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July 3, 2002

Serena Williams

Wimbledon, England

MODERATOR: Good evening, Ladies and Gentlemen. Serena Williams for you.

Q. Have you ever served better than that?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yes. I served very well in my fourth round match also. Haven't lost serve in two matches now. I've been working really hard on my serve. I don't think I really served the way I can and have potential to serve all year starting back in January. But it's coming along.

Q. When a match is played in fits and starts like that, what do you do when you're back in the locker room? How do you occupy yourself? What are you thinking during those delays?

SERENA WILLIAMS: For me, I just go back and try to stay warm and try to keep my body moving because I just want to be -- when I go out there, I want to try to win the first point, if possible, when I get back out on the court.

Q. How difficult was that today to do that?

SERENA WILLIAMS: It's really easy for me. Nothing bothers me really any more. I've become jaded. Some of the things I've been through in life, I just don't think anything can really bother me at this point.

Q. You appeared to be reading some notes during one of the changeovers. Can you tell us about that?

SERENA WILLIAMS: That's just to keep me focused because sometimes I tend to lose focus when I'm out there. I just -- on the changeover, I tend to look around. So I just get something that I can look at, to keep my focus when I'm playing.

Q. Are they your own notes you've made or from your father?

SERENA WILLIAMS: No, no, they're notes that I make, just reminders of things I need to do when I'm out there.

Q. Can you give us an example of what that might be?


Q. Is that something you just started, making notes?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Actually, a long time ago I saw Venus do it. I always copy her. I just decided to do it.

Q. Could you talk about your approach against Amelie Mauresmo? She's obviously now got some mental focus to go along with the skills she's always had. She seems to be playing very aggressively.

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I saw her in practice today. She's definitely trying to move up to the balls, and definitely trying to play more aggressive. I just think I just need to go out there and play my game, just do whatever. You know, it's not a fact of me so focusing on what she's going to do; I just need to focus on what I'm going to do, just get serious myself.

Q. You obviously have to take care of your business either way, but are you any more glad to see her as opposed to Capriati, who usually gives you tougher matches?

SERENA WILLIAMS: No, I've definitely had two tough matches with Amelie, actually maybe three. I think we played three times, I'm not sure. I know twice it was 7-6 in the third. Maybe I'm fabricating. I can only remember once it was 7-6 in the third. I know one time it was 6-4. I definitely had some tough matches against her. She's going to come in here. She's playing well. She has a really nice slice. You know, I'm just going to go out and just be focused this time. It's time to get serious and just buckle down really.

Q. So you weren't doing cartwheels when Jennifer was out there?

SERENA WILLIAMS: No, I like playing Jennifer. We always bring out the best in each other. It assures at least one American is going to get one round farther.

Q. Is there any one aspect of Mauresmo's game that gives you trouble?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Honestly, I can't remember.

Q. I know if we ask you to come to Jamaica, you and Venus, would you come?

SERENA WILLIAMS: You know, I'm always up for a vacation these days (laughter). You know, I'm -- we'll have to see.

Q. I think it's two days now you guys have been trying to get your doubles match in. Sounded like they were going to try to hustle you over to Court 18. It's not happening. Can you talk about that, where the doubles fits in to just the delays? Is that frustrating? Disappointing?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I don't know. It's just -- the scheduling -- it's just mostly the rain, if anything. The only time I get a phone call. Any other time I couldn't pay my phone to ring. Sorry. I'll just turn it off because I know, since I'm in here, I'll probably get another one. As luck would have it. I don't remember the question.

Q. Doubles match.

SERENA WILLIAMS: You know, I don't know. I think I'm just a little bit frustrated because I would have liked to play today, but obviously I couldn't have Mother Nature do anything else. So it's not really a problem. I just think hopefully we'll be able to get on soon. We'll see.

Q. Depending on the results over the next few days, you could wind up being No. 1 for the first time. What would that mean to you?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Nothing, because I have to get there first. I can't focus on that. I have to win against Amelie, which is going to be tough, because everybody is fighting and playing very tough these days. And then I probably have to beat Venus, which is -- she's playing very well here, or Justine Henin. You know, we've had some tough matches, a couple weeks ago. So I'm just taking it -- hopefully two matches left. I'm just not even thinking about that.

Q. Do you feel as fit as you were a couple of weeks ago in Paris?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Most definitely. I'm definitely as fit -- oh, 10 aces (looking at her stats). I'm definitely as fit as I've been in a long time. I'm really happy. I can go and go and go to infinity.

Q. Serving 10 aces, how important is the serve in your overall game in preparation? If you take all the strokes, all the aspects, how do you focus on that serve, what priority?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I think the serve and the return are definitely 60, 70 -- okay - 80% of the game. If you're not serving well or you don't have a serve, it's going to be tough to win. But if you have a good return -- you know, between those two, I think it just makes up most of the game. So I think serving well, returning well, will be very, very important.

Q. Is it different for Wimbledon?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Definitely for Wimbledon I think the serve may be a bit better because the grass is quicker. I noticed when I was practicing against Venus, her serve seems to be -- just has something more on it as opposed to a clay court or a hard court. So I think for grass, it's important to serve well. But, hey, it's also important just to return well also because if you are returning well, then you're going to have to counter and get these serves.

Q. Were you surprised at the number of aces? Did you not realize that?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I didn't realize I had that many aces. You know, I didn't lose serve. But I had a lot of breakpoints against me. One actually I think I was lucky to win because her ball hit the line. I just kind of got it back. You know, for me there's always room for improvement - always. I haven't gotten anywhere close to my potential.

Q. Last week in this press room you made it clear you liked to accessorize. Where did you find a tiara that would stay on your head during a tennis match? Did you have to practice with it?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Actually, I didn't practice -- I played a doubles with it first. It worked well. My mom liked it more than the black one, although I do like the black one more. My mom likes this one more. I don't know. I just kind of -- luck of the draw, I guess.

Q. You had some really well-placed shots in the first set that Daniela got to that looked like they would be winners. Can you talk about her game, especially in that first set? Was there anything she showed you in that set?

SERENA WILLIAMS: She's definitely a good player. She's definitely been doing well. She's won a big tournament. She's backing up that result by doing very solid in the Grand Slams. I definitely just think, you know, she's playing very well. Not only in the first set, but the second set also. She didn't give up in the end. She kept fighting.

Q. What do you think about the way she was hyped up by the British media about a new Kournikova?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I'm sorry, I didn't see that.

Q. Venus has spoken before about what she gets from playing doubles with you, she's more confident in her volleying. You mentioned a moment ago about practicing with her. How much of an advantage is it for you to be able to practice with the No. 1 player, and vice versa?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Whenever I practice with her, I seem to just get better because her game is just on a different level - at least in practice (smiling). But sometimes for me, I get disgusted because like I don't feel that I'm playing up to her par, as she is. It really brings out the best in me. That's what we should do, really bring out the best in each other.

End of FastScripts….

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