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June 26, 2016
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. How much pressure do you feel as the defending champion here, being that it was the last slam title you won, coming into this event?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, honestly, I don't feel any pressure. I feel good and confident.
Q. After the French Open, you posted that video kind of talking about your transition, getting back on court, hitting again. Can you talk a little bit about what your preparation for Wimbledon has been, how much you've been able to hit on the grass, practice...
SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, I got here I think on Monday. So I've had a lot of time on the grass. In the States, usually I just hit on the hard court. But the grass has slowed down a lot. I mean, it's a huge difference still, but it's not like it was 10 years ago.
I did the same preparation, and it seems to work for me.
Q. What do you enjoy most about playing on the grass of Wimbledon?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I enjoy it just being on grass. It's usually the only tournament I play on grass. It's a unique experience. You know, it's just that one time a year you just get to get on this amazing, beautiful surface. It feels really good.
Q. What is most suited for your game about these courts?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, you know, the speed. I guess they're a little faster than most other surfaces. So I think that works good for me.
But either way, I just feel like all surfaces I'm pretty well adept on. Yeah, I don't know what suits me.
Q. Your first opponent is a Swiss girl. Do you have any information about her?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Not yet. But normally, my coach obviously does a lot of research, or the most that he can, then we go from there.
Q. Do you take time to seriously reflect on the big defeats you've had this year, Kerber in Australia, Muguruza in Paris, and what do you learn from them and learn about yourself from them?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, I think it's important to learn from every loss that you have. I think in particular I usually do throughout my whole career have been able to, like, learn a lot, to come off, to come back a much better player.
Q. You said your coach would research about your opponent. Do you prefer to play someone you have never played because it's a new challenge or do you prefer playing someone you know already?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Honestly, it doesn't matter who I play. It doesn't matter to me.
Q. After so many years in Wimbledon, is there still a certain kind of tension before stepping out the first time on the grass, the Centre Court?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, this year I don't feel as much tension as I usually do. Well, there's some years I haven't felt any tension either.
I'm feeling pretty good. I don't feel any pressure or stress.
Q. Novak is going for the calendar slam like you did last year. What would you tell him, if you could tell him anything, in terms of what you learned from last year, sort of key in your mind?
SERENA WILLIAMS: You know, he has every opportunity to do it. I think he'll get it easy. So he should be fine.
Q. After the French Open, you posted a video online of yourself going out and taking serves, frustration you were letting out. I'm wondering, because you were fairly upbeat off the court with us, at what point that sort of feeling kicks in for you and how long it lingers?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I don't think I was that upbeat, but okay.
How long? I mean, for me, instantly. It wasn't anything.
Q. Just talking to Novak about the corridors here, they're very different in the sense of a setup going out, walking out on court, the special memories of winning, coming into this. How much can you take into that when you're walking back into them? Do you feel all those memories flooding back to you when you return?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah. You know, when I'm walking down those corridors or hallways, you know, you think of different moments that you've had, different moments that you've won, or didn't win.
I try not to focus on those moments because I try to create a new moment every time I walk out there.
Q. Going into this tournament, who in your mind would the favorite be?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I don't know.
Q. Do you have any particular memory from your first time in Wimbledon?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, my first time in Wimbledon, I didn't actually play. But I was here with Venus. It was the year, I think it was '97, and I don't think any matches got on until the second week. So that's, like, something I'll never forget.
Q. And when you played the first time?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I don't remember.
Q. Have you been following any of the Brexit? At least now it looks like that decision could affect your prize money here because the pound has devalued. Your thoughts on any of that?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I mean, I'm not a citizen of here, but I think at this point the Euro, the pound and the dollar went down after that decision. It affected the economy I think in a whole.
However, I think it's too soon right now to see how long that effect will last, or if it won't last long. It's a very volatile economy right now. We'll see what happens. I'm watching really closely, though.
Q. Maria Sharapova is not here. Do you have any sympathy with her predicament?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I've commented a lot on that in the past.
Q. What is your favorite memory of seeing your sister play?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Probably playing Lindsay Davenport in the final here. I think it was really an incredible match. I think she was down a match point or two. It was an insane match. It was three sets. It was a really, really good match.
Q. What about it gave you the most joy? What do you remember most of the experience of seeing that?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I just remember her being very happy, but very confident. I was more happy that she won. When someone you love wins, you are just so happy for them.
Yeah, it was just a great experience, a wonderful experience.
Q. What did that say to you about her in that moment?
SERENA WILLIAMS: That she's great. She's obviously a great champion. She never once gave in or gave up. It was really inspiring for me.
Q. You've been practicing a lot with Venus here in the leadup to this, probably back in Florida, too. How is her form? This is usually her best tournament.
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, she's been doing great. She's been working really, really, really hard, as she always does. Yeah, she's just been so focused. That really motivates me because every time I'm out there, I'll be out there waiting for her to finish so I can finish, too.
It's a motivation still.
Q. You were in Beyonce's video? How fun is it that you can be part of pop culture like that? Can we expect more from you down the road?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, it was a lot of fun. I don't know what to expect in the future. If there's another opportunity that I like, I totally would do something. But we'll see.
Q. I know you're always an Olympic enthusiast. Are you at all concerned about the Zika virus talk and have you had any instructions of what to do to try to prevent it?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, there's really been a lot of instructions. I'm concerned, obviously, but I'm also very prepared.
Q. What have they told you to do? Is it the USTA?
SERENA WILLIAMS: It's the USTA, the U.S. Committee, just handing out lots of information to all the athletes.
Q. Venus posted a video of you two practicing doubles down in Florida. How much preparation are you doing with that Olympic event coming up?
SERENA WILLIAMS: We're doing a little preparation. We're practicing a little bit in doubles. Whenever I hit a return out in singles, I'm like, It counts for doubles, so it works out (smiling).
Q. You've been to so many of these tournaments. Is it at this point, the day before, just itching for it to get underway? Are you just itching for it to get going?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, like, I'm definitely ready to start playing at this point. I'm kind of over practicing every day for two hours, then going to the gym for some time.
So I'm definitely ready to get started.
Q. Do you normally practice doubles with Venus or is this special with the Olympics coming up?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, we haven't practiced in a while. We've been practicing a little bit this year, a lot because we haven't been on our best doubles game, so we need to practice to get better.
Q. Will you go for mixed doubles there, too, a trio?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I don't think so. It's a lot to play singles, doubles, mixed. I'm playing, like, the week before. I'm playing US Open after. We'll see. But probably not.
I'm still kind of debating.
Q. A year ago here you completed your second Serena Slam. A year on from that, how do you look at that accomplishment?
SERENA WILLIAMS: It was a great accomplishment to win four Grand Slams in a row twice in my career. It's pretty cool. It's really awesome.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports