View Full Version : The Italian Open Thread

Serendy Willick
May 11th, 2003, 08:33 PM


Q vs Q



Possible Matches leading up to the semis could be against Tulyaganova and Dechy, she will somehow most likely face either the slumping Jelena Dokic or the seriously slumping Daniella Hantucova. Should seeds hold up, she will most likely meet either Mauresmo or Capriati in the semis. I am soo pumped and pissed, I hope she is too. Lets fire up Serena and show the world that you are still number one!! :fiery:

Venus Forever
May 11th, 2003, 08:47 PM

:bounce: :bounce: :bounce:

May 12th, 2003, 11:29 AM

Serena is holder of all 4 Grand Slams- Rena is the undisputed no.1

Serendy Willick
May 12th, 2003, 06:28 PM
Serena will meet Klara Koukolova in her first match tommarow. Serena beat Koukolova on indoor hardcourt at Fed Cup just a few weeks ago, so hopefully she knows a little bit of her game. Good Luck Serena.

King Aaron
May 13th, 2003, 02:57 PM
Good luck Serena! Work the rust out for your later matches. :D

Rae Q.
May 13th, 2003, 03:41 PM
Go Serena! :bounce: Show them you're still #1! :D

May 13th, 2003, 05:06 PM
6-4 6-3 Serena swats away Koukalova

This is how it should be done... cuz this style is identical to none.

May 13th, 2003, 07:14 PM
Serena shrugs off slow start at Rome Masters

ROME (AFP) - Defending champion Serena Williams (news - web sites) said she was not unduly worried by her sluggish start at the Rome Masters.

Given a first round bye at the Foro Italico, Williams looked off the pace as she stuttered into the last 16 with a 6-4, 6-3 victory over unseeded Czech Klara Koukalova.

"It was my first match on European clay and I haven't had much time to practice," said the 21-year-old American, who currently holds all four of the Grand Slam titles - Australian, French, Wimbledon (news - web sites) and US.

"She struck the ball well and hit the line or the baseline a lot and gave me a few problems.

"It wasn't a very satisfying victory, but I'm not going to get too upset about it. Now I feel ready for the pace and it's good to get used to the slow ball."

Williams, whose win in Italy last year was the start of an exceptional 12 months for the world number one, admitted she needed no excuse to come to Rome.

"It's such a beautiful city, the people are friendly and the weather is always hot," she said. "I really had a good time here last year and have some wonderful memories.

"It's good to be back and hopefully it will bring me luck again."

Asked what her favourite sights in the Eternal City were, the fashion-conscious Williams replied: "Oh, you now, Dolce and Gabbana!"

May 13th, 2003, 07:21 PM

Serendy Willick
May 14th, 2003, 04:04 PM
Serena will now take on Nathalie Dechy, whom she smokes like a pack of cools on hardcourts, but expect a little more competitiveness since its clay. If Serena is on, she should have no problems getting to the quarterfinals. lets hope the rust is off and we see our girl play kick ass tennis.

May 15th, 2003, 12:12 PM
Good luck Serena !!!!!!!

King Aaron
May 15th, 2003, 03:16 PM
Good luck against Dechy Serena! :)

May 15th, 2003, 04:36 PM
Go Serena! :bounce:

May 18th, 2003, 06:55 AM
I have interviews!

S. WILLIAMS/K. Koukalova
6-4, 6-3

An interview with:


THE MODERATOR: First question for Serena, please.

Q. Were you satisfied, or did you think it would be easier? If you had any problems, what kind of problems did you have?

SERENA WILLIAMS: No, I was not satisfied. I didn't think it would be easier, I always expect a tough match out of my opponents, and I played her before. I don't know, what was the last point?

Q. If you had any particular problems.

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I just had problems with the unforced errors. I think I made a little too many. It's not what I was practicing on. It just wasn't right at the moment.

Q. It was your first match on the European clay. Were you expecting something more difficult?

SERENA WILLIAMS: It was, that's comforting to know that it was my first match on the European clay. It makes me feel that, "Oh, well, next time I'll do better." I didn't have a chance to practice on the court at all, so maybe tomorrow I'll try to do a little practicing on the court as well. Just take my time, make sure I stay confident, not get too upset about it.

Q. In a sense, because she was striking the ball so well, did that perhaps give you a chance to get into a better rhythm than you might have done?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I think so. I think that she was striking it well and very deep. Some of her balls were off the line, on the baseline. And that was a good practice for me as well, to see that, you know, the next match I'll be ready for the pace as well as the slow ball.

