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Serena Williams, US Open, September 3, 2008
   

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Serena Williams

US Open

September 3, 2008




Q. How taxing is a match like that emotionally?

SERENA WILLIAMS: It was definitely, I think, more emotionally off after the match. I mean, during it was so intense and every point counted.

So I didn't really think about it.


Q. Considering the way that you two have been playing in this tournament, and marvelous tennis that was on display tonight, with all due respect to other players, do you think the two best players on the women's side were identified in this match tonight?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I definitely think so. We have been playing really with well in this tournament. I think we played a great match today. I just think it just boiled down to one point here and there. It could have went anywhere. It was just matter of ‑‑ I just think we were definitely playing the best so far.


Q. Maybe it boiled down to ten set points here and there.

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah. I mean, you know, I guess so. I don't know how, I just ‑‑ yeah.


Q. After working that hard did you feel like your work here at the Open should be done?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, kind of in a way. I feel like it was at least a semi or best of final, obviously. But it's not. So I'm hoping to play two more matches.


Q. Did you see anything in Venus on her set points that made you say, wow, that's not her as far as her losing those points?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I think she made a couple errors, and it was really luck for me because she never makes those errors. I can't say that I was disappointed. I obviously want the best for her, but in that situation you want to win, too.


Q. You talked about relaxing on court afterwards. Obviously this is a match you were pretty close to losing, do you manage your emotions better than at Wimbledon, where maybe you got a little bit tight?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I definitely managed my emotions a lot better. That was one thing I really wanted to focus on going into this match, was staying positive. I felt like I got really negative at Wimbledon, and lost any chance I might have had.

So I thought, you know, when she was up, I just got relaxed. When I was up, I was still relaxed.


Q. How do you come back in this and turn it around so quickly, and get a focus in an intense competitive edge?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I think it'll be easy because Safina is going to be wanting to go to the final, and I want to get to the final. I don't want to go out in the next round, especially not after that. So I just definitely will be going for the next game.


Q. It seemed like on some of the set points you decided, I'm not going to play silly, and you played consistent and no mistakes.

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I was definitely like, yeah, I guess. Sometimes I don't even think I thought about it. I was just pretty much out there.


Q. Instinct.

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, that's the best word.


Q. What helped you get over Wimbledon? Playing doubles with your sister, was that something that kind of helped the frustration? And when did you kind of make up in your mind this new strategy for being positive?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I've been working on that for years. I'm not known as the most positive player out there. But I think that's what makes my game exciting, is I have a lot of emotions and lots of ups and downs. But I'm trying to have a little more ups than downs.

But I think obviously doubles helped me get over Wimbledon. But I was over it, like pretty much ‑‑ I was disappointed after the match, but I was over it not too long after the match.


Q. Among the many matches you've played against Venus, where would you rank this match?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I would say this is for me No. 2.


Q. Which is No. 1?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I still think my Australian Open final against Venus was an incredible match. It was three tough, tough, tough sets.


Q. We've seen you come into majors maybe not in your best form and leave with the trophy. The last year or two when you've played consistently, you've been in Slams. Does it feel like this has really been overdue? I mean, you've put in the hard work, and obviously it's bittersweet because it's your sister, but it's big win. Really it's a big hump to get over.

SERENA WILLIAMS: It is a big hump. It's a massive hump to get over. You know, yeah, I think I've been playing really consistent for over a year now and just really been dedicated. A year doesn't sound like a long time, but it's been a while.

You know, just hoping for the results to come.


Q. To what extent us sitting here, watching two sisters playing, two sisters who like you said on the court are best friends, to what extent is it just kind of a mysterious thing going on that we were just watching?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I don't understand your question.


Q. Two siblings together playing as you did as children, and here we're watching a huge setting, the interaction. There's intangible things going on that we can't pick up on.

SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, I don't know what kind of intangible things were going on. Maybe, yeah, I don't know what kind of intangible things were going on. But I just think it's exciting to have your sister be able to be on the tour with you, I guess.


