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http://www.rolandgarros.com/en_FR/news/interviews/2007-05-27/200705271180293332734.html

Day 1 - An interview with Serena Williams - Sunday, May 27, 2007

THE MODERATOR: Questions in English and French.


Q. Serena, you worked your way through this very well after the rain delay, but had there been no rain delay, would it have been more difficult to work your way through this match?

SERENA WILLIAMS: No, not at all. I was down, I think, 5‑3 or 5‑2, and I was already on my way back. So, no, there was no chance that I wouldn't have at least gone three sets. There was no chance at all.


Q. Serena, when did you start feeling it, like start feeling you were on your game again and how did it happen?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I started feeling better in this third set. I mean, I was just sliding better and I was just feeling like I felt her game better. And I just was ‑‑ at that point, I was getting a lot of balls back, and I felt more like a clay courter. I was just sliding and sliding and it felt good.


Q. Did you feel that great in the second as you started to turn it there?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I felt better, but not the way I felt in the third. In the third, I felt like this is a clay court game that I know to play.


Q. Serena, it also seemed like you made the decision to play patiently until you got your rhythm, true?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I was playing more patient and, you know, I was doing what I've been practicing. I guess it just didn't work out in the first set.


Q. Do you like mixing it up like you were, because you were throwing in some loopers and hit the hard drive and occasional slices. Is it something you enjoy?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I think you have to enjoy it on the clay, and nowadays people are playing even more tougher here, so I enjoy it a lot.


Q. Serena, was that the toughest conditions you can have here on the clay in Roland Garros?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I think they're pretty tough conditions. I think the rain really slows the court down, and so it just plays a lot slower. And, you know, she was obviously able to get more balls back because my balls weren't skidding as well as they could have.


Q. And when the rain started and when you came back to the court, were you afraid of getting injured because it was too slippery?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, when the rain first started it was really slick on the lines, and so I was, you know, a little hesitant about going on. But the umpire thought I should continue to play. And coming back, it wasn't as rainy as it was before, so...


Q. Serena, there's only ten American women in the singles draw and it's pretty low. So what do you account for that low count?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I think 10 is a lot maybe, but maybe for the size of our country, maybe it's not. I believe it's because, you know, I think the main factor is that there's hardly any tournaments in the United States. You have Miami and Indian Wells and a few L.A. tournaments. And back in the day when my dad was inspired, who put me in tennis was because he had saw someone playing tennis and it was in the United States. And we had tournaments in D.C., I mean, which is a huge city, Atlanta. I mean there was tournaments everywhere, Houston. I remember Virginia Slims had just tournaments in Chicago and there were so many different cities there just aren't any tournaments any more. There's only a handful of tournaments in the United States. So I think that is why there's only ten players in the draw.


Q. Do you see any of the young ones like Jamea Jackson or Vania King or Shenay Perry making any noise here?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Vania King is a great fighter. I play with her on Fed Cup and, you know, I think she has great potential to do really well.

Jamea Jackson is one of my favorites; she's a fighter. She's small, but she's very feisty.

Shenay Perry has a different kind of game, more of a tech style, and she does well on the grass and faster surfaces.


Q. Was there any point today, perhaps down 5‑2 or down a set in the break, that you thought, "I could be in trouble here", cross your mind?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I just thought ‑‑ third set, you know, I thought when I was down 5‑2, "I have to come back and win this set." And I honestly think I should have won the first set 7‑5. I kind of let my guard down at 5‑all. I pretty much should have won that set. I was out there extra, because I didn't ‑‑ obviously I didn't, but, yeah.


Q. Does that thought ever cross your mind on the tennis court?

SERENA WILLIAMS: No, I mean, I'm always fighting, you know. I'm thinking, "I've got to fight." If I'm gonna go down, I'm gonna go down screaming and kicking. Hopefully I won't have to go down.

And I knew that if I did go down, then there's a 99.9 percent chance that she would not win the next round. So that encouraged me to even fight harder.


Q. Serena, we tend to focus on championships, but your 30‑0 in first rounds of grand slams.

SERENA WILLIAMS: I know.


Q. How much of an accomplishment is that? Most players get bitten at least once in their career.

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah.


Q. How hard is that? How hard?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I have to knock on wood because I know I've never lost. Knock on wood because I know I've never lost in the first round. It's gonna happen maybe one day, but I'm really proud of that record. I hold hard on it, you know. I've never gone down the first round. So it's like, Whoo, I can breathe now. It's like my goal in life is to stay not losing in the first round, so, of a Grand Slam.


Q. Serena, do you remember 1998 coming here as a 16‑year‑old in the Arantxa match, and can you just ‑‑ I know ‑‑ but just talk a little bit about that in your maturation.

SERENA WILLIAMS: I swear that is probably the most disappointing match to date of my career. I really felt I should have won that match. And to this day, I think if I could rewind time, I would rewind time to 1998 French Open. I think I was up ‑‑ I don't remember what I was up. All I know is I should have served and volleyed because I had this unbelievable serve. And all I had to do was take the volley and put it away and I could have won.

She was a veteran and I was young and I was so upset. But you know, what can I do. I thought about that today. I thought, "Okay, I'm up. That doesn't mean anything because I was up on this very court against Sanchez and she came back." So maybe it was good that I always can remember that.


Q. Serena, we see you as the great server in the women's game, yet you were struggling particularly in the first set. What do you think was going wrong with your serve? And also I just want to ‑‑ you seemed upset after you lost that first set. Do you think kind of like being upset on the change‑over kind of changed your mentality?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I ‑‑ what was the first part?


Q. Your serve didn't seem to be working.

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I know it wasn't working as well. I don't know why because I've been actually working on my serve the past couple weeks more than I have all year. So it's kind of ironic that when I don't work on ‑‑ like before Australia, I probably hit a basket of serves. My serve was unbelievable. Here I've hit tons and tons and it's struggling a little bit, so it's weird.

I figure it's gonna come along just the right time hopefully, you know, around the end of the tournament, preferably the finals if I can get that far. Yeah, I have a very, very, very short memory. I don't remember the other part of your question.


Q. You seem to get upset. The first set when we saw you in the change‑over, that changed things a bit. We don't usually see that from you. Did that kind of change things for you?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I often get upset. I usually just hide it, but I guess I didn't do too well hiding it today. Like I said, I guess I'm a perfectionist. I'm always trying to make things perfect. I know it's impossible, but I'm always trying. At least I have a perfect record so far. If I quit now, then I could have a perfect record in the first rounds.


Q. A French commentator said live on TV, by the end of the first set, beginning of the second set that you were almost crying?

SERENA WILLIAMS: No, no. I just think I make these faces that I have to stop making, because I hate when I watch film and I hate when I see those faces. I'm the baby. I was the youngest. I was always treated the best. I'm a whiner, a complainer. It doesn't help.


Q. Serena, two‑part question on David Witt. What is he able to do for you and how did that connection take place?

SERENA WILLIAMS: David wit is a great ‑‑ a great guy, first of all. Second of all, he's very consistent. He does very well on this surface. He's able to ‑‑ if I say hit some soft balls, he does it. He does whatever I ask and he does it very well, and he's able to play a harder game, a fast game, a slow game. He pretty much does it all.


Q. How did you connect with him?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I always hit with him in Amelia Island, always for like five years ‑‑ four, five years now, and so we decided to try him out for Roland Garros.


Q. Will this combination continue do you think or is it just going to be for Roland Garros?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I don't know. It's hard to say. I don't know. I can only think about this right now, but would love to work with him obviously. He's great. We'll see.


Q. Serena, what is the color you're wearing today? You sometimes have unusual names for some of the colors?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, you know, I couldn't think of a name for this one. It's plum, and the pink is like a soft pink/plum. Purple used to be my favorite color, pink and purple, but not anymore. I've grown up. I like wearing different colors now.


Q. And also sometimes you're known for your flamboyance. Maybe on a Saturday, you'd be out. How did you feel about playing at 11:00 o'clock on Sunday morning?

