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  Topic Review (Newest First)
Apr 6th, 2008 11:49 PM
Re: 2008 Sony Ericcson Open (Miami) Interviews

Serena Williams Interview - Miami, Apr 3

Posted on April 04, 2008

S. WILLIAMS/S. Kuznetsova
3­6, 7­5, 6­3
An interview with: SERENA WILLIAMS

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. What a superb match. It was probably worthy of a final. You must be very satisfying for you to come out on top having dug so deep?
SERENA WILLIAMS: It's always good to come out on top. I think I was a little disappointed in the way I played, but, I mean, I'm just moving on.
Q. Talk about the back injury and when you felt you were moving better. Looked like the second set.
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, the physio came out, and I started to feel better right after she treated me. The first time I felt a lot better, and each time she came out it kept getting better.
I just got stuck, like out of nowhere I just got stuck. It was just completely out of the blue, but it got better.
Q. Do you recall which shot or movement it was?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I don't remember if it was a movement or a shot. I don't remember. It was a long time ago, but I do remember it was just all of a sudden I felt stuck.
Q. Is that why you were serving like in the 90s and holding back on your serve in the first set?
Q. Yeah.
SERENA WILLIAMS: Oh. I don't think so. Like I said, once she came out it got better, like straightaway, and it got even better after that.
Q. Was this a match where mental toughness was really what it was all about to win this?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I do think it was about being mentally tough and making the right shots at the right time and just never giving up. I played a really good opponent today who has been down several match points in this tournament already, so I knew going in she wasn't just going to give it to me.
Q. What about the fitness factor? Nearly three hours, hot afternoon, and you seemed to be strong at the end.
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, no, I don't feel tired or sore or anything at all. I don't feel ­­ I feel like I'm really fit. Even right now, I'm not tired.
Q. Talk about the regimen you did since the Australian to get into such good shape.
SERENA WILLIAMS: I've been working really hard.
Q. Specifically?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I'll write about it. You can buy it.
Q. You said in the past you have a home court advantage here. Did you get any kind of a charge in the third set?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, I had great support from the first game on, which was really good. It was clearly great support.
This is one of my favorite tournaments. I love playing here. All my friends come out. I promised tickets for Saturday, so I was, like, I can't lose. I've got to stay in there a little bit longer. It was mainly my motivation.
Q. At the start of the second set you were two breakpoints down, and you held onto that service game, and you held serve for the rest of that set and then broke Kuznetsova to win the set. I mean, obviously holding onto that first service game was crucial, wasn't it?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, it's definitely crucial. I mean, in this match, it seemed like every point was crucial, like at any point the match could have turned or went a different way. It was really a good match, just to focus on each point. You really have to be focused for everything.
Q. It seemed like early on you were having problems with the forehand. What improved with that and just kind of what were you doing or not doing?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I made some errors on any forehand for some unknown reason, and I wasn't doing the right technique. I thought about my third­round match or whatever, fourth round or third round, Pennetta, how I kept making the errors. I thought, okay, I can correct it. And I corrected it and went on instead of just dwelling on it.
Q. You moved very well in the third set. Is that kind of really a physical thing or mental thing because now you're really into the match?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I think it's definitely both. I mean, clearly I wanted the match, but physically, like I said, I'm not tired. I feel like I was looking at the score ­­ at the time it was like two hours and 30 minutes. It was fine for me.
I think it definitely was a little bit of both: The fact that I did want to win and the fact that I was re­energized.
Q. You always say facing Venus is the toughest thing for you. What's it like facing an opponent that just beat your sister?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Umm. What is it like? I want to win for Venus, and so that always gives me a little extra motivation.
But at the end of day, you just are trying to win every point, regardless, and trying to play well and learn from what my sister did wrong.
Q. After you played so well against Justine, was it tough to overcome what might be seen as a natural letdown?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I felt ­­ when I lost the first set, I felt I'm not the type of player to beat the No. 1 player and then come out and lose the next match. That's never been my strategy. It's never been my game. So I just maybe got off to a slow start and didn't take some opportunities.
Q. Did that ten­minute heat break help you guys? Seemed like you both broke each other a lot right after the break.
