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U.S. OPEN


September 5, 2014


Serena Williams


NEW YORK CITY, NEW YORK

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

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. How happy are you with the result and with an opportunity to face Caroline in the finals, a good friend?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I'm just really excited to be in the final. In the beginning of the week I definitely wasn't sure I would make it this long. Definitely wasn't sure I'd be here. So I'm just elated, to be honest, to have made it this far.

Q. You made good on your promise to Chrissie Evert to not...
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I thought about her today. I'm like, I can't start slow.

Q. After Wimbledon there were questions. I don't know, we were questioning you and you'd had three bad slams, going out early. What happened then and what's happening now? How did you turn around? Was there any doubt in your mind you could?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, there's always -- what is the word, skeptics? I don't know. I'm losing my mind. Anyways, that people might write or people might not believe. I worked really hard for Wimbledon. I worked really, really hard, and I was really disappointed and sad and shocked that I wasn't able to win. I worked hours, more than I worked before. Maybe it's just paying off now.

Q. Are you happy with how you played today? What do you think were the keys to the win?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I think I played pretty well today. You know, I was able to change up my game and just keep moving forward and just keep doing what I could do today.

Q. She said she's played you a number of times. She said she was actually taken aback by the fact you were so aggressive. She said she should have expected that but she didn't. Did you really sort of pour it on more so than you have playing her in the past?
SERENA WILLIAMS: To be honest, I don't see it. I don't see myself. Like I hear you and I hear my coach and I hear -- I have to watch it. I didn't see myself being that -- coming to the net and being so aggressive. I have to watch it.

Q. How would you rate that performance today compared to all your matches since Wimbledon and all your matches here?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I think every match hopefully I'm getting better. I think I played really well in my quarterfinal minus the slow start. I think I served better in my quarterfinal. With that being said, it's good news knowing I could try to serve better for one more match.

Q. I guess it's fair to say you would trade your five titles for one more win here.
SERENA WILLIAMS: I would trade my five for one?

Q. Five titles this year for one more Grand Slam.
SERENA WILLIAMS: Oh, okay. I was like, let's do the math here. I think I'd rather keep my five US Opens. (Laughter.) Probably. Probably. It's always great to win a Grand Slam. Yeah, I mean, it means a lot to actually win those titles. If I hadn't maybe won those titles, especially the recent ones, I probably wouldn't be in the final. So it's hard to say. Obviously I would much rather win the Grand Slam than the other ones.

Q. What about you and Roger going for the same goals this year?
SERENA WILLIAMS: It's amazing to see. We're both making it so far. It would be cool if we did it together. It would really be just an amazing, amazing feat for the both of us.

Q. You have had some close matches with Caroline Wozniacki recently. What do you expect in the final?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I definitely expect another close match. She really knows my game well and knows how to play. She's so consistent. I think that's one of the things that makes her really tough. So I just have to be ready for that and, again, just stay calm and just be able to relax and be happy. You know, the beginning -- the past six months I would never thought I'd be here. I think it's just staying calm and happy.

Q. Caroline said that the two of you looked at the draw and were happy to see each other on the opposite sides and that even before the tournament said, Hey, wouldn't it be great to meet in the final. Would you tell us, is that sort of how it went down and is that something you were hoping for? Is this the final you were really hoping for?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, yeah, I was excited -- I would have loved to have seen Venus there. That goes unsaid. But, yeah, because we played each other a lot recently in like the semis I think, maybe the quarters once. So it was like, Oh, it would be much better to play each other in the final than earlier on. I was just glad we weren't on the same side of the draw this tournament. Of course we were like, That would be great if we could see each other in the final, because we both, you know, hadn't had the greatest Grand Slam year. We were just excited to be there.

Q. Emotionally how was playing a friend, close friend different from like playing your sister?
SERENA WILLIAMS: If I can play Venus, I can play anybody. I grew up with Venus. We actually lived together going on 33 years, which is kind of sad. (Laughter.) So, yeah, if I could play her I feel like I can just play anybody.