Q. Larry Scott had a press conference today talking about the very serious suspensions that players could get if they don't play some of the major tournaments. Could you share with us what your thoughts are on that possible suspension system?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I guess there's a lot of tournaments you have to play next year or you get suspended. It's the new Roadmap.


Q. What are your thoughts on it?

SERENA WILLIAMS: On?


Q. On the suspensions.

SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, you know, it goes either way. If a player, like, physically can't go, then a player physically can't go. Or if the player is seriously injured or seriously ill, I think there are areas that ‑‑ but if you're not, then ‑‑ there are areas that, you know, or reasons that a player doesn't have to go and not be suspended.

But if they're ‑‑ it's late. I totally lost what I was going to say.


Q. You said there were reasons, like physical conditioning. But you said you wouldn't be playing...

SERENA WILLIAMS: I was going to say it's good to have some tournaments out there that support the WTA Tour and make it such the premier sport for female athletes.

I'm happy to support all the tournaments and go to all of the ones that I can make it to. I'm not a big fan of going some places overseas, but I think building the sport is a very good thing.


Q. Any changes on the Indian Wells position that you've had for a number of years?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I don't play that tournament.


Q. You said to Michael Barkin on court in the interview that you can't looking at Venus when you're on court. You try not to look at each other to stay focused. Could you describe the transition after a match like that when suddenly you do then reconnect as sisters and share in the emotions and so forth that took place out there?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, you know, like she gives me time, like after Wimbledon. And other times she wins I just give her time as well. We'll connect, you know, after.

Venus is a great sport. I think the best sport in all of tennis. I'm probably one of the worst sports, so she always has a great attitude.


Q. Have you reconnected since?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I saw her after obviously. Yeah.


Q. How are you one of the worst sports?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Not like that, like I'm not a good loser. I mean, I like to win and I like ‑‑ not just in tennis, just in life.


Q. But Serena, when you're down, when you're behind, does that focus you more?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, it's like at that point you have to focus or you have to go home, so...


Q. It seems like you two, when you're playing, you pick up each other's tendencies so well it's almost impossible to fool your sister, her to fool you.

SERENA WILLIAMS: I think Venus has gotten a lot better with fooling me. She has an incredible second serve that I wasn't expecting at all. It was just really throwing me off, so it took me a while to get used to it.

I thought she just mixed her serve up just unbelievable. She was just would hit it out wide and all of a sudden pop one up the T. It wasn't really easy, so I think she's put a lot of variety in her game.


Q. Did you ever think this was going three sets tonight?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I thought for sure we'd be in three sets. I thought, I'm going to go change my dress because I'm really sweaty and put a new one on. And then I was like, Oh, maybe I won't have to do that.


Q. There's the No. 1 position at stake for at least three girls in the tournament now. Is that an extra motivation?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah. Honestly, I really would just like to win the tournament with or without the ranking. Believe me, I'm going to be No. 1 sooner or later.


Q. You played Polish players Agnieszka and Urszula Radwanska in Wimbledon and you beat them both. But from the score point, it looks like the younger one was giving you the tougher fight. Can you say a few words about their style and weaknesses?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, you know, I think they're great players. I think they both have very bright futures obviously. One is in the top 10, so they're really doing well.


Q. Can you see the younger one reaching the same level in the future, one year or two, as the older one?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah. I mean, you have to just keep going and fighting and anything is possible.


Q. You say that you're going to be No. 1 sooner or later again. What does that say about you, and your sister too, the longevity that you've had?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I really enjoy playing, especially the last couple years. I just really have been enjoying tennis, and there's no way I'm going to give up this gig any time soon.


Q. Is it a little disappointing to have a match of this caliber not yield a trophy?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Absolutely. I mean, I feel like I should have a trophy now. Unfortunately I don't, and I got to go to the next round.

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