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March 25, 2015

Serena Williams


THE MODERATOR:  Questions, please.

Q.  Can you give us an update on your health?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  I'm okay.  I'm just managing where I am right now.  Just trying to stay out of as much pain as possible and see what happens.

Q.  What's the concern coming off last week?  When are you going to test it full out?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  Probably on my first match, if I get that far.  So, yeah, I don't want to put too much pressure on it before.
I'm just here in Miami, so I'm just going to go for it and see what happens.

Q.  Have you practiced on it?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  I did today.  I hit some balls today for the first time.  Yeah, we'll see.

Q.  How did it feel today?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  I mean, it's okay.  I know I'm going to have to manage the pain.  I think if I'm in that mental state, okay, you might be in a little pain.  You just have to figure out the best way around it.

Q.  MRI?  Cortisone shot?  What have you done?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  No.  Yeah, I don't do cortisone.  I don't think it's good personally for your joints.
I did an antiinflammation injection in Indian Wells to try to calm down all the inflammation I had, yeah.

Q.  Let's say you play and everything is fine.  You come in with high expectations or considering the situation you'll see how it goes?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  Well, I definitely don't have low expectations.  I just definitely expect to do the best that I can.  Whether that's winning or just stepping out on the court, that's what I'm going to have to do.
Again, I don't feel any pressure because I have won this title a few times, so I feel good about being here.  When I hit on the court today, just something about Miami, you know.  I just feel so good out here.
So I was like, Oh, this is fun.  I'm just looking forward to just enjoying myself this year more than anything.

Q.  Have you been told that there are no risks to make it worse?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  Maybe, but, I mean, I love this tournament.  I love Miami.  We'll see.

Q.  So this is a place that because you love the tournament so much you would maybe push yourself even if you felt some pain?  The tournament is that important to you?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  Well, I don't know.  I think every player has pain.  I said this before.  I don't know any player that goes out there without pain.  Every match I play, I mean, I could be 10% in pain or I could be 80% in pain.  It just kind of depends how you feel and how can you manage that.
Knowing ahead of time the problems that you're dealing with, usually you have a good way.  Okay, we're dealing with this problem and this is how you treat it, so you can be able to play at a high level.
Now that I kind of know what's going on, I'm able to treat it and be able to play at a higher level than I would have been able to play a couple of weeks ago.

Q.  But have you seen a doctor?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  Yeah, of course.

Q.  You won't make it worse or...
SERENA WILLIAMS:  Yeah, I have seen a doctor.  Of course.  First thing I did.

Q.  Have you played through this type of injury before?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  I think so.  Yeah.  It's kind of hard to say.  I have actually been doing really well for a little bit.
And I don't have a really good memory.  (Smiling.)  Yeah, so probably.

Q.  What do you think about the young players that have played very good tennis?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  Young players?  Oh, yeah, I think the young players are great.  It's great to see so many fresh faces in the locker room and so much new, good talent.
It's just really refreshing to see.

Q.  Obviously after winning in Australia, everybody is talking about a Steffi Graf's record.  What do you think is realistic?  You're 33 years old.  Still top of the world?  How important is any of that?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  Well, for me, right now what's realistic is 19.  That's realistic.  I think I have a chance to get 20.  There is a lot of young players that want to get one.  A lot of people want to increase their numbers.
I just literally ‑‑ and I say this a lot‑‑ I just take it one at a time.  If I start thinking too far in advance ‑‑and that's what I did last year.  I started thinking way far in advance and I couldn't even get past the fourth round of a Grand Slam.
After that I won two slams in a row after I changed my way of thinking, so I'm not getting ahead much.

