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June 25, 2004

Serena Williams


THE MODERATOR: Serena Williams for you.

Q. You talked in Paris about how sometimes you start thinking about dinner plans during matches. Is that what happened in the second set today?

SERENA WILLIAMS: No, not at all. I think I just -- I mean, I don't know. She was playing good I think the whole match, from the first point. So I just kind of slacked off maybe a little bit, you know, lost my serve there.

Q. How do you feel you played overall?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I think I played really well in the first set. But there are still some things I want to try to work on. So I'm getting better.

Q. What was your reaction to what happened with the call in Venus' match in the tiebreaker yesterday?

SERENA WILLIAMS: To be honest with you, I didn't watch the match because I was at home and I can't watch her on TV. I get too nervous.

Q. Knowing what happened, if you were in the shoes of Venus' opponent, if you were confronted in a situation where you were given a free point, how would you have reacted? What should be the reaction?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I think as a competitor and as a professional, you should be able to distinguish right and wrong. But, you know, I'm not here to talk about Venus.

Q. What is your reaction to the umpire being dismissed from any action in the rest of the tournament?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, you know, I think he -- I don't know. Like I said, I didn't see it. It's just obviously, you know, unfortunate.

Q. Have you ever been in a situation like that, where the umpire or player lost track of the score?

SERENA WILLIAMS: No, I've never been in a situation like that before. But, you know, I'm an honest individual. So if I were in that situation, I know I would make the right choice.

Q. Do you feel the biggest threat to you winning here at Wimbledon again is maybe not somebody else, but maybe you not performing to the best of your ability like you can do?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I think so. I think that's always an issue. I think I can only pretty much beat myself these days. For the first time, I'm really feeling really well about -- you know, physically. And so, I'm almost at that stage where the way I lose is just to beat myself.

Q. There was a point in the match, I think you could have gone 4-1 down. You sort of pulled up a couple of big shots there. Can you give us an idea what was going through your mind at that point?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Oh, I mean, now when I'm down breakpoints, it's like I really am able to stay calm. I say to myself, "Well, all I have to do here is just hit a nice shot, just hit a serve, stay focused, just stay calm." And usually when I do that, it works.

Q. And the crowd out there, as well, one of the biggest cheers is when your opponent actually got her first game on the board after a half an hour. How do you sort of read that?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, I think it was just, you know -- whenever anyone wins a first set 6-Love and then their opponent gets a first game, they're up 6-Love, 3-Love, whatever the case may be, whenever the other person gets a game, doesn't matter where you are, there's always a big roar because, you know, they kind of feel sorry for the other player sometimes.

Q. Are you disappointed that Henin and Clijsters aren't in this draw?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I haven't really, to be honest, even thought about them. I'm really focused on me right now.

Q. Would you consider yourself a strong favorite for this title, in your mind?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I consider myself a favorite to just go out there and do the best I can, and that's how I have to look at it.

Q. You're a member of the All England Club because you've won here. Have you taken advantage of any of the benefits? Does it give you a special feeling walking around?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I haven't taken advantage of any of the benefits. I never really come to Wimbledon except for during Wimbledon. But, you know, I feel, you know, honored because I know there's a waiting list, for sure.

Q. How odd is it, if at all, to have to console Venus in a time like this while you're still competing?

SERENA WILLIAMS: " Odd." I think she has to console me more than anything. I think I'm upset more than she is.

Q. It never gets old, in other words, when either one of you lose and the other one is still in the tournament?

SERENA WILLIAMS: No. I mean, obviously we hope the other one will win, because we put all our hopes and all our spirit and energy towards whoever is left in the tournament.

Q. Can you elaborate on the statement you made a minute ago, that you're more upset than she is?

SERENA WILLIAMS: No, I'm not able to elaborate. I'm sorry (laughter).

Q. What was she like after the match? She handled things in a very quiet way here. What was she like beyond this room?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, you guys saw her after the match, right? So...

Q. I assume you saw her after she left the grounds.

SERENA WILLIAMS: You should never assume (laughter).

Q. A lot of people yesterday were saying Venus doesn't appear to have that spark that she had maybe in 2000, '01. Do you see it? Is it just a matter of coming back from everything you two had to come back from at the end of last year?

SERENA WILLIAMS: To be honest with you, I think Venus has had unbelievable spark and unbelievable desire. You know, I think she's playing really well. I mean, she works really hard. So I think, if anything, she's just a really strong person - stronger than I am, for sure.

Q. What does it say about her, the way she handled that defeat and the circumstances yesterday?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, it just says, you know, how she's always been, I mean, from the beginning of her career, since the infamous "bump" until now. She's always been a person that handled herself with complete aplomb and self-assurance, you know, just high standards, very confident individual, very classy individual.