Q. What was your preparation for coming over to Europe?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, actually, I worked really hard. I went over to Bollettieri's IMG Academies in Bradenton, Florida. I was there for a week training on the clay, working with a lot of different guys, working hard. Then the week after I went back home to my side of Florida and I worked out again as well. Then I came here. And I played in the Fed Cup, so I've been practicing a lot, working hard.

Q. Do you prefer to practice with girls or men?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, I've always practiced with guys, so I just am kind of used to practicing with them now. So I kind of sometimes prefer to practice with a guy just because I'm used to it.

Q. You still think you can beat the No. 200 in the world?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Beat the number...?

Q. 200 man in the world?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I never believed in that. I have no comment towards that.

Q. Do you have any special association with Rome? This is really where you got your big start to your year last year.

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, especially on the clay court, it was tough for me to -- actually, I don't think I'd won anything on the clay before, or hadn't I? I don't know.


SERENA WILLIAMS: Geez... But I was close (laughing). But it was finally my big breakthrough. So it was great. I love it here. I had such a wonderful experience last year, and I'm hoping to repeat it again.

Q. How so?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, I mean, not only on the court, but off the court. I just really enjoyed my time here. I was going around the city and seeing Roma and the shops. I just had a wonderful experience with all the foods. That was really great and all.

Q. The gelato?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I had it... (Shaking her head.) I'm not allowed to talk about that (laughter).

Q. The forehand get at breakpoint, third game, the second set, that was an exceptional shot. You don't practice that one, do you, or is that just natural?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I guess it's just natural. I'm pretty fast, a little strong, so I was just able to go over there and get that with no problems at all. Just was like...

Q. Before this breakthrough, did you have any particular problems with European clay? Was it a puzzle at first?

SERENA WILLIAMS: No, actually, I prefer European clay over American clay; I don't know why. Never had problems. I was all right with it, just hadn't played enough tournaments on the clay to have won one, I don't think. So I was perfectly fine. I have no problems.

Q. Last week when you were practicing at home, did you hit with Venus? Was she feeling better?

SERENA WILLIAMS: No, I didn't hit with Venus. But she's feeling a little bit better than Warsaw.

Q. In seeing the sites in Rome last year, was there anything that made you say, "I've got to go see that again"?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Roberto Cavalli, Dolce & Gabbana, you know, the usual...(laughter).

Q. Compared to last year, how would you rank your form at this moment? Do you think you're better prepared or less prepared?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I'm very much very well prepared. It's just timing. And I think as each match goes on -- last year, I think I played a few more matches than at this point. So as each match goes on, I'll just get a little more comfortable.

Q. Talking about men's tennis, who is your favorite player with regards to tennis, and who is the one you like most physically?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, I've always enjoyed the Americans Andre Agassi and Pete Sampras as players. I used to want to be like Pete. I'm a little far off, but, you know, I tried... Other than that, I don't know. I don't really -- I wouldn't be able to -- I don't really -- I don't know.

End of FastScripts….

May 18th, 2003, 06:56 AM
6-3, 6-0

An interview with:


THE MODERATOR: Questions for Serena, please.

Q. Do you feel like you're finding your game out there, Serena?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I'm feeling a little better about my game. Today I think I was able to do some things a little bit better - not what I would like - than what I did in the first match. Although, I think I did have a bit of a slow start in the beginning. But she played really well in the beginning, though, so I don't really blame it on the slow start.

Q. How do you see tomorrow's match?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, well, tomorrow I'm playing -- I think I'm going to have to make sure I get a lot of balls over the net, keep a lot of balls in play. Martinez does really well here. I think she may have won four times. I don't know, she brings out her best game here, it seems, in Rome. So I'm going to definitely be ready. I think she has a lot of confidence, so I need to go in there with a lot of confidence as well.

Q. How did you take advantage of your day off yesterday afternoon? What did you do?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, I went to a few different shops. I wasn't able to make it to many because I think I stayed in the shops for too long, so it was unfortunate. But it's okay because, I mean, the dollar is down to the Euro, so it gives me a really good excuse now to shop in New York.

Q. Is it true that you design some clothes?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yes, I am. I'm getting started with my own line of fashion design, and it's going really well. Actually, I'm wearing a new, exciting design of mine to -- I'm not really into sportswear yet, I'm more or less doing things off the court like things you'd find -- just you would wear on the streets, you would wear every day, not necessarily warm-ups and sportswear. Because my love is couture and pret-a-porter, and things of that nature, evening gowns. So I love to do these things. Yes, it is true and I'm really excited about it.

