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WESTERN & SOUTHERN OPEN


August 22, 2015


Serena Williams

CINCINNATI, OHIO


S. WILLIAMS/E. Svitolina
6‑4, 6‑3


THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Most dominant serve in women's tennis. You feel like you've had a record season in double faults though?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I think I‑‑ yeah, probably for sure. I had a record last year, too, so...

Q. What do you think is going on there?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I don't know. I just need to serve with aplomb, and I'm not doing that right now.

Q. Is it like a rhythm issue with your serve do you think right now? Are you feeling it in practice and just not happening in matches?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I haven't served much since the French Open because I've had an elbow problem. When you don't serve much‑‑ you know, I think people forget that I've been out.
Even before French I didn't serve much until like the day before the tournament started. So I've been dealing with that for a long time.
It is what it is. Hopefully I'll get through it. If not, I'll get through regardless. Things could be worse.

Q. Talk about your game otherwise. Other than the serve, how do you feel going into your final tomorrow?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I've felt better, but I'm in the final playing the way I've played, so I feel like I'm okay with that. I know I can play so much better. Some matches I've played better here, and I really felt the connection and that was really good to feel.
But, yeah, so I'm just moving on with that.

Q. I guess everywhere suits your game, but third consecutive final in Cincinnati. What is about the conditions here that you enjoy?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Nothing in particular. It's a lot like Florida, but no real difference here.

Q. I want to ask you going back a little bit. Fed Cup you played doubles with somebody other than than Venus in forever. What was that like?
SERENA WILLIAMS: It's always weird because Venus hits big serves and returns and she has a huge game.
We've played with each other since I was like six, so it's always different playing with someone else.

Q. There was a great crowd tonight for a women's‑only session. Obviously the WTA has made great strides at Grand Slams getting equal pay. Should this level be a priority for the tour?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Getting?

Q. Equal pay.
SERENA WILLIAMS: In this event?

Q. And this level event.
SERENA WILLIAMS: There is not equal pay at this event?

Q. No.
SERENA WILLIAMS: That's news to me.

Q. It's a pretty big gap. It's $236,000.
SERENA WILLIAMS: Oh.

Q. Just wanted to ask another question, if I may, about the double faults. I know you're a perfectionist, but you hit three in a row. Do you ever remember doing anything like that?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Not in professionals.

Q. Tomorrow we don't know who you're playing, but Simona just took the first set. Can you talk about the matchups?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I'll probably play Simona. She's playing well. She was in the finals just last week and she's just going hard and going steady.
Yeah, so I just want to just continue to get better and continue do to better and see what happens.

Q. Have you been limiting your practices as well like here in Cincinnati for example or last week as well? Managing that time on the court to keep your body healthy, or is it pretty much full force?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, I took some days off after Toronto because that whole Fingergate. I just ran into a lot of bad luck recently. I'm just trying to manage it.

Q. That first match you played in Singapore against Simona, how much did she surprise you? Obviously you were ready the second time. You hadn't played her in a while before that.
SERENA WILLIAMS: No, she played me well. She came out with an incredible vengeance. Hopefully I'll be ready for that tomorrow if she decides to do that again.
You got to be ready. Maybe I wasn't ready. Hopefully I can be able to play well tomorrow.

Q. Most likely Simona will be No. 2 in the world, but when she was asked about the possibility to become ever No. 1, she says it's almost impossible until you are not playing. What do you think about that?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, I don't know. She has a great game. Obviously I want to be on top of the rankings when I'm here, and I'm sure she does, too.
I think she definitely has a chance, but there are a lot of people that want to be there. I'm always fighting to do the best and do anything in terms of hard work to get there.

Q. You said earlier in the week your serve wasn't where you wanted it to be, but you were okay with that because you wanted to be peaking in New York. You've got one more match here. Is this something you'll look to get done tomorrow, or do you look to flip a switch and make it happen in New York?
SERENA WILLIAMS: It's just practice. I haven't been able to practice my serve enough. Hopefully in the next week I'll be able to hit some in practice.

Q. With so much on the line in New York, last year you did Fashion Week. This year will you do anything for Fashion Week?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I have another fashion show on I want to say the 15th of September.

Q. You talked about the importance of staying calm and poised earlier in the week. When you're in a tournament and your serve is not what you want it to be, how do you make that...
SERENA WILLIAMS: I haven't had to deal with it too much, but just I realize that I have great returns, too, so I just to have key in and focus on hitting some returns in the court.
That's kind of what I focus on.

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WESTERN & SOUTHERN OPEN


August 23, 2015


Serena Williams

CINCINNATI, OHIO


S. WILLIAMS/S. Halep
6‑3, 7‑6


THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Can you talk about what it's like to win this title for the second year in a row?
SERENA WILLIAMS: It feels really good to win this title twice, or just win any title. It definitely feels good, yeah.

Q. Talk about the impact of the crowd. There were a lot of the people rooting for you and Simona as well. Did that impact you the at all?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, no, I had a lot of fans here. Like I said, I don't always have a tremendous amount of support in the crowd, but I really felt it and loved it and appreciated it. It was amazing.

Q. At one point there was a Simona chant going on and the Serena chant came about.
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, that was really special. Felt really good to have that. I was excited about that.

Q. It's probably fair to say you've been a bit up and down throughout the tournament in terms of how you felt about your performance. What would be your final grade after today?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I definitely feel there is room for improvement. I think that playing Simona really tested me, and I felt like I was up for the challenge and up for the test.
Final grade, I'm not sure yet. But I do know that ‑‑ I think everyone here knows there is room for improvement for me and I can do better. At least I'm on the right track of going up and not back.

Q. (No microphone.)
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I know. I felt a lot better, and I honestly think playing my semifinal match really prepared me for today. But I felt so much better just in terms of what to do.
Patrick really helps me out in practice today as well in terms of how to‑‑ what he saw wrong. Even though I was not happy doing it, I think it really helped stuck with me.

Q. In terms of your elbow, how is it now? Are you going to rest at all before the Open?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, it's better now. I just lost a lot of time because I had to rest it and I couldn't play Stanford because of my elbow.
I had to pull out of the other tournament because of my elbow and I couldn't serve. I think that affected me a lot.
Hopefully I'll just suck it up and get ready for the next three weeks.

Q. How often do you find yourself competing against your own standards as much as the person across the net?
SERENA WILLIAMS: You know, I compete a lot against my standards, probably even more. I have such high standards for myself and I expect the best from me and nothing less.

Q. You went through a lot of different facets of your game throughout the tournament. You pulled a Serena; went into Serena drive. How would you characterize this compared to last year?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I don't remember‑‑ I remember I played Ivanovic in the final, and I thought we were playing really well in that final.
I don't remember much else about last year. I think overall I probably felt more comfortable last year, felt a little better.
At the same time, last year I didn't have any pressure on me. I had lost pretty much every Grand Slam first week, so it was just more or less about trying to win some matches.

Q. I know you want to improve and there is room for improvement at the Open, the last two weeks do you go into the Open in a good spot, just positive and in a good head space?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I do, I do. I think the win here helps me not necessarily‑‑ I just like to‑‑ it also makes me realize the feeling of winning. It's ridiculous.
I like that feeling and want to do the hard work and listening to Patrick and all the stuff that he tells me. So I think it really helps.

