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May 15, 2016

Serena Williams

Rome, Italy


7-6, 6-3

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Congratulations. Does it feel like it's been a while since a title? It's one of your longer stretches lately with that one. How good does it feel to get one now?
SERENA WILLIAMS: It feels great. I mean, I have played, let's see, US Open, Australian, Miami, Indian Wells. So it's only four tournaments. So it's not like I was playing every week.

So that's kind of how I look at it. But it feels great to win a title, especially on clay.

Q. Did you feel it was important to put those other finals this year behind you?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yes, I feel like it was important for me to just go out there like usual. It's a totally new match, it's a different week, you know, and hopefully just win one. If not, hope for next time, next week.

Q. Obviously you've played Madison twice before, today in clay, the final. Can you give some thoughts of the match itself? Looked like you were able to defend her forehand pretty well crosscourt and I felt like you stayed on that pretty well and had a pretty good grasp on the match altogether.
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I think she's such a powerful player. Obviously going in, I knew that, but I was just trying. I think I was pretty much able to just get back what I could, you know, and that's all I was trying to do was just to go out there and be consistent, and, yeah, make my shots.

Q. How much better do you feel about the French Open now with how well this week went for you?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, I feel really good about it. I mean, especially after my first few rounds. I started feeling better.

I'm feeling pretty fit. So, yeah, I'm looking forward to it.

Q. What do you think it will be like going back there, defending a title, everything that goes into another Grand Slam for you?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah. I don't know. I have tried to defend there once, twice, three times before. Didn't quite work so well. But this year is different. I'm going to definitely go in there and I feel more calm and I don't feel stress to, like, have to win. You know, I feel like I just am happy to be out here.

Q. The camera or the microphones rather picked up you saying, You're going to be a future No. 1, I think, at the net. I mean, there is obviously a lot of great young players in the States, but do you feel like Madison is kind of the pick of the bunch?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I think Madison is a great player. I really do. I always have. I feel like she has potential to be the best in the world and that is No. 1. Yeah, absolutely.

Q. Ahead, looking to Paris again, what do you remember most about how you were able to win that tournament last year? You had a lot of crazy matches and a lot of three-setters. You were down and somehow managed to survive and win that one in the end. What's your major memory that might hit you when you go back there?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, obviously my major memory was probably that semifinal and the final, too, and the night before. Just that whole last three, four rounds was extremely difficult for me.

Honestly, just -- I don't even know the words for it. I mean, courage is beyond anything I could describe. So, yeah, it was just honestly probably just a miracle.

Q. Looking back at this week, you haven't dropped a set. What is it you're most happy or satisfied with over the course of this week? Your patience on the surface? Or what was it for you that stood out for you?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I think -- yeah, I think my patience was really great. I wasn't stressed out. I wasn't rushing too much.

Basically more than anything I was able to do what I practiced, and I think that's what really helped me out.

Q. Since you did a cameo on Lemonade and it's your first title in 2016 and the album is all about women coming back and showing strength and power, do you think there might be a song which can summarize this week for you in the album?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I don't know. That's a good -- I mean, obviously I'm kind of biased to Sorry, because I was in that portion of the song. I don't know if that kind of describes it, but, yeah.

Q. (Speaking Italian.)
SERENA WILLIAMS: Thank you. I love it here in Italy.

Q. In Italian, please.
SERENA WILLIAMS: Oh, in Italian? (Speaking Italian.)

(More questions and answers in Italian.)

Q. Will you celebrate and how?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I'm a little tired, so I I'm not sure if I'll celebrate. I don't remember the last win I've celebrated, actually. Yeah, probably not.

Q. After it worked out for you this week, in the end are you going to try more dog menus?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Definitely not, no. Definitely not.

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