Q. (Inaudible) Who is the stylist you like more? What did you talk about?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, I was able to meet her daughter. She was really, really sweet and very nice. She had a lot of interesting designs. It's good to see -- Laura Biagiotti I'm talking about. It's good to see different designers and different lines. Some shops, I went in to just to get the booklet - what is it - just to get the catalog to see what they're making for the season. That way, it can inspire me in some of my designs. I was able to get her catalog as well. It was fun and different and, I don't know. I never have a favorite designer because it's so many out there that I really enjoy.

Q. Is there anything in your game you're working on right now? Looked like you were trying to come to the net a bit there in the first set.

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, throughout the match. It's just something I've been working on for a number of years. So, yeah, it comes in every now and then but not too often.

Q. The clothes you design, is it just you, or are you helped by your family, your sister, your mother?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, Venus is into more interior designing, but she also went to school for fashion as well. I think eventually she would want to join my efforts into doing more of a fashion line, fashion design, and maybe we'll just build a big fashion house with me doing the fashion line and she does the interior design. My mom, I don't know, she always offers really good ideas and she always wears fun clothes. I often, believe it or not, get some different ideas of materials to use. But I really enjoy it. I really enjoy making the clothes and putting them on. It doesn't always work out; it doesn't always look good. But you have to take a step back in order to go forward sometimes.

End of FastScripts….

May 18th, 2003, 06:57 AM
. WILLIAMS/C. Martinez
7-5, 6-2

An interview with:


THE MODERATOR: First question for Serena, please.

Q. Can I ask you, people have judgments about you all the time. But in your opinion, what is it that makes you such an outstanding tennis player?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Wow, I would say I have the ability to stay mentally tough, for sure, and I have the ability to pick up my game when I'm down. I have that fighting spirit.

Q. So would you say that your mental characteristics are more important maybe than your physical in the end?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I think tennis is mostly mental, for sure. I think having strong mental capabilities definitely enables me to be a stronger player.

Q. This mental toughness, did you develop it on your own? Where does it come from?

SERENA WILLIAMS: It's something that's definitely innate. My mom's really tough mentally. I think my whole family is. It's definitely something that I was -- a characteristic that I was born with.

Q. Until 5-all in the first set, you were on the same level, but then something changed and you were leading the match. What did change in that moment?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, I just became -- in that moment it's really tight, and you always want to at least try to get the first set so you don't have to fight really hard in the second. At that game, I just think at that point I just tried to pick up the level of my game and that way I would be able to be a bit stronger. I think I just hit some good shots and I was able just to come through.

Q. You will play against Mauresmo for the first time on clay. What is your opinion about this match, please?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Oh, it should be a good match. I guess I haven't played her on clay; I thought I did, but I guess not. So, I mean, I'm ready. She's playing very well here, so I have to make sure that I kind of pick up my game and maybe come out a little more serious tomorrow, because she's definitely here to win. So I have to , hopefully, try to stand in her way.

Q. Have you spoken to Venus?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I talked to her yesterday. We talk a lot. We talk nearly every day.

Q. How is she?

SERENA WILLIAMS: She's good. She's looking forward to coming back to Europe. She likes Europe. She loves Europe.

Q. Had you seen a bit of the match today between Capriati and Mauresmo?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I was able to see most of the second set, and the tiebreak was unbelievable. Actually, I was a little nervous, I felt butterflies in my stomach. I was like, "Oh, gosh." And some of the shots were just... So I got to see some of the match, yes.

Q. What is it that motivates you?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Everything motivates me. The drive and the opportunity to walk home with another win motivates me. Just, I don't know, I just get out on that court and I just start to think, "Oh, let's do it today."

Q. You're also a young Afro-American female in what was once a very white sport. Do you ever reflect on your role as a role model for other African-Amercican girls?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, there's definitely not many black players before me that played tennis. And besides Althea Gibson and Venus, I don't think there was any other black players that were No. 1 at one point and just doing so well consistently. It's good to have that role model. When I was younger, I had an opportunity to look up to Zina Garrison. I know when she got to the finals of Wimbledon, we were all really excited and wanted her to do really well. It was just a big thing for me to make my goal to be, "Wow, one day I would like to win Wimbledon." So I hope that I am a good role model for a lot of other young, black girls playing - and not just them, minorities, period. Just to come out and have fun, enjoy the sport. They have an opportunity, too, to do something different. You don't have to play basketball, you can come play a little tennis; it's better anyway.

Q. Is there any other Williams coming on? Any women, I don't mean with the same name, but...

SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, I don't know. There's a lot of young -- you mean black players?

Q. No, in the family.

SERENA WILLIAMS: In my family, oh, no. We don't have any other plans. Not that I'm aware of.

