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September 7, 2014

Serena Williams


S. WILLIAMS/C. Wozniacki
6-3, 6-3

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. The moment really seemed to hit you out on the court there. Was it the No. 18 that really came through to you?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yes, it was definitely the number 18. I have been trying to reach it for so long, since last year. Well, since the beginning of the year. I didn't really think would I get there. I just felt so good.

Q. What does it mean for you overall to be up there with the other great names?
SERENA WILLIAMS: It means a lot to me. You know, I just could never have imagined that I would be mentioned with Chris Evert or with Martina Navratilova, because I was just a kid with a dream and a racquet. Living in Compton, you know, this never happened before. You know, I just never could have imagined that it could have ended -- not ended. I'm just beginning. Well, I'm not beginning, but I could have gotten this far, you know. So it was just -- I think it was -- and then it was eluding me for three tournaments, I guess. But, still that's a lot for me. I was like, you know, really excited to get it.

Q. You never lost more than three games per set in this tournament. By the end, every time you win you seemed so excited, almost unbelievable. How do you explain? They are easy matches or not?
SERENA WILLIAMS: No, none of the matches are easy. I mean, even today if I would have lost a game I would have been serving for it. Caroline was returning, starting to play a lot better, starting to return really, really well, and then she started serving really well. So we had longer points and we were running back and forth and back and forth. So it definitely wasn't anything that was easy.

Q. Coming in you downplayed a little bit the fact that this was your last chance at a Grand Slam title this year and that it wasn't that essential, but I'm thinking that you thought it was pretty important to close out a season without a slam.

Q. Now that it's over and you've done it...
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, it feels good. I definitely did not think I was going to win a slam this year. And I even said, I'm ready to start next year already. Let's put this behind me. Oh, I'm embarrassed. I feel really honored and I feel really good. Just almost lost for words. I'm grateful to win a Grand Slam this year. It feels really good.

Q. Congrats, kid.

Q. Among many other things you're an incredible student of this game. You've spoken eloquently about Althea and Venus and Billie Jean. Today you said it was incredible to be in the same league with Chrissie and Martina. You said, Who am I? Could you just take a moment and in your own mind what do you think your achievement is? Where do you think you belong in this history of the game, if you could share with us that?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Um, I don't think about it so much because I'm still playing. I'm already looking at maybe No. 19. (Smiling.) So I'm not thinking about it so much as -- I think once you do you become a little satisfied. I have said this before: I don't want to become that. I want to continue to rise and continue to play really hard and do the best that I can.

Q. This certainly is a very exciting, a major exciting moment for you. But outside the world of tennis you have had numerous exciting moments. Anything close to this, or what would be second to this outside of tennis?

Q. Thank you. I know it was a good question.
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, it was a really good question. (Laughter). Yikes.

Q. We can come back later on this one.
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I haven't had any kids yet, so I would imagine maybe something like that. This is pretty high on my list.

Q. What does this do to you going forward? Weight off your shoulders, 18? Do you feel like now you're a little unburdened? Did you feel like that was weighing on you, slowing you down as you approached this?
SERENA WILLIAMS: It was definitely on my shoulders. It was definitely like, Oh, get there, get there, get there. Now I've gotten there, so now it's a little bit of a relief. Like I said, I got stuck at 13 for a while. I said, I'm going to get over it one day. I don't know when, but I knew it would happen. I didn't know it would happen so soon. But, yeah, I feel really excited.

Q. Can you take us back to after Wimbledon and what your mindset was then after another early loss at a Grand Slam tournaments? Did you think at all how you wanted to change things?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, just after Wimbledon I was just so disappointed. Because like I said, I worked so hard. Six hours literally just training, training, training, nonstop. After that, I thought, Well, maybe I shouldn't train so much because the results aren't coming. Maybe I should just, you know, try something new. I just went away for a week and a half and I didn't practice as much. I practiced, but I didn't practice as long. I made sure I hit every day. At that moment I also realized I just needed to relax a little more. I put a lot of pressure on myself. I don't have to put pressure on myself, because like I said, I don't have to win another title. I always have my little 18 bracelet now. I'm good to go. (Smiling.)

