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August 13, 2014

Serena Williams


7‑6, 7‑6

THE MODERATOR:  Questions, please.

Q.¬† High‑quality match out there, Serena.¬† No breaks of serve; very few break points.¬† How were you able to pull that out in the breakers?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  I really don't know.  She was up in both of the breakers.  I think it was just a great match, to be honest.  She served unbelievable, and I was like, I can't lose serve because she's just serving great.
So, yeah.  It was really intense.

Q.¬† Do you think these tests you have been through ‑ Stanford and Montreal and here ‑ these kind of tight tiebreaker tests, three‑set tests, good for you before the Open?
SERENA WILLIAMS:¬† I think so.¬† I think it's good.¬† I haven't had a lot of three‑set wins this year until this summer.¬† It's been really good to play such close matches and then come out on top even though I'm defeated and then down.¬† To be able to actually win those are really good.

Q.  Taking a more positive attitude in general, do you feel you're carrying that onto the court with you or still battling some negatives out there?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  No, I definitely feel I'm carrying it out on the court.  It's been great.  Like usually I would be upset over today, but I think I did well and she did well.  I'm just happy to get through this match.

Q.  Following up on that, you have obviously win matches like this.  It's such a game of inches.  What's it like to lose a match like this, as well?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  I haven't lost many matches like this where the player was playing unbelievably well.  Usually sometimes when I lose it's because I'm playing unbelievably bad.
So I think I would be ‑‑ you know, you can't be too disappointed in yourself if your opponent is just better than you that day or just playing just so good no matter what you do isn't working.
So, yeah, I think that would have been a different situation.

Q.  When you started working with Patrick a couple years ago you guys had a lot of immediate success winning a lot of titles.  How has this coaching dynamic changed?  It's been a more disappointing stretch for you this year.
SERENA WILLIAMS:¬† I think it's been good still.¬† I think it's been a great ‑‑we have a great relationship.¬† It's been a great run.¬† You know, it's a great challenge.¬† We both love challenges.
You know, it's great.  We want to continue to just keep going.

Q.  You just played Sam in Montreal and it wasn't quite as close of a match.  What was different today about her game?
SERENA WILLIAMS:¬† Well, she was extremely aggressive today.¬† She made very few unforced errors today.¬† She just did everything really well.¬† She obviously served really well today.¬† Didn't hit too many double faults and had a good, high first‑serve percentage.
Yeah, she just played ‑‑this is why she was able to win a Grand Slam, because she played like that today.

Q.  There is still significant tennis to be played this year, but talking like you're on a reset for next year.  How much of that has put what's happened behind you, and how much is that to free yourself up so you can take on the rest of the year with less pressure?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  I think it's a little bit of both.  I feel pretty good about going into the rest of the year.  You know, I'm excited about next year.  It's like it's going to be kind of fun to, you know, go to a tournament and not be defending champion.
So it's going to be ‑‑it's always fun to be defending champion, but it's always even more fun if you're not because you can only go forward and only move up.¬† It's pretty cool.

Q.¬† Speaking of moving forward or going up, do you worry about holding on to No. 1 ranking through the rest of the year?¬† You have a lot of titles coming up:¬† US Open, Beijing, year‑end Championships. ¬†Is that something you're fretting over or something that if it happens it happens?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  Yeah, if it happens, it happens.  I should have thought about that sooner (laughter).  You know, like around French Open time, so...

Q.  First set today seemed like you starting pumping your fists and everything.  Did that charge you up for the second set?
SERENA WILLIAMS:¬† Yeah.¬† At the end of the first set just something told me to be just extra focused going into the second set.¬† You know, it's always difficult when you serve second in the second set because you can't lose your focus.¬† Anything can happen and you'll be down 5‑2 in a blink of an eye.
I was just thinking I need to make sure I'm still in it and stay really here and present.

Q.  Where would you rank Sam's second serve on tour?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  Well, when she's serving like today I think she's one of "the" best second serves on the tour, for sure.  You know, she has a kick serve and it just bounces high.
She could fool you because she could also swing it up the T or she can go into the body.  And she hits it hard.  Most ladies don't hit their second serve 98, you know, 102 miles an hour.

Q.  Is there any part of you, do you think, that thinks that you have a bit more of an edge when you're trying to chase somebody down or chase down a ranking or a title than when you're on top, No. 1, kind of queen of the tour?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  I think it both works in separate ways.  Like obviously when you're not, you just do everything you can to be there; when you are, you want to do everything you can to hold on.
It's kind of hard to say.  Obviously I love the chase, so to say.  In tennis, that is (smiling).  Yeah, but at the same time I also love being on top.  I love it.

Q.  Today's a sold out crowd in Cincinnati and there is a lot of great matches that people can see.  If you were here as a fan, would there be one player in particular you'd want to watch?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  Yeah.  I would have watched Taylor Townsend.  Obviously she's my next opponent.  Her or Pennetta.  I just love watching Taylor.  I think she's a great player and she's fun.
Her versus Pennetta I think is a really interesting match.  I would go check that one out, and probably would obviously want to watch Roger.  He's a classic, great player.

Q.  What do you think it will be like facing Taylor if you face her next?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  It will be interesting.  Playing against any lefty is just annoying, to be quite honest.  I have to gear up for it.

Q.  Have you seen much of Taylor?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  Yeah, I have seen a lot of her.  I have seen enough of her.  Yeah.

Q.  Would you consider yourself a tennis wonk?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  What's that?

Q.  Somebody who like is into the game, watching it, picking it apart.  I'm talking about your free time or when you're done with tennis, the last thing you want to do is watch other players or men's matches or whatever?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  Yeah, I watch a lot of men's tennis only because I get jealous if I'm not in the tournament for the ladies.  I'm like, Waa, and I'm upset.
But, yeah, I have picked apart the men's game.¬† I know weaknesses.¬† I know strengths.¬† I'm like, If I play this guy ‑ not that I'm ever going to play him ‑ I would go to the backhand.¬† This one I'd go to the forehand.
It's really weird.  But, again, it's only because when I'm not at an event I feel like I'm missing out and I'm angry.  So I don't watch that much of the ladies.

Q.  Is there any player in particular?  I'd think Roger, but is there anybody you wouldn't think is obvious you'd like picking apart and maybe take something from him?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  I like watching a lot of the new guys.  Like Dimitrov.  I think he's really exciting.  My favorite to watch hands down is Murray.  Hands down my favorite player to watch.

Q.  Why is that?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  Because he acts like me on the court (laughter).

Q.  He was in here earlier in press while you were on court and couldn't stop watching you.
SERENA WILLIAMS:  He's hands down my favorite.

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