Q. Does winning consistently create more pressure?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, but you know what? I decided I prefer to have that pressure than the pressure of not winning. Not everyone can handle that pressure, but I'm okay with it.
I would rather be to this position than another one.

Q. Is it at all a relief to have US Open be the next event you have coming up with the Grand Slam and everything? To have nothing standing between and you New York now, is that exciting?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I'm ready. I don't care if I win or lose or break even. I'm ready to start it, get it over with, and be done and go on to the next event.
But I'm so ready for New York. Let's go, right?

Q. What do you think it'll be like?
SERENA WILLIAMS: It's all up to me. If I decide to play right, it'll be great. If I decide to be Baby Rena, then...
I saw someone write that on Instagram. I kind of liked that though. They were calling me out, but I was like, They're right, so...
Yeah, hopefully Baby Rena won't come out.

Q. If you're playing well, who beats you?
SERENA WILLIAMS: You never know. Someone might come out and start treeing against me. If I am playing well then hopefully no one will win, but we'll see.

Q. Seems like the slow start is helping you. What do you say to yourself to get to that point? Why don't you do that in the beginning of the match?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Trying to figure that out myself. It's not like I try to get off to a slow start. I had a really good warmup today. Just didn't work out for me.
But, you know, I don't know.

Q. What did think about the start time of your match today? Right after 3:00, your ideal time.
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, yesterday when they said 3:00 I was like, Oh, perfect. I don't have to wake up too early.
So I slept in and did my thing.

Q. Have tea after this?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Huh? Am I going to have some tea? You mean am I going to gossip? Oh, you know, that means gossip to me. No.

Q. If you want to share some, we're ready.
SERENA WILLIAMS: Me too. You got some tea?

Q. On Monday you will be No. 1; Simona will be No. 2. You both played in this final. What do you think it says about the women's game and the status of the women's game to have two women who play very different styles topping the field?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, it'll be great. I'm really happy for her. She's been playing consistently and winning a lot of the tournaments this year.
So, yeah, definitely play very different, but at the same time there are similarities in our games. She goes for shots and goes for winners and doesn't just put the ball in play. I do the same thing, and I think it pays off.
Last question.

Q. Going straight to New York?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Probably going to go tomorrow and then just rest here [sic] for a day. Yeah, take a day off and get back at it. Get in there. Get better.

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UNITED STATES TENNIS ASSOCIATION MEDIA CONFERENCE


August 27, 2015


Serena Williams

THE MODERATOR: Questions for Serena.

Q. (Question about pressure going for the Grand Slam.)
SERENA WILLIAMS: I don't feel that fresh pressure. If I make it far, maybe I'll start to feel pressure. But as of now, I really don't feel any. I'm just here, like I said earlier, to perform and to the best I can.

Q. Do you remember your first match on Arthur Ashe Stadium, what that was like for you?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I don't remember. Sorry. I don't remember. I want to say maybe I played Spirlea, yeah? Pulled that out of the back of my memory. That was a long time ago (laughter).
I remember winning that and feeling really good. I don't remember. It was a really tough match for me, so I don't remember how I felt, I just remember winning that match.

Q. When you're signing autographs here in New York, what is the thing people say to you the most?
SERENA WILLIAMS: They always say how they're happy to meet me. Lately they've been saying they've been inspired by me and they wanted to do like me, help and be like me.
It gives me chill bumps to know that they feel that way and that I can inspire people. That's kind of how it's been.

Q. You did karaoke last night. You said you were trying to blow off some steam. I think you described it as almost like the elephant in the room.
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yes.

Q. Is that a kind of strategy going into the tournament?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I think so. And I have to say that I think Wimbledon gave me unbelievable practice for this. At Wimbledon I was going for the second Serena Slam. That is rare.
So, yeah, that really gave me the best practice and preparation in terms of going for the Grand Slam.

Q. No other man or woman has won seven US Opens. Are you aware of that? Are you conscious of records at this point in your career or is that something that we as writers obsess about?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I definitely think that's something that the writers focus on a little more. I had no idea of that. That sounds really cool, you know.
But hopefully if things don't work out this year, I'm obviously going to be here next year and have another chance to do that.

Q. When you were a kid, what did you dream about when you were first starting playing? Did you dream about winning one US Open or a Grand Slam?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I always dreamt of winning the US Open. I have always dreamt of winning the Grand Slam. Again, it was just a dream. I never thought I would be close to doing something like that.
So, yeah, my dream originally was always to win here in New York.

Q. Do you remember the first time you came to the US Open, how old you were?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I think the first time I came, I watched Venus play. It was an incredible experience for me because she actually made it to the final. That was great. That was great to see and to be a part of that moment, to kind of get experience. Even though I wasn't playing, I got experience by watching her. I learned so much. It was I think the best experience anyone my age could have.

Q. We're talking a lot about the pressure you're facing now. Basically there's always pressure.
SERENA WILLIAMS: Exactly.

Q. After this it would be Steffi Graf, then Margaret Court. So is this just something you're convinced you can go through the rest of your career facing this stuff?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yes, I feel like there's always another record, then there's always another person to catch up with or to pass.
I never really thought I would be in this position where I would even be talking about, you know, records, talking about passing Steffi Graf or even mentioning Margaret Court.
I mean, I just grew up trying to be the best that I could and do the best that I could. I worked really hard for everything. So to even be mentioned in that conversation is great.
But like I said, I feel like I don't put that pressure on myself to do anything here 'cause I'm obviously going to be excited to compete next year and just keep going and have fun.

Q. You've been winning Grand Slams for many, many years now. The last three years you've been much more consistently successful. What has been the difference in those three years compared with before that?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I think I won 13 before, and then I won in the last three years eight. So that's a lot, and I think just more consistently.
Also clearly working with Patrick has helped me a lot and helped me to achieve that consistency and have different goals, you know, change different elements in my game, ameliorate them, and also just be overall a better competitor on every single surface and every single match that I play.
I think in the long run, that's really been able to help me to get better.

Q. Venus is in your quarter. How crazy would it be if you would have to face Venus at this stage, at this moment, in the quarterfinals?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, it's better than the Round of 16, so... That's how I look at it.

Q. How has she been supporting you during this?
SERENA WILLIAMS: We don't talk about tennis. I mean, I don't think we ever talk about tennis outside of maybe doubles. We talk about tennis a lot during doubles. I mean, even at tournaments I'll go to her room and we just talk about life.
We're tennis players, we love what we do. We've been groomed since so young to play tennis. At the end of the day we're sisters and we do a lot of other things, as well.

Q. Are you aware that nine players your quarter, including yourself, are Americans? It's an American quarter. Are you looking forward to that?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, I don't know. We'll have to see. I don't look at the draw. I didn't see the American quarter.
You have Sloane, I seem to play her every tournament. Madison is playing really well. So is Sloane actually, she's playing excellent. So it's not anything simple or easy to go through.

Q. (Question regarding two favorite things about all the Grand Slams.)
SERENA WILLIAMS: That's really hard to say. It's really hard to say because I've done well at all of them. You always hate a tournament until you win it. When you win it, you just kind of fall in love with it.
So definitely hard to say.