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, it was annoying. It was like, jeez, I shouldn't have took the break, because I really didn't need it. I just decided I could at least change my clothes.
When I came back out, I was like I don't know. I didn't need the break at all. It wasn't necessary.
Q. Do you and Venus talk about the match before?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, yesterday we talked about it. She told me some things. Not too deep.
Q. Was that a dinner table discussion for you or casually driving to the tournament?
SERENA WILLIAMS: It was definitely a casual discussion. We were just talking about a lot different things and that came up briefly and we moved on.
Q. How do you guys seem to escape the natural sibling rivalry? You say you want to win for Venus. I mean, that's not the normal.
SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, I love her so much. It's like we're best friends. We're in the same ­­ I'm so blessed to have her in the same sport. It's a great feeling.
I mean, she's going to be my sister way longer than I'm going to be playing tennis. I would hate to fall out with her because I lost a match. That wouldn't be worth it. We've been close since I was a little baby. She always took care of me. We're really close.
Q. With this being one of your favorite tournaments, what would it mean for to you win it back to back?
SERENA WILLIAMS: (Laughter.) I'm sorry, what was the question again?
Q. You said it was one of your favorite tournaments here. Even though it's not a Grand Slam, what would it mean to win it back to back?
SERENA WILLIAMS: It would mean a lot. I don't want lose any points here, and I'm glad that I was able to come through some tough matches.
I just want to start winning other tournaments, you know. This one, I love. Believe me, I want to win this right now more than anyone. But I'm also just so focused right now. I just feel like I'm so focused, not just on this event but on everything else starting with the clay court season.
Q. Are you focused on your next opponent, possibly Jankovic or Zvonareva?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah. I think I've played a great tournament, and I'm just happy to be still in it and doing the best I can do. As long as I'm doing the right thing on the court, I feel like I can come out on top, but I just have to make sure I'm doing what's right.
Q. Will you watch the match tonight?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I'll probably watch a little bit of it.
Q. Are you thinking that this is the fifth time? And why did you change to wear the hat?
SERENA WILLIAMS: It was hot, and I did well in the hat the other day, so I figured I should wear it today. I think I played ­­ last year, I was really tired after, because it was so hot and I had like a heat headache. Like, I definitely want to wear the hat.
Q. What about the fifth time?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I haven't won anything five times except for ­­ I win all the time in Uno. I don't know think that counts. Unless there's a tour coming on that.
Q. I think you're going to play Charleston but not Amelia?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah. I don't think I'm entered in Amelia but I know I'm entered in Charleston. I'll definitely be there. I look forward to it.
Q. How important is that event as a jump off to the red clay in Europe, or are they so dissimilar surfaces?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I love that event. I have a lot of support there. I never won that event and I would like to win there. I did terrible last year, so I have nothing to lose when I go there.
All I do is win some rounds and, you know, help my rankings so that's what my next goal is. I have a couple tournaments to do that, just looking forward.
Q. You've seen how tough it is to be ranked No. 1 and be down lower and having to meet seeds early on. Do people really appreciate how difficult it is to fight your way to a title from, say, No. 8 or 9 seeds than it is form the No. 1 position?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, it definitely is difficult. You have to play the seeds earlier, like the No. 1 players sooner. My whole theory is eventually you have to play everyone, so that's how I look at it. Seems like I'm not ranked as high as I want to be right now.
Q. Is the green clay a good jump off for the red clay, or are they so dissimilar?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I think they're similar. I mean, clay is clay. They're both going to be a lot slower than the hard court. The green clay isn't as slow as the red clay, but it's getting you prepared for that. I grew up on green clay, so I'll be fine.
Q. Matches like the one you had with Justine where everything was working and the match today where everything wasn't working particularly well from the start, is there some satisfaction from overcoming that and gutting it out?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I'm not a 100% happy with the way I played today. I mean, I'm glad I won, but I feel like I could have done a lot better. I'm just going to try to make little adjustments.
Q. Were you frustrated by the number of breakpoint opportunities that you let slip? You converted 5 out of 16.
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah. I definitely think I could have done a lot better on those points and I didn't take the opportunities the way I could have. I guess this match is over.
FastScripts by ASAP Sports
Apr 6th, 2008 11:44 PM
Re: 2008 Sony Ericcson Open (Miami) Interviews
Serena Williams Interview - Miami, Apr 1

