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2008 US Open Interviews


August 23, 2008

Serena Williams

Venus Williams


THE MODERATOR: Thank you, everyone for joining us. Before we have our US Open press conference, Venus and Serena would like to make a very special announcement.
SERENA WILLIAMS: As you can see, my sister and I are always really excited and really happy, but we have a very important announcement we'd like to make today.
VENUS WILLIAMS: My sister and I have decided to become two-sport athletes, and we've joined a new league.
SERENA WILLIAMS: Oreos Double Stuff Racing League.
VENUS WILLIAMS: It puts a new spin on the classic twist, lick, and dunk. People compete to see who can eat a Double Stuffed Oreo cookie the fastest, so Serena and I have joined the league. We've become very fast, actually.
SERENA WILLIAMS: We're the fastest ever. You know we love to have a lot of fun and be competitive at whatever we do. Since we have been young we've been enjoying Oreos, and decided to take it to a new level and get involved with DSRL as adults.
VENUS WILLIAMS: And you've probably heard of another pair of siblings...
SERENA WILLIAMS: Not so famous as us, of course.
VENUS WILLIAMS: Not so famous who have always been involved with the DSRL, the Manning brothers, and we have started a friendly competition, a very competitive competition.
SERENA WILLIAMS: Very competitive competition.
VENUS WILLIAMS: They helped kick off the Double Dunk League in January, and we have been competing throughout the summer. I'm sure you'll see in the commercial the intense competition that goes on between us.
SERENA WILLIAMS: It is an honor to answer the Manning brothers challenge, and we hopefully will always end up on top like we like to do.
VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, but we've just been practicing, and we just have a friendly competition going with the Manning brothers. I'm sure you enjoy the commercial.
Serena and I have been excited to join the DSRL. We hope that you will join the DSRL, also. Go online at DSRL.com.
SERENA WILLIAMS: We're looking forward to a great DSRL season.
THE MODERATOR: We'll open it up to questions now.

Q. Are you going to show us your moves?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Our double stuff moves? Yeah, actually, I actually had a problem with my partner in the racing league. Okay, it's very important that your cookie is set at a certain way.
So if it's set the wrong way, then you get a late start. So my partner sabotaged me and set my cookie wrong. If I looked this way for one second, the cookie was reset by Serena Williams.
SERENA WILLIAMS: That's not true.
VENUS WILLIAMS: I think she was also competing with me along with the Mannings.
SERENA WILLIAMS: I'm very competitive.
VENUS WILLIAMS: We had a great time, actually, with the Mannings. We filmed the commercial with them. We were actually very competitive. It was pretty -- we had a lot of fun with it.

Q. I think this is the second food company you've been associated with. You do a lot of work with McDonald's, and now with Oreos. Can you talk about what it's like for an athlete to be working with these different food organizations, and do you actually eat Oreos?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, of course we eat Oreos, since we were younger.
SERENA WILLIAMS: Since we were young, it's an American family classic. We associate ourselves with great products like Kraft, which is, you know, the mother, so to say, of Oreo, ans as well as McDonald's.
We like to involve ourselves in companies that mean things not only that has a lot to do with family, because me and my sister, we are really close with family and things that have to do with charities off court, as well.
VENUS WILLIAMS: I think it's good. I think when you see the double stuff racing commercials you see the little girl with the grandma and they're racing. Everyone has done that growing up, and probably still now.
So when we had the opportunity to be a part of this, that kind of was the epitome of Serena and I being a family and doing everything together.
SERENA WILLIAMS: And being competitive and then leaving it and being a family again.
VENUS WILLIAMS: It all just made so much sense for us.

Q. Could you guys just talk about your feelings when the draw was released, your first-round opponents and that you guys were in the same section of the draw?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, I mean, we were just on the whirlwind from the Olympics, to be honest. We found out I guess it was yesterday, so obviously we had an unbelievable summer. We were trying to make sure that one of us ends the summer off with a bang. That's just what it is.
SERENA WILLIAMS: I feel the same way. Definitely feel like we've had a great summer, and hopefully right now I'm just focused on my first-round match and going from there.