Q. Have you talked to Steffi this year? If so, has she said anything about the record?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, I've seen a lot of things that she's posted. She's always been so supportive. I know her husband, Andre, who has been incredibly supportive.
So, yeah, I feel that love and support. I really love that, when someone is trying to do the best that they can, that someone as great as Steffi is there to be supportive and be happy more than anything for the next person.

Q. How would you say age or experience has helped you?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, I think being experienced has really helped me a lot, helped me get through a lot of matches. It's helped me overcome a lot of things.
Yeah, it's been great. I've really enjoyed it. I know some matches I got through just on my experience alone, so that's been really able to help me out.

Q. This is probably the busiest summer in terms of photo shoots and interviews. How have you managed your schedule to make sure you're well‑rested and ready for these big matches?
SERENA WILLIAMS: No, it's not been. This is pretty normal. No, I haven't had anything extra. It's maybe just more covers.
But I call myself 'the hardest working woman in tennis' because I'm always between the fashion, between everything that I'm doing. It's always a lot.

Q. So it feels normal?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah.

Q. In your heart and in your mind, do you believe you're the greatest woman to have played this game?
SERENA WILLIAMS: No, I can't sit here and say that. But I can sit here and say that I'm the greatest player that I've been able to be. I do read numbers and I do see numbers. I believe in those numbers.
I think, you know, different generations and different times have different champions, have different greats, have different levels of players. It's really difficult to compare, you know, one generation to another, generations several ago. Things change: power, technique, technology. A lot of things have contributed to that.

Q. When you look back at some turning points in your career, losses at two straight Opens, did you learn from that and how did that affect you?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, it was I think two straight Opens where I had really awful calls happen. Yeah, I just learned that sometimes in life things don't go right for you. It's about recovering from that, making a joke out of it sometimes.

Q. (Question regarding being an inspiration for the next generation.)
SERENA WILLIAMS: I have not seen it yet. I knew it was coming out around the Open. I'll definitely check that out.

Q. Everybody talks about the pressure. Is that something, seeing those previous players, allows you to bear this easier?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, I just look at someone like Althea and Zina. Let's face it, I have it a lot easier than them. There are so many barriers that have been broken.
When I look at it in that point of view, that aspect, a whole weight is like lifted off my shoulders. I feel like I have nothing to complain about. I'm doing well and I'm really happy to be here.

Q. You have so many passions, Miami Dolphins, your foundation. Is there comfort knowing that when you decide your tennis career is done, you have all these other opportunities waiting for you?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, there's a little comfort in that. Sometimes when I'm doing fashion, there's stress in that, too. Makes me want to play a little longer. Playing tennis could possibly be easier.
But it's still fun. I work really hard. I'm super hands‑on with what I do, especially in the design world. My charity, I'm incredibly hands‑on. But those things really make me happy.
I definitely look forward to, for instance, opening more schools around the world, providing more information for people, just building the Serena Williams Foundation even bigger. Those are things I look forward to. But right now I'm just looking forward to playing tennis.

Q. Ashe opened in '97, your first Open was '98. Is there certain energy you get from Ashe? What makes that a special place for you to play?
SERENA WILLIAMS: It's the biggest stadium for tennis players in the world. It's the biggest stage in the world, in New York. It doesn't get any bigger or better than this. I think that kind of speaks to itself.

Q. Your new coach Patrick gets a tremendous amount of credit. Do you think your father actually doesn't get enough credit for your career?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, I think my father is probably the best coach ever because, I mean, if we talk about numbers, he's got a lot and he's only had two players. So, you know, imagine if he had three (laughter).
So, yeah, if you average that out, you just stick with numbers, it doesn't get better or bigger than that. I'm trying to add it up in my head. I'm thinking 18 slams, not including doubles and the medals, so it's a lot, definitely a lot.
THE MODERATOR: Thank you.
SERENA WILLIAMS: Thank you.

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An Interview With: Serena Williams

Monday, August 31, 2015

Q. Was that one of the more bizarre on-court occurrences you've had in a while?


SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, it was definitely different and bizarre. But at the same time I was still focused. I kept thinking, you know, just stay focused; don't lose it. You never know what can happen, so...

Q. What are your thoughts on your next opponent, Kiki Bertens?


SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, I think she's playing well. She does a lot of things well. She has a big serve.

It's definitely something that I look forward to. See what happens.

Q. What was it like playing in the new Arthur Ashe Stadium? What's the difference?


SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, you know, it's different. It feels more intimate, which is weird, but it does. It feels more private. It feels like a dome. I think that's the best way to describe it.

Like if you go to some of these stadiums, football stadiums - obviously it's not that big - but it has that dome feeling. That's what it feels like now.

Q. Less windy?


SERENA WILLIAMS: Was it windy today? There was definitely a lot less wind, but I'm not sure if it was the day for wind.

Q. Do you think there should be a rule where players that are hurt can withdraw and get their prize money? That's been an issue. Players are staying in that aren't in shape to play. Wondering if there should be a rule where that player doesn't get the compensation.


SERENA WILLIAMS: I told you all in Cincinnati that I'm not answering no questions that involve controversy.

I don't know. I didn't think about that. I mean, you play to get compensated. You go to work to get compensated. I guess if you have a sick day in regular life you still get compensated.

So I don't know. I really don't know.

Q. I don't know if you've seen any of the results today, but were you surprised that Sloane went out early and Ana went out early?


SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, Sloane played CoCo, who is a fire player, and that is not an easy match. Yeah, that's just not an easy match. I can't say it's surprising. CoCo, she's a really good player. We've had a lot of tough matches together. When she's on, she can really take out a lot of people.

I think we've seen that. She got to the quarterfinals of Wimbledon. So, yeah, it wasn't, you know.

And then Cibulkova, she's been to the finals before. So they're really tough first-round matches.

Q. Speaking of fire, no one plays with more passion or fire in the women's game than you do. Talk about the importance of drama and passion to you. Do you need that to bring out the best part of your game?


SERENA WILLIAMS: I definitely feel like sometimes if I'm down I need to have a little fight extra, a little more power and passion.

But also, there's also a calm that I also need to tap into to do the best that I can, as well.

Q. Your T-shirt says, Eat right. What does that mean to you?


SERENA WILLIAMS: Really?

Q. Particularly on a game day.


SERENA WILLIAMS: So you came up with that question just from reading my shirt? If I had wore a different shirt would you have asked that question?

Q. I would have.


SERENA WILLIAMS: Credit to you. Credit to you.

Q. I found a way to work the T-shirt.


SERENA WILLIAMS: I like that.

Actually this is a vintage Nike tee from like the '90s or the late '80s. I didn't really know what it says. I can feel in the fabric how it's just vintage. I've been wearing it the past couple of weeks.

But eating right is so important I think for every athlete. You know, you are what you put in your body. It's not important for every athlete, it's important for everyone. You eat bad things, you got to get that out whether it's performance or whether it's just your daily life.

As time goes on, it's so important for people to really learn to eat healthy, things that really can benefit their body.

