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September 7, 2016
New York, NY, USA
S. WILLIAMS/S. Halep
6-2 4-6, 6-3
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. How are you feeling health-wise? Shoulder?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I didn't hear you.
Q. How are you feeling health-wise?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Oh. I feel okay. I'm not at 100%, but I'm okay. Nothing to complain too much about.
Q. Didn't play a seeded player first four rounds. Top 5 player, Simona. Amped up?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, I didn't have to be too amped up because it's the quarterfinals and it's a tough player. I just knew I needed to be ready.
Q. Do you feel like a big jump in difficulty?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I think that she obviously plays well. Yeah, so it was definitely a jump.
Q. What are your thoughts on the way you employed the dropshot and came to the net in this match? How does it represent an emphasis, perhaps, in your game right now?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I have been working on getting to the net. Particularly today I couldn't do too much off the groundstrokes. I felt maybe I should get in more. It worked for me.
I don't really like coming to the net, to be honest, but I'm good at the net, I guess. I guess I've got to do what I'm good at.
Q. And dropshots?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah. I hit a lot of dropshots in practice. I just never do it in a match, but the past year or so I have been doing it more in my matches. It worked out.
Q. Do you like it more than maybe coming to the net?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yes, definitely. (Smiling.) Definitely.
Q. What was it about her game in the second set that gave you a little trouble?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I didn't take some opportunities that I had. I really had some chances there and I didn't take them, and I let that get the better of me.
You know, I didn't play the same match in the first set or in the second, and my third set was better than the second. So I didn't keep that level up.
Q. You had a ton of break points throughout the match. Is that something you and Patrick work on a lot?
SERENA WILLIAMS: You know, it's happened to me in the past before, but like I said on the court, I just stay positive. I'm glad I had the break points as opposed to not having them. That's the only thing I can do, and hopefully I can start getting more.
Q. Is it harder to move on from those? I think there were two games, one was 22 points, one was 18, and you lost both of them. Is it harder to move on from those games, to put that out of your mind?
SERENA WILLIAMS: No, and I won a long one, too. So that's all I kind of was focusing on was -- yeah, I was rather positive today, and that's not normal. I'm just going to go with it. (Smiling.)
Q. This is your first three-set match since McHale at Wimbledon. I guess did it feel different in any way? I mean, obviously you have played plenty of tennis, but did it feel like it had been a long time since you had been in that situation?
SERENA WILLIAMS: No. I mean, I also lost a match at the Olympics. It wasn't a three-set match, but it was a longer match, and I think kind of in a weird way helped me.
Q. Maybe it's a silly question, but is there any sort of enjoyment of the challenge, the difficulty of pulling out a three-set match, high stakes, high tension, all of that as opposed to winning 6-1, 6-1, or 6-2, 6-3.
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I think there is a huge enjoyment in the three-set matches, but I just feel like you don't get that appreciation until later. Obviously in the moment you want to win fast and you want to win easy and win in straights. You really feel that appreciation much later.
Q. Any silver linings being tested in a match like that tonight?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I feel great. I'm glad I got tested. The best part of it is I feel like -- I mean, I think her level really picked up in the second, but I had some opportunities that I didn't take.
So what I gather from that is I really could have played better in that second set and maybe had an opportunity to win in straights.
I think if anything, that's the biggest silver lining I take.
Q. You mentioned earlier being positive and just going with it. In that second set, it did seem like in the past we would have like almost expected you to get mad, you know, maybe break a racquet, something like that. You remained pretty inward. Noticeable for you out there? Like did it ever get close to getting -- you know, the frustration boiling over?
SERENA WILLIAMS: No. I was really rather calm today and not trying to be. I guess that's just how I got out of bed this morning.
I definitely wanted to do some more Come ons. I don't know why. That's weird.
Q. We don't keep that stat. It's okay.
SERENA WILLIAMS: (Smiling.)
Q. Draymond Green, who has such a fighting spirit and a great athlete, was in the house. Like you, born in Saginaw. Have you met or encountered him? Any thoughts about him?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, we met a while back. We had our Saginaw stories. We had fun. We had a big chat about that. I saw him in the stands, so it was good to see him out there.
Q. Can you share one Saginaw tale?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, listen, I was just born there. That's my only connection. I think he has more.
Q. What's your thoughts on having the match tomorrow and not a day off?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I feel that it's normal. I feel having a day off is weird, because the whole year you play every single day, you know. So this is totally normal.
Q. Can I ask you to look ahead to that matchup with Pliskova? What do you think the keys will be? We have asked you this before, but I'm curious in this instance how much you'll speak to Venus about playing someone shortly after she played that player.
SERENA WILLIAMS: I haven't even gotten that far yet, actually. I'm still trying to just get over this match. I'll definitely -- I will more than likely -- I'm sure she will tell me something, but I'll be there. I'll be ready tomorrow.
Q. Schedules changed a little bit this year. I don't think you ever played a night session semifinal before. Will that feel different here? You were supposed to last year but it got rained out.
SERENA WILLIAMS: Oh. Yeah, so I look forward to it. It's great because I have more time off, I guess.
Then, yeah, so it kind of works out for me.
Q. I mean, do you think about rounds and times? Like you're in a semifinal and it's dark. Does it feel unusual or do you not think that way?
SERENA WILLIAMS: No, I don't think that way at all.
Q. How much do you enjoy playing against a big server? What pride do you take in your return game when so many people think of you as the person with the biggest serve yourself?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, it's good to play. We'll see. I haven't played against many big servers recently, but she places her serve really well, I think. She definitely gets some speed on it, but her placement is really, really nice.
Hopefully tomorrow I'll be able to read them and play okay.
Q. Inasmuch as you're zen - and I'm not saying you are zen - how zen have you felt in this tournament?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I have been really stressed out in a few of the matches, but I felt pretty good in most of the rounds.
Honestly I feel okay today. I feel like I could have played a lot better. I think that makes me really calm, is the fact that I know I can play so much better and I have to -- yeah, I know that. I think everyone here knows I can play better.
Q. Tonight was it just an issue of execution in the second and third sets? Is that what you're frustrated with or tactics, or what is it about the match that you're still trying to process and get over?
SERENA WILLIAMS: You know, I definitely think a little bit of the execution. I don't think I -- yeah, just maybe that and some other things. I'm not...
Q. But Karolina has a twin sister on tour. Have you ever thought about another identical copy of you floating around? How tough that might be?
SERENA WILLIAMS: It would be a living hell. (Laughter.)
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports