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