Posted on April 02, 2008

S. Williams/J. Henin
6­2, 6­0
An interview with: SERENA WILLIAMS
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. Today's performance reminded everybody of your performance last year when you took Maria Sharapova apart at a similar stage, and then you reminded everybody afterwards that you always expect the best of yourself. Today you were pretty near your best, weren't you?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah. I didn't make as many errors as I usually do, and, you know, I've been practicing like a champ. Today I finally started playing a little bit the way I've been practicing.
Q. Is there a tournament anywhere else in the world where you feel as comfortable and sort of as much as, This is my place?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I feel really comfortable at Wimbledon, believe it or not. I feel really comfortable, I don't know, because I like the grass. But definitely here I feel ­­ I don't know why I do well here. Maybe it's something in the water. (laughter.)
Q. What was the big difference today compared to three performances against the last two?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Today I was just was able to ­­ I didn't make as many errors. I stayed positive no matter what happened. I think that was a good turnaround. Just mostly the errors. The error count wasn't nearly as high as it's been in the past.
Q. So many people here at the tournament have been buzzing about just how good you look physically on the court. You've not looked this good since... can you finish that sentence?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Since 1982. (laughter.)
Q. Serious question.
SERENA WILLIAMS: That was a serious answer. (laughter.)
Q. You talked about when you came in about how you've been practicing a lot more than usual. Like how much more? How hard have you really been working for this?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, I've really ­­ not just this tournament. This isn't my goal. My goal was just for the future, not here or, you know, last ­­ the next week. But my goal is just in the long term to have less injuries and just to keep focused.
I've been saying that tennis is my priority, and I feel that it is. Hopefully my results will finally start to show what I've been practicing and working on so diligently.
Q. Last time I heard you say you practiced like a champ was before the Australian last year when you were starting from a lower fitness point.
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, it's definitely easier. I'm definitely way more fit than last year even at this tournament. I feel I'm moving better. I feel definitely I could be more fit and just in better shape, but I'm taking it one day at a time and looking at it in the long­term picture.
Q. Were you surprised at how easy it was today? Did it cross your mind?
SERENA WILLIAMS: The first set was 42 or 43 minutes, and usually with a 6­2 score line it's 25 minutes. We definitely had a lot of long deuce games and a lot of games, but I just ­­ was I surprised at how easy? No, it was just ­­ it wasn't easy. It was just the fact of me making the right shots at the right time.
Q. Since beating Justine here in the final last year, you've lost to her in the whole series of marquis quarterfinals in the Grand Slams. I guess today was payback day, wasn't it?
SERENA WILLIAMS: No. It's kind of a letdown. I wish this was a Grand Slam more than anything. (laughter.)
I mean, I'm going to try do this at a Grand Slam and not only at this tournament.
Q. If your sister wins tonight you would play. You played back in India. Last time on a big, big stage was US Open in '05. Seems like it's been a while.
SERENA WILLIAMS: Definitely been a while. Not for me, because I played her in India. It was a tough match. It was like two­and­a­half hours.
Q. Was it?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah. So I look forward to ­­ you know, obviously I want her to win. So, you know, clearly I want her to win. I want her to do well, but I'll have to deal with that when it comes.
Q. Has it gotten easier or harder to play her over the years?
SERENA WILLIAMS: No, no, no, definitely easier. Definitely easier, because now we really, really leave everything out on the court.
And for me, since I was younger I kind of got angry if I lost. I had a bad attitude. She always had a positive attitude whether she won or lost, but for me it's easier. Now I know that I'm going to leave everything I can on the court, and then whatever happens, you know, at the end of the day, we're going to be sisters way longer than opponents.
Q. She's stepped up the speed of her serve a little bit, both first and second. Your service returns today you had a number of winning service returns or forcing returns. Can you comment?
SERENA WILLIAMS: You mean Venus stepped up her serve?
Q. No, Justine.
SERENA WILLIAMS: So what was the question?
Q. Justine stepped up her serve quite a lot. Little more pace on the ball. But your service returning today was pretty extraordinary. Can you comment on that a bit?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, she definitely stepped up the pace. She was hitting what, 94 miles an hour second serve, which was harder than mine. They didn't feel like they were 94. Like I would look at the speed gun and felt like it was maybe 80.