Q. How great was it to be back here in New York playing in Arthur Ashe Stadium, having not only your family, but the Arthur Ashe Stadium crowd rooting you on to complete the calendar slam?


SERENA WILLIAMS: It's great to be here in Arthur Ashe Stadium, to be American, just to be on this journey in my life. You know, it's kind of awesome that this is the last Grand Slam of the year, because if it were in a different country I think I would still love it, but it's not the same as being an American playing in New York, playing for that ultimate goal.

But, you know, it's really fun, and I'm literally enjoying the moment.

Q. How much of a concern is it that this wasn't really a test at all moving into the next round? Is that a bit of a worry that it was 30 minutes of bizarre play, as you called it?


SERENA WILLIAMS: No. I don't think that's a worry, because my practices are really intense and I really fight really hard in my practices. I know that every match is a challenge. I have to be ready for everything.

Q. I don't know if you heard, but CoCo did an on-court interview in the middle of her match after the first set. Did you hear that?


SERENA WILLIAMS: Yes.

Q. Would you ever think about doing that or trying it?


SERENA WILLIAMS: Being a vintage player from Lord knows what decade -- and I'm old school, so I don't know if I can say that's something I would do, per se -- but I found it quite interesting.

Maybe that's the future of tennis, the future of where it's going. You know, hopefully they don't make that mandatory. So we'll see.

Q. What do you think the pros and cons of it would be?


SERENA WILLIAMS: I think it's great for some viewers. Get in the mind of the athletes. But I also think it -- you know, for me, I'm really focused the whole time. I'm really trying to think about what I want to do. I don't necessarily want to answer questions about anything. I just want to be in that moment and kind of focused.

That's kind of the integrity of tennis when you think about it. It's just you on the court. It's not a reporter. It's not a coach. It's just you in that moment. I kind of love that. It's the only sport where you have that.

Q. At Indian Wells you were taken aback when you first went out on court. This is a journey; this was your first step today. What did it feel like when you went out on the court?


SERENA WILLIAMS: It was a really good feeling going out there. You know, just taking it all in, having those nerves, but at the same time, just being ready for whatever happens.

Q. What do you think makes you old school? You don't even like Hawkeye; you don't challenge.


SERENA WILLIAMS: I do challenge if I'm sure. I've been wrong a few times. But sometimes...

Q. You're a modern girl.


SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah. I listen to modern music. (Smiling.)

Q. Where do you think the old school comes from?


SERENA WILLIAMS: That's a good question. I think maybe it just comes from just growing up and just watching so much tennis, just enjoying, like, you know, Steffi and Monica, that era where it was just them.

They were such mental players. You know, just looking at that and just being so influenced by that. Thinking one day I'm going to be there. I never thought one day I'm going to be there with my coach or with anything else. Although I think Hawkeye is a great thing.

But, you know, I just feel like it's, yeah, something that I like. I just like that.

Q. What is your big memory of your first win here, your first title?


SERENA WILLIAMS: My big memory? I have a lot. I mean, when you win your first, there's so many. Obviously one of the biggest, and I've said this often, I think it was in the tiebreak in the final. I remember thinking -- Martina had a second serve, and I'll just never forget.

I was like, Serena, you've got to go for it. It's either now or never. You've got to go for it. I went for it. I went for this huge forehand up the line. Something inside me told me if I don't do this then I'm not going to win this match.

So just stepping up to the plate and just being brave enough to go for it, that moment really shaped my whole career. That's probably what I remember most.

Q. Six seeded players lost today. What do you make of this first day? Do you look at the draw at this point or you don't care at all?


SERENA WILLIAMS: I'm not a person that usually looks at the draws. I just take it as it comes and as it goes, do the best that I can and just go for it.

Q. Chris Evert's father passed on. Did you have any contact with him or any thoughts about his life and his role?


SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, he gave us one of the world's greatest champions and just a great person. It's a sad moment for not only Chris but for everyone involved in tennis.

Yeah, but it's those moments that we can always look back on and appreciate and never forget.

Q. You were talking about intense practices. I had a chance to watch you practice some today. Is it a distraction to have Roger right there across the way from you?


SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, it is, because I'm always looking over, What is he doing? Giving him the side eye. Okay, maybe I should do that. I should do that. Oh, he's taking a break now. Okay, cool.

No, it's super distracting. I totally look at him. I mean, he's Roger. Like watching his returns, okay, so he is moving forward on that. Interesting.

Q. Where do you find the moments of quiet, especially during a Grand Slam?


SERENA WILLIAMS: Uhm, yeah, I never leave my room too much. I kind of become in there, in that space, and I just watch endless Netflix.

Q. What's Netflixing right now?


SERENA WILLIAMS: What was I watching earlier? Actually, to be honest, I was watching a lot of ID, Investigation Discovery. I don't think it's on Netflix, but I downloaded some.

Q. Does your school, your girls, do they get a chance to see you play, get some video?


SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, you know, we were able to give them some computers and so they have the Internet. It's been a wonderful experience.

A lot of the time they're able to check in on the scores. I don't know if they can see it live, but they're definitely able to check on the scores.

It's just been so amazing to do that.

Q. Are they learning at all anything about the game?


SERENA WILLIAMS: Oh, yeah. They're learning. Hopefully some of them are practicing. Maybe one day they'll join the tour.

Q. What do you think of Stan Wawrinka's ping-pong skills?


SERENA WILLIAMS: He destroyed me. I kept hitting to his backhand. I'm like, Why am I hitting to this guy's backhand? I wouldn't hit to his backhand in tennis, so that wasn't really smart of me. I'm like, God, the guy never misses, of course. So I tried to move the ball around.

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An Interview With: Serena Williams (Round 2)

Wednesday, September 02, 2015

Q. Saw you on the practice court after the match. The serve went a little awry the first set. Talk about what was in your mind when you kept double-faulting.

SERENA WILLIAMS: You know, just trying to get those second serves in. I don't know what was on my mind at that point. I was just, yeah, trying to keep fighting and keep trying.

Q. Is that what you were working on when you went to the practice court?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, Patrick told me some things that he saw that he thought I could work on to improve it and to get better.

Q. How often do you do that in a Grand Slam after a match?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I've done it often enough. I've done it a few times, so... It's nothing new actually - for me at least.

Q. What do you think is the most important aspect of your focus, your belief, that enables you to come back no matter how well or how not well you're playing in the first set?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I don't know. I mean, today, for instance, I just said, One point at a time. Like I said, when I get down, I tend to get really relaxed and I start to play a little better. But, yeah, taking it one moment at a time for me.

Q. How has that evolved, or have you always had that ability?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I've always made some legendary comebacks since 1998 when it first started, '98. So that's kind of just been my MO for my whole career.

Q. You were out there for a good half hour taking serves. How much more confident are you with it going into your next match?

SERENA WILLIAMS: We'll see. I'll see tomorrow how I am in practice, how I am with serving. I'll see how I do tomorrow.

Q. How different did this match feel as a second round with what happened in the first round where you didn't get much of a challenge? Did you feel like you were thrown into this tournament colder than you might be normally?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I definitely feel like I was definitely a little colder. But I played in Cincinnati. I played in Toronto. I've been practicing every day. I mean, that is no excuse. I just felt I should have, and am fine.

