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MIAMI OPEN PRESENTED BY ITA├║


March 26, 2016


Serena Williams


Miami, Florida

S. WILLIAMS/Z. Diyas

7-6, 6-3

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Can you just sort of go through the match a little bit. Kind of a player we don't know that much about, at least we don't. How do you feel you played against her?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I think everyone on tour knows her well. She's been on tour a few years. I've played her before and I know her game really well.

She they played really well. I think she played above her level the whole match, and I think that's actually a good sign for her, to know that she can play like that.

Yeah, I think she just played well, and I had to really raise my level to win today.

Q. You played her a year ago. What was the difference in terms of her game? What improvement did you see?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, I think she is doing everything better. More than anything, she had a lot of confidence this time. Obviously she has nothing to lose.

She just really played like she had nothing to lose.

Yeah, I think all around she's doing a lot better.

Q. Just wondering, you know, Rafa went out said he felt kind of dizzy. Wasn't sure if it was just the heat, the extreme heat and humidity and all that stuff. You came on right after. I know you're more used to it maybe being from here, but did you feel the conditions were particularly hot or humid?
SERENA WILLIAMS: It was definitely humid today. Rafa played like an hour and a half, two hours before me, so that makes a huge difference.

So I think that he was in the most intense part of the sun; whereas I was kind of at tail end of it. But I was fine.

Q. You've trained in Florida for a long time. What's the biggest adjustment you have to make when playing here? Just the humidity or more than that?
SERENA WILLIAMS: For me the biggest adjustment I have to make is I usually never use a towel. Here I might have to go grab the towel in between points.

That's it. I'm from California, but I been living here for over 20 years. I love these conditions actually.

Q. You just talked about living here 20 years; 15 years ago, you and Venus are out with your mother's foundation; you were playing one another on the court. This has been home for you; you said to a million times. What does this part of the country mean to you and how much do these people feel as if you're all part of one family down here?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Obviously it means a lot to me or else I wouldn't live here and planning my life and my future and everything here.

Yeah, I love it here. I think everyone knows that and feels it. It's home.

Q. How is the foundation doing, your mother's foundation?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I don't know actually. You can ask her maybe.

Q. I will.
SERENA WILLIAMS: Okay.

Q. Nice shirt that you have there.
SERENA WILLIAMS: Thanks.

Q. How much do you follow the women's or men's soccer team, whatever you're doing there? How much do you follow it at all, and what's the connection, besides Nike, if there is one?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I did the Cliff Drysdale charity on -- I think it was Thursday? Wednesday? Tuesday? Tuesday. There was a male, a soccer guy there. He gave me this shirt on behalf of the U.S.A. soccer team.

It's close to the Olympics, and I just get really happy around this time. Go U.S.A. I obviously follow the team really well. They he knew that I was a big fan and that I follow both the men's and women's soccer team. It's really exciting, so, yeah, I was really excited to get this.

Q. Have you spoken to your sister about the game yesterday? What was the conversation like?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Not really, no. Haven't really talked to her about that too much.

Q. Your next opponent is Kuznetsova. You've had some really good matches against. Quarterfinal French Open for instance couple years ago. Thoughts on that match?
SERENA WILLIAMS: It's a great matchup. She plays well and makes a lot of the great shots. She's actually been playing well this year. She had a couple big wins and couple good tournaments.

Yeah, I have my work cut out for me. We'll see what happens.

Q. You mentioned on the court you and she are friends. She's someone that's been on the tour around the same amount of time as you. What's your relationship with her?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, we get along great. That's no secret. She's just someone that you respect and you like and you -- I don't know. Just something about her that I think everyone likes.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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