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May 28, 2016

Serena Williams

Paris, France

S. WILLIAMS/K. Mladenovic

6-4, 7-6

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. How tough was it to wait for that long rain delay, knowing you had to come right back into a tiebreak and start pretty much at full power?
SERENA WILLIAMS: It was tough, but it's part of the game. You just have to be ready for it.

Q. Can you just tell us your thoughts on the match in general and what kind of challenge Kiki posed to you?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I think she played well. I feel like I made a tremendous amount of errors. But, you know, I feel like she kind of forced me to. She forced me to go for it, and unfortunately, I wasn't hitting great today. But I was really, I don't know -- but again, I feel like she kind of forced the issue.

Q. Did you make it a point to come out more aggressive after that break into the tiebreaker?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I just made it a point to play my game. Up until that point I had not been playing my game. I was playing really defensive. It's not me.

So I just wanted to be Serena out there.

Q. Sometimes it's talked about a player needing a challenge at some point during a Grand Slam. So you had two pretty routine matches. Did you feel like that was a challenge for you, or you just take it one match at a time?
SERENA WILLIAMS: It was definitely a challenge for me, obviously. I think by the scoreline, you know, and by the match, and barely getting through that, I had opportunities to end it a lot sooner and I didn't, but that's also something that I can try to do, you know, going forward.

Q. Your thoughts on the breakpoints? You had a much lower conversion percentage than you usually do. Do you feel yourself tightening up or not playing your game? Those opportunities, your thoughts.
SERENA WILLIAMS: I think today in general I definitely didn't play my usual game, and, you know, some of those break points, most of them I should have won, and I didn't. And lately I have been really converting those break points, but, you know, I have got to focus on the positives, I guess.

Q. This is away from today's match, but I don't know whether you have heard that a group of 100 scientists, looking ahead to the Olympics, a group of scientists from America and Britain, have come together and written a letter to the World Health Organization urging that the Games should be postponed or moved because they say the eradication of the Zika-bearing mosquitoes hasn't been effective. Does that ring any alarm bells for you? Is it something you need to or will pay particular consideration to?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah. It's something that's been on my mind. I'm really just gonna have to go super protected maybe, and I don't know.

Q. The tension got up pretty high at the end and you looked a little slow footed at times. I'm wondering if you feel the number of matches coming in here might have contributed to how you were feeling out there today.
SERENA WILLIAMS: No, I don't think so. I think I have played enough. I have played a lot of matches in Rome. I think it's enough. I just -- yeah. Yeah, I don't think it was -- I just wasn't playing -- I was a little too defensive. And when you're defensive, then you don't usually get off to that quick start speed-wise, even in terms of match-wise, as well.

Q. You don't seem looking in a good mood as normally winners should be, and I'd like to know why. I mean, it's something wrong with you? You look almost sad. Apart from that, I'd like also to know what is your idea what happened to Rafa Nadal, wishing so much to play and win this tournament, you have been through injuries, too. How do you solidarize with him?
SERENA WILLIAMS: No, I'm just really focused. That's it. I'm just here to do the best that I can, and that's it.

As for Rafa, it was definitely weird to see him go out like that, but I am a big believer in taking care of yourself and not forcing it, you know, forcing a surgery or something, saying if he kept going it could get a lot worse. Personally, I have pulled out of a lot matches because I didn't want it to get worse and I didn't want to have any complications later down the road.

So, yeah, just sad for the tournament, I guess.

Q. Can I ask you about your next opponent or you don't know who it is?

Q. Can you talk about Elina? What do you remember from that match with her in Australia and just talk about her as a player?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Obviously she's a great player, and she knows how to play well. She knows how to just play on the big scenes, as well.

So it's just another match for me. I think today, having this match is definitely going to be able to help me out going for it.

Q. You have played Justine a lot a few times here. She will be in the crowd for that one coaching Svitolina. How do you think that will be, a former rival of yours there in the opposite camp sort of across the net again?
SERENA WILLIAMS: It really doesn't matter. It's just really about going out there and playing your best. That's really all I can do right now. That's all I look forward to doing.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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