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August 16, 2005

Serena Williams


THE MODERATOR: Questions for Serena, please.

Q. Tell me about toughing out that match.

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, it was pretty tough for me to be out there today. I don't know, I just played, and now I'm here.

Q. Was it physical? Was it tough getting into the match?

SERENA WILLIAMS: She hit a very weird ball. She had like a lot of spin. When the ball bounced, it was way above my head. It was definitely a little tough physically out there, as well.

Q. What is the status of your knee and ankle?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Ankle's good. But I'm just dealing with some issues with my knee because of my ankle. Since it went bad, my ankle, my knee got a little weak - well, weaker than it has been in the past. So I just don't feel like I'm doing well.

Q. How did you prepare for this tournament?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I prepared really hard actually. I was actually practicing way better than I was playing. I actually practiced for like three weeks every day, which is a lot for me, just on and off the court as well.

Q. Is the achy knee something that might affect you later this week? Is it serious in that regard?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I'm going to have my therapist look at it because I might have tweaked it a little bit when I sprained my ankle. While I was trying to recover that part of my body, like I said, my knee just got a little weaker than I had expected. In match play it's totally different because I'm doing different things that I can't do in practice, and I'm not playing matches in practice.

Q. It was nothing specific you did? There wasn't a singular play out there tonight where you hurt it?

SERENA WILLIAMS: No, not at all. It was before.

Q. Is there any concern you might have to withdraw because of the injury from this tournament?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Like I said, I'm going to talk with my therapist and see what the best thing for me to do. The way I felt tonight, I didn't feel very good at all. I wasn't even moving to any balls. I have tomorrow off, so maybe that can help. But I have to see what my therapist says.

Q. I know it might be too early for this, but...


Q. One set and 2-Love, how did you manage to change the pace and the game?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I don't know (laughter). I was playing so bad. She was playing really good. She was moving very well actually. I played her before. She plays good when she's down. It seems like when she's down, she wants to come back and play good on some points. I don't know. I was down and out, and I just was so angry, I wanted to crack every racquet, but I didn't do it. That's a plus.

Q. Is the knee new since Wimbledon?


Q. You tweaked it and it was bothering you a bit at Wimbledon, as well?

SERENA WILLIAMS: It was a little bit, like just because of the ankle issues, because it all kind of goes into play. It's all in the same leg, so...

Q. Is it about the same now as it was at Wimbledon?

SERENA WILLIAMS: No, it's better now.

Q. Does it have any relation to the surgery?

SERENA WILLIAMS: No, not at all. It's just because I had surgery on this leg before. After surgery, I got it really, really strong. I was playing well in the beginning of the year. When I injured my ankle, my leg, even after surgery, was still weaker than my right leg. I injured my ankle on my left leg, unfortunately. That happened to be the leg that I had surgery on my knee. When I wasn't moving and working out on my legs, I lost a lot of the strength that I had to build up in that area. So just the muscle tone over there, I just need a little extra strength in it.

Q. Does where you're from and what your background is manifest who you are on the court?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Not tonight. But I must say that sometimes it does. It definitely does. Sometimes I'll think about all the people myself and my sister have an impact on. I always say I'm playing for myself, but in the back of my mind I feel that there's a lot of people that live vicariously through us and never had an opportunity. We were fortunate enough to have great parents just who supported us with our careers. So I think about that every now and then - but not tonight.

Q. You mentioned you were having trouble getting to the ball, with your mobility. Do you attribute that strictly to your knee and ankle problems or is it also because you haven't played a match in a while?

SERENA WILLIAMS: No, I've been actually working really hard off court. I've been doing a lot of different things. It just felt weird. I think maybe I was just tired today. I don't know. Like I said in the beginning, I'm going to have to consult Ms. Brooks.

Q. Monica Seles was in here yesterday talking about how she just isn't ready to come back because she isn't the way she envisions herself. She wants to be the top 10 player. How frustrating is it to you that you can't be who you are on every shot?

SERENA WILLIAMS: That is frustrating. I can understand. She wants to come back?

Q. Not right now. She doesn't want to come back until she's ready, if at all.

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, uhm, I don't envision -- oh, yeah. I forgot the question.

Q. Just your own experience, how frustrating is it that you can't be at the level you had been at? Is that a concern as far as future tournaments?

SERENA WILLIAMS: It is disappointing to go out there and be like, "Gosh, a couple months ago I would have got that shot." That kind of gets a little upsetting. I guess you have to work through it sometimes.

End of FastScripts….

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