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July 7, 2016

Elena Vesnina

London, England

S. WILLIAMS/E. Vesnina
6‑2, 6‑0

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Was that everything you feared it might be?
ELENA VESNINA: Yeah, probably. I felt like I had no chance today, first of all. I felt like Serena was playing really good. She was in a great mood, and serve was working really well for her. She had a really high percentage of the first serves. She was placing it amazingly.
I couldn't say that I was a bit fast with my legs today. I would prefer to be a little bit faster, you know, to defend a bit better. But she was just better all over the court.

Q. Can you describe what it feels like to be on the other side of the net to Serena.
ELENA VESNINA: To be honest, you know, when you go on the court, I was not trying to think about that. You see Serena, you just think about as the opponent, you know, what you have to do, what you were talking with your coach before the match, how I have to play, my strategy.
I mean, of course, beside the court, I respect her so much. I know she's a great champion. She won so many Grand Slams and titles. But on the court, I was not thinking about that. I was really trying to do something and to change the situation. But it just didn't work today.

Q. Unusually you will have to face her again shortly. Can you learn anything from this to take to that match?
ELENA VESNINA: Serena even told me at the net, See you later. Not long time to wait (laughter).
It is a little bit strange. But that's what it is, you know. We're in a quarterfinal in doubles and semifinal in singles, everyone of us.
How to learn, how to actually try to play her serve, how to return her serve. She's, like, serving 129 miles in corner, it's really difficult to read, first of all.
But, yeah, we will try to speak with my partner about these doubles and we will try to do something different.

Q. Would it make a difference if Venus loses today?
ELENA VESNINA: I don't know. If Venus probably will lose, then Serena for sure will try to maybe step it up, you know, to help her to win match in doubles.
They definitely want to get title in singles and doubles. You can feel it. They're very focused both on singles and doubles. They didn't play doubles much last two, three years. This year they signed. You can see they're very serious about that.

Q. Despite today's tough day, what positives do you take away from this tournament?
ELENA VESNINA: Of course, I will take the positive things about this Wimbledon. For me, it's just a magical tournament. I'm in the semifinal. I had good wins. I was really impressed the way I was playing. I was really impressed the way Serena played today, of course.
Credit to her. I think she has now big, big chance to win her 22nd Grand Slam title. I think she's in the right mood right now. We will see, yeah, how it's going to go.

Q. You referenced a couple times today Serena's mood, she looks focused. Is that different than maybe her mood as you saw it maybe in Paris or Australia? Do you feel it's different?
ELENA VESNINA: Probably, yeah. I think they look a bit more confident right now. In Paris, it was just really difficult conditions to play, first of all, with the heavy balls and raining. It was really difficult for both sisters, you know, to play on these kind of conditions.
Grass is much better for both of them. They love it. They enjoy playing here. Everybody knows that.
Yeah, both of them in the semifinals in singles, the quarterfinal in doubles. There is something between Williams sisters and Wimbledon. There is love going on.
We will see because, yeah, they have chances in both.

Q. When we think of Serena, we think of her serve. Could you try to put the different elements of her game as a whole, her forehand, her return, her presence, her mental toughness?
ELENA VESNINA: You know, Serena, she's not only about serve. When people are saying about her, of course, she's relying on serve, and that's her biggest weapon. But on the baseline, she's also using the pace really good. She's changing the spin on the ball. She's not only hitting flat balls, she's using spin, slices sometimes. She's maybe not the best mover, but she's reading your game.
Today for me was really difficult. I would say she has one of the best forehand cross‑court return from the deuce side. It's so fast, you cannot even finish your serve, then the ball's already passing you with a clear winner.
Of course, the mental part. I mean, she's the strongest one with the mentality to playing on the big courts, the big events, finals, semifinals, Grand Slams. She's the best with this.

Q. You seem not exactly happy, but not crushed. That was a crushing defeat. You're very matter of fact here.
ELENA VESNINA: Yeah, I felt like Serena just... one blow.
I was fighting. I was really fighting and trying to change the situation on the court. I felt like score is going fast, not on my side and she's controlling point. I'm disappointed. I wanted to play better on this semifinal, my first Grand Slam semifinal against Serena.
You have to admit she was just better. She was stronger, faster. I couldn't do anything today. It's just something I can just, like, take this experience with me for the future. I'm just wishing best of luck to Serena in the final. That's what it is.
I'm not that kind of person who's going to be, you know, down, crying in the locker room. I'm not like that, first of all. I'm never doing this. But, yeah, it's just what it is.

Q. Serena arguably played her best match of the tournament against you. Do you take that as a compliment knowing she was so ready for you?
ELENA VESNINA: Yes. She was really happy. I mean, we play couple of times against each other. I know kind of her attitude. She was really happy today on the court. She was really enjoying herself. Her mood, everything was working.
She was defending. She was coming to the net. She was playing really good with the low balls. I was trying to change everything. You know, I went on the court with a game plan. Even the score is like I won only two games.
I think I tried everything. I did serve and volley couple of times. But it was just not meant to be today. It was all about Serena.

Q. Can I ask you about the subject of equal prize money. There's been some comparison between today's game being so short and yesterday's games being so long, five sets. How do you feel about prize money?
ELENA VESNINA: And yesterday was a quarterfinal, right, men's quarterfinals?

Q. Yes.
ELENA VESNINA: We have also good quarterfinal matches in the women's side.
I think it's not depends on the score. It's just amazing that we have such a great champion like Serena on the women's side. I don't think that it's the right topic, you know, to speak about that.
We had amazing matches here in the women's tournament, amazing matches with the guys. It's not about that.
Women's are tough, I can say. We deserve what we have right now.

Q. So many times after matches we see players come in, and they're so unhappy. You said that just isn't who you are. Could you explain what your approach is or why you don't have that quality?
ELENA VESNINA: That must be my character. You know, that must be my personality. Of course, I'm not always happy and up after I'm losing matches. It depends.
But I'm trying not to give myself more than some certain time to be down because we have so many tournaments in the year. If you're going to cry and be crazy after every loss, I think your nerve system will be, I don't know, dead until the end of your career.
So that's my kind of, I don't know, credo. I'm like this. I'm really trying to, you know, step forward. I'll take the best thing what I can take from this Wimbledon, because for me it was amazing. I'm really impressed with my game. I'm really impressed how I was handling the tough situations, you know, with the rain delays and everything.
I was showing really good tennis these two weeks. I was playing semifinal against Serena on the Centre Court. I mean, it's just great. Yeah, we have a long season. Olympic Games are coming. US Open are coming. We will see how it's going to go for me.

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