Q. You've described how you would have handled it if you were in Karolina Sprem's shoes. How would you have handled it if you were in your sister's shoes yesterday?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I never described how I would have handled it if I was in the other girl's shoes.

Q. Well, you responded sort of about that. How would you have handled it if you were in Venus' shoes?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I mean, I don't know. Hopefully I won't have the opportunity to be in her shoes because it's just not something I want to be in right now, you know. You can never really say what you're going to do unless you're actually in the situation. It's kind of weird to say.

Q. Does having her out of the draw make you want to take on a little bit extra to help make sure that a Williams gets through and maybe carry some of her hopes with you?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Of course. Of course.

Q. You are into fashion design. Did you study fashion design in college or dressmaking?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I went to school for three years.

Q. What is your qualification or degree?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I'm working on my Associate's.

Q. Martina suggested that her and Karolina's win yesterday went a lot to show there is, in fact, a lot of depth in women's tennis. Is that a statement you would agree with?


Q. Martina said her first-round appearance here, her win, then yesterday the fact that Venus was beaten showed that in women's tennis there is depth right the way down the rankings.

SERENA WILLIAMS: I can't answer that. I was unaware that Venus was beaten. I'm sorry. I can't answer any more questions about that subject either, because if you have any other questions to ask me, please, but don't ask me any more about the match or else you'll hear, "Bleep, bleep."

Q. Tomorrow the Olympic torch will be here at Wimbledon. Will you come out and watch it?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Is it at Wimbledon?

Q. Yes. Starts here at Centre Court.

SERENA WILLIAMS: Oh, wow. Depends on what I'm time I play. I'm sure I play tomorrow because I've only played two matches. Unfortunately, I have to be focused on trying to be that Williams sister that's still in the tournament.

Q. What do the Olympics mean to you? How special are they?

SERENA WILLIAMS: It's a once-in-a-lifetime type thing. I was reading this article about this girl who said she was 17, this is her last chance. I was thinking to myself, "Wow." For them, it's just really once-in-a-lifetime thing. For me to have that opportunity to play the Olympics, not only once, twice, three times, it's really amazing. So that's what it means to me.

Q. You are into acting, dressmaking and sports. How do you find time for all these activities?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I don't know. You know, I have a lot of time, like during the rain delays, I run over, do a lot of reading through lines. I draw and I sketch. I watch my film. I think it's all about time management. A lot of people in general do not manage their time wisely, so they procrastinate. I try not to do any procrastinate -- I try not to procrastinate at all.

Q. How would you rate yourself as an actress?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Oh, I don't know. I would be really excellent in a horror film because I have a great scream, really overdramatic for that, too. I'd be really good in a comedy. I think in a horror film and a comedy, I'm top, top, top quality.

Q. What has been your favorite acting experience so far?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I think I had a wonderful time on the set of the show I did for Showtime called Street Time. I think I did a really good job with that role. It was fun being on the set every day. It was really exciting.

Q. How would you rate yourself as a dressmaker, fashion designer?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Oh, I don't want to sound like I'm pontificating or anything, but I think I'm really good at that, I'm the best. Besides, you know, the top, Versace's, Armani's, I'm right there.

Q. I think there was a story in People where someone said they saw a list of your goals. It was win Wimbledon, get a lead in a movie, and become a size four. What is that about? Is this to say you are not happy with the way you look right now?

SERENA WILLIAMS: It was just a joke. I can't believe they printed that. You know, I'm always joking about something, so... Yeah, it was really just a joke.

Q. What projects do you have coming up acting-wise?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, I have a lot of exciting projects. I have a movie scheduled in the fall, depending on how my schedule goes. It's pretty exciting.

Q. What's it called?

SERENA WILLIAMS: What's it called? I don't want to give out the names. You know they always change it anyway.

Q. Were you upset about the England football defeat as well as Venus' defeat?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I mean, everybody's -- it was just a total robbery. What am I going to do now? I'm not going to watch any more. Obviously, I don't want Portugal to win, so. It was really disappointed about it.

Q. Do you feel a bit let down by umpires and referees in general last night?

SERENA WILLIAMS: We - I say "we" - we had it won yesterday. I couldn't believe it. I was really upset about the whole ordeal.

Q. When you say "robbery," do you mean the disallowed goal?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah. They had the goal. Then the guy said it wasn't a goal. I don't know what it is about David Beckham and kicking. I mean, he's doing much better than what I would ever do. But it's just -- I just was disappointed.

Q. Maybe he was trying to kick a field goal.

SERENA WILLIAMS: I think he thought he was in the wrong football.

End of FastScripts….

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