But I was ­­ you know, I thought she did well. I thought she played really well.
Q. Is that because you were reading her serve better today?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Maybe I was reading it better maybe. But I thought that, you know, she ­­ I just noticed it didn't have a lot of pace on it. She wasn't hitting them soft at all.
Q. When you talk about errors going from 60 to 15 or whatever, how would you explain it? Is it just focus, or...
SERENA WILLIAMS: No, some days you have bad days and I really ­­ I had a really bad day, and I was having really good practices and then, you know, I just had a bad day. Everything I hit didn't seem to want to go in and everything I tried wasn't working. Plus I wasn't doing the right things, so I think that obviously has a factor to do with it.
Today I really wanted to focus on doing what I knew I should do.
Q. Justine said she was lacking courage today against you. What do you think it says about you?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I don't know what it says about me. I think she's a really courageous individual, and, you know, just all that she is accomplished is very courageous.
Q. Will you still go and watch Venus' match tonight even though you may be on a collision course?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I should go scout my opponent, right? (laughter.)
Q. Do you think there's anything she can throw at you that you haven't seen?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah. Venus is playing unbelievable, so I wish it were a final, but if we play each other, and we have to win the tournament, one of us.
Q. Back on Justine for a second. We perhaps overlooked today a couple of winning lobs by you. How much more variety is in your game today than, say, to even one year ago?
SERENA WILLIAMS: My game has a lots of variety now. I hit a mean slice. I have a great ­­ I've always had a great lob. I've been playing a lot of doubles. I played a lot of doubles this year, which really kind of helps me, as well, develop my lob, my volleys again.
So I really think that helps. Just playing doubles helps my game in general.
Q. You were also coming in a lot to the net more than Justine. I think it's about double the amount you came into the net than Justine.
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, it's because I'm playing doubles and coming to the net a lot in doubles, and I have a lot of confidence in my volleys. I'm feeling good up there, so, you know, I'm having a lot of fun. So, yeah.
Q. Is it also because Venus, last year she was kind of working on a transition game, coming to the net more? You saw at the US Open. Is it like you're following in her footsteps or...
SERENA WILLIAMS: No. Usually I do follow in her footsteps, but I'm nearly a year late. I did notice she was coming to the net in Bangalore a lot. She's copying my game. I actually thought that it was vice versa.
Q. One of your former neighbors, Andy Roddick, got himself engaged yesterday. What is your reaction to that?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Oh, jeez. I couldn't believe it when he told me. It was like, Are you ­­ I thought he was joking.
He's engaged to a really nice girl.
Q. You know her?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, she's a great person. I've never seen him happier, so I'm really happy for him.
Q. Is there any way that you or Venus would stay in the game longer than the other? Do you have any kind of an understanding that it's going to be the same time when you decide to leave the game?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, no, Venus talks about staying for a long time, and I'm like, Jeez. But I figure I'm younger so I should probably stay at least three years longer.
Q. That would be very different, though, wouldn't it?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Would it be different?
Q. I don't know. You tell me. I know you came into the game a bit later.
SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, we also have ­­ I totally forgot what I was going to say. (laughter.)
Oh, my God.
Q. Alzheimer's?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I have no idea what I was about to say. I blank out sometimes. I'm very sorry about that. It sucks. Believe me, I know.
Q. So what do you still want to achieve in those three years?
SERENA WILLIAMS: The three years after she retires? That could be ­­ that could be 2075 at this rate.
Q. Where do you want to be at the end of the year in terms of rankings, and are you still looking to get back to No. 1 and dominate again the way you did once?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I'm always looking to be back to No. 1, and I'm always looking to be on the top. I think I wouldn't be in tennis if I didn't expect or believe that I could be. I'm just fighting every day and hoping to get there soon.
FastScripts by ASAP Sports
Apr 4th, 2008 12:16 AM
Re: 2008 Sony Ericcson Open (Miami) Interviews
Serena Williams Interview - Miami, Mar 31