Q. Is that part of the reason you said on court you felt a little bit tight today? Is there any ability for you to pinpoint that, or just a feeling you have on court?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I wasn't tight yesterday. I felt a little tight today. You know, I think I'll do things different, just things with myself, and I'll be better for my next match.

Q. Are you at all enjoying the nerve-wracking stuff you're going through?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Until today I was okay with it. You know, I just got a little nervous today. But, you know, I've been doing totally fine. I've been completely relaxed, chill. I've been really, really fine. So I'm going to get back into the place that I was and I'll be fine again.

Q. Since you know Bethanie's game so well, she knows yours, will that relax you?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Knowing that she's capable of having big wins kind of relaxes me because I know she's going to come out and I know what to expect. She's going to give 300%. She's a huge fighter. She has a great game, by the way. I know that will help me, that I have to start out strong if I want to stay in the tournament. If not, I can go on vacation.

Q. Somebody you haven't played before, is that something that's a little anxiety?

SERENA WILLIAMS: No. I play a lot of people that I haven't played before. So, no, that doesn't really... When you go out there you should be able to figure out their game. I should have been able to figure out that game in the first game, the first two games max.

Q. What do you like most about Bethanie's style as a player and person that dresses with flair as you do?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I love her personality. It really shows in her dresses and the clothes and the outfits. I love her spirit. She's had a lot of ups and downs throughout her whole career. She's just incredibly positive, you know. It's so inspiring for someone like me. So I love that about her. And she has a really aggressive game. You know, I just don't think there's anyone on tour that says, I don't like Bethanie Mattek. I don't think that exists.

Q. Why do you say someone is so positive for someone like you?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Because we've both been through things. She's had a lot of ups and downs in her career. I have, too. It's cool to see another person, another woman, be so strong and continue to come back, continue to do really well, to look anyone in their face and play the best that she can.

Q. You're doing a new style of training now, training with a gallon of water on top of your head.

SERENA WILLIAMS: That was a long time ago.

Q. Do you still do it?

SERENA WILLIAMS: God, no.

Q. Do you swim?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Do you swim? (Laughter.)

You know what, I can swim. Do I choose to swim? No, I don't choose to swim.

Q. It's the hair thing.

SERENA WILLIAMS: I can swim. I've been in my pool probably 10 times and I've been living in that house for 12 years.

Q. Do you do anything particularly different when you play a doubles specialist? She's won three slams in doubles this year. Do you expect more of an awkward game and plan for that?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I don't know what to expect. She played someone that kind of plays similar to me today. That's going to help her in our match the next couple of days.

Q. Speaking of doubles, are you planning on playing with Venus before the Olympics?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yes. As soon as this tournament is over, I'm going to play every tournament singles and doubles.

Q. You commented on Sloane's racquet smash. CoCo did one today that was pretty epic.

SERENA WILLIAMS: No, I haven't heard about it. I'll look it up.

Q. At the end of this match you looked maybe a little mad at yourself. Do you come out of it more determined? What is your mood?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I definitely feel more determined to do better than what I did. I know I can play better, so... Yeah, it definitely wasn't my happiest of moments. You know, I don't think you should be happy with just winning. At least I'm not. Maybe other people can. Always looking to do better. You know, if I don't play well, I'm not going to be happy even if I won.

Q. The stadium court after your first-round match you said it felt almost intimate. Any observations about playing in daytime?

SERENA WILLIAMS: It definitely doesn't feel as intimate as the nighttime. It definitely has that dome-like structure that it's half covered nearly.

Q. What about wind?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I didn't feel any wind today. But Gracias a Dios.

Q. Do you remember any time this year where you felt satisfied or close to satisfied?

SERENA WILLIAMS: This year?

Q. Yes.

SERENA WILLIAMS: Let's see. I played so many matches this year. I'm sure there's a couple. I can't think of one right now. I'm sure there's a couple. I played good in my first round here.

Q. Mary Joe mentioned it was like the 50th win this year. That's a high, I'm assuming.

SERENA WILLIAMS: I guess. They said it's the most of the tour so far. Haven't played that many tournaments, though. Yeah, I think I won like 76 before, though. Got to keep going and catch that one.

Q. Have you seen Straight out of Compton?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Not yet. Been on the road, yeah.

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An Interview With: Serena Williams (Round 3)

Friday, September 04, 2015

Q. Not the easy way.
SERENA WILLIAMS: I just made a lot of errors. Had to play myself in after that.

Q. How did you play yourself into the match? Obviously it was really tight. You got close deep in the second set, and then you seemed to find another level.
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I mean, I knew that I could play better, so with that in the back of my mind -- because I made a lot of errors, but I knew, like, this wasn't the best game, my best game.

So I guess knowing that always helps me really play better.

Q. Do you think she was trying to use dropshots or trying to bring you into the net a little bit? Did you see that as a tactic?
SERENA WILLIAMS: You know what? I don't know. Maybe. I don't know actually.

Q. What is it like to always be the favorite in a match? It seems like it's so long since you weren't expected to win.
SERENA WILLIAMS: I mean, it's interesting. Yeah, no matter what, I'm always the favorite. I look at it as I'd rather be the favorite than be in a position where I'm not, so...

Q. When you get down in a match - you've spoken about this earlier in the tournament - what do you draw upon most, that you find most effective to turn things around?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I don't know. I just know usually when I'm down, I mean, I feel like if I'm not playing well, I know I can take it to another level. But if I'm down and I'm playing well, then I probably won't win.

But usually, you know, I know that I can play better. I just try to tap into the energy and I try to play better.

Q. The other day you spoke about being nervous or a little bit tight. Were you nervous tonight?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Not at all. Not at all.

Q. Why not?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I wasn't nervous at all, just the second round. From the week -- from Cincinnati I felt good. I mean, I don't have to win this event. It's not the end of the world for me.

I told you getting to Wimbledon and winning the Serena Slam, that really meant a lot to me. That tournament I felt on the edge a lot. This one I don't feel that way.

I think people feel that way more than I do, but I don't feel like I need that more than anything.

Q. Do you feel better after it's all over tonight than you did the other night?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, definitely. I feel good I was able to get that win, obviously.

And she played really well. She played a really aggressive game. I don't think her level really dropped. I thought I just picked up my level.

Q. The history goes away and it's just you against your opponent. You're not aware of the circumstances as you're playing?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I mean, of course it's there. I'm not a robot or anything. But at the end of the day I'm just here to do the best I can. If that means I win, then great. But if it doesn't, then you know what? I can't let that affect me because I still have other tournaments to play.

Q. You've been down an early break in a lot of matches; lost some first sets. Does that concern you at all, or you know you've gotten out of it so many times?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I think getting out of it so many times definitely helps me. It's definitely not something I want to do, though.

But, hey, a win's a win, I guess.

Q. When you do face that situation which you now have eight times in the slams this year, do you ever think, I have no margin for error; it's best-of-three sets? Like Murray yesterday lost the first two sets and came back. Do you wish it was best-of-five ever?
SERENA WILLIAMS: No, but we offered to play best-of-five. I totally could.

But doesn't matter to me. Best-of-five, best-of-seven, whatever. Let's get it going and cracking, right?