Q. For both of you, how do you think the toll of going over to Beijing and then coming back will affect you and all the other players that went?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, I think we have a week to adjust, and hopefully it will be enough time. We knew what we were doing when we went to Beijing. We knew it was going to be hard work and wasn't going to be easy.
We were willing to accept that challenge because we both wanted to compete for our country. It was definitely worth it.

Q. When did you get back in the States?
VENUS WILLIAMS: We got back on Monday, Monday night. We made the best of it.

Q. Are you adjusted?
VENUS WILLIAMS: We're doing good.

Q. Can you talk about the significance of playing in the Olympics relative to playing in a major and how your feelings might differ?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, growing up, as a tennis player you always dream of winning Grand Slams and competing in Grand Slams. But then when I was younger I used to watch all the Olympic greats and people, you know, only the best of the best get to go to the Olympics.
So to have that experience and to win gold is really amazing. Like it's -- it's totally different. Like I expect to win Grand Slams. I expect to do well. But I never can say that I expected to, even when I was young, to have a gold medal.
So it makes it just that much better and more satisfying.

Q. How much of an issue was jet lag, or does it continue to be, and what did you have to try to do to deal with that during the past week?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, I'm still trying to get over the jet lag. Venus seems like she isn't having a problem, but I don't handle jet lag as well as she does. Hopefully it won't be an issue.

Q. Don't think it will be an issue come Monday?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I have a few more days. I think I'll play on Tuesday, so I'll be fine.

Q. Can you take us through your week? You said you flew back. Did you fly back to Palm Beach? What have you been doing all week to get over this jet lag?
VENUS WILLIAMS: We flew back. We couldn't go to Palm Beach because of the storm, but we flew back on Monday night, and by 7:00 I was up on Tuesday. I went for a run and to the gym and to practice and rehab and all the stuff you've got to do when you're not at home. Try to go to the dentist, things like that. We've been busy.

Q. Did you come here or go to Florida?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Went to California.

Q. When did you arrive here?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Thursday. I really don't know what day it is anymore. I thought today was Friday. I don't know. But I'm here at the right time.

Q. You say you're here at the right time. What does it mean to you when you come out on these grounds every year? Both of you, if you could reflect for the first time, what does it mean to be back here?
SERENA WILLIAMS: It's a special feeling. I love this tournament and love to have a Grand Slam in New York. It's the last one, so it means that I really, really want to give it my all and my best.

Q. And Venus?
VENUS WILLIAMS: For me, this is where the big things happened for Serena and I first: me having the final here, her winning the Slam and us winning the doubles the same year. So there has been a lot of firsts for us. We wish we were playing the doubles, but next year.

Q. Compared to the other Grand Slams, does this one - you're both Americans - is this one a little more special to you?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, being at home, you can't beat it. I mean, obviously I've had a lot of good success at Wimbledon, and that's pretty special to me, too. But this is at home.

Q. You too, Serena?

Q. CBS 2 is going to be airing a one-hour breast cancer awareness special right before the women's finals this year. What do you do, as role models, to inspire young kids, and especially young girls, to get involved in the sport? And why is it important to do that?
VENUS WILLIAMS: To get involved in the sport?

Q. Yeah.
VENUS WILLIAMS: Well, I think we're always doing the kids clinics, visiting schools, we're in local tournaments and things like that that are so important. We do the best that we can.

Q. There have been studies released that actually show vigorous sports, like tennis, actually reduce a young woman's risk for getting certain cancers, so this is very important. What would you tell young kids or especially young girls if they wanted to get involved?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I think it's important for them to get involved in sports. I think sports gives you a sense of direction, self-esteem, accomplishing your goals. I think also with young people also seeing us on DSRL, they associate us with tennis and something fun, and they say, Hey, I want to get involved. I think that's great, too.

