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March 16, 2016

Serena Williams

Indian Wells, California


6-4, 6-3

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Feeling okay?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah. You guys have any questions?

Q. Pretty straightforward. Tight match but you were able to get through it. How good did it feel to get that win, especially after not getting to play her here last year?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, it feels really good to get that win. She obviously has been in good form the past couple years. So, yeah, I feel really good just to get under there and buckle down and to win that.

Q. You said that this might be a good match to test kind of where your game is at; her's as well. Are you pretty happy with how you were able to bring it tonight?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I'm happy to be able to close that one out. Obviously I think there is always things that I would like to work on to do better, but overall I think it was a solid win for me.

Q. Right now, coming up to the weekend, compared to other tournaments, how are you feeling right now? With Thursday coming up tomorrow compared to other Thursdays, second week of other tournaments?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I feel really good. I'm hoping to be able to perform in the semifinal. I have been feeling pretty good this whole tournament so far.

So I hope that I can be able to continue to feel pretty good.

Q. What do you remember about the match against Aga in Australia? I think that was maybe your best match in the whole tournament, seemed like.
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I think it was one of my best matches. I played pretty well the whole week. I just remember being aggressive and going forward and keeping my errors down, even though in the second set she made a great effort to come back and try to push for a third set. But I was able to, you know, get back in there and close it out.

So it was a good match. Even though the scoreline was one way, it was definitely a good match.

Q. Stan Wawrinka had a really lousy match, and he said it was a match without brains. Some of us clipped that and started talking about the really smart people in the sport. Outside of your family and your support team, who do you think is the one or two smartest people in the sport and out of the sport?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Wow. I don't know. I think -- gosh, you really put me on the spot here.

In the sport, I mean, there are so many smart people in the sport. And also, I have been around for years, so I'm just trying to rack up a lot of things.

You know, I have to come back to that. Give me a day or two. (Smiling.)

Q. Could you feel the energy tonight, that this was one of the more prime matchups on the women's side, 1 versus 5, especially with 2 seed out and Venus out and others? Could you tell from the fans and everybody that they were really excited that it was kind of a rematch for you two?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, it was. Definitely on paper it's a great match. It doesn't feel like a quarterfinal. Feels like a semi or a final match.

It was definitely something to gear up so early on the tournament for.

Q. Do you want to talk about the next round? Radwanska.
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, she knows how to play in big stadiums and big matches, big games.

Obviously she does everything so well, including running, and this is a good surface for her because it's a slow surface. I think I expect there will be a lot of long rallies.

Honestly, I will be ready. I really like Aga on and off the court. I think she's super exciting to watch on the court, and off the court I think she's really one of the nicest people.

Regardless, I think it will be a really good matchup. Whoever wins will go into the final.

Q. She also ascended to No. 2 with her win. Does that matter for your matchup?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I was wondering about that. She's been so consistent. I was thinking she should be higher.

Good for her. Yeah, it's unfortunate it can't be a final, but we'll see how it goes.

I don't think she's won this tournament yet, but obviously she probably wants to. We will see how that goes.

Q. How different is it to now be playing like a full March? Because for so long you only played in Miami so you only had the second two weeks of March to get tournament play. Does that impact your season at all, your preparation change at all now that you play this tournament?
SERENA WILLIAMS: It's different. You know, I definitely felt that difference a little last year.

Doesn't really feel crazy different, though. I was training so much this time. In fact, it might be easier. When you're playing tournaments you don't have to practice for two-and-a-half, three hours and do the gym.

It's much better to be at a tournament.

Q. It's one match at a time, but how would it feel after all these years to lift the trophy here?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I don't know. I heard it's hard to lift that trophy. (Laughter.)

Q. But you're strong.

Q. How would it feel to win?
SERENA WILLIAMS: It will feel good. It will feel good. But like you said, there's a couple of matches.

It would really feel good, but, you know, one at a time.

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