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September 22, 2014

Serena Williams


THE MODERATOR:  Questions, please.

Q.  So when did you get to Wuhan?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  I got here two days ago.

Q.  I know you were super busy right after the US Open with all the promotional stuff, but how much practice have you been able to get in before coming?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  Not a lot, but I'm ready.

Q.  This is normally a week that you typically don't play.  Normally it's always just been Beijing and then the finals.  So how much of the finals being in Asia kind of influences your Asian schedule now in terms of now there is a flow, you can be here for a certain amount of time?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  Yeah, this is usually a free week for me.  I'm usually never able to make it, but I wanted to really try to make it this year.
It wasn't very easy, but I'm just going to do the best I can this week.  I mean, it's a very long Asian schedule for me.  I'm still trying to figure it out between this week and next week and then two open weeks and then the Championships.  So it's going to be a little tricky, but I'm going to try to figure it out.

Q.  Having won the Open, finally getting that major, does this section of the season feel any different than any other part of the season?  Pressure off or, I don't know, mentally how are you going into it?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  I definitely feel good.  I feel like I won a Grand Slam this year, and I did not expect that after Wimbledon.
So I definitely feel more relaxed.  I definitely feel really, really good about just being able to relax for the rest of the year.

Q.  Following the US Open you won your 18th Grand Slam title.  Is Steffi Graf's record of 22 Grand Slams ever on your mind when you go into some of the bigger tournaments?  And secondly, can you comment on your decision to play less.
SERENA WILLIAMS:  I am not thinking about No. 22 at all.  I'm thinking about No. 19.  I wish I were not thinking about No. 19.  I just wish I would be content and happy with 18.  And interestingly enough, I am, I definitely am, but in the back of my mind, I still have 19.
As for playing less, I think throughout my career I think it's definitely been able to help me have a longer career, and I think next year is something I definitely want to continue to do is really focus on breaking records in the slams and doing the best I can in those events and the ones leading up to those.

Q.  (Through translation.)  The date of Wuhan Open final will be your birthday, Serena, if I'm not mistaken.  So what kind of gift do you wish to give yourself?  A championship or something else?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  I think after a certain age ‑‑I don't celebrate birthdays, and I think after a certain age no one should celebrate birthdays so I would prefer if mine wasn't mentioned (smiling).

Q.  What do you think of your sister's performance yesterday?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  I thought she could have played a lot better.  I think she made a lot of mistakes and she wasn't moving well.  She played much better last week and the week before.
But she's been playing a lot of tennis, so hopefully she will do better next week.

Q.  Obviously Li Na's retirement is big news this week.  Thoughts on that?  Has it put any context kind of to your career and how you have been able to stay, how your body hasn't betrayed you in the way it appeared to with her?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  I think at one point or another all of our bodies at some point betray us.  I know mine has, but for the most part, I think Li Na is great.  I think I summed it up:  She's a star that is in the sky that always shines.  It's always going to be there.
I think that's her career and the mark that she's left on tennis and international tennis.  It's just a really bright star.

Q.  Could you share any memories you have with Li Na?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  Well, gosh, we have played each other lots of times.  I just remember she always was such a great sport.  You know, she's just always fought well, fought hard, and never, never, never gave up, which could be frustrating at times, but obviously it's a great quality to have.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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