Q. What will you take away from playing Madison last time that you'll bring to the match coming up?
SERENA WILLIAMS: You know, I think that she played a really high-intensity match. I thought she served really well; I served well.

So hopefully I'll be able to show up and play well. We'll see.

Q. What are the biggest similarities and differences between your games, do you think?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I mean, she runs around and hits forehands a lot. I tend to run around and hit backhands, which is just odd. I don't know. I mean, we both have good serves.

Yeah, she does everything really well. She has a good return. She has a heavy shot. She's moving well. So she does everything really well.

Q. When you were a young player trying to make your mark, you go out there as an eager beaver. You want to win matches. What is it like now when you've done so much on a day-to-day basis? Is that eagerness to go out there and play still there?
SERENA WILLIAMS: At this point in my career it is. I think it's even more eagerness to win every single match I play every single time I step out on the court.

Q. The crowd was really cheering for you. Did that help you or is it sometimes pressure on you?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, no, I usually don't have a cheering crowd for me, so it definitely feels good. They usually cheer for the underdog, but I think everyone wants to see me go far, I guess, this year.

So it's really cool to have the crowd not cheering for the underdog this time. But I understand obviously. It just feels really good. It feels amazing every time I play. I think, if anything, it helps me.

Q. Do you prefer playing Americans here or would you rather...
SERENA WILLIAMS: It doesn't matter. At some point you play everyone everywhere, so...

Q. At this point do you feel invincible?
SERENA WILLIAMS: No. I've never felt invincible. I've never used that word to describe me ever.

Q. Did you watch any of Venus' match today?
SERENA WILLIAMS: No.

Q. You know she played really well. Do you take anything from that? You both mentioned this week you give advice to each other before matches.
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, we do. The only thing I take from it is the fact that I'm going to have to step up my game, you know. That's all I can do.

Q. A few times this year you have reminded us that it's not easy. This isn't easy. This journey that you're on is really difficult. Is this really what you kind of expect, and it's a lot harder than all of us think it is?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I don't know what to expect. I've never been on this train. I love metaphors. (Smiling.) I've never been on this train. It's different. It's definitely different.

But, yeah, I actually can't really answer that because I don't really know what to expect.

Q. To use your metaphor, what would it take to derail you?
SERENA WILLIAMS: If I'm standing on the middle of a track, I'm definitely going to get derailed. I have to make sure that I'm on the train and not, you know, in front of it.

Q. Do you have any particular memories of matches against Lindsay here?
SERENA WILLIAMS: The last time I played Lindsay was so long ago that hopefully I've improved. Hopefully. But, yeah, I remember one time. Obviously the semifinals here in '99. I lost to her here once or twice. I don't remember.

Q. You have a lot of visibility these days with commercials and such. Do you have a favorite you've seen and why?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I love the Gatorade and the Beats ad. They're really inspirational. They're not just like, Oh, here I am. They really are inspirational for young kids, and that's what we wanted to do. We didn't just want to do a normal ad. We wanted to inspire everyone from every part of the world.

Q. What is it like having your retired contemporaries watching you from the sidelines now? Hingis was watching Venus today.
SERENA WILLIAMS: It's all right, I guess. I don't think about it.

Q. Do you remember, were you watching when Steffi had her US Open where she was going for it? Do you remember anything about that?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Seriously? I mean, I'm old, but c'mon. Geez.

Q. You were playing tennis already.
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, but, I mean, what, I was six. Get serious.

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An Interview With: Serena Williams (Round 4)

Sunday, September 06, 2015

Q. You were asked the other day if you can remember a match this year that you really felt good after and satisfied with. Is this a match that you feel good about?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I think I played really well. I had to play well. I did hit a ball that bounced before it hit the net, so that is a first. (Smiling.)

Q. When Venus was here earlier she said even playing against you is fun, that it's always fun playing tennis. What is it like for you on the court and even thinking about it before you step on the court to play your sister?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Nowadays, I would agree, I think it's more fun than it used to be. We really relish the opportunity. We're both happy to still be involved in getting so far. And it's still super intense. She's doing well and she wants to win this. So do I. It's not easy.

Q. What do you think your rivalry has meant to the sport?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I think it's been an amazing rivalry. I think it's meant a lot. We've done a lot for the sport. I think, you know, hopefully it can continue as long as we play.

Q. You said you have been calm for a while. What was it about this match that made you so relaxed?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I haven't really felt a lot of pressure. Only in that second round; for whatever reason I got tight. The whole tournament I've been really kind of rather relaxed. I don't really feel like if I win this tournament it's going to make or break my career. So, you know, I look at it that way.

Q. How do you prepare differently to play your older sister?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, I mean, I'm playing, for me, the best player in the tournament, and that's never easy. She's beaten me so many times. I've taken a lot of losses off of her - more than anybody. Yeah, she's a player that knows how to win, knows how to beat me, and knows my weaknesses better than anyone. So it's not an easy match at all. Hopefully things will go right.

Q. Genie Bouchard just withdrew with a concussion. We're not used to seeing that much in tennis. Have you ever had one or tried to play through one?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I've never had it. Well, there was one time I was at the pizza joint in Palm Beach and I did fall and hit my neck and head. I don't know if that counts as one. I came to the next morning. Anyways, that was it. (Smiling.)

Q. When was this?

SERENA WILLIAMS: That was an interesting story. But the pizza never fell. It was perched perfectly in my hand as I slipped. But anyway, that's the closest I've been to a concussion.

Q. When did that happen?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Earlier this year.

Q. Venus was in here earlier and she said she loves you dearly, but you have an annual family reunion. She wasn't thrilled with the idea that every year you seem to pick the theme of the reunion. How would you respond to that very serious accusation?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, you know what? Her team are just haters, to be honest. They're jealous. Our team, the Kryptonians, do well. We tend to win every year. We'll just let it slide off our shoulders. We don't take it personal.

Q. Because you know each other so well, is it hard not to overthink?

SERENA WILLIAMS: No. For me it's about that moment, about doing well at that moment. It's not very easy. Like I said, for me, the only player in the draw I don't want to play, not only because she's my sister, but for me she's the best player. So it's not easy.

Q. Will the two of you interact more or less the next couple days before you play?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I don't think anything's going to change. Whatever the outcome is, I don't think it's going to change either.

Q. What is it about her game that you admire most?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, we play a lot. She plays similar. She's fast; I'm fast. She hits hard; I hit hard. She serves big; I serve big. We have a very similar game. We've had the same coach for a long time. It's like playing a mirror. I have to be really ready.

Q. Is it harder or easier to lose to Venus than another player? If you have to lose, would you rather lose to her?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I would rather lose to Venus as opposed to anyone else. I, in general, don't like to lose. Yeah, so hopefully we'll just go out and do the best that we can, and whatever happens hopefully have a good attitude about it.

Q. The match you had in Montréal was really high quality last year and just tooth and nail. What do you remember about it?

SERENA WILLIAMS: She played really good in that match. I mean, she did everything well. I won the first set barely; probably shouldn't have. She came back and never gave up. She served well. Yeah, she just did everything to win that match, so...

