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June 25, 2005

Serena Williams


THE MODERATOR: Serena Williams for you.

Q. How are you feeling after that?


Q. Yeah?


Q. Could you elaborate for us.


Q. Can you tell us what you thought about your game today.

SERENA WILLIAMS: I can't use those words.

Q. It's not like you to not be able to -- you're very articulate normally.

SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, the words that I can only use are all foul. It wouldn't be proper for me to use those words.

Q. Would it be fair to say that you were not in the highest fitness when you came here, not just in terms of injury, but in terms of match play, and came out and had three very rough outings with some rust on you that you never really got rid of?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I guess I had a lot of rust. I just didn't play well today. I mean, the other days I kind of played through it and the second and third set I got better. But today I just -- I didn't do anything right.

Q. This is a more veteran player today than the first two players you played. She knows how to keep the ball in play and make you hit one more shot.

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, and I just kept making errors, so...

Q. Overall, not just this match, but the week, did you make a mistake coming here, or do you think it's been worth it?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I think I was better off staying home, to be honest. For sure.

Q. Are you concerned that you've set back, apart from not doing as well as you would want to do here, are you concerned you set back your cause here and aggravating niggles that you've had?

SERENA WILLIAMS: No, I didn't set back anything physically.

Q. Given that you did come in here without much match play and that you were hurt, why the extreme disappointment right now?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Because I shouldn't have lost this match. I didn't play a good match enough today.

Q. What do you think your opponent did well?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I think she just got balls back. She didn't do anything -- she didn't have to do anything exceptionally well today. She just pretty much had to show up and I just -- I couldn't win a service game in the first set. Then it was just downhill.

Q. You've had tough losses before and it's not that common for you to come in tearful. Were you putting a lot on this tournament or why so much emotion?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Oh, uhm... I don't want to answer that right now.

Q. How difficult was it out there with the fading light and being able to see the ball?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Hold on. Give me a second (tearing up). It was... excuse me. It was pretty difficult. I mean, it wasn't that bad, though. I could kind of see the ball.

Q. Did all the hanging around today and the late change of court, did that help at all? Did that add to the frustration of the day?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I need a tissue because my eyes are watering. I think that, uhm... thank you. It's a hankie. I think that didn't have a factor because she had to wait around as well. So, I mean, we kind of were both in the same situation, so it wasn't like that was why I lost or something. It had nothing to do with it.

Q. Is there something going on outside of tennis that's upsetting you, or is it just that you're upset about losing the match?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Oh, no, not really. I just don't -- I've never been one to lose well, I should say. But, not anymore, no.

Q. Is part of being upset because you actually did fight hard, you fought real hard in that second set, you clawed yourself back into the tiebreak and it looked like you were on the verge of turning it back around?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Uhm, no. I think it's just -- I hate to waste time, and I worked pretty hard the last week or so, but I guess you got to work more than a week, you know. But I just think that I'm just used to winning these kind of matches and I just -- it's hard when you go out there and you can't make a shot and you've been making them for years. It's like, it's a battle.

Q. The competition out there right now is so intense in the Top 10. Do you think that you need to go back...

SERENA WILLIAMS: I didn't hear the first part of your question.

Q. The competition is so intense. We're not talking about a Jill Craybas, we're talking about Russians, Belgians, a lot of good players.

SERENA WILLIAMS: I definite think so. I definitely think it's important for me to practice harder than what I have been. I've never been big on practicing. I've kind of just been all about playing. I love getting out there and playing matches, so I think I'm going to have to do a little more practicing.

Q. Do you think other players are outworking you right now in training sessions?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I don't know. I know that I work really hard, and I know I put in the time that's necessary. But I think there's some places that I can work harder at.

Q. Obviously, your sister is going to play the same opponent. Just wondering what you think Venus' chances are in this tournament and also to really sort of make a statement again at a major?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I think Venus is playing well here. I think she's going to, obviously -- I'm not trying to be negative on my opponent or anything, but I think Venus will pretty much win the next round and go from there.

Q. Her form has been, you know, sort of up and down. She's played some great patches and then not-so-great patches. Do you think she's playing at a level to go far and win this title?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I'd like to believe that she is. I think maybe she's feeling her way through.

Q. How hard will it be for you to watch? Will you watch her play on Monday? That was a match everyone was sort of gearing up for you two to play each other.

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I don't -- I mean, if I'm here, I'll watch. If not, I don't watch her on TV. I get too nervous.

Q. Do you plan to stay and watch? You don't know yet?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I don't know yet. I just -- I don't know yet.

Q. Did your left leg or ankle affect your mobility?

SERENA WILLIAMS: No, it didn't at all. I just -- no, not at all. No.

Q. Do you think you'll fight back and by the time of the US Open we'll see a tiger out there?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Sorry... I thought I had to sneeze. But, yeah, for sure. I definitely... sorry. Okay. I feel I have to sneeze and it keeps going away and coming back. I definitely feel by US Open I'll be in hopefully a lot better shape. Obviously, I'll be practicing until then. I definitely think I'll be ready for that.

Q. Do you think you'll practice hard before Palo Alto or take a lot of time off and start regrouping at that point?

SERENA WILLIAMS: No, I definitely will be practicing before then as well. I mean, as soon as tomorrow comes, I think I should be on the court. Not just on the court, but just working just out in general.

Q. I know it's pretty recent after the loss today, but does this kind of loss make you reflect on your mix of both tennis and off-court things and how you balance all those?


Q. Still going to Moscow?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Oh, I forgot about Moscow.

Q. Sorry.

SERENA WILLIAMS: So much, so many things on the schedule, so much to look forward to.

Q. Given how well you've played at this tournament in particular, how bizarre is it for you not to make the second week?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Hmm... it's really strange for me. I'm not used to going out so early in general. This is like a first for me in for ever... long time. Like, I don't know, last time I lost in the third round I think was 1998 so, that I can remember.

Q. At a Slam, you mean?


Q. Of a Slam, you mean?


Q. Do you think you needed this to just kind of --

SERENA WILLIAMS: No. No, no, no. Not at all.

Q. At the start of the tournament you said, I mean, you went through your injuries that you had and the really short preparation, but you still expressed confidence that now that you're here, that you could compete and that you'd -- that you had a shot. Do you think, looking back now, that was a misplaced confidence, to think you could come here and think you could win here after such interrupted preparation?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I don't think so at all. I have been having great practices. It's just I was really off today and I didn't play the way I normally can play. Even if I'm playing bad, I normally play better than this. So that wasn't the case of being filled with aplomb or anything. I just think today was a bad day for me.

End of FastScripts….

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