Posted on April 01, 2008

6­3, 6­3
An interview with:

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. Can you talk about your match today? You had a lot fewer unforced errors. I know you were talking about that yesterday.
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I definitely had a lot less unforced errors, so I think that was pretty key. It was kind of up and down, though. I mean, she was an interesting player. She didn't give me any kind of rhythm.
Q. Did you feel like you were focused? You also talked about that the whole match.
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I definitely feel like I was focused. Felt like I had to be. It was definitely a good eye opener, the other match, to know I could be focused today.
Q. Your next match is against Justine. Obviously it's a rematch of the last year's final that you won. Can you talk about playing her? She seemed pretty excited, actually.
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I couldn't be happier. I feel like we haven't played in a while, and last ­­ it's a shame it can't be in the finals, you know, but I definitely look forward to playing her, for sure.
Q. In your opinion, is there a better rivalry right now than you and Justine?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I don't know. I think we have a great rivalry. I mean, we definitely bring out some of the best tennis in each other, and she tends to play really well against me. Probably better against me than other opponents, so it's definitely a good match for me.
Q. You and Venus have played almost on the same days, just different times throughout the tournament. How do your schedules intersect, and how much time do your spend together during tournaments?
SERENA WILLIAMS: We haven't been spending a lot of time together during this tournament. It's been kind of hard. Yeah, we've been playing kind of together at different times. She was able to make it out to a couple of my matches.
Q. If you guys both win when you play next you meet each other in the semifinal. Is that something you like or you'd rather not?
SERENA WILLIAMS: It's definitely easier in semis than the round of 16. That's how I look at it. Do I like playing Venus? Of course not. I think she's the toughest opponent for me out there.
Q. My next question was going to be what's harder, playing the world No. 1 or playing your sister?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Definitely playing V. I mean, she's like playing a mirror of me. She's getting every ball back. She has the hardest serve on the tour. She's a great returner. She runs every ball down.
Yeah, so she's doing nothing bad. It's hard to play people like that.
Q. Is it harder also psychologically, or how would say that affects you?
SERENA WILLIAMS: No, definitely not. Because now it will be we're both trying to win. But, you know, I have a quarterfinal to play first, so...
Q. I was a little late. What about the match with Justine? What are your thoughts about that?
SERENA WILLIAMS: No, I really look forward to playing. I haven't played well against her lately. I feel like, you know, just haven't been playing right.
So I always look forward to playing her. It's always a good match. So it will be good.
Q. What are your memories about the match here against her last year?
SERENA WILLIAMS: You know, I was just really down and out and just trying to make it, so I don't even ­­ you know, I'm just really focused on this year. I'm sure she is, too.
Q. I know you're not playing Fed Cup. How much of a priority are Olympics for you this summer?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Olympics are definitely a priority this year. I'm just taking it one tournament at a time right now. My priority is Miami.
Q. Compared to all your trophies, where do you keep your Olympic gold medal from Sydney?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I keep it in a case in my closet. It's nice, because it means a lot to me. I love that I have a gold medal, almost seems surreal.
Q. How often do you get it out and show it to somebody?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Whenever I can. Want to see my gold medal? I'm always trying to show it off. I think it's the coolest thing and always bite it. You can see I have little teeth marks from where it's been bitten. It's really cool. It's like my prize piece.
Q. Why did you bite it? Make sure it's real?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Everyone bites it when you get a gold medal. Well, that's what I saw on TV (laughter.)
I figured I have to do it, too.
Q. Is that true with the Wimbledon trophy, too?
SERENA WILLIAMS: No, that's one's ­­ no, I mean, Wimbledon, it's different. You're like ­­ I'm excited about the gold medal.
Q. Is it much more fun having your sister on tour with you?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Definitely. She's a great coach, and usually when my dad's not in the tournament I have her listed as my coach to come on the court.
Q. Do you think you guys have learned a lot from each other? And what are some of the things you've learned from her being on tour?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I've definitely learned a lot from V. She's a great player. She's a great strategic player. I don't know if people realize or she gets credit for that, but she's really really really solid when it comes to strategies.
FastScripts by ASAP Sports
Apr 4th, 2008 12:06 AM
Re: 2008 Sony Ericcson Open (Miami) Interviews