Q. Some athletes are really particular. The earlier point about satisfaction, about not keeping their accomplishments around them, like in their house or anything like that. Are you the same way? If so, where do you keep all this?
SERENA WILLIAMS: No, I'm not that way. I don't necessarily want to become satisfied by saying I've done this or I have done that. But as for my trophies, I definitely keep them around, but not like on display or anything. I'm not that person that just shows off my trophies like that. They're a little bit everywhere.

Q. You have talked about growing up as a kid in Compton who had a dream and a racquet. What were some of those early dreams you had about playing tennis?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Oh, to win the US Open. Yeah, that was my dream, to win the US Open. Every time I win here it's just really incredible special moment for me.

Q. You have now won it more than anyone with your sixth win. How does that feel?
SERENA WILLIAMS: It feels great. I never thought I would have won this one six times, because I won Australian five times and Wimbledon five times. I think I only won the Open like three times; now it jumped to six. Yeah, it's really pretty cool.

Q. Caroline said that perhaps after the first three majors you wanted to prove something to yourself, and that it showed in the way you played this summer and at the US Open. What do you think you have proven to yourself after the first three majors and then the rest of this season?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, I think if anything I have proven that I can play a lot of matches. I have played a lot of matches in the past five weeks. I think I have proven I have the discipline to just be able to go in and out and just perform in every match and every tournament that I play and just give 100%. I was doing that so well, so well last year, and I wasn't able to do it as much. Even though I tried just as hard, I just wasn't able to do it as well this year. So it was good to get that feeling back.

Q. And then in the success here at the Open, did you prove anything else to yourself?
SERENA WILLIAMS: No. I really had no expectations coming into this US Open. My goal was just to get past the third round, maybe the fourth round, because it was just really difficult for me in the majors. My goal was just to win some matches.

Q. So what are your plans for the winnings?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, I have a really good uncle that I love a lot. I always say this. (Laughter.) His name is Uncle Sam. I think I'm going to give him a lot of it.

Q. Tell me what the bracelet says on it.
SERENA WILLIAMS: It just has the number 18.

Q. Where does that rank in your jewelry collection?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, I don't really have like a tremendous amount of jewelry, to be honest. Yeah, I don't really have a lot of jewelry. So this is good. This will be something -- I'll see if I can play with it. I'm not sure if I can. It's pretty cool.

Q. Caroline is a class act and a good friend. What was it like to come out and play someone across the net that you have feelings for, so to speak?
SERENA WILLIAMS: It's definitely not easy, you know, but I think we both wanted to win this. We both wanted to do the best that we could. And like I say, I've play against Venus, so I think that helped me a lot to be able to -- if I can play against her, I can really handle anything at this point.

Q. What you accomplished certainly is an amazing feat, but also what Venus has accomplished is quite amazing. When the two of you get together and you're looking at one another, what kind of conversations and what kind of feelings are exchanged? Can you believe what the hell you two have done together with this game? Excuse me.
SERENA WILLIAMS: No, that's fine.

Q. What happens?
SERENA WILLIAMS: We just say that -- we say things like we deserved this win because we worked hard, but we don't really -- I think we'll have those conversation when we retire, and hopefully that will be a long time from now. Right now we just really want to be in there. We want to win matches. We want to win titles. We want to do really well. We just don't talk about that right now.

Q. Many congratulations. You have been such an inspiration for so many young Americans. Where do you see yourself kind of going the next season?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, well, the next season I feel like hopefully I can just be -- try to be more consistent and give 100%. I gave my 100% this year, and that's all I can do. Once I know I tried as hard as I can, that's all I can do.

Q. Patrick said he doesn't really need to motivate you that much because you're very motivated yourself. That you like to play. You like to practice. You still have the belief that you can win more majors. Is that how you feel?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yes, absolutely. I might be too motivated. I train really hard and I never want to stop. Then sometimes I ask Patrick, Is this normal? He says, No, it's not normal. Because I didn't think so. Tell me I'm not crazy. He's like, You are. (Laughter).

