August 30, 2002
NEW YORK CITY
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. Just getting easier and easier, huh?
SERENA WILLIAMS: No. I'm just getting better.
Q. Maybe because you're wearing pink? "Pretty in Pink" syndrome?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I loved that movie, "Pretty in Pink." I love pink, it's my new favorite color. So maybe...
Q. Is this part of the plan for a Grand Slam? Your first match, you weren't pleased with how you played. With each successive match, your game's getting sharper.
SERENA WILLIAMS: It's definitely how I like to see things. You can't just stay at the same level or else you won't win a Grand Slam. I don't think I would have won any if I would have stayed at the same level. You have to get better as each match goes on. I would like to do a lot of things better when I play again, than what I did today.
Q. I believe something like 24 winners. Not many unforced errors. If you look at why you're playing better, what felt good tonight?
SERENA WILLIAMS: My confidence is back. I'm believing in -- not that I've ever lost confidence, it's just that I was having some tough practices. Normally, I practice well. And I had a very good practice before I went out so I knew going into the match that I was going to play very well tonight.
Q. Do you think the level you're at right now is good enough to play a final?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I hate hitting double-faults. I used to never hit double-faults. Somehow they creeped in my game a little bit. But on any given day, I don't care who I play, it could be the final or whatever, just get me a match. I think you have to be ready mentally for any state. I'm ready right now to play a final. I was ready yesterday. I'll be ready tomorrow. You have to be ready. Because you never know with the scheduling or with rain, anything can happen. So with me, bring it on.
Q. When you got here last week, you might not have been at your best.
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah. Well, when I play tougher people, my game tends to go up a level than when I'm playing someone that I know I should beat. It kind of puts a little more pressure on you, you know?
Q. When was the last time you lost your confidence?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, that was at Wimbledon of 2000, when I kept bumping and driving. I lost my confidence in my driving skills. I couldn't -- I just lost all confidence. I don't drive over there anymore. That's the last time I lost confidence.
Q. I know you talked about your clothing earlier in the week. I've got to write a piece for a Sunday paper in Britain. Obviously, a change of color tonight. Do you have any input into the actual designs?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I didn't have an input in this design. The only thing that I would have input in is how to make it fit better. Like, maybe because - I have an alleged itty-bitty waist - allegedly. Clothes have to be made special for me. I'll just say, "Add a dart here." I did my last design that I wore with my gold shoes and red dress, black dress and the white for Wimbledon, I kind of designed that whole line. But I didn't have any input in this one.
Q. Are there any more Serena lines coming?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I normally don't do sportswear.
Q. Is that hot pink?
SERENA WILLIAMS: No, this is strawberry ice (smiling).
Q. It looks more conservative, though, than the cat suit.
SERENA WILLIAMS: You think? I don't know.
Q. Not color-wise, but cut-wise. I was thinking maybe you were getting more serious as the tournament went along?
SERENA WILLIAMS: At the French Open I had an outfit that I just didn't feel serious in the first two days, the little soccer outfit. It was really cute. I felt like a school girl. But I didn't feel serious in it. But the cat suit, I feel like a cat. I can go fast. I feel really, really, really serious in that outfit. So I'll be back in it. I just wanted to change it up. I really liked this top, and you could wear it with jeans or whatever. I just wanted to wear it tonight.
Q. Wouldn't it be better to call it a Puma suit than a cat suit?
SERENA WILLIAMS: No, cat suit. Especially when I play at night, it's like a cat. I move really fast in that suit, watch out.
Q. You think Puma would appreciate the plug more than "a cat suit"?
SERENA WILLIAMS: That's what they call it. I guess they would. Obviously, yeah, of course. But they call it "the cat suit."
Q. How important is it to be striking and attractive on the court?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, I personally believe if you don't go -- if you go out with wrinkled clothes or your hair's messed up, you have baggy eyes, I don't think you can play well. Whenever I go out, I like to be perfect, look nice, look clean, and, you know, you play very well. You can see the top players, Martina Hingis, her clothes are always crisp and clean. Anna, we all look -- well, we (laughing) -- you know. Majority look really nice.
Q. Do you ever look at some of the other girls and think, "I wouldn't be seen dead wearing that"?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Of course. I'm a firm believer, if you look bad on the court you won't play well. You won't have as much confidence in yourself.
Q. Who's the worst dresser in the women's game?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Oh, come on. Good try though. Worth a try (smiling).
SERENA WILLIAMS: I don't know. I'm sure she'd look nice. Where is she? I haven't seen her around in a while.
Q. Did you ever think you'd be sitting in a press conference with predominantly male reporters and they'd ask you about that?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I mean, maybe if I had done a little worse today we'd be talking about tennis. But, hey, why not? It's fun. It's the future. It's different.
Q. It's good for the game, isn't it?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I think it brings lots of viewers to watching it. It's fun. I'm doing well. I like it. It's just what they designed for me. I didn't design it this year. So I'm just having fun with it.
Q. I think it's terrific. I'm not criticizing.
SERENA WILLIAMS: No, no, okay. Good. I like it too.
Q. Will you design more in the future?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I would like to. I just -- I haven't done anything for them except for that last -- I worked so hard on that last line, kind of burned me out. I'm gonna get back in it -- for maybe the fall next year I'll do some more, something else.
Q. When you say "work hard, " in terms of hours?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, hours. Actually, I had to do a project for school, and I decided to do it for Puma also. I had these large mood boards, the whole nine yards, everything. You had to have 12 different pieces to go for a line. Obviously, they don't make every piece, they just pick and choose. So I had 12 to 15 different pieces: Warm-up jackets, skirts, shorts, pants, shirts. It's a lot of work going into it. It was fun. I liked it a lot. It's what I like to do. I think I'm going to do it again for the fall since the spring is already taken care of. Maybe I'll do something for the fall.
Q. Did you ask Venus her point of view?
SERENA WILLIAMS: No, I didn't. I think she was working for Wilsons Leather. Back then I was pretty set on what I knew I wanted to do. I didn't really ask.
Q. Something special for the semis, final? You have something different?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, if I make it that far, which I hope I will, I don't know. I haven't decided yet.
End of FastScriptsâ€¦.