Serena Williams Interview - Miami, Mar 30

Posted on March 31, 2008

S. WILLIAMS/F. Pennetta
6­7, 6­3, 6­2
An interview with: SERENA WILLIAMS

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. What turned things around for you?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I really just started fighting. I didn't want to lose. I talked to my mom on the phone. You know, she has a way of talking to me. And I talked to my dad as well.
They pretty much both said the same thing. You know, mom was just like you need to do this, blah, blah, blah. And I was like, okay. Are you listening? Yes, I'm listening.
Q. Can you tell us what their advice was?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I just said blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. Blah, blah, blah. No, she was just like, Don't think about the title. Just think about this match.
Don't put ­­ because they know that I put a lot of pressure on myself. She was just like, Don't put pressure on yourself. She knows my game really well. She was like, Stay up. Don't get behind the baseline. I'm like, Are you here? Are you watching on TV?
She's like, No, but I know you. So I was like, Okay. So I just tried to listen more than anything.
Q. So the rain delay helped you?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I definitely think it helped me for sure. But regardless, I was ready to get in there and do whatever I could to just stage a comeback.
Q. Is that when you called her, during the rain delay, or they called you during the rain delay?
SERENA WILLIAMS: My mom called me, and my dad is here, obviously, so he talked to me.
Q. Is there one of them, your mom or your dad, that you sort of would prefer to talk to in a situation like that after the way that first set went, or equally the same temperament?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, my dad is so positive. And like I could be hitting a thousand errors and he'll be like, You're playing great. You know, all you have to do is this. Whereas my mom is more, You need to do this.
But she's just more ­­ I don't know. Everyone probably thinks it's opposite, but it's really not. But my mom's like more strict and tougher, but it's good. You know, you need that one person to be tough on you, and you need the one person to be, you know, you can go to them like oh, and really feel sorry for you.
So I think they kind of work really well with each other.
Q. Good cop, bad cop?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yes, good cop, bad cop. Believe it or not, my dad's the good cop, and my mom's the bad cop.
Q. When did you feel like you were on top of the situation? Did you still have real concerns in the third set even?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah. You know what? I never stopped. Like I didn't feel I was on top until the match was over. I didn't want to lose focus. I didn't think, I'm on top. I thought, Just stay focused and don't think anything else.
Q. What was happening? What did you find that you weren't doing?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I was making ­­ I went out there after the rain delay and I saw I had 44 unforced errors. I really had cut down on my errors in the last tournament, and even in my first round match. I just made too many errors. I haven't made 44 errors in the beginning of a second set in a while, and that's really what happened. I just made 44 errors.
I don't know what the final stat was, but that's a lot of errors to make in a match.
Q. I think it was 60.
SERENA WILLIAMS: See, that's incredible.
Q. When was the last time you made that many errors?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I don't know. I hope I don't remember. I hope it doesn't happen again.
Q. What do you think is the cause of the errors? You seemed to be moving really well. Was it a kink in your stroke?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah. You know what? I've been practicing really well. I just think I had a bad day today. Every time I went to connect it was like I didn't have my contact point. There were some technical things that my dad told me I wasn't doing, and I tried to correct that going into the third set.
So, you know, he said that's why I was making errors. So I just tried to do that.
Q. Kind of a strange schedule today. Had Justine and Venus and you, all on Grandstand and Court 1. How did you feel out there in that environment?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I haven't played on Grandstand in years. However, I did play on Court 1 or 2 last year. You know, it's a good environment. You see a lot more kids out there.
I remember when I came to this tournament probably four, five years ago when I was younger, you know, watching. I remember watching like Gabrielle Sabatini, (laughing) and it was always on Grandstand.
It was just a great experience. So it's good sometimes, I think, to get the top players out there and have all the kids be able to get so close and so up tight. Do I like playing on the Grandstand? Obviously I prefer playing on Center. But at the same time, I always try to look at the glass being half full. It's a great opportunity.
Q. You don't think that affects you, the surroundings being a little different?
SERENA WILLIAMS: It was cool. The crowd was really into it. You know, it was good. It was a good vibe.
Q. Four years ago that was, you said?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, you know, I was like 14 or 13, whatever. It might have been five. It might have been five years ago.
FastScripts by ASAP Sports
Apr 4th, 2008 12:05 AM
Re: 2008 Sony Ericcson Open (Miami) Interviews
Venus Williams Interview - Miami, Mar 30

