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May 8, 2016

Serena Williams

Rome, Italy

An interview with:


THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. It's not really related to tennis, but I have been truly impressed by listening and watching to Lemonade by Beyoncé and the amazing video you're in, obviously. Could you tell us how it was born and how big of an impact do you think it can have on social issues like racism, feminism in America and around the world?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, it was a fun thing. I mean, I knew the director really well. In fact, I have known the director since I was like nine years old. I know Beyoncé pretty well, so they were like, We would love for you to be in this particular song. You know, it's about strength and it's about courage and that's what we see you as.

She told me that she just wants me to dance, like just be really free and just dance like nobody's looking and go all out.

So that wasn't easy in the beginning, but then it got easier. And then, you know, we just did a few takes. It was really fun.

I thought that particular song on the visual album was really a strong song, and it was also really fun at the same time. You know, I don't know if it solved social issues or anything. That's definitely a lot, but I definitely think it addresses some. I think her music is really bold. In particular this album I think is really bold and really strong. I was really happy to be a part of it.

Q. Just tell us how you're feeling -- I think it was an illness that cost you Madrid -- and everything physically, how your preparations and training are going for this tournament and the clay court season leading into Paris.
SERENA WILLIAMS: I feel pretty good. Yeah, I wasn't feeling really good for the past several weeks and even the past few days. But right now I'm better. I will see how I'm doing when I step on the court for the first time, but overall I think I'm feeling a lot better.

Q. I see you're entered in the doubles with Venus. Is that, I would think, preparation for the Olympics? Have you guys been practicing or what are your expectations in the doubles tournament and the Olympics in general?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, I don't know. We haven't played doubles in a while. Obviously we would love to play in the Olympics.

I love playing with Venus. She's the best partner, and hopefully she feels the same about me. We make a great team. The doubles teams have gotten really good, so it's -- we look forward to it.

We have done well on clay. We have won Roland Garros a cup of times. We have won a few clay court tournaments. Hopefully we'll be able to at least win a couple of matches here, just shake off the dust and keep playing.

Q. Would you enter possibly mixed, as well, or is it just going to be singles and doubles for you in Rio? If you're chosen for the doubles, of course.
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, it's just one at a time. I mean, hopefully I can be chosen for the doubles. That would be the best opportunity. And then after that, you know, we'll see.

Q. Has anyone approached you for mixed?

Q. Yeah.
SERENA WILLIAMS: Not yet. Kind of haven't been on the tour that much this year, so not yet.

Q. Do you think to win here in Rome? Do you think it's enough to win later Roland Garros and to play just tournament before Paris?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I don't know. I have played here and I have played in Madrid maybe one match, and then I played here the full tournament. Every year I only play one tournament before Australia, done okay there. So I'd like to think positive.

You know, I don't play anything thinking I'm going to lose. I always just play thinking I'm going to do the best I can. For me, that's winning.

Q. What do you think about, since we are in Rome and Italy, Roberta Vinci after her win over you in New York, has continued to be at the top? She comes in here for the first time as a top-10 player in her home tournament.
SERENA WILLIAMS: I think it's great. It's cool, you know, because sometimes when players beat a top player, it's just like, you know, a one-time thing. Not just against me; just in general.

But I think for her she's shown so much growth and determination, and I think she's also shown that she wants to be consistent, you know. She couldn't win just one match. She wins lots of matches. She's been so consistent in the past 12 months, so I think it's really well deserved, and she's obviously, for me, a player to watch.

Q. Going back to the first question, would you define -- like yesterday Obama said Beyoncé runs the world. Would you define yourself as the Beyoncé of the sports world, worldwide?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Honestly, I never thought about it.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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