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January 28, 2017

Serena Williams

Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

S. WILLIAMS/V. Williams

6-4, 6-4

CRAIG TILEY: I just want to raise a glass to the magnificent performance and the great champion that she is, one of Australia's favorite athletes of all times, three cheers to Serena Williams.

Apparently there is a tradition which I had completely forgotten about, but well done.

SERENA WILLIAMS: Thank you. Thank you.

CRAIG TILEY: Do you want me to hold your glass (referring to the glass of champagne)?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yes. Try to give good answers (smiling).

Q. You finally got rid of Steffi Graf in a way. Took awhile, but you deserve it. What is the satisfaction?
SERENA WILLIAMS: It's such a great feeling to have 23. It really feels great. Yeah, I've been chasing it for a really long time. It feels like, really long time. When it got on my radar, I knew I had an opportunity to get there, and I'm here. I'm here.

It's a great feeling. No better place to do it than Melbourne.

Q. Do you reassess your goals now? Do you have 30 in mind or another number?
SERENA WILLIAMS: No, no, I definitely don't. I never had a number. That's the beauty of it. When I started this journey, I just wanted to win a Grand Slam. Then I just wanted to win. Every time I step on the court, I want to win.

It's just really remarkable.

Q. You say no better place to win it than in Melbourne, and I'm sure no better person to share it with than Venus.
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yes, absolutely. My first Grand Slam started here, and getting to 23 here, but playing Venus, it's stuff that legends are made of. I couldn't have written a better story.

I just feel like it was the right moment. Everything kind of happened. It hasn't quite set in yet, but it's really good.

Q. World No. 1 ranking to top it all off.
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, that was a bonus. I didn't know actually. It feels good. I like being on top, so I really like that feeling.

Q. Did Patrick tell you that wasn't a possibility?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, in the beginning of the tournament, I was like, If I win, will I be No. 1?

He said, No, no, no.

I was like, Whatever.

Today on the court when they were like, And No. 1, I was like, Whoa, really?

Q. Was the childhood you had in California the type of childhood where you didn't look up to players?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Absolutely. I used to love watching Monica Seles and I loved watching Steffi. I also loved Pete. I wanted to serve like Pete Sampras. That was kind of my thing. I just liked so many different players. I remember when Zina Garrison got to the finals of Wimbledon, that was so amazing. I loved watching her play whenever I got that opportunity.

Yeah, I really loved watching so many people.

Q. Irrespective of the result tonight, it was certain to be the 30th time the Williams name was going to be on a Grand Slam trophy. How proud are you of what you and Venus have achieved in the game?
SERENA WILLIAMS: We are just so proud. We feel so fortunate to have this opportunity to be the ones that can do it, you know. Venus and I work so hard. Still to this day we work side-by-side each other at practice. We motivate each other. Like I said on the court, every time she won her match, I felt obligated to win, I've got to win, too.

The motivation she gives me, it's really second to nothing. It's amazing.

Q. Can you share with us, straight after the match she embraced you, what she said to you?
SERENA WILLIAMS: It was our private moment. But it was something that we definitely hold close to us. It felt good.

Q. Was it different to play Venus in a slam final at this stage of your career compared to the past?
SERENA WILLIAMS: It definitely feels different. I feel like right now we really -- I don't know. We're both, like I say, 30-fun. Yeah, we're having fun. To be able to play Venus...

I really felt like today, win or lose, I really felt like there was no way I could have lost today. If I had of lost, it wouldn't have been a loss because I know everything that Venus has gone through. I know how hard she works. In particular before this tournament, she worked so hard.

So I just felt like this was just a win-win situation for me.

Q. Did it always feel like that?
SERENA WILLIAMS: No, it definitely didn't feel like that before, not at all. I just felt like today and any other time we played a Grand Slam final, it's different now. I mean, in the beginning it was a lot more emotionally involved. Now I just feel like I'm satisfied with where I am, although I always want to win. I also just feel, you know, a little bit more satiated.

Q. To be two strong sisters and champions, do you think it helped you in your growth, in your longevity? If you were more of a rival, do you think it would have made you stronger and win more titles?
SERENA WILLIAMS: More titles than what we have now?

Q. You never know.
SERENA WILLIAMS: I don't know. I can't say. I always feel like love conquers all, not war. I definitely feel like having a loving relationship is always better.

Q. Where do you go from here? What does life have until Indian Wells?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I was signed up for Indian Wells. I don't know. I was feeling good about my game. I don't want it to stop. I want to keep it going. I haven't thought much about it. We'll see.

Q. When did 23 hit the radar for you, now that we can talk about it, looking back?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I guess after Wimbledon, I obviously was thinking, Okay the next one. I had the Open. I got it fast, so it didn't stay on the radar too long.

Q. Is 24 already there?
SERENA WILLIAMS: No. One thing I learned in the past is you have to enjoy it. That's the beauty of winning Australia, you have a few months to relax. If you win the French, it's like back-to-back-to-back-to-back. Australia, you have time to enjoy the moment before the next Grand Slam.

Q. Was it extra special to have your fiancé here to win this tournament?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah. He's been so supportive in the stands. Although I never really heard him, even though I heard he was very boisterous. I'm so focused, I don't hear a lot. I have really selective hearing. It's nice to have that support. It is a wonderful feeling.

Q. Many discussions between the GOAT, greatest of all time, Federer, Laver, Nadal, Djokovic. What about Serena Williams and Martina Navratilova?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I definitely think so. I mean, between Martina, myself, Steffi Graf, hands down we are leading that conversation.

Q. You obviously topped the mark of Chrissie and Martina. You passed Steffi. Margaret Court is down the line. Can you talk about them as champions? Do you see any quality of commonality that those four have in common?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, just one thing about a champion, they keep fighting, they keep going. I just feel like those four really are incredible fighters. They're mentally tough as well. They always kept going.

It's something that I learned from them a lot, is how to hopefully do the same, which hopefully I've been able to do.

Q. Have you had the opportunity to meet Margaret Court and chat with her?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I met her, I think it was last year in Perth. We actually chat together -- we had a little chat together on stage, in fact.

Yeah, it was really interesting.

Q. Are you aiming for another Serena Slam this year?
SERENA WILLIAMS: A Serena Slam doesn't start in Australia. It starts any other Grand Slam outside of Australia, so no.

Q. Calendar slam then?
SERENA WILLIAMS: No, I don't think about that either. So just one at a time.

Q. Tell us a little bit about your shoes. You obviously packed them in your bag today with a lot of hope.
SERENA WILLIAMS: No, I didn't pack them. My Nike representative had them apparently at the Open. That didn't work out so well. He said they got a lot of Delta miles on them, are like platinum members. They flew all the way here.

I had no idea that it was happening. Yeah, so I guess they've been waiting on this moment for a while.

Q. How will you celebrate?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, so far I've been celebrating by doing non-stop press. But, you know, it's fine. I feel good. Just to even talk about it is great. But it's getting late. I don't know how I'll celebrate. I don't know.

I'm just still excited. Hopefully I'll be able to sleep.

Q. Are you going to be watching the men tomorrow night, do you think? Being on a plane?
SERENA WILLIAMS: No, I'm leaving. Man, I got to watch that match.

Q. Vika is a mother now and Maria is practicing. Do you miss the competition against them?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Absolutely. I feel like Victoria will be back hopefully soon. I feel like it will be good to see competition. She's always been me great competition. It's always great to play against her.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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