?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I wasn't in pain. I was just -- yeah, I guess I was in pain. Yeah, for sure.
Q. When you rushed out ...
SERENA WILLIAMS: Nausea.
Q. ... were you sick?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah. It was bizarre. I've never had this. I've never even had this in practise. It's not like I had a chance to, you know, kind of deal with this before.
Q. It seemed like a wild match with just no pattern to it at all. How would you describe it?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I think we both made a ton of errors. I know I did - and she did. I think overall, it was a good match for the fans.
Q. When you left at 4-Love in the third, did you get sick?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah. I was really nauseated. I just had to get out of there. I don't know how I came back. I was thinking, "Oh, man." It was horrible.
Q. It was like a goo that you were ingesting?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah. It's something that's supposed to help nausea, you know, just all that. It's like a Pepto-Bismol-type thing. It's really, really bad tasting.
Q. You had, I guess, 75 unforced errors. Do you think a lot of that was because maybe you were rushing points?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I just knew when I had to come out here, I should just go for it because I -- my energy level without food for four days is not going to be, you know, the best. So I just went out there. I knew that I had to either do that or...
Q. Are you sticking with it for the doubles this afternoon?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I don't know. I mean, right now I have the chills, I don't feel well, I have a horrible headache. I'm not alive right now, so...
Q. Have you lost weight the last several days?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah.
Q. If so, how much?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I have, I have. I've lost about four pounds. But I have such a high metabolism, if I don't eat for three days, I'll lose like eight pounds. Fortunately I've only lost like four. It's a great diet (laughter).
Q. What has been your diet for the last four days?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, yesterday I was pretty happy because I had a little pasta. I had a little banana in my match today. I had a little pasta earlier today. Let's see. I think that's about it. I had a yogurt a couple days ago maybe. Then I just couldn't keep it down. It just kept coming up.
Q. This sickness, did it affect you in your other matches earlier in the tournament?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Like I said, I don't know. I was going to pull out against the Maleeva match. My trainer Carey (phonetic) was like, "If you can just get through this day." "Okay, okay." I wrote on my notes, "We'll hit a bunch of aces, a bunch of winners, see what happens." Fortunately enough, I don't know how I was able to come through that match so quick and easy like that. I was really shocked and surprised.
I was really happy that I actually stuck in there and played her.
Q. What's up with your matches with Jennifer?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, what is it, 1-4 now?
Q. You said you were an impostor at Roland Garros, hobbled at Ericsson.
SERENA WILLIAMS: I think there's about three matches against her that I actually should have won. I know there's one match that maybe I shouldn't have won. I really wasn't mentally there a couple years ago.
The last three matches, I really think I really had a chance to win . Maybe not at the Ericsson - I was really, really hurt. I couldn't even run. As a matter of fact, I had to pull out of the rest of the clay court season after that. So maybe not that one.
But I think the last two matches I think I had my chance, but she actually picked up the level of her game. Like I said, she won just because she picked up her level.
Q. Is it getting to your head a little bit, your problems with Jennifer?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I don't have any problems. I just think my problem I'm a hypochondriac, that's it.
Q. What's your thought on the Henin-Capriati match-up?
SERENA WILLIAMS: It's a great match-up. Henin is playing great. I don't know. It should be a good match, for sure.
Q. Are you disappointed? Coming into a Grand Slam, you're at the opposite end of your sister, a potential final, the press, the fact that you aren't able to play your best?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Seems like every time I get up, I'm only to be put down. I don't know. Maybe I should go see like a doctor and just get -- like I said, I might be a hypochondriac, no kidding.
Q. Did the number of long points, so many deuces, that sort of thing, work against you, considering your condition?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I think, yeah, obviously. If I could have been able to put some of those points away instead of making an error, doing things like that, I think that definitely would have helped.
But some points she really just hit winners, she hit a good serve. She really played her game. She really went all out. She just went for it. Couldn't blame her.
Q. During the actual match today, did you think you might have to pull out at some point?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, after the first set, believe it or not, I was just like,"Ugh."
Q. It's been almost two years since you won a Slam title. Is that a bit surprising?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, of course. Really, really surprising. Really disappointing. Extremely upsetting. But, you know, I'm only 19. People out there, I still have a lot of time on my hands.
Q. Are you taking care of yourself physically the way you should be or do you think you just have bad luck by eating the wrong things?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I honestly think I have bad luck. I went home after the French and I worked really hard only to have this setback. It was pretty disappointing (tearing up), as you can see.
Q. When you look back on this match, how much do you think you'll attribute this loss to the way Capriati played and how much to the illness?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Like I said, I definitely think I should have won. I think she really picked up her game in the end. I think she really went out there, and I was up 30-Love. She really started turning her hips, hitting deep balls, really going for it. She definitely deserved the win because she picked up the level of her game, and mine kind of stayed at the same level.
Q. You have had a couple of big matches in the past against your sister, for example, a three-setter at Key Biscayne. Venus just ran away at the end of the match. Do you feel like you need to work on closing matches out?
SERENA WILLIAMS: No. I'm usually able to close out my opponents, for sure. This is the first time I haven't closed out an opponent in a minute. But usually I'm able to close out my opponents.
Q. Last year for example in the second set, you're up 4-2 with breakpoints to go 5-2.
SERENA WILLIAMS: Was I?
Q. Yes. Into the tiebreak, she won the last five points of the tiebreak.
SERENA WILLIAMS: Did she?
Q. Were you disappointed about not closing that set out?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Honestly, that was a year ago. If I'm still disappointed about that, then something's dreadfully wrong.
Q. What is your definition of a hypochondriac?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Someone that is always -- that is prone to get sick, prone to get hurt and injured, more prone than the next individual. That's me. That's Serena Williams. Under hypochondriac, they should put "Serena Williams."
Q. Do you think Venus can go on and win it now?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I definitely think so. She's playing great tennis. She's playing excellent. And Venus has a game and the mind and the physique, and she's really prepared because we both were working really hard after the French. So I know what we did. For sure.
Jul 9th, 2001, 11:39 PM
Well, Miss Susie, I look at it like this. Williams fans have two champions, if one falls the other will take up the slack <IMG SRC="smilies/smile.gif" border="0"> That's just what Venus did for Serena <IMG SRC="smilies/smile.gif" border="0">
The Williams sisters are baaaaaad <IMG SRC="smilies/smile.gif" border="0">