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May 15, 2004

Serena Williams


THE MODERATOR: First question for Serena, please.

Q. Serena, how do you sum up this match , your problems, her problems? What happened?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Actually, I think I'm playing a lot better - I'm feeling the ball, and more consistent. So I don't know about her problems; I can only tell you about mine (smiling).

Q. More consistent, but not consistent enough, would you say?


Q. Did you serve well enough?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Oh, no, definitely didn't serve well enough. Overall, I didn't play well enough. But for me it's a big step. I think theoretically I'm doing a lot better.

Q. Is it a big step because it's clay and that's physically so much more demanding?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, it's definitely physically more demanding. I wasn't tired at all. I think I'm just feeling more solid than I was in my first-round match, which is something I really wanted to be able to do by the end of the tournament, yeah.

Q. You had twice the ball to go 5-all in the second set. You thought you could turn around the match at that point, or you were not too confident or what?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I think maybe it probably would have helped a little bit, but I don't know; she was playing pretty good today.

Q. Your history with her, winning eight straight matches, when you saw her double-fault on matchpoint, did you think, "Ah-hah, here I go"?

SERENA WILLIAMS: That really didn't cross my mind. I just thought, "Keep fighting. Third set - maybe."

Q. Are you where you want to be now for your French Open preparation? What do you do now, during the remaining eight or nine days?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Almost - pretty much almost where I want to be. I would like to work on a few things. But, honestly, I think I'm hitting a lot better, and I'm very satisfied with the way my game is going. I can see it probably better than you guys can, but it's definitely going in the right direction.

Q. Even though the result is different, you're more satisfied where your game is now than how you felt at the end of Miami?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I was serving better in Miami. I was a little shocked at how well I was serving, but I was serving definitely better, which is why there are some things I want to work on going in to the French. I'm definitely going to ameliorate them and just become a real force, for sure, by French Open time.

Q. We have the impression that you are still concerned with your knee, when you have to stop suddenly just before the net, or other situations when you don't charge with your foot when you serve. Is it on your mind, or no?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Uhm... Maybe, maybe not (smiling).

Q. Will you stay in Europe and practice for the French?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I'm gonna enjoy my time in Europe, and maybe I'll go to the movies; I don't know.

Q. Anything in particular you want to see?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Something in Italian to improve my Italian.

Q. How is Venus right now?

SERENA WILLIAMS: She's in great spirits. She's doing great. She's definitely going to be very, very difficult to beat at the French Open.

Q. Who is in better physical shape - you or your sister?

SERENA WILLIAMS: We both never get tired, we just keep running no matter what happens, so I don't know. She's really good at that, and I'm really good at that, too. But, you know, this week coming up, I'm really gonna get in even better shape - if that's possible - and eat even more pasta, pizza (laughter).

Q. The computer sometimes lies, Serena. You're not No. 1, but do you regard yourself as the No. 1 player in the world?

SERENA WILLIAMS: It's kind of a weird situation, you know. People come up to me and they're saying, "Oh, hey, what's going on?" I'm like, "Oh, hey. How are you?" They say, "Yeah, so you're No. 1?" And I have no time to explain that I'm not, so I just say yes (laughter). It's a lot easier to say yes. A lot of people believe that I'm No. 1 anyway, so...

Q. Most do. Do you?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Sure. I think that's important. Even five years ago when I wasn't No. 1, I believed that I was gonna get there and I believed that I was gonna be No. 1. And once you stop thinking like that, then it's probably time to move on to something different.

Q. What do you think the problem was today, was it your own errors, or was she dictating play completely?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, I think today it was a bit of both, for sure.

Q. Do you care which number you will be seeded at the French?

SERENA WILLIAMS: At the end of the day, I think that I'm going to have to play whoever. Whether I play in the first round, prefer -- Amelie or not, it doesn't matter. So I think eventually you have to play a person. Whether it's Venus or Justine or Kim, doesn't matter, you're going to have to play. So, I mean, I'll take it as it comes. It would be nice to have my special seeding, but I don't know with the Grand Slams. I don't know.

Q. Who do you see as a favorite tomorrow?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Non lo so (laughter).

End of FastScripts….

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