Q. How has your relationship with this tournament changed? It was the first one you won. Obviously you had some down moments here. Now it's the most you have had of any of the slams. Talk about that journey with the US Open.
SERENA WILLIAMS: It's great. It's been great. First one I have won. It's always been special and the one that's been my dream to win. It's always just been super special for me.

Q. Similarly, you have done so well in Melbourne; you love Paris, the wins there. Center court is really special. How can you compare these different jewels? What's the different feelings?
SERENA WILLIAMS: The feeling is the crowd here is unbelievable. It really is a great crowd here. It feels so good to have the support of the crowd and hear the roar. It's like no other roar at any stadium like the one on Arthur Ashe Stadium. It's a great feeling. I think it's my favorite feeling.

Q. Americans are loud?
SERENA WILLIAMS: No, they're just the best.

Q. You said 18 was a burden, so I will be the first to ask: Are you thinking about 22?
SERENA WILLIAMS: No. I am thinking about 19, which I'm kind of disappointed. Hasn't even been three hours and I'm already -- I have already mentioned 19. Oh, gosh. So, yeah, but not 22. I'm taking it one at a time. (Smiling.)

Q. Forgetting about the numbers, what about that mythical title, greatest of all time? To what degree do you hear people saying that and how does it affect you?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I have heard it, obviously, but I don't think about it. Like I said, I'm just a simple individual who just wants to win titles and wants to play tennis. I want to do really well and I love the game. The reason I play is to sit at the end of the day and hold the trophy or stand and hold the trophy. For me, that's my joys.

Q. How do you think this particular match went? It seemed like the beginning was tough for both of you. How do you think your game developed?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I think in the beginning it was definitely a little tough, but I just -- and I know Caroline. She did so well and she was fighting so hard. That's one thing I love about her and love about her game. And also just her spirit off the court. She is just a fighter and she never gives up. I think the match was -- I think we may have been a little nervous in the beginning. But, you know, after that we kind of settled down and started playing some good tennis.

Q. This is kind of a fun question: What do you do when this match is over and (indiscernible)?
SERENA WILLIAMS: That's a question I'm still trying to answer, because I swear I don't know. The time goes so fast. And Venus, she gets in and out so fast. I'm like, we're doing the same thing, but for whatever reason I think the clock works different with me. That's the only thing I can come up with.

Q. When some of us write that you're at the top of your level and you cannot be beaten, do you agree with that or not?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I do. I always said that when I'm playing my best --

Q. -- nobody can beat you?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I always say it's difficult to beat me because I serve pretty good, I have a pretty good return, I'm pretty fast. If I'm doing all those things combined, you know, it's definitely difficult to win.

Q. Different category?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I don't know. I'm not going to say that, but I just think it's definitely not easy to have a victory against me.

Q. Were you playing your best tonight? Second to that, Caroline said that you're buying drinks. Is she going with you to celebrate?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, we're gonna hang out later tonight. I definitely will buy the drinks.

Q. Were you playing your best tonight?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I think I played well. I really do. I feel like to get through that with all the nerves and all the expectations and things that could have happened, I think considering the situation, yes, I think I played pretty good.

Q. Pretty good but not your best?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I played pretty good.

Q. This going to be the first time that you'll be with your opponent the night of a final, of a Grand Slam final?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I was going to say, no, it wouldn't be my first time. (Smiling.)

Q. But having fun...
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, maybe. I think so. Yeah.

Q. What makes her so good as a gal pal?
SERENA WILLIAMS: She's funny, she's nice, she's supportive. She's just really, really sweet. You know, she's a sweet person. I think I can kind of take my wall down a little bit with her and I can be who I am. It's nice when you can do that with someone. Yeah, it makes it really nice.

Q. Roger didn't make his goal of 18 and 6. Did that impact you in any way? Make you nervous at all?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Got a little nervous. Thought it wasn't meant to be for us. At least one of us made it.

Q. Have you ever considered to launch any perfume after winning a Grand Slam, like 16, like a sweet 16? Now is 18.
SERENA WILLIAMS: That's a good idea. Never thought of it. Legal 18. (Laughter.) Oh, gosh, okay. On that note, thank you very much.
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