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Re: 2008 Wimbledon Interviews

Tuesday, 1 July 2008


Serena Williams def. Agnieszka Radwanska 6-4, 6-0


THE MODERATOR: Serena Williams for you.


Q. It's all going according to plan at the moment, cruising through this competition.
SERENA WILLIAMS: I'm trying. Just trying to peak at the right moments: not too soon, not too late.

Q. Did you watch Venus and how she overpowered her opponent?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I saw Venus' match. The match before me went a little bit longer than I expected, so I did get a chance to see a little bit of her match. Watching the competition a little bit.

Q. She said you don't really talk to each other about tennis apart from when you're playing doubles. Is that right?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, we don't necessarily talk about tennis too much. We talk about everything else. Lately on the doubles court we've been really talking about strategy. I think it's paying off.

Q. There are pictures of all the former champions. Venus won eight years ago. You won five years ago. Do you say, My, God, it's already five years? Did you think you would be here again five years later, the two of you dominating the way you did then?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I always expect to be here. I always expect the best. Time flies, you know. I feel like 2001 was just like two years ago, but it wasn't.
So time's flying.

Q. She was talking about the girl in the beads and reading Harry Potter when she won here in 2000.
SERENA WILLIAMS: I kind of just read the last one, so... I think I need to grow up.

Q. In one way or another, do you think the name "Williams" is going to be on the trophy this year?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I surely hope so. I've got to say that I believe so. I'm just fighting to win my, you know, next match.

Q. You will be playing Zheng Jie of China. Do you have any thoughts concerning your opponent?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I've been watching her play. I think she's doing a fabulous job, and I don't think it's luck, her doing so well. I think she's a really good player.
I'm definitely not going to underestimate her, try to fight, do the best that I can do.

Q. What did you expect from Radwanska? Do you feel that was your most dominating performance so far here? Do you feel you stepped it up a notch?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I definitely felt I stepped it up a notch, mostly with my serve. I expected Radwanska to get a lot of balls back, like she did, and make some good shots, like she did, you know, hit an extra ball, like I had to do out there.

Q. Do you think you and Venus can become No. 1 and 2 again? Is that still your target?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, my target is obviously to be the best in my sport. I don't really know what her target is.

Q. You were way down the rankings only a year or so ago. Are you amazed how quickly you've come back up?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, no. I mean, I have the potential I think to play with anyone. I'm just trying to stay focused, you know, focus on the shot and focus on my match, just focus on tasks at hand.
I think that really helps me to propel myself from ranked low into being ranked higher.

Q. Does this surface demand more aggressive serving and returning from you, in particular?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I think it does. I mean, the ball, especially later on in the week, the balls get so low and you never know what kind of bounce you're gonna get. You kind of got to just be aggressive, I think.

Q. There's a fine line between being aggressive and also keeping the ball inside the court. How do you work with that?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, it's important to definitely stay aggressive, but I guess add spin and keep it in the court. The longer you play, the more important and the more easier it is to do that.

Q. Do you feel the serve click in today? Earlier in the tournament you said you served well in practice but not in the matches. Was today the match where it really came together?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I felt my serve really clicked. I think that was the turning point of the whole match. I just really served a lot of first serves.
I mean, I placed 'em well. You know, this is how I'm used to serving. Just like I want to keep this serving up.

Q. If you and Venus advance to the final, sharing a flat, what is that breakfast like on Saturday morning?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I'm going to sabotage her and eat all the breakfast. I'll eat all the Wheaties so she doesn't have any chance, if we get that far.

Q. The Bryan brothers focus on tennis, but they have a sense of knowing what the next move is. Do you have the sense with Venus, ESP, or is it more clunky?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I think I do have that sense, but just because I've practiced against her so much and I know her game and I watch her game and I kind of know what's going on. You know, she's an opponent. You scout your opponents.

Q. Unlike some other slams, this one you haven't really been able to go into wild celebrations because you beat Venus in the finals. Obviously when you beat your sister you don't want to go too crazy.
SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, I never went too crazy after any of my Grand Slam wins. I've kind of always just been kind of reserved. After I win I feel like I have another match, so I'm always still focused. It's a weird sensation.
So, yeah, but it's always good to win. There's nothing like that.

Q. Do you remember when she beat you here for the first time? You were none too happy. She put her arm around you and consoled you.
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I hate to lose.

Q. Is that a bittersweet memory?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I feel kind of weird. Like why was I crying? It wasn't that serious. I think it was in the semifinals. I should have been happy. But I felt like I was playing so well that year. I don't know. I guess I just didn't want to lose.

Q. Can a Williams win the summer slams, here and in Beijing and at the US Open?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, we definitely hope so. Right now I'm focused on my next opponent and Venus is focused on hers. That's the only thing we look forward to next.

Q. Does it hurt you more to lose to Venus than to others, or does it hurt less?
SERENA WILLIAMS: It definitely hurts less to lose to her. I mean, I'll be bitter, but at the end of the day it's a lot easier to losing to someone that I feel I should normally beat.

Q. Do you see your sister as the favorite for this tournament now?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I would never sit here and say she's the favorite when I'm still in the draw. What are you on?

Q. The oddsmakers are 11‑5, 13‑5. She is the favorite slightly.
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, well, she won last year. Maybe that has something to do with it. But I'm not going to sit here and say she's the favorite when I'm still in the tournament. That's not me. I always believe that I'm the favorite. Even if I'm not the favorite, I'm always going to believe that I am.

Q. When you come in here, you're seeded 6 and 7, everybody is talking about other players, the belief that you can win all the time has driven you forward?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I mean, I always believe I can win. When I lose no one is more disappointed than I am.
I feel like I've been working really hard lately. I'm just waiting on the results to come. I had some really good results earlier this year. You know, I just was waiting.
I feel like, you know, I deserve this, because I don't think anyone's been working harder than me, except for maybe Venus. I mean, that girl works even harder than I do.
I just feel like it's about time.

Q. Considering the weather here so far, do you feel like that raincoat was a little bit in vain?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I feel like I should make one for next year because it's been a good omen for the weather.

Q. Do you feel you're more competitive than Venus, or do you feel like you each show it in a different way? You express it a lot more. How would you explain each of your competitive spirits?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I'm definitely more expressive with my competitive spirit. Venus is definitely competitive, but more low‑key, where I'm more out there.

Q. Was it like that when you were young, playing games as little girls?
SERENA WILLIAMS: It's kind of always been like that. She's always been a little more quiet and I've been a little more outgoing personality‑wise.

Q. If you could have one of Venus' characteristics or qualities, what would it be?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Wow, I would have her legs. She has the sexiest legs.

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