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May 30, 2015

Serena Williams


S. WILLIAMS/V. Azarenka
3-6, 6-4, 6-2

THE MODERATOR: Questions in English.

Q. Where do you put that one on your list of matches you played on that court?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I put that one pretty high, because I was just really down and out in that match, and I just feel like, you know, I just really zeroed in. I really focused and I really wanted to win that.

Q. Vika was in here before. Was pretty upset about the call late in the second set that the point was replayed. How did you see that whole point playing out? What did you think of how it was handled by everyone?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, I mean, in that situation, it's hard to say what -- it's always up to the umpire. I was hitting the ball, I was calling, I was looking at the umpire, calling it out, he called it out. I didn't obviously hit -- what?

Q. (Indiscernible.)
SERENA WILLIAMS: He did a late call, he called it out, he didn't put his arm out until like five minutes later. But yeah, I mean, this is tennis. This happens all the time. You know, I -- I even said, no, don't worry, the ball is in, we'll just replay the point. So for me, it was like, this happens all the time, every day in tennis.

Q. Congratulations are in order because you're also the first woman in the Open era to achieve 50 wins on all four slams, four majors. What does that mean to you?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I don't understand that, because it's just weird to me, because, you know, I was thinking, are you sure Martina didn't do it or Chrissie Evert? Yeah, that's just strange. But I feel good about it. I feel if I can win another match at the French Open, I will be the first to hit 51, this year and next year, so it's kind of how I look at it.

Q. If at all, how did the match you played against Vika factor in three weeks ago, where you were down as well, and today you were down a break in the second set and third set, did it factor in at all?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I think it factored in a lot for her. I feel like she was able to play a lot better than she did in Madrid. And, you know, I think this match will definitely help me out for the next time I have to play her.

Q. You said after your last match that you weren't happy with your performance. I think perhaps your serving in particular. How did you feel about it tonight? Does your arm/elbow feel okay now?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I hit a 202 tonight, so I was like, uh-oh, I'm trying to come back. So yeah, I was really disappointed with my last match. I knew I couldn't play like that against someone like Vika, it would be impossible to win. Even though I lost the first set, I told myself, well, at least you're playing better than I did in my second-round match, because would have lost so easy had I played that same way. I think overall, it was definitely better. It's definitely a step in the right direction. And I just want -- I really want to be here.

Q. Vika was talking about some sort of an instant replay, not Hawk-Eye, but for controversial calls for umpires, some sort of video replay. She thought that would be good for controversial calls. What's your take on that? Your exchange at the net, there was sort of the hand wave. Did you guys exchange words or what was going on?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I would agree. I think that would be really cool, because sometimes you may or may not foot fault (smiling) and that instant replay on that foot fault. So, yeah. And obviously other things, as well. I think it could definitely not only be fun for the fans, but as well be helpful for the players to have that kind of instant replay thing. I think that's a really great idea.

Q. As you can probably imagine, your sort of exchange at the net there went around social media like wildfire. It looked as though, you know, you said, Don't give me the hand. Could you remember what you said in that particular moment? Because it's all over Twitter.
SERENA WILLIAMS: Oh, well, you know, Vika and I are really close, we really get along. We have this great relationship. So I was like, you know, she knows me. You know me, like I'm -- you don't win Grand Slams by being unethical. I'm a really ethical player. So I was just like, eh...

Q. Vika said you liked her outfit so much she gave you a piece of it. Is that a common post-match occurrence?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, like I said, Vika and I are really close. We text each other. She's a really, really good person. I really like her. I'm obsessed with her outfit. I told her, God, I love those shorts. So she gave me a pair. She promised me a pair, and she gave me a pair. No, I mean, we talked about this a long time ago. We said, we're going to leave everything on the court, we're going to give 500% and when we're off the court, we'll be really cool. I love that relationship, because, you know, she's a really fun girl, she's a fun person. It's good to kind of have that. It's not often that you can have that with someone. So it's cool.

Q. Obviously your focus at this point is the games that you have at hand. But obviously tournament directors are here trying to approach your manager and you to come to other tournaments. Your sister Venus has been successful in New Zealand at the ASB Classic. Is there any chance we could be seeing you there in the future?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, Venus always talks about New Zealand, how nice it was, and how they really want me to go there. I'm like, I really kind of want to go there, too. My whole thing is towards the twilight of my career is to go places I have never been. I have never been to New Zealand, so hopefully we'll see what happens.

Q. When you play at that time of the day and the shadows are wandering over the court, does it influence you?
SERENA WILLIAMS: No. It does usually at like other tournaments when the sun is a lot brighter. But the sun wasn't so bright today. I thought, oh, my god, the shadow is going to be a big problem. It actually wasn't at all because it wasn't so bright out there.

Q. The young ones got to next week. Talk about Jack Sock and Sloane and how long they have been playing and your thoughts overall.
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, it's great. Jack Sock, I saw him, you know, he had a good win his first-round match and then he won again today. It's consistent. I feel like his game is really good on clay. I feel like he would love the surface. Sloane, she's doing great. I saw her in the locker room the other day before her match. She seems really excited to be doing really well. I'm excited for her. It's good that we are still alive here.

Q. I think this is the fourth year in a row that Sloane has made the fourth round here. What makes her game so good on clay? She seems to play really well in Paris every year.
SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, she has a great game. She's incredibly fast, so it's going to be really hard to hit a winner on her. She's patient, then she's patient, so she's able to kind of stay out there a long time. She has a perfect game for, not only clay, just I think for a lot of surfaces.

Q. A lot was made of your relationship with Sloane back in 2013, whether or not you were her mentor or role model. How would you sum up where your relationship is with her at this point?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I mean, I don't know. I just feel like, you know, I'm, like I have always said from day one, I always root for her and see another African-American doing well. I think she's super cute, so I always root for her.

Q. I think Vika is still 27 in the world right now. Where do you think her ranking in terms of quality of play really is after the two matches that you have played against her?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I think she's definitely a top 5 player. I feel like she's playing really well. She knows how to be a champion. I still think that she can come back and be one of the best or if not "the" best in the world. You know, it's just getting there is sometimes hard, but she's been there before. When you've been there and you know what it's like, you kind of want to get back.

Q. Another American player lost today, Madison Keys. Came in with high praise. Where do you see her on clay?
SERENA WILLIAMS: She's been playing really well. You win some; you lose some. You can't just say I see her doing this or I see her doing that. I just see her being a great player and I know she will be a great player, for sure.

Q. Since we are asking about a lot of other players, I know you have been watching Rafa and you admire what he's done here and what he can do in the future. How do you see if he does meet Novak next week, how do you see that going?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I'm just focused on me winning a match here, you know. It seems to be very difficult. You know, I think everyone kind of is amazed at what he's done and what he has the potential to do. I always say, like, if he doesn't do it this year, there is always next year and the next year. He has a lot of opportunities to make incredible history. I think kind of like a lot of people are rooting for him to do that, because it's really once-in-a-lifetime opportunity where you can see that and not only that kind of play alongside someone with that -- such a great champion.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports
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