Posted on March 31, 2008

V. WILLIAMS/M. Erakovic
6­2, 6­1
An interview with:VENUS WILLIAMS
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. As a friend of Caroline Wozniacki, how do you see her as a person, her potential as a tennis player, and why do you like to play doubles with her?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, I played once with her in Doha, and we had a good tournament. I think she has definitely been improving. I played her a few times, and she's played better every time, and that's what it takes on this tour. So she's got a bright future.
As long as you work hard, you can achieve anything.
Q. It seemed to go pretty well for you today.
VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, I played well. I think I played consistent and not too many errors, which is great for me. She brought a lot of balls back, and that was a challenge, but I was just winning all of the important points.
Q. Will you be practicing, you and Serena be practicing individually from now on? Or do you plan on practice together again at all?
VENUS WILLIAMS: We practice together, but it just depends on our schedules. I played early, So I need to do my thing. It just ­­ we just get our work done, basically.
Q. Lindsay said yesterday you've told Zina you're taking a pass on the Fed Cup. What went into that decision making?
VENUS WILLIAMS: You know, I've tried to support Fed Cup as much as I could these few years, but sometimes I just get tired. Moscow's a long way, and I've had quite a few long trips already this year.
I'm going to be playing Amelia and Charleston, so I just couldn't play five weeks in a row. Obviously, my commitment to the tour is very important to me also, so I just can't do everything.
Q. But do you have Beijing in your game plan?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, yeah, definitely. I'm planning my summer around the Olympics and the US Open.
Q. Where do you feel your game is now?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I feel good. I feel good. I know what I'm doing out there, so, yeah, good.
Q. The last time you went to Moscow to play Fed Cup you were pretty exhausted emotionally possibly as well as physically. Why did you go? Was it out of respect for Zina?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, I definitely went for Zina, because I really like her as a person and respect her. I definitely lost one of those matches because I was just mentally gone. It was tough.
I bounced back and won the next one real easy, but I definitely needed to win my matches and, you know, didn't work out that time. We came close in Vermont. We've had some tough ties and some good ones too, but unfortunately I won't be there for this next one.
Q. What is your schedule going to be around the of French Open, Wimbledon time? And will you be replicating what worked so well for you last year?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I know. I better have. I'll be playing every point exactly the same way for Wimbledon. But I'm just going to play in Rome, French Open, and Wimbledon. That's it.
Q. Do you think you'll go home between the French?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, I'll go home.
Q. What do you think of Marina Erakovic?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I thought she was really a good player. Very consistent. She took her time, even though she was playing against a player who has a lot of experience and a lot of success, and sometimes that can be intimidating. But she just took her time from the beginning and made the games challenging.
I think I just had a little extra power, maybe a little extra speed. But I think she'll get better.
Q. It wasn't long ago that the wrap on women's tennis was that there were three or four, maybe five girls, and then early rounds were easy. Do you feel like that is no longer the case? Yesterday, Arvidsson really took Jelena to task and everything. Do you think there's more depth?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Everybody wants to win, so that's just what it is. Everybody has a little belief that they have an opportunity to win that match and they go for it, and I think that's one of the biggest differences.
Q. When did you kind of notice that change? Would you pinpoint it?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I don't know (smiling). Get back to me on that one.
Q. Have you seen Caroline play this year? And how far do you think she's come as a 17­year­old?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I haven't seen her play too much this year, So I can't quite say. But I'm sure she played well.
Q. She is 19 in the race list right now.
VENUS WILLIAMS: Excellent. Excellent.
FastScripts by ASAP Sports
Apr 3rd, 2008 06:01 PM
2008 Sony Ericcson Open (Miami) Interviews