Q. Can you guys talk a little bit about the year in women's tennis? It's been a odd year with Justine going out, Lindsay coming back and being injured, the two Serbians? What's going to happen here at the US Open? What should we look for?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I'm definitely not into predicting. I can't predict. But I can only say that we've been working hard, and hopefully our hard work will pay off.
VENUS WILLIAMS: I'm all about my results and wish everyone else the best of luck. But I'm really down with me winning this tournament, so... (laughter.)

Q. Serena or Venus, how many years you going to be playing?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, I don't know. I don't see an end right now. I'm -- I just see myself -- I don't know.
VENUS WILLIAMS: We're playing too well to think about the end.
SERENA WILLIAMS: That doesn't cross our minds.
VENUS WILLIAMS: We keep getting better.

Q. Are you both feeling well? Bodies holding up and feeling strong?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I'm feeling well.
VENUS WILLIAMS: I'm feeling well.

Q. Tired, jet lag, but otherwise...
VENUS WILLIAMS: That's it. Otherwise we're doing great.

Q. I've heard sports psychologists talk about if you tell a young kid that they're really talented they might feel like they don't have to try. But you ladies have always been, it seems, very self-motivated, very eager to win, and you have such a competitive spirit. Do you feel that was nurtured from the beginning, or do you feel it's something that you're really just born with? Here you are on top of the world, but you always seem to still have that hunger to want to win and to try. Where does that come from?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I think it's something that's definitely innate, you know, some things you're born with and some things you're not. I don't know what I was born with. I just do know that I enjoy competition and I enjoy, you know, my job more than anything. I have so much fun out there that it makes it easy for me.

Q. Do you think you can be No. 1 and No. 2 again?
VENUS WILLIAMS: That's the plan, but I don't think either one of us is aiming for 2. (laughter.)

Q. Venus got the better of the matchup at Wimbledon. Serena, what's your plan for trying to get back at Venus this time in the quarterfinals if you both make it?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I have to get there first, and maybe I'll just go study, see what went wrong at Wimbledon. Hopefully I can rectify it.
Thank you, guys.
VENUS WILLIAMS: We invite you guys to have cookies.