Q.  Yesterday's round tables, your close competitors talked about ranking.  Serena is up there at No. 1 and she's going to be there.  I mean, does it surprise you that they feel like, Oh‑‑ because if you listen to them, while they kind of say both things.  They are really saying, But we don't think that's attainable, because as long as Serena wants to be there she's going to be there.  Does that surprise you from such top quality, you know, athletes and competitors that they feel that way?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  I don't know.  I just feel I love what I do or I wouldn't be here.  I'm know I'm really good at playing tennis.  I might not be good at many other things, but I am really good at tennis and I love to do it.
I've always said if I am playing on a level that I know I can play, like if I'm serving well, returning well, doing everything well, it's difficult.  Without pontificating, it's difficult to beat me.
It's just getting to that level.  You know, it's not easy to do to get to that level.  Yeah, it's fun, and I just really enjoy that.  I think obviously those players want to be the best in the world, and they have proven that they can be the best in the world and they have done great things.
I think it's just a great compliment, to be honest.

Q.  Do you feel old when you're out there?  Some of them are actual teenagers.

Q.  You have been there so long; you were a teenager once.  I mean, do you feel like an old lady among this group, or do you feel like you're on par as far as music and pop culture?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  Yeah, no, I don't feel old at all.  I think that's what keeps me in it.  Yeah, I don't.  I always look at it and I'm like, I have been on the tour a hundred years.  It's a joke, but, like, I definitely don't feel older.
I don't feel like 33, if it's old, you know.

Q.  You feel like another peer?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  I do.  I definitely listen to the same music.  You know, I try to keep myself current.  I say the current words like, fleek.  (Laughter).  I'm on top of it.

Q.  Did it ever dawn on you, because you had such excruciating pain last week, to skip this and maybe get it healthy for the clay court season ahead?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  Absolutely.  I didn't think I would be doing this interview today.  I stepped on the court and I was just like, I love this place.  You know, I love playing at home.  I live just down the road.
So, yeah, it takes a lot.  It takes a tremendous amount for me to stop.  Yeah, so I don't know if that's a good thing or that's a bad thing, but I think I will be okay.

Q.  Step back from like last week or the week before.  What are your thoughts now on having been back at Indian Wells now that it's over and you have been there and how it went and your comfort level.
SERENA WILLIAMS:  It was an incredible experience for me.  It was really one of the best experiences of my life, to be honest.  I just feel like ‑‑I just feel like it was still going on.  I had such a wonderful time there and such a great reception there.
I think it was the right timing.  I think my feeling was right about going back.

Q.  Just observing you and Venus yesterday at Cliff's event, you have such a good time together when you're relaxed and enjoy each other's company.  I was curious how much time you guys get to spend with each other.  What do you foresee with the doubles this year with Venus?  What would you say about the way her career is going right now?  She's kind of on the rise.
SERENA WILLIAMS:  Yeah, we're really close.  Obviously we still live together, which is probably why I still feel so young.  Haven't quite grown up.  She's doing great.
Lately she's been having this great time and playing great matches and having great wins and being the player that I know she is.  Because I see her practice next to me all the time.  It's really good to see her doing so well.
And it really motivates me.  Her being out there just motivates me to a whole new level and makes me want to do better.  I feel like I can be better because of Venus.

Q.  Excited to see you in the Fed Cup.  Do you play next month against Italy?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  As of now, I definitely hope to.  I definitely plan on being there even as support if I have to.  I love the cacio e pepe in Italy.  I kind of have to go.

Q.  You were nominated for the Laureus Award.  At this moment are you planning to go to Shanghai and attend the awards ceremony?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  I don't think I can make it.  I think I'll be playing something.  When is it?

Q.  Laureus Award?  April 15.
SERENA WILLIAMS:  That's tax day here.  (Laughter.)

Q.  Fed Cup week.
SERENA WILLIAMS:  Yeah, that's Fed Cup week.

Q.  So you're not going?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  No, no.  I'm going to be at Fed Cup, fingers crossed; God willing.

Q.  We know that you're very involved with other sports here in Miami.  Have you had talks with David Beckham?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  Yeah, I know he's doing the team here, which really has got to be really cool, really exciting.
Actually, I haven't had a chance to speak with him.  It would be interesting.  I'd actually love to.

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