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January 20, 2016

Serena Williams

Melbourne, Victoria, Australia


6-1, 6-2

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. You gave yourself an A for effort after the first round, but what would you grade that match today?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Um, I think I was really focused and, you know, that first round really helped me because I was really just fighting. I really gave a big effort there.

Today again I just wanted to stay focused for the whole time.

Q. What was most pleasing about your performance today?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Definitely my consistency. I don't think I made that many errors today. Something I was hopefully trying to get back into. And I moved much better today, I think, so slowly but surely feeling a little bit better.

Q. Is your knee still bothering you at all?
SERENA WILLIAMS: No, it hasn't been bothering me in a long time. So it's been okay. It's totally fine.

Q. You said on court the around-the-net shot was the first one you can remember playing. What's that like to find something new and different after all this time?
SERENA WILLIAMS: It's cool. You know, it's always cool to do something fresh and new. I don't know if I have done that. I could be wrong, but I definitely don't remember ever hitting a shot like around the net. So it was good.

Q. Do you have anything else still you haven't done that you want to do?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, I'm -- yeah, I'm sure there is a lot of stuff I haven't done I would like to do. But right now I would like to just do well here.

Q. Have you ever hit a 'tweener?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Oh, I don't do those. I'm not good at those. I don't...

Q. Have you tried like in practice or anything?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I did when I was younger, and I was terrible at it. I know what I'm good at, and I know things I'm not gonna excel at. I'm definitely not gonna excel at that shot.

Q. One of the things you are scheduled for is to appear at a special event at Madison Square Garden. Talk about that. Are you excited about playing in the Garden? Have you played there before? What does Madison Square Garden mean to you?
SERENA WILLIAMS: You know, it's always great to play in Madison Square Garden, and I missed that opportunity to play there competitively. So it's always good to just get there and just -- that history and that center is just really pretty cool. So it's good to be there.

Q. And you like New York?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah. I love New York, obviously. I think New York is such a special place.

Q. Roberta Vinci is the only Italian still left in the draw. Normally we have three, four, five in recent years, but after the retirement of Pennetta, Schiavone getting older, she never made the top 10. She was 11, very close to be 10, and she never made it. What do you think?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Most definitely. She's playing well, and the best part of it is not only is she playing well, she's playing consistent. It's not only one tournament or one week, it's every week.

So, I mean, she's definitely looking towards cracking that, for sure.

Q. She's saying that now everybody looks at her differently because of what happened last year, so even girls before were more confident now they are a little less. Everything has changed for her. Everyone is keeping asking her about the match she played with you. Do you think that is normal?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, for sure. It's definitely normal, I guess.

Q. Are you looking forward to a rematch with her?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Always. It doesn't matter who I play, when I play. Win or lose, there is always a next time for me and for them.

I don't really shy away from that.

Q. You had some frustration on serve in the first set. Was that just a matter of the sun or timing?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, you know, I'm playing in the sun the two matches, so it's very -- for me, whatever reason, that sun is really bright. Maybe it's my toss. So, yeah.

Q. Is that something you will work on to try to get around that?
SERENA WILLIAMS: It's like five games or four games, so if I can just get through those four or five games, then I'm good.

Q. You have a Russian opponent next. Would you mind if I said who it was?

Q. It's Daria Kasatkina. She beat Venus in Auckland. Wondering what you know of her. She's a teenager and coming up.
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I don't think it's gonna be easy. Any time someone is beating Venus they are more than likely playing really good.

So I definitely will be ready for that. I obviously will ask Venus what she thought of the match, and I'm sure Patrick will know everything about her match and stuff. He's really good at studying.

I'll be ready for that.

Q. You're obviously a huge part of one of the greatest, if not the greatest tennis family of the modern era. But there are other great families, like the Bryans who you know well, and also the Murrays. What do you appreciate about the Bryan family dynamic and the Murray family dynamic, which of course is led by a woman?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, I think, you know, just being in the family is cool, you know. Having someone there that understands the joy, the highs, the lows, the pain, is unique.

It's not often in sport, but when it does happen, it is really something special.

Q. Can you compare in any way the Bryans' father and your father and the love of the game, the dynamic?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I really can't. From what I know of their dad, they are really sweet. My dad is awesome, but I can't compare. I don't think I can compare.

Q. If you don't throw me an arrow with your eyes, another question on Vinci, which is -- this is the last one, I promise. Verdasco last night said that he had seen his match ten times, the one he played seven years ago against Nadal. He keeps watching it. Roberta said she saw her match with you, against you, five times. I want to know if you ever saw it again or you didn't want to see it or you saw it?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I watch it every day. Every night to get ready.

Q. Venus has been fined for not attending press yesterday. Is there a reason she didn't come?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I don't know. If you want to, you can ask her. Yeah, I don't know. I wasn't here. In fact, I was watching Telenovela. I'm coming apart, though. Do we have any more questions?

Q. We didn't have a chance to ask her. Do you expect we will see her again next year?
SERENA WILLIAMS: From what I assume, yeah, but I don't really know. I would assume. She's never mentioned anything about not being here, not competing. Yeah.

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