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September 1, 2016
New York, NY, USA
S. WILLIAMS/V. King
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. You won pretty handily out there, but you didn't seem you were pleased with your game based on your expressions. Can you talk a little bit about that.
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I just think it should have been a different scoreline for me. I feel like I made a lot of errors.
But, you know, there's nothing I can do about that now. What really matters is I got the win. Hopefully I'll just get better.
Q. You played in most stadiums around the world. What is your impression of the noise level with the roof closed?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I think it was louder with it open actually in my first night match. It's still extremely loud. But I don't know if it's the roof, per se, or if it's something else.
But it's very, very loud out there.
Q. Is it disruptive, harder to play?
SERENA WILLIAMS: It's definitely different because everywhere you play is really quiet. Here it's super loud. The first match, it was definitely something I got used to, so today was a little easier. So hopefully I'll just get used to the noise.
Q. Do you think fans should try to keep conversations to a minimum? There was a guy in my row on a cell phone having a full-volume conversation.
SERENA WILLIAMS: Really? Is it the stadium that's making it so loud? That's what the umpire told me. It's always loud, especially the first couple rounds. It's always really, really loud.
I don't know. Like, I think this umpire tonight did a really good job. But there's only so much you can do.
Q. Were the mistakes you're talking about of a similar nature? Were they mental or physical?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I just didn't have a great day today. But it's always good to get a win when you're not -- I definitely don't think I played the way I did in my first round. But it's all right.
Q. Today you tied Martina Navratilova for most slam match wins with 306. Did you know that and what's your reaction to that?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I knew it was on the horizon. I knew at Wimbledon that I wanted to get there. Obviously I'm excited about that. Would like to take one more step, several more steps.
Q. Is it good that your service game was good in terms of your recovery from the first round?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I think so. That was the best part of my game today. So seeing that's what I did the least coming into this tournament, it's a really good sign of me being able to serve well and hopefully gain momentum on that.
Q. When you hit those milestones, when you tie those records, whether they're big records or small ones, are there some that you kind of shrug at or do you feel the achievement, do you let yourself?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, sometimes I don't even know that I'm hitting these milestones. But some of them I'm really proud of. Like this one's kind of cool, to win 306. That's really a cool milestone.
Q. How is the shoulder generally? Quite a concern coming into the tournament. Two matches in, where do you feel like it is?
SERENA WILLIAMS: It's stable (laughter). It's stable. I just got to keep it like that. It's two matches in, and usually you want to be able to play seven matches. It's not even close to the halfway point.
I definitely want to keep it as good as it can be.
Q. Is there anybody you could imagine playing in front of that could make you nervous? Has there been in the past?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I'm sure I would get nervous. But usually when people are there, I try to play better, especially if they're famous and they're doing so great at their job. It's like I want to show them that I'm good at my job, too - minus today.
Yeah, so that's usually how I think about it, look at it.
Q. Is that why you might be harder on yourself sometimes?
SERENA WILLIAMS: No. I'm always hard on myself.
Q. What sort of treatment do you have to do for your shoulder?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Just tons of treatment, tons of rehab, tons of ice. It's constant, so...
Q. There's so much involved in a tennis player's life. What is it about tennis that you love the most?
SERENA WILLIAMS: You know, I think what I love about tennis the most is being out there, usually being by yourself, and just having to problem-solve.
You know, tennis is one of the few sports where most of the time you're on your own. It's just totally different than I think any other sport.
Q. Is there a problem solved that you can think of that you particularly feel good about that you've done in your career?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I've solved a lot of problems. Now none of them can come to my mind right now. But I know many a time I've been down and out, many times, and was able to come back and play better.
Q. In Montreal, Olympics, Cincinnati, usually you have to play back-to-back matches, no days off. Here obviously there's a day off between your matches. Do you think it would have been made a difference at the Olympics if you had time between to rest the shoulder, recuperate, that physically or mentally it would have been an easier task?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I don't know. Maybe. I don't know. I don't know. Probably not, actually.
Q. Your tying Martina brings her to mind. She brought a lot to the game. What do you appreciate most about Martina Navratilova?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Wow, she was just an incredible legend. For me, one of the best players to ever play tennis. Someone that I never even thought I could be as good as numbers-wise. So, yeah, that's what I think of her.
Q. You're saying you don't even know when you're breaking these milestones. You also say you don't look at the draw. Have you looked at the draw and do you know when you play Venus?
SERENA WILLIAMS: No. She's 6, so that puts her at least at the quarters.
SERENA WILLIAMS: Semis, quarters.
Q. Did you watch any of her match today?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I think I saw maybe one point because I was warming up, so...
Q. When you watch a live tennis match, where do you like to sit and why?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Definitely not on the side. Preferably in the back so I don't have to move my head as much. So, yeah.
Q. Nike unveiled that Greatest Athlete Ever campaign. What goes through your mind when you see those billboards, that whole ad campaign?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I just feel really overwhelmed and appreciated. I think it's a wonderful campaign because I think a lot of times a lot of female athletes have to live with this, Oh, she's a great female athlete, instead of, She's just a great athlete. None of the male athletes have to live with, Oh, he's a great male athlete. They always just say athlete.
I really feel almost vindicated that a company so big as Nike can recognize just athletes and not put a sex behind it. I think that's really important for that young girl that's growing up. She wants to be a great athlete. She wants to be the greatest. She doesn't want to be only labeled as a female athlete. I don't think there should be labels.
You know, I'm here and I've been playing sports and I'm an athlete.
Q. When someone talks about you as being an idol, how much pride do you take? How much do you appreciate having Beyonce and Jay Z?
SERENA WILLIAMS: It's weird to have the Simones; Simone and Simone, I should say, to have them so influenced by me. I'm still influenced by people. I'm still in this sport and I just never take that moment to kind of look back and see all the things that I've done because I don't want to do that. I don't want to become complacent.
So I'm still a little bit in a bubble. Sometimes I just forget all the accomplishments because I'm trying to make so many more accomplishments and trying to do so much more.
It's always good to have Beyonce and Jay in the box.
Q. Following up on the female athlete and athlete thing, Sheryl Sandberg talks about that in her book. Have you discussed that with her?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, we discuss that all the time. We just had dinner not too long ago with friends. We had such big discussions about that. It got really interesting and really funny, just even in her industry how there's still a lot of barriers that need to be broken down.
She's someone who is so amazing. She still has to deal with female versus male things, as well.
It's always good to kind of realize that you're in the struggle together and you're trying to make everyone aware together.
Q. You've spoken so many times about human rights situations, from slavery, women's rights. There's a nice piece in USA Today where you mention how you grew up with Mexican kids, Mexican people. Does it ever trouble you that many of them may now be deported if there's a turn in our politics? Is that of a concern to you?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I don't really know what's going on with that, so I can't really speak to that.
I know my best friend is Mexican, and I'm really close to that culture, like super close. So obviously it doesn't sit well with me.
But, again, I can't really speak to what I don't know the full facts on.
Q. Let me put it a different way. What do you think the Mexican, Hispanic culture brings to American culture and life?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I mean, that's what makes America America. It's a plethora of so many different types of people where you can come and live the dream. You have immigrants coming from all parts of the world, from Eastern Europe, from Africa, from Australia, from Latin America, from South America, from Mexico. Then their second generations become American.
That's kind of how America got started, from England, so from a different country. I totally lost where I was going with that, but I think I was going somewhere pretty amazing (laughter). I started talking too much and forgot, so...
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports