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March 17, 2015

Serena Williams


S. WILLIAMS/S. Stephens
6‑7, 6‑2, 6‑2

THE MODERATOR:  Questions, please.

Q.  What do you think you could have done better in the first set?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  Well, I think she just ‑‑I think Sloane played really well in the first set.  Actually in the whole match.  I just made a few errors, but I think she forced me to make those errors.

Q.  Did you have a conservation of energy?  You seem really calm out there despite the fact you were down a set.
SERENA WILLIAMS:  Yes, I was fine.  I just felt like if anything, I could just stay out there and just stay focused and take it as an experience to get used to a three‑set match.

Q.  What goes through your mind when you start off 0‑3 and get broken twice?  You seemed really calm.  Wondering about your mindset and your thoughts.
SERENA WILLIAMS:  Well, I just think, I don't know, just try to even it up and try to play better.  I don't really think of anything else.

Q.  A few days and three matches into the experience here, how are you feeling emotionally?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  Yeah, I feel good.  I feel really good.  Emotionally I feel ready, and I feel like everything is, you know, kind of behind me.
Just try and take steps forward.

Q.  As you mentioned, it's been sort of an interesting year for Sloane, up and down results.  Obviously she looked pretty sharp out there today.  What did you see from her in terms of her potential or getting back on the right track or anything like that?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  Well, I have always thought Sloane can be really great.  I think she's on the right track.  You know, she played really well.  She had some very good wins here against two seeds.
So, yeah, I thought it was a really positive result even today.

Q.  Did you have any say in the schedule?  Were you surprised that it was a day match and not 7:00?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  No, I wasn't surprised.  But, yeah, I was fine.

Q.  Towards the end of the match, do you think that level that you were playing in the second and third set, was that the like best level you have played this week?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  I'm not sure.  I have to kind of go back and watch the film on that.  I don't really remember.  I was a little bit in a zone, so I don't remember how I played or what I did right or wrong.

Q.  A lot of players have been talking about the bounces here, that the ball has been flying and kicking up high.  Are you feeling the same thing?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  I think they definitely bounce higher.  You just have to adjust.  You're going to get caught on some balls that are bouncing a little higher.
I have never been a player that's been, like, really take that too much into consideration.  But this week even I have noticed that the ball is bouncing high, so must mean it's bouncing really high.  (Smiling).

Q.  The handshake looked pretty warm.  What did you say to her at the net?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  I told her good job and to keep up the good work.  She's doing really well.  I know she had some tough results earlier.  It's good to see her doing really well again.

Q.  That was one of her best matches of the year.  Do you feel that players come up against you and they play their best tennis and raise their level against you?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  I definitely feel that when I play players it almost does me no good to scout because they play totally different against me.
But at the same time, I can't expect for a player to just play a regular game.  I mean, if you're going up against some of the best players you have to play your best game, even a game you don't normally play.
And once you accept that, you'll be fine.

Q.  Speaking of best, last week at the BNP Paribas Showdown in NewYork, Monica Seles was asked who the best player was and the toughest that she's ever played, and she said you were.  Put Venus to one side.  Who is the toughest and best player that you've faced?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  That's not fair.  (Smiling.)  Jeez.  That's not fair.  (Laughter).
Okay.  I have played a lot of people.  I'm like...  I have a whole load of people.  Let me think.
I'm starting in the '90s and thinking in the '90s and then 2000s.  It's so hard to say.  I have played so many great players from Hingis to Davenport, Monica, Steffi.  I have played some unbelievably tough players.
It's a weird position.  I think I have been able to play so many different generations that I don't think I could just give one answer.  I have played Henin, who has been amazing.  Monica was great.  Lindsay.  Hingis.  She was also super tough opponent.
It's kind of hard to just say one person.

Q.  You said when you got here that you felt like you had almost already won the trophy.  At this point, can you start to focus on really winning the trophy?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  I don't feel like I need to come here and win the trophy.  I feel like this is more than I have ever imagined doing.  I never imagined even having an opportunity to come back.
So I think, again, I feel like I have been a champ here, and I'm really happy with every match that I win and every result.

Q.  Is it all icing at this point?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  I think it is ‑‑ for me it's all icing on the court.  I think that's why I was so calm after I lost, because it was like, I don't really need to win this title.  Just being out here is a real win for me and I was just calm through it.

Q.  The serve was cranking.  125 might have been the highest.  Or 128.  Do you have any desire to beat Lisicki now who holds the record for the fastest serve?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  I don't think about holding the fastest serve.  I just think ‑‑I don't even try to hit it hard.  When I hit it hard I go for an ace, and sometimes I look and it's like 125.
I'm like, Oh, that didn't feel that hard.

Q.  You said that you don't feel like you have to win the title, but it's been a while since an American has won in singles.  Do you think maybe for the fans it would be good to have another American win the title here?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  Yeah, I think it would be good.  It would be really good.  But I can't make any promises, so I'm just trying to find my bearings.  Little off this week, but like I said, I'm just happy to be here.

Q.  What do you know about Bacsinszky who you play next?  14‑match winning streak right now.
SERENA WILLIAMS:  Yeah, because she's been winning so much I have been able to see her play a lot.  At home hanging out with my dad we kind of watch Tennis Channel all the time.  She's been on it a lot so I have been watching a lot of her matches.  I have been happy for her.
Yeah, you know, what I think most about her is she never gives up.  She loses and be always down and you'll turn the channel and you come back and she's won the match.
I think that is a wonderful quality to have.

Q.  Do you remember anything about when you played her in Rome I think it was couple years ago?  I think she hit a dropshot off a serve of yours and you weren't happy about it, if I remember.
SERENA WILLIAMS:  Yeah.  You know, I have played a lot of matches.  (Laughter).  I can't say I remember that.  Especially not at that point in particular.  You have a good memory, though.

Q.  Have you thought about the prospects of if you did win this tournament going from a 19 year old the last time you won it and now at 33 to win it?  That's unusual and kind of unique, and also says a lot about the quality of play and longevity.  Has that crossed your mind?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  No, not at all.  I have won the US Open at 17 and 32.  That's not bad.  In case I don't win it I still have solace in that.

Q.  Is the kind of experience you're having from the crowd, ambiance, setting, is it the kind of thing you want to do again?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  Yeah, it definitely is.  The crowd has been really great.  It's been a really good tournament for me.  It's been really relaxing here.  Just being here is ‑‑I just feel I don't want to leave.  So it's been really good.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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