Q. What was your initial reaction? What are your thoughts now about Caroline going into the New York Marathon?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I thought it was great. I thought maybe I could run the first best first 5k with her at best. But, you know, max, max. You know, I'm not a long-distance runner at all. I'm definitely more of a sprinter. The long distance has never been my thing. Even growing up I ran track, but I ran the 100. I didn't even run the 400. So, yeah.

Q. What do you make of her, though, as a runner?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I think it's great.

Q. How do you think she will do?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I think she'll do great. She's been running and training for it. She's doing it for a charity. I think it's such a positive thing to do. I remember she first told me about it I think French Open time. She was like, she was going to do the marathon. I thought, Wow, that's such a great thing. Wow. Really excited for her. It's coming close. End of the season, so it will be a good time to do it and good time to relax. It's great to see someone so awesome just like taking on new challenges and doing it for a good cause.

Q. You mentioned sprinters. There is a pretty good sprinter in the house today, Usain Bolt. Did you see him?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yes, no, of course he was in my box. I actually asked him, Do you think I can sprint? He said, No. I thought, I think I have a good sprinter's body. He's like, No.

Q. So much was made of you and Caroline hanging out in Miami after Paris. Was any part of the discussion like, Let's get it together, let's make a charge, do the hard court?
SERENA WILLIAMS: No, not at all. Not even once. We don't never -- we don't never. That is really bad English. I think I need to be done with this interview. We never talk tennis so much since we spend so much of our life on the court. Same with me and Venus. Last thing on our minds is is tennis. If anything, it's to not think about a forehand or a backhand.

Q. You have taken a lot of pressure off yourself in saying, I have accomplished so much I don't need to do anymore. That's hard for us to believe because you are so intense. Now that you smell it and are close to it and it's 18, do you need to win or, you know, can you be satisfied not winning? It's hard to imagine.
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, no, it would be hard for me to imagine that I would be happy losing. I won't be. But at the end of the day I think in ten years from now it won't be, Man, I'm still sad about it. I have accomplished a lot, done a lot, not only for the sport but just a lot of things in general. I think I should be happy about that. And I am. When I look at the big picture like that, that helps me. That's the part that helps me to be able to relax and not take it so serious.

Q. (Question regarding the flu.)
SERENA WILLIAMS: Do I sound deep today? Oh, gosh.

Q. At this point in your career are you still working on your game, or has it now moved off to being consistent?
SERENA WILLIAMS: No, absolutely still working on it. I think in life you should work on yourself until the day you die. I think why not apply the same thing to your tennis game? Yeah, I'm still working on it.

Q. Early memories of Chrissie or Martina? What are your first memories of those two? Are they in your consciousness?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I don't know. I don't know. Definitely remember more Martina than Chris, but I don't know.

Q. Last night both Roger and Gaƫl talked about the importance that the crowd played in a big match like last night. How has the crowd influenced you in going into a final?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I think the crowd plays a big, big importance, I think. And hopefully with being an American, we really want to see this American tennis do well. It's so great to have that opportunity with so many young American players coming up now. It's just so exciting. We have to root, I think, for the home country. I feel like the crowd understands that and they do that, especially throughout the years. It's been wonderful. I, you know, have been really enjoying that lately.

Q. Did you see what happened out there with Peng? What are your thoughts around that?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I saw. I was warming up for the match. I was really saddened by it. I was really, really, really saddened by it. She's such a great person. We train sometimes at the same academy. It didn't make me happy at all. You never want to see anyone go out like that. I'm just hoping she's better.

Q. Caroline has had a moment like that. Have you ever had cramping?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I have cramped up a few times. At Wimbledon, incidentally. Remember?

Q. What's it feel like?
SERENA WILLIAMS: It's not fun. It hurts like crazy. It hurts like crazy. But I have never had a full-body one like that. I'm not sure what she had, actually. But, yeah, it is not fun. This is why I have my Gatorade. (Laughter.) So I don't cramp up.
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