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January 26, 2016

Serena Williams

Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

S. WILLIAMS/M. Sharapova

6-4, 6-1

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. I'm sure you're not worried about winning 18 times in a row versus Sharapova. Can you give us an explanation why this happens?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I'm not sure why it happened. Doesn't matter who I'm playing, I just try to go out there and play the best I can. It's not necessarily anyone in particular.

Q. Still there is a big gap between you two.

Q. Nobody thinks it's normal.
SERENA WILLIAMS: I don't know. Something about her game. I like the way she hits the ball. Plus, when I play her, I know automatically I have to step up my game. I think that makes me play better. When I play better, when I'm forced to play better, I don't know, I do well.

Q. Do you think you have a mental advantage before you even step out on the court?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I don't know. I have no idea.

Q. You got off to a fairly slow start in the first set. What wasn't feeling right and how did you manage to click in?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I just started slow. I missed three or four easy shots. I felt like, All right, I didn't make those shots, but if I had made those shots I probably would have won that game.

I just clung onto that and knew I could play better.

Q. Were you not feeling well physically at the beginning?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I was a little lethargic. It was maybe just getting out to a faster start like I had been in all the rest of my matches.

Q. What about the doctor coming out? What were you dealing with between sets?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I was just dealing with some food poisoning issues from a few days ago. That was it.

Q. Radwanska next. I don't know if you played her since Hopman Cup last year maybe.
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, and she got the better of me at Hopman Cup. It will be a good match. She's been playing really well towards the end of the year, and already this year she's been very consistent.

She presents a completely different game, an extremely exciting game. So I think it will be a long match and it will be a good match to see where I am.

Q. Saw you and Aga in the hallway hanging out laughing a few days ago. How well do you know her?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I know Aga really well. Like I said on the court, she's a really nice girl. She goes out of her way to say hi. It's really cool. We always get along. Have some questions for her. She's great.

Like I said, whoever wins, we both deserve to be in the final. If she wins, I'll be very happy for her. I'm sure she'll feel the same way.

Q. Do you have as much fun on the tennis court at various stages throughout your career, satisfaction with the way you're playing?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I think this tournament in particular I've been trying to do different things and I've been having a lot of fun on the court. I told myself that I'm here to have fun now. I've done everything that I didn't want to do, you know. I didn't think I would have done as well as I have.

Everything from here on out, every match, is a bonus for me. I don't have to win this tournament or any other tournament for as long as I live. I really want to enjoy being a professional tennis player and playing on Grand Slam courts, moments like this.

Q. When did that attitude start? When were you conscious of everything now is a bonus?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I don't know. I don't know. Been feeling like that for a minute. But I've been actually living that recently.

Q. Aside from Venus, you've sort of outlasted so many of your opponents. Now you have this incredible record against Maria. Does that kind of longevity and record give you satisfaction? In tennis history, is that something they should look at?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I think longevity is something definitely to look at. Personally, I didn't think I'd be playing at this age. But I'm still here and I'm doing well. I think that's the reason I am still playing, because I know that I'm capable, you know, if I play well, of being on top.

Q. Every time you reached the semifinal here you went on to win the tournament. Did you know that or not?
SERENA WILLIAMS: No, but that's good. We'll see. It's a new year. It's not a stat that's set in stone. It's not guaranteed. Nothing's guaranteed in sports. I still have to win two matches against potentially two extremely tough opponents.

Q. You said on court how much you love being in Australia and playing on Australia Day. What was it like today? How much do you get behind Australia Day and the fans that support you?
SERENA WILLIAMS: It was a different vibe out there today. It was just really fun and really cool. I don't always get to play on Australia Day, but I'm really excited I got to play today. It's fun. I love it here in Australia. I've done well here.

Not only that, I just have so many friends here; I have so many things that I can do. It's the only tournament that when I lose early, I hang out until it's over. It's like I never want to leave here.

Q. Is there a chance we're seeing you in Australia for the last time?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I don't think so. Hopefully not. Unless you know something I don't know.

Q. It's a big year ahead. You have the Olympics. You've won four gold medals, going for your fifth. Has it entered your mind yet?
SERENA WILLIAMS: It's entered yours, but not mine.

Q. Have you ever had the opportunity on Australia Day to go out?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, it's cool. Everyone's so excited. Everyone is pumped. It's a fun day to play on. I've been on both sides. It's a fun day to just kind of hang out.

Q. What caused the food poisoning? Was it worse yesterday?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yes. Yesterday it was, but I don't know.

Q. Are you happy with the way your new on-court image has been received, your apparel?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Can you elaborate?

Q. The new clothes you're wearing, are you happy the way they've been received by the general public?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yes, I think so. I think it's been received really well. It's exciting. It was definitely a leap of faith and different.

But, like I said a few press conferences ago, I wanted to mix and I want to continue to mix pop culture and bring that into tennis and make it super exciting on the fashion side, as well as bringing some cool fun play to it as well. I can do both.

Q. Were you surprised at the NFL result yesterday and who has made the Super Bowl?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Verne Davis is one of my friends. Was very happy to see him make it to his first Super Bowl. He plays for the Denver Broncos. I'm not surprised. I feel like Cam Newton, they were almost undefeated in regular season, so it was kind of expected that the Carolina Panthers would make it to the Super Bowl.

It will be really fun.

Q. Given the length of your career, what do you think has been the secret for your longevity?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I honestly have no idea. If I do know it, I'll probably put it in a bottle and like distribute it. But I really have no idea.

Q. Talking about food, what is your favorite food? Is it Chinese? Indian? Italian?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Gosh, I have to say when in Rome, I do like the Romans and I eat pasta for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. But only in Rome or Italy. Italy, the quality there is second to none.

I like Asian food. I like sushi. I've never met a tennis player that hates sushi. It's weird. It's really weird.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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