SERENA WILLIAMS: First of all, I never go out on Saturday night, especially on a Grand Slam. I'm like a hermit. I'm psycho. I'll stay in my room all day and all night. It's interesting playing on Sunday, and I actually was upset because I was out there. I was thinking there's no way I'm gonna go home on Sunday, you know. It's not even Monday. I can't lose on Sunday. I was just like, no way, so, but it also kept me really motivated.


Q. With the long rain delay, there's really no way of knowing whether or not you're going to get to ‑‑ get back on the court today. Is there anything you do to stave off boredom?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I have a book. I brought it with me. And usually if I bring a book, they're short rain delays. It's how the cookie crumbles. If I don't have a book, there's a long rain delay. It just kept raining. It didn't bother me. I think I fell asleep at some point. Then I decided to get treatment. As my luck would have it, the moment I walked in there, they're like, oh, you're gonna play in 10 minutes. Should have come here sooner.

So, yeah, I don't get too bored. I like rain delays. I like the rain.


Q. Serena, back to Sunday, last year, a lot of players were unhappy about the Sunday start. I'm just wondering, I haven't heard much about that this year. Have you heard players talk about it, how did you feel about it, you know, starting a tournament on a Sunday?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I think tennis is all about business, and I think maybe tournaments make more money if it starts ‑‑ has three weekends as opposed to two. At the end of the day, it's a business. We're making them a lot of money on Sundays.


Q. So should the player get a bigger cut since they're making the tournament more money?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I mean, absolutely, I think so. But, you know, it's a whole new issue. I understand the business, though.


Q. It's been a little bit of a while since you and Venus have played at the same Grand Slam, I believe.

SERENA WILLIAMS: It has.

Q. Does that make a difference? Is it nice to be ‑‑ to have her there to be together at a slam?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, it is. I haven't even thought about it, really. I guess it has been a long time, but, you know, we really enjoy having each other here. We have a lot of fun, and she takes care of my dogs, or at least I try to put them on her. So it's easier.

THE MODERATOR: Anything else?

Q. Even when she was down, or when she lost nine straight games the second and third set, she was playing pretty well. She looked good, at least, and she looked like she was challenging you. She's somebody you can see doing something in the tour? She's only 19.

SERENA WILLIAMS: I don't know. She's ‑‑ I mean, I believe ‑‑ I think ‑‑ did she beat Venus a couple years ago in Australia? I personally would have propelled myself after that. So she's still at 91, so I don't know. It's hard to say.

Thank you.
 

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:drool:
 

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This is something I never get with these players. If she plays the way she played Serena in the first set she would be doing very well.
 

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This is something I never get with these players. If she plays the way she played Serena in the first set she would be doing very well.
She did play extremely well in the first set but her game needs to be reined in a bit. She obviously isn't the greatest frontrunner either. She was able to take advantage of an incredibly slow start from Serena though.
 

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omg, she said there was 99.9 % a chance piropiro would lose the next round -_-

that's just "*%&%=.
 

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If she could play ,like that always well then...but there is a certain adrenaline rush when playing serena williams as opposed to ummmmmm elizabeth Dolan...ranked outside the top 1400 lol!"
 

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I think Serena was still just bitter over Venus's loss... and she didn't like her because of her constant allez... coming from Pironkova, it was just annoying. :shrug:
 

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That last answer is really a bit strange... ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Had Masha said those things about Piro.....OMG!!! :rolleyes:
OMG! :rolleyes: :lol:

Well, since Masha copies everything Serena says and does, maybe she'll say those exact same things about one of her oppenents. It wouldn't be a surprise whatsoever!
 

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Rather than give a diplomatic but meaningless answer ("Pironkova is going to be in the top 20 within six months" :rolleyes: ) Serena gives us her honest opinion. She may be right or she may be wrong about Pironkova, but that's why call these things opinions and not facts.
 

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I can't believe people aren't commenting on the fact that serena says there aren't enough tournements in the US... there're LOADS.
 

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