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May 28, 2015

Serena Williams


S. WILLIAMS/A. Friedsam
5-7, 6-3, 6-3

THE MODERATOR: Questions in English.

Q. After a day like this, do you feel more relieved or a little frustrated still?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Definitely a little bit of both. Probably more frustrated than relieved, but I know I'm capable of playing great tennis, just haven't seen it yet.

Q. What, if anything, concerns you the most about the way you played out there today?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I don't know. I don't really want to reflect too much on that. I feel like one thing Venus always tells me: A win is a win, and as long as you live to survive the next day, you can always improve. I know my level is literally a hundred times better than I played today, so I think I take more solace in the fact I can play better as opposed to the fact that that's the best I could play. Then I would be in trouble.

Q. You had more trouble with your serve than we're used to seeing. What was causing that?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, I haven't been serving a lot, you know, because of my injury. So hopefully, you know, I'm not hitting it as normal as I want to, and, you know, with as much confidence as I normally do. So I'm just trying to play that into my game right now. I'm not using it so much as a weapon. So hopefully it will get better.

Q. Does having a match like that where you sort of think you can't play much worse and survive relax you at all?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Pretty much. I definitely don't think it could go worse than that. I'm just happy I was able to get through that, because I have played some horrible matches and lost them. I honestly thought for a second, I wasn't sure I could win today because the level I played was not professional. So I was quite concerned about that. Being able to get through that really is pretty good, I guess.

Q. What's your mindset when you are down a set and playing this badly at a tournament that you've looked forward to since -- I mean, obviously since winning Australia this was the next one?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, to be honest, I lost a couple of sets in the beginning in Australia, and I thought about that and that kind of calmed me. And I thought, it's not the end of the world, you lost the first set twice, maybe more, when I played Australia this year. So I thought, if anything, just stay calm. You still have to win two sets and just go from there.

Q. In your career you have played a lot of players that you don't really know, that come in that have nothing to lose against you. So when you're in that situation, you know, what goes through your head or do you tell yourself something different these days when you're, you know, playing someone you don't know, they have nothing to lose and you find yourself not playing at your best level?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah. No, I just feel like now I don't have anything to lose either. Like if I'd have lost that match I still would have Wimbledon in a few weeks. So it's a different mindset for me, as well. Like, you know, I reached, you know, 18. Then I reached 19. And now I'm looking to get 20. But, you know, I feel like I'm totally capable of doing that if not here, you know, the next two or three or four whatever Grand Slams, I still have time. If I don't get it, you know, I don't think I'm going to be very depressed about not reaching 20 when you have 19. I think having that has really been able to calm me down in general and been able to make me be able to play better.

Q. Rafa, when he was just in here, said sort of the opposite, he said when he won at 18, his first Roland Garros, he went back to the hotel and said to himself, wow, just won one of the biggest titles ever. All the pressure is off. But each year he comes back the pressure gets more and more. It's interesting you have a different take on it.
SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, he's won a lot here and I haven't. Maybe if I win every year like him then people would expect me to win, too. But it's not the same.

Q. Are your expectations here still obviously lower than they would be at the other three Grand Slams? You have I think only made it to the semifinals here once in the last 10 years. So is it something where you understand or accept that the bar you set for yourself is at all lower in Paris?
SERENA WILLIAMS: No, I never set the bar low for myself. That means I accept defeat, and I never accept defeat. I think you have to be mentally ready and prepared for anything. And I'm not ever going to put myself in a position where I say I'm not good enough, because I know I am.

Q. Could you look ahead to your next match for us and what you expect in the third round?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, it will be a tough match, obviously. We had a really tough match in Madrid. So I do know if I play the way I did today, I probably won't be winning my match. So I'm going to have to step it up a level. Probably just get out, start up better and be more relaxed and go from there. But it's definitely not going to be easy, but, you know, at the end of the day it is what it is. I'm ready.

Q. What do you make of how your rivalry with her has shaped up? She's given you more tough matches than any other top players.
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I think so. I think out of all the top players she's, for whatever reason, has given me particularly some troubles. But, you know, she's great at what she does. She fights hard and never gives up, and she's really feisty. And I think that's obviously why she's been able to be a Grand Slam champion, not just on one occasion. So, I mean, yeah, those players aren't always the easiest to play, but they also get you excited to play those matches and to be ready for that.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports
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