Re: 2008 Wimbledon Interviews
Friday, 27 June 2008
Serena Williams def. Amélie Mauresmo 7-6 (7-5), 6-1
Q. Bethanie Mattek, who is your next opponent, she's into fashion, too, in a way. I was wondering, when she was wearing all those, let's say unusual costumes on court, whether you thought to yourself, This is my kind of person?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Actually, I did. I mean, granted they were unusual, but I really appreciated her courage, you know. Her personality is so good, and the courage you have to wear something like that in fashion goes a long way to me.
Q. What do you think of her as a player?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I've played her before. Venus has played her before. I think it was a while ago, but I remember she gave me a good match. I thought, you know, it's good to see some more American players playing well.
So it's good that I've played her before.
Q. How about what you just said about Americans. The American men didn't do well. You know, about having an all American match.
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, it's a shame it couldn't have been later. But it's good, you know. Obviously she's a nice girl. I normally would like to see the best for her, but clearly I want to be able to win, too, so...
Q. Do you ever get surprised when other top players go down, like Sharapova and Ivanovic?
SERENA WILLIAMS: No, not really. I really mostly focus on me and my results. Try pretty much not to go down myself.
Q. The whole thing of great players coming into tournaments and losing early, and it's happened to you, to Venus, to them. Your thoughts on why it can happen.
SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, everyone seems to be out to win these days, and no one seems to be, you know, just giving away matches. Everyone wants to beat a top player.
It's always been that way for me. Whenever I go out to play everyone wants to win. They seem to bring their A game against me. I'm kind of used to that.
I guess when you get to be a top ranked player it gets to be more like that.
Q. You had a string of slams in a row. Now it seems like it's tougher to pull that kind of string off. What else do you think might account for that in the women's game?
SERENA WILLIAMS: You know, just staying injury free. You know, it's hard to play so much and not be injured. Very few people can do that.
Q. In pro tennis there are not only injuries but the tough schedule and tough losses that you have to face. Of those three things, what do you think is the toughest?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I think they kind of all go hand in hand. The tough schedule goes with the injuries. The more you have to play, the more injured you become. And the traveling is not easy.
But it's a great opportunity for me. I mean, this is a wonderful sport. I get to travel all places. For instance, I saw the Taj Mahal. I probably would have never seen it if I hadn't been a tennis player. And I saw the Wall.
Q. The Great Wall of China.
SERENA WILLIAMS: The Great Wall of China, thanks. My dream has always been to see the Seven Wonders of the World.
Q. What were your thoughts about the Taj Mahal?
SERENA WILLIAMS: It literally took my breath away. When I first saw it, it took might breath away. It was beautiful. It was really beautiful.
Q. We're on course for an all Williams sisters final. Would you look forward to playing big sis in another Williams final?
SERENA WILLIAMS: That would be an ultimate goal. Right now I'm just taking my next match, Bethanie Mattek, who is going to be pumped to be this far. She's been playing better tennis and better tennis.
Q. When you've won your slams, you've probably peaked at different points in the slam. Is there generally a point during the slam when you begin to hit your peak for that final run to the championship?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, you know, you just start playing every match better and you start focusing in, don't get excited about a little win, just stay focused for the whole two weeks. That's pretty much how I've been able to do it.
Q. Are you there yet?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I feel like I am, but I'm just taking it one match at a time.
Q. Since you won the Australian 2007 you haven't gone beyond the quarterfinals at any of the slams. You've had some injuries. Do you put a lot of pressure on yourself now that you have to get past that? Are you really thinking about that?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I don't keep up with those stats. I definitely do put pressure on myself, but not to get past the quarterfinals or anything, just to win and do well. I've been trying not to put so much pressure on myself.
Q. Do you remember what it was like when you won your first major as a young player and then went to the next major, what that felt like?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, it was about three years ago (laughter).
Yeah, it was exciting. I mean, I won the US Open first, so I had a few months to get ready for the Australian. So, yeah, I don't remember much.
Q. Did you feel extra pressure or extra excitement that you were going to win?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I felt like I would win, and I felt like, you know, I could do well. Yeah, it didn't work out.
Q. Justin Gimelstob, your teammate at the Kastles, had a few comments this week for some of the female players on the tour. What did you make of those?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I haven't seen those comments.
Q. He called Anna Kournikova a bitch and said Miss Vaidisova was very well developed. He called another female player a sex pot.
SERENA WILLIAMS: Who was very well developed?
Q. Vaidisova. Is that the kind of thing you want to hear coming from another professional?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I think that those comments probably aren't necessary. And being pro women's rights, you know, I just think we've come farther than to be referred to you know, I don't cuss. Unless you see me on the court, but traditionally I don't use that language.
But Anna is a great girl. For anyone to say that about her is kind of you know, what can I say? It's not professional. You know, it's just totally uncalled for. I mean, unless you really know these people, you talk to these people, you never know what people go through. It's not good to say those things about people.
Q. Is it the kind of thing that makes you think twice about playing beside him in Washington?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I haven't heard about it till now.
Q. But is it?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I haven't heard about it till now (smiling).
Q. When you're playing with your sister in doubles it isn't all business. You might have a conversation about where you're going to eat or whatever. Can you recall maybe the most unusual conversation you've had with Venus in the middle of a doubles match?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I mean, gosh, we talk about boys. We're like, Okay, what do you want to do? I'll tell her like, Okay, one time I met this guy...
I mean, then we'll talk about random things. We hardly ever talk about tennis. We just talk about you know, gosh, sometimes I'll talk about Aneras. Yesterday I was talking about Aneras and I was laughing really, really hard.
Q. Between points?
SERENA WILLIAMS: This happened on the changeover. Sometimes it does happen between points. We try to play serious doubles now. We try not to have too many of those conversations any more.
Q. Do you stay together or have separate lives when you're at the tournament here?
SERENA WILLIAMS: No, we definitely stay together. We're roommates. It's pretty cool.
Q. You mentioned that Jehovah's Witnesses don't vote. Presuming you win the upcoming US Open tournament and on that Saturday night there's someone to present you with the trophy, would you rather have it be Senator McCain or Senator Obama?
SERENA WILLIAMS: What a question. I couldn't answer that. I mean, I would have to listen to each of their debates and see what is what. But you can't trick me.
Q. How would you sum up Serena Williams' ideal man? What kind of qualities would he have to have?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Gosh, I would have to say someone who is really close with their mom, because I think that builds a good relationship with me. That's just what my mom said. And, uhm, someone that's nice and you can dance with and laugh with. I think that's really important, because I laugh a lot.
Q. The match today, two ex champions. Do you have any thoughts of Mauresmo? How would you assess the entire match?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I have a lot of respect for Mauresmo. I guess she just had her appendix removed not too long ago. I think she's playing unbelievable tennis. To win Wimbledon at any point in one's career is the highlight of one's career.
I love playing her. We always have a good match. She has a very different game, a very different style. I think we bring our best tennis with each other.
Q. It was mentioned earlier the guys haven't performed too well here. What is your spin on that?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, uhm, American guys? I think Andy did great. You know, I just feel like he ran Tipsarevic, I can't believe he wasn't seeded. You know, I think James, he also played a guy who's done well, especially on the grass. It's a totally different game, so we'll be back.
The Official Fashionista of the Royal Court