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May 7, 2015

Serena Williams


S. WILLIAMS/C. Suarez Navarro
6‑1, 6‑3

THE MODERATOR:  Questions, please.

Q.  You've got an impressive record against Carla, but this time she actually managed to put up a little bit of a fight in the second set.  Against you it would be very mental for her.  Give us some thoughts on the match?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  Yeah, I think clay is her surface, although I think she's doing so much better on hard.  That's really what propelled her into the top 10.
I feel like she just really plays even better on clay.  So playing a really good clay courter today is not really easy.  I think she proved that she has an attacking game.  She started attacking and playing a lot better.
I had to really come up with some good shots and big fist pumps.

Q.  On the subject of fist pumps, what do you think makes a good one?  Real vigor or just perhaps quiet determination?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  Definitely the shot.  All depends on the shot.

Q.  Really?

Q.  This is your 50th straight premier mandatory win.  You didn't know that?

Q.  Now you do.  Thinking back to five or ten years ago when you played in these events, how did you approach them?  Back then your record in these kinds of events wasn't as good.
SERENA WILLIAMS:  I approach everything as I want to do the best that I can.  I'm so determined for every single point.  If I lose the match, it's okay, as long as I know that I gave the best that I could on that day.
That's all I do.  That's all I can do.  So yeah.

Q.  You said at the start of the week that your preparation wasn't as perfect as you hoped it would be.  Given this week you've had a tough draw and come through some very tough matches, do you think that you're getting into sort of optimal condition on the clay?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  Yeah, I definitely didn't have an easy draw, and coming through so far has been really good.  Still have a tough way to go.
I mean, just because I'm doing good doesn't mean my preparation was better.  I didn't have the greatest preparation that I would've liked to.  I would've liked to spend so many more hours on the court just sliding and stuff.
But I'm telling you, Fed Cup really helped me out.  It helped propel me to the extra preparation that I needed.

Q.  So 24 hours later and what did you learn after the Azarenka match, and if the lesson gave you some clues for improvement?
SERENA WILLIAMS:¬† Well, I learned that ‑‑ first of all, it's not quite 24 hours. ¬†We were out there a long time.
No, I just really to have stay focused.  I had a lot of opportunities.  I probably should have closed it out in two sets.
Victoria, she's such a great fighter.  Still, I had an opportunity to stay calm and win a few points here and there.  Could have really made a big difference.

Q.  The next match, Petra Kvitova or Begu.  What are your thoughts about that match?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  Well, doesn't matter who I play at this point.  I love Petra.  She's a great girl and a great player on top of that.  Always good to see those two combined.
Begu I've actually never played.¬† She's been playing really well this year.¬† Had some really good wins and had some tough three‑set matches.
Yeah, whoever I play I'll obviously have to be ready and do the best I can.

Q.  Petra said she had to take the time out because she felt the constant grind of the four years since her Wimbledon breakthrough had become too much.  It was a bold decision to make.  What are your thoughts on having the courage to do that at that stage in her career?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  I think it's admirable that she said it and talked about it.  It's so understandable.  It's a grind.  I don't play every week.  Some players play a lot.  For me, it's difficult to play so many weeks in a row.
I have to really space my tournaments out because I need that break.  I need that mental break to recharge my physical and my mental, which potentially is more important than the physical.

Q.  You said it wasn't quite 24 hours between the two games.  Yesterday Andy was playing until 3:00 a.m.  Do you think something needs to be done about the organization at the tournament here and not have six games on the same court every day?
SERENA WILLIAMS:¬† From my understanding, you can ‑‑¬† I've always been under the impression you can change.¬† If I'm playing at 1:00 I might request to go to a smaller court.¬† So I don't know whose decision that was, if it was Andy's decision.¬† I cannot speak on that.
But from what I understand, if I was in that situation‑‑ I've been in that situation before and I've requested to play elsewhere so I don't have to start that late.

Q.  Were you dancing at the end when you put your racquet away?  You did a weird thing.
SERENA WILLIAMS:  To be continued.  Stay tuned to my Facebook page.

Q.  Are you feeling like the favorite for the tournament now?  You said no at the beginning, and now Sharapova is playing quite well, too.
SERENA WILLIAMS:¬† Yeah, I think Maria is playing well.¬† I saw her play today.¬† She's lost to Caroline the past two times and she's had a couple three‑setters.¬† She really picked up her level and game.
I don't know, right now I think she's probably a big favorite of winning this.  Yeah, she's playing great.

Q.  More than you?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  I mean, I'm still trying to do the best I can out there.  I'm going back and hitting some balls with my eyes closed wondering how they went in.  Just here on a hope and a prayer, to be honest.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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