Q. She's playing really well right now. Is that a concern, that she's in top form?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Always. It's always a concern. I'm going to have to play better, keep up my level, keep playing better.

Q. You didn't serve many double-faults today. Did you think about that at all during the match?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I did, obviously, because I've been serving so many recently. Normally I serve like this my whole career. Past year and a half I haven't. But, no, my serve was definitely better. I also was hitting them a lot harder than I normally hit 'em. Still didn't hit the double-faults.

Q. Is there a match that stands out in your mind when you played Venus where you felt like you played the best match against her?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I don't really remember a lot of matches I play against her. I don't like to remember them.

Q. How do you deal with the pressure that in a long time you may become the first player to win all four major tournaments?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I have to play Venus Williams next. I have to deal with that pressure first.

Q. Can you imagine being as successful without having Venus as your counter?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Definitely not, no. I think she helped create me, for sure.

Q. From the outside looking in it looks like you flip a switch. From your perspective, how do you do that? You all of a sudden turn it on.

SERENA WILLIAMS: You have to. If you're playing a great player, someone that knows how to win, you have to play better or you can go home. You can choose one, so...

Q. Venus talked about you guys playing informally growing up. She recalls winning all the time. What do you remember most about that?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, she always won. Like always. I don't remember much. I just remember I never was able to beat her, and I don't think I liked playing her, so...

Q. You and Venus are so popular and well-known. There are a couple of other sisters, the president's daughters. Have you ever met them?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, well, I met them. They're really nice young ladies, beautiful young ladies. They've matured. I've met them at different stages of their life. They've really matured. They're just becoming really ladies to look up to and be role models.

Q. Did you chat with them at all about life?

SERENA WILLIAMS: No. Maybe now I can, but no.

Q. You tapped into your intensity when you needed to in your matches. When you play Venus, it's a little bit muted, probably out of respect. How do you deal with that balance when you're competing against her?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I guess I just try to be more internally excited. I still have a few C'mons, maybe not as many, but I'm definitely obviously as intense.

Q. What do you think of the example of the way you and Venus have conducted each other on the court has meant to people about friendly competition and sisters going at it but not disturbing their relationship?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I think it's been a great experience. I feel like Venus and I have definitely proven that you can be friends and you can be sisters, you can be enemies on the court, and you can be friends and sisters off the court.

Q. Do you have any idea why it took so long that any player came up, after Steffi Graf, who has a chance to win all major tournaments in one year? What is the reason it took so long?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I don't know why it took me so long. (Smiling.).

Q. Back to Genie Bouchard. She's had a rough patch. Now she's playing great this year. How much the confidence comes back when you win?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, it comes back fast. This is just a little hiccup. Hopefully she'll be okay.

Q. You mentioned before that the girls you have in Africa, the schoolgirls, they see you play, they play some tennis themselves. Is it instructional? Do you have any designs to put an academy over there?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Not yet. That's definitely something I want to look forward to when I'm done with all this. Thank you.

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An Interview With: Serena Williams (Quarterfinals)

Tuesday, September 08, 2015

Q. You and your sister have played each other a number of times in the past, but never before with the calendar Grand Slam on the line. In terms of mental preparation, did you do anything different this time compared to the last times that you played each other?

SERENA WILLIAMS: No, there's nothing that I did different. I just was out there to play a really tough opponent today.

Q. What did that embrace with Venus at the end mean to you and how do you think you'll look back on it?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I think I will look back on it fondly. It means a lot to me. Obviously we are very, very tough competitors on the court, but once the match is over and the second it's done, you know, we're sisters, we're roommates, and we're all that.

Q. Venus came up with some incredible level of play tonight. People kept talking about she's the older sister looking out for you, but she's gone through a lot. What does it mean for you that she's back to this level again and you were able to go out there tonight and do that?

SERENA WILLIAMS: It's really great to see her do so well. She was at an unbelievable level today. Down to the match point it just was not easy. It's probably the toughest match I have played in a really, really, really long time where I wasn't actually beating myself. I was out there facing an incredibly tough opponent.

Yeah, so it was just seeing and knowing that she has that level is so good and inspiring, as well, and hopefully it's encouraging for her, too. I think against any other player she for sure would have won.

Q. Was there a point in the match early on when you thought or you can tell Venus has her A game and this is going to be trouble?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, just in the very first game I knew she was playing well. But she played really well in her last match and she's been playing really well all tournament.

She's been going through this tournament really sneaky and on the low, and that was, I think, also really good for her.

Q. She knows your game very well. How do you play against that?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Because I know her game well, so I think it actually evens out.

Q. Is there any other opponent across your career that has consistently given you as much trouble as your sister?

SERENA WILLIAMS: No. No, I mean, she's still playing, as well. I have played a lot of great players like Lindsay and Jennifer and Martina and Kim and Justine. I have had a lot of losses against those players, as well. They just didn't have, I think, what the pressure -- they didn't know my game and they just didn't beat me as many times as Venus has.

Q. One of the great players you faced very early in your career a couple of times was Steffi. Could you take a minute and just talk about her game, break down her game a bit and what made her so tough?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, she was Steffi Graf. I think that's what made her really tough. You know, when you're young and going against Steffi Graf, I mean, that, I think, pretty much sums it up.

Q. Her forehand, how does that compare with some of the other strokes you faced in your career?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, honestly it's been a really long time since I have played her, but I just do remember her having an unbelievable forehand. I think her backhand was amazing, too, because she had that really good slice.

She was very athletic and very fast. She did a lot of things really well.

Q. When you split sets and you are sitting there in changeover chair and your sister is a few feet away from you, what's the narrative going through your head going into that the final set with so much on the line? What's the talk?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, I'm thinking, at that point I was glad to be starting out serving. Just thought, Okay, I want to hold serve early on and see what happens. Just, What am I not doing? What am I not doing? What can I do better?

Nothing different goes in my mind as when I'm playing anyone else.

Q. That pragmatic? Nothing else swirling around?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, I mean, there is a lot of things going on in my mind, but nothing different from when I'm playing anyone else.

Q. These matches really intrigue the tennis public when you play your sister, and nontennis fans, too. Most important part of this is winning the match, but can you enjoy that at all in terms of what it means for the sport, or is the feeling, we're going through this again and we will hear a lot of the same? Everybody will talk about me playing my sister again, and you just kind of want to be done with it?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, I didn't really listen to a lot of the press and read anything about it, so I kind of was in a hole and I didn't turn on my TV and didn't watch any of the matches yesterday, men or women. I didn't really live in that world.

But, yeah, it's a big topic because I think it's the greatest story in tennis because we really -- you know, with our how we started and how we grew up and how we were able to win Championships and be, you know, such inspirations for so many women across the globe, I mean, it doesn't get better than that.

Q. You just won a match. Normally you smile when you win you come here, you laugh. What happens tonight? Is just because you beat Venus or because you're thinking about what is going next? What's wrong?

SERENA WILLIAMS: It's 11:30. To be perfectly honest with you, I don't want to be here. (Laughter.) I just want to be in bed right now. I have to wake up early to practice.

I don't want to answer any of these questions and you keep asking me the same questions.

It's not really -- you're not making it super enjoyable. (Laughter.)