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Re: 2008 US Open Interviews

Serena Williams Interview - US Open, Aug 26

Posted on August 26, 2008

Serena Williams
US Open
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. Winning the Olympic gold with your sister, even though it's a different discipline, is that confidence that you can take into your singles game?
SERENA WILLIAMS: It's definitely confidence I can take, and I think I did from that because I was really returning and volleying well and I was doing a lot of the things well at the Olympics. I was really confident coming in here.
Q. What was the last match you played without any aches pains, when you felt 100%?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I felt great today. No aches and no pains. Yeah.
Q. How rare is that?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I mean every athlete plays with aches and pains. Every athlete, whether it's tennis or basketball. It's just something you grow and get used to. So you know, it's ‑‑ that's every athlete.
Q. With Sharapova out and Ivanovic struggling today, do you consider you and your sister favorites?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, to me it doesn't matter who's in the draw. I always come to a tournament trying to do my best and I never look at anyone else as like they're favorites to win. I just ‑‑ that's just not the way I think. And I don't think anyone else should think that way if they're in the tournament.
Q. In terms of how you’re playing right now though…
SERENA WILLIAMS: I am just taking it one match at a time. Just happy to have this one over with.
Q. You seemed like you were ready today, everything worked great.
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, in the first set I thought it was excellent.
Q. No playing into this one?
SERENA WILLIAMS: No. It's always good not to play into it. So hopefully I can keep that up.
Q. Do you still come into tournaments now the way you were coming into them in '99, 2000, 2001? You and your sister were very much dominant players; do you still feel the same way when you show up?
SERENA WILLIAMS: This tournament I'm feeling great. I'm just feeling confident and I feel like I'm just really, really, really enjoying myself. I love every moment out there. So it's good.
Q. How much does the fact that you're still, A, interested and, B, competing well in this sport have to do with your parents early approach to your career?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I don't know. I think the fact that I didn't play every week when I was six definitely helped out. I don't know if it's such a good idea for kids to be traveling the world. You get jaded and you miss out on things or you don't look forward to things that you should look forward to.
But it worked for me. I'm not saying it'll work for everyone else. I think it worked for me, and I enjoy the sport and I enjoy playing. I'm just having a whole new love for it.
Q. Did you feel particularly comfortable and confident with your serve today, in a pretty good rhythm?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, absolutely. I've been feeling good about my serve for a long time now. It's definitely one of my strongest shots, and today it was there again.
Q. Two points at the start of the match where you looked like you were totally out of the point, the lob and the passing shot. Take us through those shots and how you felt.
SERENA WILLIAMS: The lob, I was surprised I made it. I typically don't make forehand lobs, and I never practiced them in five years. I don't even know why I hit that shot.
I usually hit backhand lobs and I hit one at the Olympics in forehand and it was the worst lob in the world.
So that was just the wind I guess. And then the other winner was my forehand is really well on the run, so I was just expecting to hit that. I guessed the right place to go and I usually don't guess the right place. I did this time and I was...
Q. You've been fortunate to travel the world both on the tour and going to Africa and so forth. Having been at the Olympics and China, is there anything you learned about China from your experience there? Any sense of what that culture is like?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, I learned a lot about the culture. I thought they were extremely hard workers and an extremely nice culture and nice people. They seemed to go all out as a country and not just like individuals. Like they're all one instead of everyone being separate, and I thought the unity was really unique. It was amazing.
Q. Pretty different from the United States?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah. I mean, United States, you know, is filled with so many people that come here looking for opportunity, and that's what makes America great. It's the land of opportunity.
Q. Can you comment on the Serbian players now on the tour, how they seem to kind of start dominating?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Do you think they're going to start dominating on the tour?
Q. Well, they're 1 and 2 and 3 now.
SERENA WILLIAMS: 1 and 2. You think they'll be dominating?
Q. I'm asking you.
SERENA WILLIAMS: Okay. Well, I was asking you. (Laughter)
Q. I don't play on the tour.
SERENA WILLIAMS: Okay. I can't sit here and say someone is going to dominate when I'm still playing tennis. I think they're playing great, and, you know, I think there's a lot of depth in women's tennis right now.
Q. You said you have a whole new love for tennis. Where does that come from?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I don't know. I
just ‑‑ I don't know where it came from. I guess I just woke up and decided that I can't get enough of playing, so...
Q. When was that?
SERENA WILLIAMS: It was a while ago.
Q. You project on the court an air of just supreme self‑confidence. Are you ever visited by self‑doubt? Is that just part of your acting abilities that you're able to be confident despite it, or do you struggle with self‑doubt like some mortals do?
SERENA WILLIAMS: No. I'm definitely mortal. And, yeah, I do struggle with self‑doubt. Sometimes when I'm in a match I do get tight and I get nervous. You know, I think the difference with seeing some great players is they can work through that.
I always try to think of like, you know, current players that can work through that, like Nadal and Federer. I'll be like, okay, if they can do it I can do it too. So it takes me out of that moment.
Q. You had your first success here at the Open, and the last few years you've had a lot of success, more than Venus, on hard courts. It's been a while since you really made a run here. Why do you think that is?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I don't know because I keep losing matches I shouldn't lose. I think one year I lost ‑‑ I keep losing matches I shouldn't lose.
Q. Are you more worn out at this time of year? What do you think it is?
SERENA WILLIAMS: You know, I just make the wrong shots I think at the wrong time. One year I really ran into a lot of bad luck where I got the worst calls possible.
Honestly, I got ‑‑ I couldn't even hit a shot because I was so nervous they would call every ball out. That really wasn't my fault. I probably would have won that year, and I was gonna win that year. Unfortunately it didn't work out.
Q. Did you get a chuckle out of the fact that the lousy call you got here, many people consider that that was the one that led to Hawk‑Eye?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I think it's true. Anyway, that was years ago.
Q. Do you have the sense that six years is too long since you've won this?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Absolutely. I didn't even remember holding up the trophy. I didn't even know I won this tournament, that's how long it's been.
Q. You mentioned before fighting through injury is part of every athlete's life. First of all, did you watch closely what Tiger Woods was able to do this year? Were you able to draw upon that at all and kind of liken it to your own struggles with injuries?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, man, that guy is really amazing. I never ‑‑ it's just good to see someone can win when they're injured. I mean I've won matches when I was injured. I don't know if I was injured to that point and to that extreme and to a Slam like that.
It was just an amazing feat. I think everyone can draw inspiration from that.
Q. Is that the mark of a great athlete, to stay on course and prevail under tough circumstances?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I mean, his sport is a wee bit different. Maybe he's not running as much. Maybe, you know, it might be a little harder in tennis to be ‑‑ for a guy, five sets, for a woman, a three‑set match, cutting and running. It's not the same sport.
But it'll be interesting.
Q. There are a couple of African‑American teenagers, Sloane Stephens and Asia Muhammad, who competed in the US Open this year, players that grew up watching you and your sister, were inspired by you. Do you take pride in that?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah. I mean, that's ‑‑ I don't know. I feel like I'm so young. I don't know that ‑‑ I didn't know people could look up to me. That's kind of cool.
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Re: 2008 US Open Interviews

