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September 5, 2014

Ekaterina Makarova


S. WILLIAMS/E. Makarova
6-1, 6-3

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Obviously not the result that you wanted. Just talk about the match. She was quite dominant in the match.
EKATERINA MAKAROVA: Well, Serena, she's a great, unbelievable player. It's always tough to play against her. Today she was so aggressive. I don't know. Maybe I didn't think that she will be that aggressive. Like she's just coming, you know, so early, so sometimes I was too late because she was too fast. I don't know. I'm still so happy that I was in semis.

Q. Obviously this has been a breakthrough tournament for you. There are a lot of positives for you in this tournament and the way you have been playing all year. Do you kind of walk away happy?
EKATERINA MAKAROVA: Yes, of course. I lost against No. 1. She's unable player. She was too good today. I think still was -- it was a good match and we had great points. Yes, she was definitely better today than me.

Q. Did you know what was going on in the match before? Were you told to get ready? What was the procedure leading up to your match?
EKATERINA MAKAROVA: I mean, about the match before?

Q. With Peng Shuai, her injury.
EKATERINA MAKAROVA: Well, they were fighting so great. Well, I think it's bad thing that happen, you know. I just really think she will recovery and she will come back.

Q. But it seemed like your match started very quickly after that match ended. Were you told to get ready for the match faster?
EKATERINA MAKAROVA: Yeah, yeah. We were ready, both of us.

Q. How difficult were the conditions? Obviously the heat rules were in effect.
EKATERINA MAKAROVA: Well, I think when we went to the court it was already kind of okay. The heat rule was out. It was windy, but with humidity it was okay.

Q. Did you see Peng on your way into the court, by chance?

Q. What were your plans going into this match? What was your strategy?
EKATERINA MAKAROVA: Well, like against Serena always you need to play aggressive more than she is. But she's doing it so well and she's hitting so early the ball, so it's always tough to be more aggressive than she is. I was trying to make long point. I was trying to let her move, but she was unbelievable today. She was moving well and playing unbelievable angles.

Q. Did you feel like you were playing a different player than the last time you played Serena?
EKATERINA MAKAROVA: Well, I think she was more aggressive. I was pretty ready for it. I felt good. I felt physically good, you know. Technically the ball was sitting good on the racquet. But she's No. 1, so of course she's like, I don't know, more ready for kind of these matches.

Q. There are many great players in the WTA: Li Na, Sharapova, Halep, Radwanska, many more. But is Serena someone in a category of her own? Is she significantly better than the other players now?
EKATERINA MAKAROVA: Well, I think of course because she's No. 1 for a long time and she won so many Grand Slams I can say, yes, she's much better than everyone.

Q. As a player on tour you know the rigors of this game. You know, what does it say to Serena that she's been doing this for so many years and at such a high level?
EKATERINA MAKAROVA: Well, she's talented. I think she's just born for tennis, you know. Kind of Federer, I think. She's just doing everything really well. That's why she's still playing. I think she's enjoying all this atmosphere.

Q. Many of us in the media love that phrase you used earlier about being in the shadow. Do you think you'll still be in the shadow now, or maybe not?
EKATERINA MAKAROVA: I think yes. (Smiling.)

Q. You're okay with that?
EKATERINA MAKAROVA: Yeah. Perfectly okay. (Smiling.)

Q. Do you think there was anything you could have done differently today to change the result or get a better scoreline perhaps?
EKATERINA MAKAROVA: Well, I think my serve, I want it to be better than it was today. But the rest, I'm really happy about my game and how I was playing, how I was doing the point. Like I said already, Serena was too good.

Q. Did it affect your mood at all going into that match, watching what was happening in the previous match?
EKATERINA MAKAROVA: I tried not to watch that. You know, I was just concentrating on my match.

Q. Do you think there is room for improvement in your game, that perhaps the next semifinals you can be a lot more aggressive?
EKATERINA MAKAROVA: Well, definitely I will be like more concentrating, you know. Like I had before so many quarterfinals, and this time it feels differently. So for next time -- it's always depends, you know, the draw and all the stuff.

Q. Is it easier knowing that you have a doubles final tomorrow? How will you prepare for that match?
EKATERINA MAKAROVA: Well, like always, you know, just I need to rest. I try to do it good. So tomorrow we have a final. It's a great day. With Elena, we will just go out there, fight, and enjoy this day.

Q. What did Serena say to you at the net? I thought she mentioned the doubles match; is that right?
EKATERINA MAKAROVA: Yeah, she -- I don't know how to say in English, like good luck me in doubles.
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