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June 29, 2004

Serena Williams


THE MODERATOR: Serena for you.

Q. Those aces, did you feel like Ivanisevic or Pete Sampras?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Definitely, I didn't think about it when I was out there. I mean, hopefully I'm feeling like Pete Sampras, for sure.

Q. Is that the best you've played so far? If so, what do you think lifted you to that performance?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I really didn't think I played well today. I thought I wasn't moving, and I thought I didn't do some things that I wanted to do, so... Uhm, but, I don't know.

Q. What didn't you do that you wanted to do?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I wanted to, you know, come in a little more, you know, just move the ball around a little more. But I don't know. I guess I can't complain too much, huh?

Q. Is part of that facing someone you haven't played before?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Definitely, yeah. I didn't know her game at all, so coming in there blind.

Q. What did you think of her game?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I think she has a decent game. I think she has a really strong serve. Yeah, I think she has a good game actually.

Q. Do you feel like that gear is there when you need it; you just haven't been pushed?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I definitely think it's there when I need it. I mean, hopefully I serve better when I need it. When I need the big points, I try to come out with a bigger serve - not necessarily bigger, but a better-placed serve.

Q. Seems like as soon as she broke you, you won 17 straight points after that. I guess that's having the gear when you need it.

SERENA WILLIAMS: That is definitely having the gear. I didn't even know that. That's pretty good. Yea!

Q. Do you feel the prematch tension when you face Capriati, as you will be in the next round?

SERENA WILLIAMS: No, not at all.

Q. Does it seem like a rivalry to you?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, it's good. I think we definitely have a nice rivalry going on - solid, you know. So it's definitely good. You know, I like it.

Q. Given there have been ratings problems in the United States with tennis.

SERENA WILLIAMS: What problems?

Q. TV ratings problems. The lowest for many years. How important do you think it is that there should be maybe an all-American final, if that's possible this year?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I mean, if it's possible, that would be great. But, uhm, I mean, I don't know. I really haven't been paying to the stats of how the ratings have been going in America concerning the tennis.

Q. Your dad says Wimbledon in particular could benefit from a bit more razzmatazz, more singing and dancing, pom-pom girls while you sit down and have a break. What do you make of that?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, if I was a pom-pom girl, it would be fun.

Q. I agree with that, too. But does Wimbledon need a bit of jazzing up? Is it a bit dull?

SERENA WILLIAMS: No, I love it. I love the atmosphere here. I liked actually was it People's Sunday?

Q. Yes.

SERENA WILLIAMS: It was a completely different atmosphere. It was different crowd. And actually I really enjoyed that. So I think that could be, you know, better.

Q. Perhaps if they had more days where they could just let everybody in?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I really think that would be good. That would be fun.

Q. Fewer posh people, do you think?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yes. That would be a lot of fun.

Q. Is there a tennis player in today's game that you would pay to see, to watch play?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I would definitely want to watch Roger Federer and Andy Roddick. I mean, Roger is just like unbelievable. His game is so smooth. He's just so perfect out there. And Andy's really exciting to watch. He's, you know, really fun. I like his antics.

Q. You have a talent for fashion, we all know, but what is your comment about how the women's dressing is going on the circuit?

SERENA WILLIAMS: It's definitely picked up. I think the girls are coming out with better outfits. It's definitely more better than it was, you know, five years ago.

Q. Do you feel limited in your fashion here? Do you feel like you could wear a white cat suit here? Have you thought about that?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I should do that. I should bring that back. That was a popular hit (smiling).

Q. At this year's tournament, McEnroe said he could beat either you or Venus. Martina said Venus should get a coach. There was a screw-up with the tiebreak, the call. At so many majors going back to the bump, beads fall out, and so forth, there seems to be a brouhaha that relates to you or Venus. Could you comment on that?

SERENA WILLIAMS: What do you mean?

Q. I mean, an issue that's a cause for upset, attention, a controversy, small or large, like Justine at the French was another example. Everywhere you go, either the match is fixed. It seems at so many majors there's an upset, a brouhaha focusing on you or Venus. Could you reflect on that, please?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, I don't know. I honestly can't answer that question really, to be honest with you. It's just some things happen sometimes, I mean, whether it's the beads or the bump. That was the biggest blow-up I think yet. But, I mean, I honestly can't answer that. I don't know. I never even thought about all that attention or the brouhaha, as you would say, over us, I mean, if there's something controversial that happens.