Venus Williams, US Open, August 28, 2008
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Venus Williams

US Open

August 28, 2008

Q. Another sort of commanding performance out there. Are you happy with the way you're playing right now?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Well, yeah, pretty happy. I think I just had a lot more power than she did today. She plays a game where she hits a lot of high balls, which at my height doesn't, you know ‑‑ I think it would be effective against a lot of players, but with my height and my reach, it doesn't phase me as much. I think that helped me.

She kept raising the level of her game and making it more competitive, even in the end when I had the 40‑Love. So of course I didn't want to get back on serve, and, you know, it all went well with me.

Q. Dinara Safina was just in here, and she was asked a question that a lot of top women have been asked, and that's about a lot of the changes in the No. 1 ranking this year held by different women and so forth. Was there parity and so forth, no dominant force. She said, without even naming a player, she said, Well, of course you still have Venus and Serena Williams and they're very, very dangerous. We heard it from Ana the other day. When people bring that topic up, your and Serena's names come up almost every time. How does that make you feel?

VENUS WILLIAMS: It's exciting. I love what I do and I'm glad I do it well. I mean, I think Serena and I, we do have some nice abilities that are, I guess, genetic and blessings, you know, speed and power and lots of other fun stuff.

It's nice to be respected by your peers.

Q. Serena said she could hardly remember lifting a trophy here. It's a year longer for you. How does it feel for you?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Oh, yes, I remember. I won't forget, but I'd like to have a more recent memory as of like '08. So that's pretty much the goal.

Q. Do you feel overdue here? You guys really won it four years in a row.

VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, I know. Yeah, I guess that is a good statement I guess, kind of overdue got to win it to deserve it.

Q. I was reading that tennis players get a lower percentage of various event revenues than other athletes such as golfers, basketball players, football players. I was just curious, since you're pretty well‑known in this business, if it's a topic of discussion, if you have any thoughts on that?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Not at this moment, no. Let me think about it so I make sure I say something real politically correct.

Q. I'll let you read the article and talk to you next week.


Q. Do we have the same Venus Williams here physically that we did at Wimbledon?

VENUS WILLIAMS: I feel great. I love Wimbledon, obviously, but I still feel very confident. Obviously winning Wimbledon makes you confident, so I don't have any complaints.

