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August 27, 2005

Serena Williams


THE MODERATOR: Serena and Jackie. Questions, please.

Q. I can't bring my dog in here. There's a sign outside there that says "No pets allowed." How did you get Jackie in?

SERENA WILLIAMS: She was my lucky charm in '99, so I got her back now.

Q. She eat any turkey lately?

SERENA WILLIAMS: (Smiling). She apologized. And when she saw the show, she was like, "Mommy..." She apologized again. We made up. So if she wants turkey, she asks now.

Q. Your clothing line, is it going to be in stores, is it in stores yet? Where can your fans buy your designs? Are they available yet?

SERENA WILLIAMS: No, we were hoping to come out in the spring of '06, so maybe we'll do something. But then I'm thinking maybe we should just wait and show it in February, show it in the New York shows in February here. So we're trying to decide. I'm a little nervous about getting into the shows because I really want it to be perfect. I'm taking my time.

Q. You said you always dreamed of winning this tournament and you finally did. What is it about this tournament that is so special for you aside from the fact that you won?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I just love it here. I love the crowd. You know what, I love this court. The center court for me is amazing. I have so many wonderful moments on center court. Just wonderful everything. For me, when I think back, I just think, you know, just about everything. I love the United States, I love being home, and there's no place like home.

Q. How are you feeling injury-wise?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I definitely feel like this is definitely as good as I've felt in a while. I'm hitting better than I have in two years, so I'm excited.

Q. Does it concern you at all you might have to face your sister so early in the tournament?

SERENA WILLIAMS: It was definitely a concern, a disappointment. But I think whoever wins that match -- I don't know. I'm just focusing on my first opponent. I'm not really looking that far ahead.

Q. Are you disappointed the electronic line call system is not in its later stages?

SERENA WILLIAMS: You know, I was able to talk with Jim Curley. We talked about a lot of stuff. I know that they were trying and they wanted to get involved. There was a lot of stuff, a lot of testing that has to be done. I know they use it in Team Tennis, which is really cool. It will be fun to see it - hopefully soon. It's definitely the future and it's going to come soon, it's just a matter of time now.

Q. This current injury, are you still getting therapy for it?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, of course. Every day I'm trying to make sure I stay in really good shape injury-wise, yeah.

Q. Can you define what the problem is.

SERENA WILLIAMS: I have a problem here and there and, you know, a little bit... I don't want to get too in it because every time I do, my physio gets upset with me. She's mean.

Q. Can you think back to the first time you were in the US Open. At what point for a young woman in the US Open does she know she's not playing just because she's happy to be there, but she's playing to win?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I don't know. For me, I knew I was going to win a week before; I just felt it. I said I was gonna win and I wasn't going to let anything stop me. So I don't know. I don't know what made me feel that way. I just was ready to play and be a competitor.

Q. Is it realistic for you to come in here thinking you can win the tournament with how few matches you've played since April? Are you just thinking, "I'm going match by match and hopefully maybe I can pick up some steam along the way"?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I'm just playing it match by match. I'm not thinking about winning or losing. I'm definitely not thinking about losing, because that's never been a big thought with me. I'm just playing, and I'm here and I'm happy to be here. Like I said, I'm hitting better than I have all year. It's actually been really positive.

Q. Outside of the hitting, movement-wise, we're in a tournament where you were saying you weren't moving very well. It's your first tournament since Wimbledon. Are you moving the way you want to be moving?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I'm moving much better. I'm obviously not moving as I normally do, but I'm almost there. Hopefully, I'll pick up steam later on in the second week. So, no, but I'm almost there.

Q. You said before you won the Open you had a sense you were going to win it a week before. We all have doubts. What was a time in your career you had the most doubts, and what did you do?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I guess recently I've had a few doubts because of my ankle sprain and the way it's affected my leg and my body. So that was, you know, that was a little wary for me. It was interesting to feel that way. But I don't know.

