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July 13, 2008

Serena Williams

THE MODERATOR: I welcome Serena Williams, who played her fourth match this week for the Washington Kastles. We're thrilled to have her. We'll open it up for questions.

Q. What you do you like about TeamTennis? How did you get involved and what does it mean for you to play?
SERENA WILLIAMS: You know, it's actually difficult to play TeamTennis because it's all about the team and winning. It's like every game you lose, it affects the team. Actually, it's a lot of pressure.
But it's good. I like it.

Q. Who are your role models on and off the court?
SERENA WILLIAMS: On the court, I would definitely say my sister. She's a great role model. She has a great attitude. And off the court, I just admire so many people, like Nelson Mandela and Oprah Winfrey and even my parents.

Q. What advice would you give to young kids coming up?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I would say it's important to never give up and to always work hard in all your endeavors. You know, you get out what you put in. So if you put in a lot of effort, you're going to get out great results.

Q. Talk about the whirlwind of the last few weeks.
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, it's been crazy, really crazy. I haven't had a chance to break. This week I'm already playing in Stanford. I'm going there tomorrow.
It's been really crazy. But this is my life. This is tennis. This is what I do for a living. You know, I get to travel the world and play tennis and have fun. Sometimes it gets crazy. You just get used to it.

Q. How do you approach coming to play TeamTennis?
SERENA WILLIAMS: It's different. Like I said, every game counts, so it gets little stressful because every game counts. I was telling me teammates, I don't know, I'd rather play Wimbledon semifinals. Sometimes I just can't deal with the stress (laughter).
At least in tennis, you know, it's like I win, I win, I lose, I lose, but it's not a whole team. So it's definitely interesting.

Q. What makes it so fun for you and your sister to play TeamTennis?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, you know, we just enjoy the competition and we enjoy the sport. We enjoy, you know, everything that goes with it.

Q. At Wimbledon playing your sister in the singles finals, then playing doubles with her later in the day, is that as crazy as that sounds?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, it was. It was crazy. But it was what it was. I had to play. I wanted to win a title. So I felt like it would have been awful had I lost. So I needed to be in good spirits.

Q. What is the buzz like in Washington for World TeamTennis?
SERENA WILLIAMS: It's been great. We're really excited to have a team in Washington. I love Washington, D.C. It's a great city. The best thing about TeamTennis is we get to play in cities where there aren't regular tournaments. We have fans everywhere around the world so it's a really good opportunity.

Q. What do you like to do in your free time?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I love to read, yeah, and watch TV.

Q. How much time do you still spend here in Southern California? I don't know how many friends and family you have here.
SERENA WILLIAMS: I spend enough time here. I'm living on the road, you know, so it's kind of hard to spend a lot of time anywhere. But I do spend a lot of time in California. But I'm mostly in Florida.

Q. What do you think about the state of the women's game in terms of Justine retiring and Kim Clijsters?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, it's bad for Belgian tennis. But I think right now the rest of the world is doing great. Thank you.

End of FastScripts

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