Q. When you won in 2005, Wimbledon, I know one of my confreres was very surprised. Other people felt the way about Serena when she won Australian Open in 2007. Are you guys sort of always the best players, and if you don't win you have to figure out why you don't win?

VENUS WILLIAMS: That's very nice of you. I listened to my dad after all of all these years. So if I would just listen and do what he says I'd be better off. So it's my own fault for when I lose.

Q. And Serena's, too?

VENUS WILLIAMS: I don't know what her explanation would be, but I blame myself.

Q. Do you surprise yourself, the two of you, that you haven't won more? Do you think there is always fairly logical reason you haven't?

VENUS WILLIAMS: I'm always expecting more from myself. I would love to win even more than what I do.

Q. Today is the 45th anniversary of Martin Luther King's "I Have a Dream" speech. In addition, tonight Barack Obama is going to accept his party's nomination for presidency. Do you feel any kinship there when you're out there playing and James Blake is playing today? Pretty special feeling you have about this?

VENUS WILLIAMS: To be honest, I didn't know that that was the date. I'm so focused on trying to win my match, and obviously coming down from Beijing.

It's been a whirlwind, so I've been just pretty much he focused on the tennis. I had no idea it was that date.

Q. And about Obama? I know that your religion...

VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, I don't follow politics as much as maybe the rest of you guys do. Not a lot of comments there, either.

Q. You have taken a leadership role in tennis, and I'm wondering if you had any thoughts on the LPGA. It's asking its players learn English or face suspension.

VENUS WILLIAMS: A lot of tough questions today. (laughter.)

What do I think of that? They might have a reason for it. I don't play on that tour, so there's nothing I can say about it.

I guess it is an American tour. Maybe it helps if people with speak English.

Q. Can you imagine that in women's tennis?

VENUS WILLIAMS: No. I think it's just a different, completely different tour. We don't have the pro‑ams. Maybe we should, but we don't.

Q. Serena said the reason she doesn't have more US Open titles is one year she felt all the umpires were against her. Do you think that she...

VENUS WILLIAMS: Did she say, quote, unquote the umpires were against me?

Q. She said one year it happened to her.

VENUS WILLIAMS: She had some bad calls?

Q. That's why she hasn't won more US Open titles. Do you think she got a raw deal?

VENUS WILLIAMS: I would have to imagine I was already out of the tournament, so all my dreams and hopes or anything was transferred to her, because we all went down that day.

But, you know, I just ‑‑ I think that she's a great player, obviously. I'm still trying to catch up to her in the Slam count, along with everyone else on the WTA Tour, so I think she's done fantastic.

Q. When you lost to Li Na in Beijing, was it mentally difficult to just think about the doubles? Obviously you won the gold medal. Was it a tough adjustment?

VENUS WILLIAMS: No, I wanted the medal even more at that point. I did not expect to lose to her. I just thought I was pretty confident.

Yeah, I just started spiraling a little bit. But, hey, I still got gold. I'm still excited. I'm still excited. Yes, I love it.

Q. You've had two kind of relatively easy matches, maybe a tougher one coming up. Do you feel good you got a bit of a rest with the last two, or do would you prefer kind of a tough workout?

VENUS WILLIAMS: You know, whichever way the draw goes, whichever way the matches go, as long as hopefully it's a win for me, I'm pretty happy about it. I'm very satisfied so far the way it's gone.

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Re: 2008 US Open Interviews

Serena Williams, US Open, August 28, 2008

US Open

August 28, 2008

Q. Would you have liked a better workout?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I told you, no. I like quick matches. They're the best.

You know, no.

Q. Not at all? Not even to hit a few more balls?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I feel like I've been practicing a lot and playing so many matches. I feel like she played pretty well actually and she hit some balls and she hit some angles and that was good.