Serena Williams Interview - Miami, Mar 28

Posted on March 29, 2008

S. WILLIAMS/E. Gallovits
6­1, 6­2
An interview with:

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. How do you rate your level of play right now?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I'm playing pretty good. Just doing the things that I do in practice, and trying to keep it there.
Q. It seemed really easy for you today. Was it?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, it did. It wasn't too tough of a match, but it was a good match to play. If I would have played different the scoreline would have been different, so it was important for me to play the away that I played.
Q. And what was the game plan?
SERENA WILLIAMS: You know, I don't know if there was a game plan. It was just things I've been doing in practice that I wanted to just turn around and do in my match.
Q. Were you trying to build up momentum, getting your errors out of the way early?
Q. Are you trying to build up momentum, getting your errors, unforced errors?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Definitely trying to build up momentum. You know, probably just getting the dust ­ if I have any dust, getting it off early in the first few rounds.
Q. Regardless of what's going on with the other top players, your rivals, do you come to tournaments like this still feeling like, If I play well, I should win?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Absolutely. If I play well, I can definitely win any time, so...
Q. You've won this four times and you're the defending champion. Do you come to this event with a different feeling than when you go into other events?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I love playing here. I love having all my friends come and see me play. And my family always comes to this event. It's like playing at home. So I think any time you play at home, like the Patriots playing at home, you always have that extra umph.
Q. Do you approach a tournament differently, do you think, when you're the defending champion?
SERENA WILLIAMS: No. The only thing I approach differently ­ I try not to think about it. I feel like instead of defending champion, I more or less feel like I'm coming in here trying to win the title. It definitely erases any kind of pressure.
Q. You have a more demure outfit on today. Not your usual vibrant. Any reasons for that? Letting your tennis show? Letting your tennis speak for you or something?
SERENA WILLIAMS: No, never. Never let my tennis speak for me, that would be doing way too much.
No, it's a different design. I like it. I think it was just a different look. Really, I thought it was really feminine and really kind of '50s, I thought. High wasted and really flirty.
Q. Venus has her line this year as a showcase. When do you plan on having your line?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I don't know. Hopefully next year, it's always available at Nike stores.
Q. Can you talk about Steffi Graf at all? What do you remember of her? Did you think of her as this preeminent tennis player, or did she have any influence on you?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I mean, Steffi Graff, what could ­ I mean, when I played her it was just like a dream come true. She was, hands down, one of the greatest players. One of the few players to win a Golden Slam: All the Grand Slams and the Olympics.
Yeah, you know, when I think of Steffi Graff, I just think of the greatest. She had the greatest footwork ever. She was so focused all the time. She was a great player, you know, both on and off the court that I had a chance to experience, and it was just an amazing experience. She was just awesome.

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