Q. At least I made you laugh.

SERENA WILLIAMS: I'm just being honest.

Q. At least I made you smile. Can I just ask you...

SERENA WILLIAMS: Is it about Venus again?

Q. About Roberta Vinci, of course. Even in Italy we think that she has no chance, but what is your opinion about it?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I think it's good. I played her in Canada. She played me really tough, and I didn't really expect that. That's how I sprained my finger actually, was playing against her.

Thankfully my finger is a little better now. But, yeah, so I'm not going to underestimate her. She played really well. She's not in the semifinals of a Grand Slam for no reason. She knows what to do and she knows what to play.

I think it was really good. Again, I just think it was great that I played her because I kind of know what to expect, and I'll be more ready for it this time.

Q. Venus said that one of the best things even about losing was taking pride in you and watching you go on in your quest for the calendar year slam and how that was very important to your family. How does your success and your family's success all blend together?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, I think my success is our success. You know, we all started together and we all are still together. So I think, yeah, I didn't know it was important to my family, actually, but...

It is important to me, but at the same time, you know, it is what it is. I'll do what I can.

Q. Do you get more drained emotionally, physically, mentally playing against Venus than anybody else? When you're done, are you more tapped out than when you play anybody else?

SERENA WILLIAMS: It depends. Today was a very tough match today. It wasn't an easy match.

So just thinking what I could do better. Yeah, so it just really depends.

Q. You said you were an inspiration to women around the world. I know it's late, but can you give us some feedback on how you've gotten feedback about that?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I mean, just nowadays with social media you can get a lot of feedback. It's kind of cool. You can sometimes see people say things that are just so positive or people post things like how inspiring my family is or Venus and I are and how they want to do it, they want to be like us, and how they started school or they started tennis.

It's not always tennis. It's just about how they started their lives and how we were able to inspire them. So I think that's really kind of cool. You know, every time I read one it's almost surreal like knowing that I and my sister have been able to inspire so many people and so many women.

It's definitely something that when you're growing up you don't think, like, you know, I want to inspire people to do this. I just want to win some Grand Slams.

There is so much more to it that you don't realize at the time.

Q. Venus said at the net when she hugged you she said, I'm just so happy for you.

SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, everyone in this room knows that Venus is probably one of the greatest people on the tour. She's really great. She's super professional. Complete opposite of me. (Laughter.)

Which actually that's not true, but I'm just making a joke since you said I'm not laughing.

Q. Thanks. Did she saying else, and what did you say back to her at the net?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Just, Thanks. I don't remember, to be honest, actually. Usually I do, but I don't remember.

Q. Would you say that Vinci is a vintage tennis player? She plays one-hand backhand? Nobody else does it after Justine Henin.

SERENA WILLIAMS: I played someone first round at Wimbledon who hit some rocket one-handed backhand. Yeah, they are very few and far between. I don't know if she's a vintage because she's such a good one-handed backhand.

Yeah, she's definitely -- she has that mean slice on that backhand, too.

Q. Coming to the net a little bit more?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah. Definitely a little bit more old school, but also a really great matchup, because it's fun to see people that can still come to the net and still hit slice and still hit one-handers. It's different. It's good for tennis.

Q. You're very demonstrative tonight in a way you haven't against Venus. Clearly you obviously wanted this match. After all that, how gratifying was it to walk to the net and get that hug from Venus? It was a nice moment.


SERENA WILLIAMS: It was gratifying because you're out there and you want to win so bad in that moment, and then when the moment is over -- because every single match I root for her every time, and so it's interesting to be in a position to what you're trying to win.

Q. What was the most satisfying part of the experience for you tonight?


SERENA WILLIAMS: Walking off the court and it being over with.

http://www.usopen.org/en_US/news/interviews/2015-09-08/an_interview_with_serena_williams_quarterfinals.html?promo=relatedcontent
 

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An Interview With: Serena Williams (Semifinals)

Friday, September 11, 2015

Q. How disappointed are you?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I don't want to talk about how disappointing it is for me. If you have any other questions, I'm open for that.

Q. How well did she play today?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I thought she played the best tennis in her career. You know, she's 33 and, you know, she's going for it at a late age. So that's good for her to keep going for it and playing so well. Actually, I guess it's inspiring. But, yeah, I think she played literally out of her mind.

Q. What wasn't working from your side?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I don't think I played that bad. I made more unforced errors than I normally would make, but I think she just played really well. She did not want to lose today. Neither did I, incidentally. But she really didn't either.

Q. You have been so adept at pulling yourself out of precarious positions throughout this run. Was there any moment where you said, I know I can do this? Was there a moment where you said, Maybe I can't?

SERENA WILLIAMS: No.

Q. A lot of pressure for you...

SERENA WILLIAMS: No. I told you guys I don't feel pressure. I never felt pressure. I don't know. I never felt that pressure to win here. I said that from the beginning.

Q. You felt tight, though; is that fair?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I mean, I made a couple of tight shots, to be honest, but maybe just about two. But that, I think, is just for me in any normal match you make two tight shots. Other than that, I don't think I was that tight.

Q. Do you think there is a (photographer interference) of her game that made her different than your other opponents thus far in the Open?

SERENA WILLIAMS: No. I have played everyone that came to the net this tournament. She had a couple of slice; everyone I played had slice. So, no.

Q. How did you feel going into the third set? We have had so many three-set victories during this run. Did you still feel you were going to win the match going into the third or did you feel very different?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Of course.

Q. Third set looked like you were trying to fire yourself up so much and calm yourself down. Were you trying to find the equilibrium of where it worked for you as far as...

SERENA WILLIAMS: No, I was just trying to win points at that match and win the match. Last questions?

Q. How do you get over all -- what's the key to just forget about it?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Anyone else want to ask a different question than that?

Q. You said prior to the tournament you took so much happiness from the fact you did your second Serena slam.

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah.

Q. Let's focus on the positives. Is that where your head is at right now?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, thank you. Like I said, I felt very happy to get that win at Wimbledon, you know. I did win three Grand Slams this year. Yeah, I won four in a row. It's pretty good. Yeah, so it's definitely the positive. Thank you.

http://www.usopen.org/en_US/news/interviews/2015-09-11/an_interview_with_serena_williams_semifinals.html?promo=relatedcontent
 

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:tape: Sorry but that interview reeks of denial.
 

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:tape: Sorry but that interview reeks of denial.
This whole reverse-psychology thing is not a good look for her. I know she's been through it all, done pretty much everything in her career, but it really wouldn't hurt her to see a good sports psychologist at this point. Just for the hell of it. She could gain an entirely new perspective at least.
 

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This whole reverse-psychology thing is not a good look for her. I know she's been through it all, done pretty much everything in her career, but it really wouldn't hurt her to see a good sports psychologist at this point. Just for the hell of it. She could gain an entirely new perspective at least.
she just may do that, but she'll never tell a bunch of reporters...EVERYONE, Serena included, knows that the pressure and nerves got to her, and unlike many times before, this was one of the few times she was not able to work her way through them...right after her match she was simply not going to admit it...it's not like she hasn't lost b/c she was a nervy mess before, it's just that it's a rare occurrence...after getting #18 she admitted that let the pressure of getting there get to her
 
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