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October 26, 2014

Serena Williams


6‑3, 6‑0

THE MODERATOR:  Questions, please.

Q.  Congratulations.

Q.  Could you tell me what was the difference in the thought process today compared to your round robin loss to Simona, or did everything just click today?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  I made so many unforced errors in our first match, and I think knowing that she has the ability and the capability to play so well, I knew that I said to step up my game.
I knew that I had to play a lot better, so I obviously was expecting a much better player than I was in the earlier rounds.  But I think being ready for that really was able to help me out.

Q.  How quickly did you know today it was going to be a different day?  Did you know before the match?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  Once I won my opening serve I was like, Okay.  It was a long game, but I was like, Okay.  I lost my opening serve the last time, and so I was just like, Okay, could be different today.

Q.  To go back to Friday when you weren't playing but Simona was, she technically had a chance to knock you out of the tournament then if she lost that second set to Ana.  Was that going your mind at all, that she might think it was a good idea to get rid of the tournament's top seed there?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  Oh, no, not at all.  I wouldn't.  That's not how we as WTA players play.  We play and give our all for everything.
She definitely gives her all, so I don't think that went through her mind at all.  If anything, she would've won three matches would've had a chance to go for more points, more money.  It's a much better incentive to try your best.
Yeah, no one on the tour thinks like that.

Q.  First set was a lot closer than the scoreline might indicate.  Talk about how you were able to turn it around and reel it off.
SERENA WILLIAMS:  I was trying to stay positive and trying to just stay out there and play better.  Like I made so many errors in our last game.  I knew for a fact I couldn't make that many errors.
I had to play more Serena‑style tennis and just do what I do best:  enforce myself.  That's what I was trying to do.

Q.  Throughout the year and also throughout this tournament, there were ups and downs.  How much pride do you find in yourself that you managed to back up every one of those downs with an up like the win today?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  Yeah, it's been a really difficult year for me.  I don't think I've had such an up and down year.  I started out well with Brisbane; then didn't do well in Australia; then I did well again in Miami.
It was really up and down.  I ended the year well.  I had a couple injuries in the beginning of Asia, but I'm glad I came and I was able to end well.  So I think that was important.  How you start is how you finish, right?

Q.  Along those lines, you've obviously won three straight years here.  Last two years you've barely lost matches.  How much more gratifying is it ‑ even though a lot of players would love to have your year, how important was it to end your year on this note?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  It's great.  I didn't expect to end the year on this note.  Like I said, I was just happy to even be competing here.
At one point I thought my last match would be against Genie, and I was happy to win that match.  It makes everything much more sweeter and satisfying, especially for me.  It wasn't my best year, but I'm just happy to have won one more title this year.

Q.  You keep saying throughout the year that it wasn't your best year, hadn't been going well for you.  Do you think now that it's all said and done you're the best player this year?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  I don't know.  I haven't thought about that.  I was the best I could be this year for me.
Like I said, I'm so looking forward next year.  I can't wait to get started again.  It'll be fun.

Q.  Before next year there will be an off‑season.

Q.  What are you looking forward to the most?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  Not playing tomorrow.  That's the first thing.  I look forward to stepping back on U.S. soil.  It's been a long time.  I haven't been home I think since Cincinnati‑ish, so I don't know the last time I'm seeing my house.
And I get to see my son in a few hours.  He's waiting for me.  Then I get to see my girls a little bit later.  It's going to be reunited and it's going to feel really good.

Q.  Yesterday when you rallied from 1‑4 and made it to 6‑4 in the tiebreak against Caroline.  That's why you don't give up.  I saw this little girl and huge smile on her face.  How does it feel after years later?  You won this title for the time in 2001, and years later here you are and you're still inspiring so many little girls from around the world.
SERENA WILLIAMS:  Yeah, it feels great.  That's what we want to do is inspire each other as people, as human beings.  Look, I think everyone looks up to another human being and we're like, Wow this person inspires me.
So for someone to feel that way about me it makes me feel really good, really special, and honored.  That's what I think, at the end of the day, life is about.  It's not about what you do and how you can win.
It's about how who you can inspire and what you can do to help people.

Q.  How happy are you that you got the chance to sort of correct that loss to Simona later the same week and didn't have that taste in your mouth for the off‑season?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  Yeah, definitely felt good.  But it was also good for me to lose that match, because now I know what to expect next year.
I really know and I'm ready for ‑‑to be ready for that next year.  So I know what to go home and what to work on once pre‑season start.

Q.  We know you're a karaoke queen.  Have you managed to get out and go visit any of the karaoke places in Singapore?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  No, I haven't had time, but I did have a karaoke system installed in my room, so I pretty much sang every tight.  I didn't sing last night.  For whatever reason I was tired.
But I sung pretty much every night.  Before the Mariah Carey concert I sung most of her songs just to get ready.  I didn't want to disappoint her as I screamed the lyrics to Hero, so...

Q.  Simona said she was tired tonight.  How much of that was apparent on the court?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  Yeah, I think everyone ‑‑ she gave her all and that's all she could give today.  I think she did a good job.
Yeah, so if she was tired, then it happens.  I know she did the best that she can and I did the best that I could today.  I don't think any of us were fresh, to be honest.
I know I'm not, especially not at 33.  Yeah, so...

Q.  Congratulations.

Q.  You say you're going back home, but will you be staying in Singapore for a few more days?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  I wish.  I'm going to be back in December though because I'm playing‑‑ early December I'm playing here in Singapore.
So I'm excited about that.  I will be back, but I will be leaving today or tomorrow.

Q.  Two things:  how much was it in your mind today about getting the bagel in the second set?  And what were your goals next year?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  Well, wasn't in my mind really at all about getting a bagel.  It was just about getting a win.  That was it.  That was only thing I thought about was getting a win.  You know, just winning some games.

Q.  For winning you get this trophy, $2 million, and an orchid named after you.  Which is the most important?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  Definitely the orchid.  I love flowers, and I think I'm really excited about that, so, yeah.

Q.  Is it just called the Serena Orchid or do you get to choose?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  It's the Serena Orchid.  And if I choose, I would call it the Serena Orchid.

Q.  Serena, you are a stunner off and on the court.  What goes into selecting the perfect championship outfit?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  Depends.  I usually do it before ‑‑ while I'm packing.  I think about do I want to wear?  What do I want to do?  Obviously for tennis we design like 16 months in advance for that.
Off the court stuff it's more like I do it in advance, too, just thinking of outfits.  Try them on in my closet and look.  Try on so many things.  Usually I bring way too many clothes, but it works out.

Q.  Just want to check, you know, goals for next year.
SERENA WILLIAMS:  Well, I never really talk about my goals.  Thank God, because if I mentioned them last year, would've been sorely disappointed with my year this year.
I do have goals, but I always keep them to myself.  No disappointments.

Q.  Since you mentioned you're coming back to play the IPTL, I believe.

Q.  Are you just playing the Singapore leg or are you planning on going to other cities?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  I'm going to another city as well.  I don't know exactly where I'm going, but I'm going different places.

Q.  Do you know if Dubai is on the radar or not?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  I don't know.  I don't think so.  I wish.  I love going to Dubai.  I don't think so.

Q.  You have achieved a lot of great things in your career.  Have you reached a point in your life where you think, You know I'm going to do it my way?  It's my way or the highway?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  No.  Really, that was Frank Sinatra that did it his way.  I do sing that song, but that's about it.

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