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August 26, 2002

Serena Williams


MODERATOR: Questions.

Q. Great outfit. Does it come with flippers, mask and snorkel?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Of course not. This is more of a cat suit. It's not a wet suit.

Q. How does a wet suit look?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Wet suit has long sleeves and it's usually longer and thicker material.

Q. What's it made of?

SERENA WILLIAMS: It's made of Lycra. It's supposed to have the illusion of looking a little bit like leather from a distance. But it's made of Lycra because it kind of sticks to the body. It kind of really sticks to what type of shape you have. If you don't have a decent shape, this isn't the best outfit to have.

Q. Do you feel rusty after the long layoff?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, definitely, very rusty.

Q. How is your knee feeling?

SERENA WILLIAMS: It's feeling okay. It's okay. Nothing to complain about.

Q. Who did you sense the crowd was pulling for tonight?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I wasn't really listening. Obviously, they're pulling for Corina. She's had an amazing story, so...

Q. Given what you know about her story, could you talk about her being out there on that court tonight?

SERENA WILLIAMS: It's definitely very courageous to be able to come back after all that she's been through, just be able to be in the atmosphere again, make it this far. That's definitely really courageous. It takes a lot of courage and character to be able to do what she's done.

Q. Is it almost a little difficult to play against someone like that?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I think not in a Grand Slam, no. You just have to kind of brush it aside. Unfortunately, it's like this. It's like animals out here on the court. But off the court it's a different story.

Q. Who designed that?

SERENA WILLIAMS: This is designed by Puma, of course. I didn't design it. I added a dart here or there, but it wasn't my design, unfortunately. Normally I come up with the best designs.

Q. What was Venus' comment when she saw this?

SERENA WILLIAMS: No, she really liked it. She said it was a great outfit. It was really fun and really exciting and very sexy. I mean, she just basically described me (smiling).

Q. When the match ended, you gave Corina a hug. Did you say anything about her comeback? What did you say?

SERENA WILLIAMS: We were talking all the time about her comeback previously. I just told her, "Good job, way to fight." But we talk all the time off the court. We talked a bit about how it was, how difficult it was. It's a scary situation to be in.

Q. Is there a therapy you're doing for the knee or is it basically just rest, antiinflammatories?

SERENA WILLIAMS: No, no, I was in serious therapy with strengthening muscles here and there. It's been intense for a week, a very intense week.

Q. When you get out of here, do you ice?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, ice. I'm always icing. I've become numb to ice now. But I ice. That's basically all I do. Maybe get some stim on it.

Q. Were you following Corina's recovery throughout the year?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, of course. I would always check up and read in articles. I called her a couple times to see how she was doing.

Q. Did you feel like your timing was off? You missed a lot of easy shots.


Q. Some you should have killed sailed out.

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, just very erratic, very disappointing play for me tonight. But, I mean, no matter what I can do, I can't rewind time, I have to move on to the next match.

Q. Back to the phone calls to Corina. What would you talk about? What do you remember from those?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Just make sure she was okay, Venus and I. I just called her a couple times. At this point people are receiving lots of phone calls from their family and friends. You never know what tomorrow's going to bring. No one is guaranteed a date the next day anymore.

Q. Did you call her in the hospital, on her cell phone?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I think it was her cell phone. It was definitely a cell phone.

Q. What do you think it means that the first few questions you were asked was about your outfit rather than your tennis game?

SERENA WILLIAMS: It doesn't bother me. This is an innovative outfit. I don't think anybody's worn anything, except going back to Ann White, at Wimbledon. But hers was long, it was all the way to the bottom. It's a new time. I mean, like I said, it's really nice. It's really sexy. It just kind of clings. It's really cute. You know, I love it.

End of FastScripts….

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