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January 22, 2016

Serena Williams

Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

S. WILLIAMS/D. Kasatkina

6-1, 6-1

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Today looked a far better match for you than the first two which were probably testing you a little bit.
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I definitely think I played better today. Everything I've been trying to work on was kind of clicking today. I thought I played pretty well in the other matches. My first match I thought I gave a great effort. My second match I thought, under the circumstances, I thought I played well. Hopefully with each match I can just do better.

Q. It looked like you had a few nice words for her at the net. Can you tell us maybe what you were telling her, what was your impression of her.
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I think she's a good player. I thought she had a really good game. It was kind of between us, but yeah.

Q. Murray said about Hewitt, when he was a kid on the tour, Hewitt was very good to him, always had time for him. How important do you think it is for the older players to be encouraging to the younger players coming up?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I think it's important. We definitely want to encourage each other. This is our sport. We want to see it grow. Ultimately you want to see it be the best sport for women and continue to be the best sport and biggest sport for women. Hopefully we can all encourage and just hope for the best.

Q. When you were starting out, can you remember who was particularly nice to you of the better players?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I don't know. I mean, no one was like cold or anything. I don't know. I think everyone was pretty nice.

Q. Are you conscious of the fact that you're a legend in the locker room?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Not really. I just really try to stay, you know, just in myself. I don't consider myself to be greater or better than anyone else. I just am a tennis player. I'm here with the same goal as most people in the locker room: to walk away with the title.

Q. We were speaking to Roger earlier about the fact he was hanging out with Grigor a few minutes before stepping on the court. They were watching the match together. He said he liked that the game was not too professional to the extent players can do that. Have you had that experience before?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I mean, I played with my sister for over two decades. I've definitely had that experience. I'm good friends with a lot of people on tour.

When you walk on the court, you do the best that you can. You fight hard and you give everything you have. When it's over, it's over.

Q. Do you have to have doubts before you start a tournament? If you think you're playing great, maybe you're going to go down, but if you have doubts you can kind of build, doubts in your confidence?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I never think I'm playing fantastic, as Patrick, or anyone -- I'm always very hard on myself. I always feel like there's room for improvement. I've never had that problem.

Q. You were asked about your dress on court. Do you like this design and color? Is this your choice? You look very nice.
SERENA WILLIAMS: Thank you. Yeah, it was definitely my design, something I actually sketched, you know. So I just wanted to think outside of the box. I've been on tour for a long time. I've been wearing so many different designs. I just wanted to push the envelope again, just bring pop culture to tennis, kind of make it really fun. A lot of things you see on stage and, you know, just in that pop culture world, I wanted to bring that youth and that fun-ness to it.

Q. Where did the idea come from?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I live in a crop top, sleep in crop tops. I'm often never seen without one. So I thought, you know, it would be really fun to play in one.

Again, when I design for my collection, I don't design fully for Nike, but sometimes I do, like this collection I did. I was like, you know, I always think of classic, so I wanted a pleated skirt because a pleated skirt is very classic. Then I always try to bring in what's popular and what is in style, what's so in. That's what I wanted to do with the top. They're responsible for the colors. I love the colors. I think they're great.

Q. Do you find it tougher to hold serve right after you've broken to consolidate that break? Is that a tougher hold than when you're on serve going about your business?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I think it really depends on the situation. I feel like if it's like really, really tight and you just broke, then it could be harder to hold serve. I feel like if you're up and you just broke, it could be easier to hold serve. So I think it really depends.

Q. Sorry to go down memory lane, but what do you remember playing mixed doubles with Lleyton Hewitt here 1998?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I remember it was fun. I asked him if he wanted to play. We were both 16. It would be really fun to kind of play together. It was fun. We didn't win. I expected to win the tournament, which I don't know why, but...

But we did have a great time. We both have been incredible fighters. Lleyton, his whole career has been based on fighting and playing well, good footwork as well. It's definitely sad when you kind of started with someone to see them advance on, but I'm really happy for him.

Q. Did you watch any of his match or the ceremony last night bidding him farewell?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I did. I watched a little bit, but I always get emotional, so...

Yeah, I was like -- oh, I just remember all those moments, literally. I remember them. It was really nice.

Q. How does it feel to be one of the last of your generation? There's Federer and not many else - and Venus.
SERENA WILLIAMS: You know, there's a few of us. I'm waiting on Roger, waiting on his next move (smiling).

Q. Your next opponent, you played her at Wimbledon. What was the impression you got from that match?
SERENA WILLIAMS: She has a great forehand up the line. She has a good serve. She mixes up the ball well. I thought she played really well at Wimbledon. She was fearless.

So, you know, I think she qualified at Wimbledon. She's obviously made leaps and bounds since then, gained a lot of confidence. She's here to play well and win. So am I, so we'll see what happens.

Q. There's quite a few young Russians coming up, doing well in this tournament. Are you getting the sense maybe there's a new wave of Russians pushing through?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I don't know. I don't really think about it. I'm always kind of on the radar for young American players that are doing well.

But I think in general, anyone that's exciting to watch, that's playing tennis... We all work so hard from an early age to making it in professional. No one is here by luck or by chance. It's all through hard work.

It doesn't matter really who they are, where they're from. You just kind of always want to see everyone do well.

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