Q. You spoke of what you like in Roger Federer and Andy Roddick's game. How about Jennifer Capriati's game? When you look at it from a technical standpoint, what's most impressive to you?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I think she's a great athlete. I mean, you don't see many athletes like that. She can just, you know, hit any ball at any spot and just make it. You know, she's a really good athlete.

Q. Then when you compare your style with hers, what do you see as the biggest similarities and biggest differences?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I think we're both really good athletes out there. We really are able to contort our bodies and just make the shots. Even if we're in the wrong position, we're able to get different balls. You know, just pure athleticism out there.

Q. What did you think when you saw the 126 on the clock?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I was really excited. I was like, "Whoa!"

Q. How important is it to your confidence to come out of this tournament a winner?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I think it's just important for me to stay focused. Just coming out this tournament a winner in myself whether I actually win the tournament or not, it's important for me to always have that confidence in myself and know that I can win this tournament if I put my mind to it.

Q. Was there a moment where you and Jennifer kind of patched things up? I know two or three years ago it didn't seem as maybe friendly as it is now off the court.

SERENA WILLIAMS: I mean, I never had a problem with Jennifer ever, I think. I don't know, I think it was more or less you guys who perceived -- I know it was a particular commentator, for a fact, an American commentator lady that said - but I won't mention any names - but she said that, you know, "You can just see that they don't like each other." It was really never. I'm always professional. I never had a problem with Jennifer. And, you know, when I was younger, I used to watch her, and I admired her being able to come back, do so well, win those Grand Slams. You know, you can really see now that she's really happy and she's enjoying herself out there. I never knock anyone for being happy. I don't know where that really came from.

Q. The last few years, you and year sister have been here together all the way to the final. What's different about not having her there with you?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, it's like kind of stressful because it's like all attention's on me now from like my mom and my dad. They're like, you know... Usually, I kind of slack off, you know, let them talk to Venus, and I'm just in the background just chilling or whatever. Now it's like they're totally focused on me. It's like, "Okay, calm down."

Q. What's the next casting call you've got for TV or film?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I don't know. I'll have to talk to my agent.

Q. There is another player who has incredible talent, seems like maybe the most talented without a major, Amelie Mauresmo. Does it surprise you that she hasn't broken through at the major level yet?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I mean, I don't know. It's just always a matter of time, just a matter of making that one shot maybe. You know, she's had a couple good chances, but she's ran -- I mean, honestly, I don't think anyone could have beat Elena Dementieva that day when she lost to her at the French. I just think she was playing out of her mind. It's just unfortunate at times.

Q. Was that like the biggest serve you ever hit? Did it feel like it?

SERENA WILLIAMS: It was definitely the biggest I've ever hit. I was excited. I was like, "Yeah!"

Q. In 1998 when you won the mixed doubles with Max Mirnyi. There's been talk about you visiting Africa. You are so busy these days. I know your mom has been to Ghana and South Africa. How does this still stand in your priority to visit Africa?

SERENA WILLIAMS: We're getting closer and closer. You know, right now it's on the top of my priority, is just to get over there and just be there. I think it will be good for my history, as well.

Q. Your mind's at ease about the security for the Olympics now that you've committed to go?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I mean, I don't know. We're going to meet with the USTA over the next couple weeks and we're going to talk about some different issues security-wise. You know, we're going to get together and we're all going to talk about how we feel about it. We'll go from there.

Q. Did anything have to be done in advance to secure your agreement to participate? Did you concerns?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I had concerns, but I got letters from the ambassadors, different people, so it was really able to kind of ease it. But, you know, there's a lot of stuff going on in the world right now, so we always have to just be careful.

Q. What would mean more to you, winning an Oscar one day with your acting career or having another Wimbledon?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, right now I really want to win Wimbledon. That's most important. And kind of if you win an Oscar, it's like a jinx, too. Yeah, it's like you can't really beat that. You can always win Wimbledons.

Q. Are you limited in what you can wear here because of the dress code?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah. I had something really, really super sexy, but they wouldn't let me wear it.

Q. Can you describe it?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I won't describe it. Maybe they'll let me wear it next year.

End of FastScripts….

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