Q. So can you tell us how well you were playing yourself? Not too many long rallies, only three or four?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah. Not too many long rallies but serving pretty well. I think that's one of the main keys to my game.

Q. What about Sugiyama?

SERENA WILLIAMS: She's pretty much relentless. I better be ready. That girl is a tough cookie.

Q. Questions come up in the press room a lot with the women about the fact that the No. 1 ranking has changed so many times this year. So this question has been posed, you know, is there a parity or what's it like not to have any one dominant player. Jankovic, Ivanovic and Safina all stopped and said, wait a minute, there's Venus and Serena. So don't forget about them. So they cited you guys as the dominant players on tour right now. How does that make you feel that the top women in the world are still looking at you two as the ones to beat?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, definitely makes me want to work harder and do better. You know, I believe those statements. I always believe the match is on my racquet. I think every time I lose is because of me, not because of the other person.

So I think that's pretty much dominance. I feel honored that they would say that. Like I said, makes me want to work harder and do better.

Q. Can you empathize with Ivanovic? You have come to the Slams before not completely healthy.

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I was in that position last year. Pretty much ruined my thumb and I didn't play after Wimbledon at all. So you know it was a tough position to be in and you just got to keep working for it.

Q. What's the thought though in deciding to play the Grand Slam anyway even though you know your chances of winning aren't that great?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, it's like who wants to win a Grand Slam, especially the US Open? The US Open, it's a great city, it's a great tournament, the atmosphere is par to none. It's awesome. So I think that pretty much makes the decision.

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Re: 2008 US Open Interviews

http://www.tennisnews.com/exclusive.php?pID=25890Serena Williams, US Open, September 1, 2008

Serena Williams

US Open

September 1, 2008

Q. How is the tournament so far?

SERENA WILLIAMS: So far, good. Hopefully it can stay that way.

Q. Looks like you and Venus are in a race for least games lost, 14 and 15.

SERENA WILLIAMS: Who is winning?

Q. You're winning.

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yay, at least so far I'm winning in something.

Q. You got to be pretty happy with your form, though? She threw some variety at you and you responded pretty well.

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I was definitely ready for the variety. I knew what to do, and I think I was definitely able to do better than what I might have done in the past with some variety like that.

Q. You're 8‑8 against each other all time, so whoever wins Wednesday at least will have temporary bragging rights. What do you see as the significance of that?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Really no significance. I mean, we're just trying to both get to the next round, so hopefully I'll be able to get there.

Q. When you said that it sucked that you had to play in the quarterfinals, do you mean it sucked in general or sucked that you had to meet there?

SERENA WILLIAMS: It sucked that it can't be the final. At least the semis. It's so soon. Actually for me, I've been really working on playing more and getting my ranking together. You know, it's just disappointing to be so soon.

Q. But you still have enough confidence that if you play to your level you can beat her?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Absolutely. I feel like I can win the tournament if I play my best tennis. I don't think I've played my best yet. I feel like I can play better and hit better, you know, do better.

So I'm going to try to do that.

Q. You can be a bit of a perfectionist, huh? You've lost 14 games, very few unforced errors and controlling the matches and still not satisfied?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I can be, but I know that I can do better because I know my game. I feel like I've played better, but I'm taking it ‑‑ yeah, I'm serving well and making a lot less errors, which is definitely something that I wanted to do.

I just know I can get there.

Q. The Olympics, US Open, any downtime after the tournament here?

SERENA WILLIAMS: No. I haven't had any downtime since Wimbledon, since before Wimbledon, so...

I knew it was going to be a busy summer, and I knew what the task was and I was ready to do it.

Q. Do you think of this as sort of a championship match, whoever wins this can go on and win the title?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I definitely think it's possible, but this is only the quarterfinal. So, you know, whoever wins this will be going on to the semis and fighting.

