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May 13, 2016

Serena Williams

Rome, Italy

S. WILLIAMS/S. Kuznetsova

6-2, 6-0

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Your best match of the year, it was?
SERENA WILLIAMS: On clay, for sure. I think I played really well in Australia. I just didn't come through. I didn't win that one.

But throughout the tournament I played well here. This is probably the best match I have played since then.

Q. Tomorrow you are facing Irina Begu. Is the first time you face her. Do you know her?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, she's been doing really well for the past two, two-and-a-half years. I have seen her play a lot. She plays a lot of big matches on courts against a lot of top players. She's had a lot of big wins and had a lot of close losses.

Yeah, it's been really refreshing and fun to watch her. I'm excited for it.

Q. How much confidence does it give you to have that sort of match, third match on the red clay pretty much this early in the clay season for you. I mean, it's rather late in the clay season, but how happy does it make you?
SERENA WILLIAMS: It's great. It makes me feel good. Like I said, I really feel like she's probably one of the best clay-court players, and having to face her was a task and a challenge. We always have really tough matches, so I'm just really happy to get through that one.

Q. Semifinal in Rome, starting things off with the French, not a bad thing to have. Do you even think that far ahead at the moment or are you saying, Okay, I want to get as many matches here and take it one match at a time?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, obviously I am thinking about the French Open, but right now I'm in Rome, and it's just really important to focus on the task at hand.

Q. Have you been trying any other food? No more dog food? Just keep sticking with pizza?
SERENA WILLIAMS: It wasn't dog food. It was a doggie menu, technically (smiling). Yeah, no more dog food.

Q. Does the Italian food actually work for you? You try to do a bit of different diet in terms of eating with Venus having to change her eating. Does the food here still work for you, actually? Or do you have to do some switching completely in terms of what you're eating?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Rome is the one place where I throw everything out the window. I don't eat red meat anyway, but other than that, I just like -- no inhibitions here because the food is so good.

Q. I want to ask you if you are surprised about the results made by Romanian players, not only Simona now. Last week in Madrid and also now we have Begu in the semifinals.
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, it's been great. I have played a lot of tough Romanian players. You know, it's going to be -- I think I'm always really happy for new people that are coming and doing their best, because I know one thing is that no matter who you are you start out young and you work really, really hard for these moments.

You know, I think everyone should be happy for the success of someone else.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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