Q. I'm sorry to dominate like this, but I read somewhere you admire Maureen Connelly. Why?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, when I was younger, there was this movie, "Little Mo," that we always watched. And you know how movies are - usually only 10 percent is true. But, I mean, the story was amazing. She was so young and she accomplished so much. She was so determined, and she always worked on her tennis herself. It was just a great story and a great movie and just so tragic. Like, I wanted to, at one point, accomplish a lot when I was young. I wanted to win a Grand Slam when I was pretty young. She just did so much so quick so soon. I just admired that.

Q. Just like you.

SERENA WILLIAMS: Not so soon. I waited a little bit (smiling).

Q. You're 21 and already in tennis history. Do you have other career plans after this?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, yeah. I'm starting my own fashion house, fashion design home, fashion line, and I'm really interested in that. I've been doing a lot of research on it these past few months - actually, past few years, but really, really, really buckling down these past few months. I like to do different things in acting as well. I really enjoy it. There's a lot of different things that I do - mainly those two.

Q. You said you'll have to take Mauresmo more seriously tomorrow. Do you feel you're holding something back? You always seem to step up your game when you want to.

SERENA WILLIAMS: I'm definitely not holding anything back. I think I had to take Conchita Martinez very seriously as well. She seems to love to win this tournament. She does really well here. But I just think Mauresmo, at this point, is playing very well. I'm playing very well as well, so it should be a good match.

Q. Is it true that you want to become a vegetarian? If yes, why?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I think eventually; maybe not in my tennis career. But there's so many chemicals right now in meats, and I have a very weak stomach. I've already cut out pork and beef, I just eat chicken and fish. I mean, not now, but maybe eventually one day.

End of FastScripts….

May 19th, 2003, 01:19 AM
A. MAURESMO/S. Williams
1-6, 7-5, 6-3

An interview with:


THE MODERATOR: First question for Serena, please.

Q. Well, Serena, what went wrong at the end?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I don't know, everything. I think I was making too many errors and, you know, I was really struggling with my serve throughout the match. Yeah... I think that sums it up pretty much. It's hard to win with a second serve.

Q. Were you a little bit tired at 3-all in the third?

SERENA WILLIAMS: No, I wasn't tired at all. I'm still not tired. I never get tired.

Q. You never lost to her before. Were you surprised she could stay with you at that distance, well over two hours?

SERENA WILLIAMS: No. We've played a lot of tough, long matches. No, I wasn't surprised. I just... No, I wasn't surprised.

Q. What did she do to make your life difficult?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I don't think it was one particular thing that she did. I still believe when I lose, it's pretty much the way I played. Like if I had continued playing the way I did in the first set, then maybe I would have won. I think I made too many errors. I think I didn't get any first serves in. I think I didn't do a lot of stuff that I could have done a little bit better.

Q. It seemed so easy in the first set for you. Did you lose your concentration afterwards?

SERENA WILLIAMS: No, I didn't lose my concentration. I can't say I did, no.

Q. What does it mean, this loss, looking to Paris?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, I don't know. It's better to lose here than at Roland Garros right now at this point, so nothing. I just wanted to work on some things next week, and I'm glad I was able to play here. Nothing. I'm just looking forward to playing in Roland Garros.

Q. What specifically, your serve?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Just everything. Not just serves, returns, volleys, ground strokes.

Q. Everything?


Q. Clay?


Q. Is it real disappointing, such a loss?

SERENA WILLIAMS: It's always disappointing when I lose. I love winning - I hate to lose, I should say. I don't love winning, I just hate to lose. So, yeah, it's always disappointing, but it's not the end of the world.

Q. The last two games, up until 4-3 in the third set, it was very, very close, each game of the third set. The last two games it seemed like it was too easy for Amelie to win these two games. It seemed your first serve was very, very slow compared to all the rest of the game. What happened in these two last games?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Maybe she picked up the level of her game, I think. I just tried to take some pace off my first serve to try to at least get one in before the match was over (smiling).

Q. Are you going to Paris right away?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I'll be going to Paris soon enough, soon enough.

Q. You don't lose very often. Does it make it harder when it does happen?

SERENA WILLIAMS: No, it doesn't. I don't know, maybe it does. I don't know...

Q. Maybe more of a surprise, a shock?

SERENA WILLIAMS: No, I always expect to go in and do well, but I never like say who I'm going to play in the final. I always take it one match at a time.

Q. Is it easier to play a tournament with your sister playing?

SERENA WILLIAMS: No. I think we pretty much jumped that hurdle years ago.

Q. Is it psychological?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I don't understand.

Q. Psychologically, it's easier to play without Venus?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Venus, no. We usually never play the same tournaments, so we're never at the same events. So, no, it's not easier.