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May 10, 2016

Serena Williams

Rome, Italy

S. WILLIAMS/A. Friedsam

6-4, 6-3

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. So how did it feel to finally get your clay court game going? How did it feel out there tonight?
SERENA WILLIAMS: It felt good. I love the clay, and it just really felt good out there tonight.

Q. You obviously played her last year at the French. Was it the kind of test you wanted in the first round? It looked like a fairly comfortable scoreline but it was not an easy match at least in the first set.
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, it wasn't an easy match, and she's an up-and-coming player and she plays well.

I can see her improvement from when I played her last year and between this year. So when I saw that I played her, I knew that I have to be really focused for my very first match.

Q. How pleased were you with just your level today? I mean, I know you're a hard grader, but were you pretty happy with that?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, to be honest, I was. I was really happy with my level. I think I was really consistent. I think I was mentally consistent. I started out fast. Those are some of the things I wanted to work on. Yeah, I was really happy about that.

Q. And you felt 100% after the illness last week?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I felt good. I felt really good. I was really concerned how it would be just running and moving and recovering. But it was fun.

Q. You obviously got a start, a warmup yesterday in the doubles. How was that playing with your sister for the first time in about one-and-a-half years?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, it was really fun. We had so much fun out there. We were super, super rusty. We felt like we were 12 again out there and not sure, kind of just feeling each other out again.

But probably one of the most fun doubles matches I ever played. I think at one point I was laughing for about five minutes.

Q. When was the last time you laughed as much as when Venus smacked her racquet?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I don't think I have ever laughed that hard in a professional match in my life, and it was totally worth it. I wish I could just relive that moment and again and again.

I just was overcome with fits of laughter, and, man, it was -- yeah, it was a great, great time.

Q. Hi. Why do you laugh? I didn't say anything.
SERENA WILLIAMS: No, I was in that match, that doubles match again. It was so funny. (Laughter.)

Q. I'd like to know, when you come to a city like Rome and you are playing doubles with Venus and so on, do you try sometimes to have a few minutes together to go around, or there is no way you can do it? I mean, maybe if you have a half day free. Would you like to go with Venus, or you just like to go on your own or maybe with another friend?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, I usually go with Venus every time in Rome, but we are playing on opposite days. She's playing tomorrow. I think she went around today. I'm going to go around tomorrow. And then she played on Monday, so it's been a little difficult.

But we have been here so many times. But we still kind of just hang out and go out and have fun.

Q. You have been to this tournament many times. Did you notice any sort of difference? Anything you would say, Oh, that has been a change compared to the past years? Or not really so much?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, there has been -- the press room used to be further back.

Q. I missed your press conference Sunday. I have seen you near Beyoncé tracking. It was a great moment for you? How did you feel?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I felt really tired. I actually was dancing for like five hours.

I think the next day I was practicing. I was preparing for the Australian Open. I was really sore. I kept going.

But, yeah, it was just -- it was fun. I mean, I have known her for years. It just kind of worked out.

Q. Venus said you dropped it on her the moment that it aired on HBO. So how hard was it to keep the secret? Because everyone was pretty much shocked the minute you popped up on screen.
SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, I'm really good with secrets. I was told not to say anything, and I didn't. Quite frankly, I think I even forgot about it. It was really, really easy.

I mean, I'm like squeezing water out of a rock. So if you tell me not to say anything, I'll never speak.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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