Q. Is No. 1 on your mind at all? You have that in your grasp in this.

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, but, I mean, I still can get it after this. It's not about getting there for me, it's about keeping it.

So, yeah, I mean, I was watching TV when they said few people have a chance of being No. 1. They mentioned me, and I was like, No way. It is what it is. I'll get there. Right now I'm just focusing on the quarterfinals.

Q. Do you feel like the established order of women's tennis is a little bit more in line with you and Venus now?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I just feel like, you know, we're both playing better and feeling better. We just had a turn in our careers. We're just playing the way we should play.

Q. Do you feel like you have more at stake since Venus was able to defend at Wimbledon?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I try not to think about who has more at stake. I just try to think about doing what's right on the court.

Q. What can you take from the Wimbledon final that might apply in the next match?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I can take a lot from it. I don't think I played well at all in that final. I was extremely disappointed in my performance.

You know, I'm hoping not to do that again.

Q. How would you define your rivalry with Venus? What words come to mind?

SERENA WILLIAMS: "Classic" and "unique."

Q. "Difficult"?

SERENA WILLIAMS: No, not anymore. No. Just another match, another possibility for me.

Q. How about for your other family members?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I don't know. I'm not in that position, so I can't...

Q. Do they tell you...

SERENA WILLIAMS: No, we don't really talk about tennis too much outside ‑‑ we have so many other things to talk about.

Q. Have you gotten to the point where you can almost bury the family ties when you play against each other?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, it's my career and her career. I know she can definitely bury it, so I can do the same thing.

Q. Sometimes you almost have to do the same thing, huh?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Definitely. I have to do the same thing: just do what it takes to win.

Q. Do you think because it's hard courts you might have a slightly better chance than on grass, where she tends to zone a little bit more?

SERENA WILLIAMS: No, I feel like I have a great chance on grass. I think I'm a great grass‑court player without even thinking about it. I feel like I'm an even better hard court player, so we'll see.

Q. Venus said it would be a lot easier if you were no good at tennis and she could beat you easily every time. Do you sometimes think about that, too? Do you wish sometimes you weren't in the same field?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I've never thought about that. I'm glad we're both pretty good at it, because I always use her. If I'm going somewhere and they give me a nice gift I'm like, Well, my sister, she's not here, but she would love that.

If she was no good then I wouldn't be able to do that. And I always keep it. She doesn't even know about it half the time. I guess maybe she'll know about it now.

Q. Seems like you almost have your game face on now and the match is two days away.

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I'm different. Obviously you guys know I hate to lose. It doesn't matter who I'm playing. This is only the quarterfinals, and I really just kind of want to do well, like, I mean, whether I was playing anyone else on the tour. So just trying to be really serious about it.

Q. And you don't want to end your...

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I don't. But, you know, I still have a lot more tournaments to play.

Q. You both have kind of breezed through to this point and all of a sudden it's going to be much more competitive probably. Is that a big adjustment?

SERENA WILLIAMS: It'll definitely be a big adjustment. I have to be ready. I'll be ready. I hope.

Q. You were talking about winning gold with her at the Olympics, and you said you actually prefer much more to be able to share in the victory than perhaps beat her; is that true?

SERENA WILLIAMS: No, I didn't say beat her, I meant I wanted to win the singles gold, but it actually felt better to win the doubles because it was ‑‑ I can't describe the feeling. It was just a great feeling.

Q. I asked your sister, weather reports say there may be a major hurricane hitting the area either on Friday or Saturday. If you're still in the tournament and it's delayed, how do you think that would impact your play and strategy?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I have to get there first. You know, I can play on Sunday. I can play three matches in a day. I can play whatever.

Q. How long did it take you to get over that Wimbledon final? Did you do it quickly, or did you think about it for days, weeks, whatever?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, took a couple days. I was over it by the ‑‑ later on, but I just was disappointed in the way I played more than anything.

FastScripts by ASAP Sports

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