Q. How did the physical problem affect you?

SERENA WILLIAMS: It affected it pretty bad. It was like really nerve-wracking. Just coming off a big injury, so it was a little upsetting to have to deal with that.

Q. Your last match at the Open last year was not a very pleasant experience.


Q. Do you have any bad feelings about what happened here last year? Are you harboring any bad feelings?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I'm not. I got over it. It was important for me to get over it. I'm definitely not harboring any bad feelings, I just am feeling that hopefully won't happen again.

Q. The schedule's been set up so that you and Venus won't meet in the finals; is that correct?


Q. What do you think about that?

SERENA WILLIAMS: We're just playing each match at a time.

Q. Given how great the year started for you in Australia, thinking back, are you stunned at what happened later on?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Am I stunned of what happened, not really. I was kind of -- I was really excited to win the Australian because I didn't practice until I got to Australia. I was just -- I was just playing on heart and desire and just the abilities that I have. So stunned as to what happened afterwards, no, I think I would have been solid if I hadn't of twisted my ankle.

Q. What's your overall conditioning like now compared to when you were playing regularly?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, I'm doing well now. In Canada even though I wasn't moving that well, when the girl was moving me, I wasn't tired at all after the match. Physically and conditionally, I was just ready to keep moving. I'm fine.

Q. Stamina-wise, you feel like you're where you need to be?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Absolutely, yeah.

Q. How has your ankle problem affected your knee?

SERENA WILLIAMS: It definitely had an effect to it because I had to take time off, and then my muscle got a little weaker. I should have been working on it, but I didn't realize that that would happen, which is really naive of me. I don't know why I didn't realize that. But you live and you learn. So next time if I twist an ankle, I'm going to be in the gym working on my quad muscles and I wouldn't have to go through this.

Q. Do you think this year more than in previous years the field is more open? Are you interested in seeing how things will shake out?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I just hope I shake out of it and in the end I just feel -- I don't know. I haven't really thought about it or anything. I'm just focusing on me and playing my matches. Hopefully, I can play seven.

Q. Apart from your practice, what else have you been getting up to in New York?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, I've been here a couple days. I had to -- we unveiled a great line that I'm really excited about called "Flirt," which I'm doing -- I'm the guest creator for with Estee Lauder. I'm doing great lip glosses. It's really cool 'cause it comes in an unbelievable palette, like a chain that you can wear around your neck. It's really exciting. It's going to come out in the spring. Three great colors. I had a couple appearances with Florco, another one of my sponsors. That was really exciting, too. I love working with them. What else have I done? "Today Show" and some other things here and there. I can't remember too much. I'm really excited about Florco and Flirt. That's really exciting.

Q. Are you a good flirt?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I am (smiling). I can write a book about it (laughing).

Q. What's the intro to the book? You open it up and laugh and giggle?

SERENA WILLIAMS: No, not at all. That's not the best way to do it. I wouldn't recommend it. That can definitely shoo people away. It's just some things you say. It's fun. I'm never really serious, you know, so... You say some things, you use little sly looks. I'm not going to get into that anyway.

Q. Has Sharapova gifted you with a sample of her new perfume?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Oh? No, not yet.

Q. You knew about it?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I didn't know about it. Oh, cool.

Q. I was speaking with the father of a young black player. He said he battled with his son's credentials, hasn't been able to get the sponsorship deals he thought he would. Did you experience that during your career? Do you think race plays any factor in that?

SERENA WILLIAMS: You know what, I believe that I was very fortunate and blessed in my life. I had a great father with a great dream. I had a great -- and he had a great, like, ability to get the attention. I had, you know, just great parents in general who kept me -- my mom kept me really balanced. That's why I'm not out going crazy and doing crazy things, 'cause she was able to keep myself and my sister there. We've been incredibly blessed to have the opportunities we've had, but nothing comes to anyone if you don't work hard. For me, I had to work really hard. I have to work hard to get everything that I have. Nothing comes for free. I just think if you work hard and have it, everything will come running to you, that's for sure.

End of FastScripts….

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