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January 25, 2017

Serena Williams

Melbourne, Victoria, Australia


6-2, 6-3

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. How did you see that one?
SERENA WILLIAMS: It was an interesting match. She's obviously a really good player. Yeah, it went pretty well for me today.

Q. You said you think she's definitely going to win this championship one day. You rank her that highly?
SERENA WILLIAMS: She always does really well here. She tends to do really good in Australia. With her game, I definitely see her as a future champion.

Q. Can you talk to us about the hat that was given to you after the match.
SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, she's a really famous horse trainer, obviously. She's known for her hats. I started to sign it, but I stopped just in time.

I have a nice, beautiful hat today. I'm really excited about it.

Q. Did you know anything about her, who she was, when she was giving it to you?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Not at the time. But afterwards, I actually knew about her. It was random, because I have a friend that is Australian that was telling me about it maybe eight months ago. It was kind of cool to see that.

Q. You play someone named Venus Williams in the next round. How do you see that match going?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I play Mirjana Lucic.

Q. How do you see that one going?
SERENA WILLIAMS: That's what you mean? Oh, okay.

I don't know. She's playing really well. I think it's so important not to underestimate anyone. This has been coming for her for a long time. She's been wanting to win Grand Slams and to do well.

I think it's so important for me to just stay focused and hopefully play well. Hopefully I'll be able to get a win. I'm here to win. I'm here to do the best that I can.

Yeah, so hopefully I'll be able to do well.

Q. Do you remember much from your last match against her in Wimbledon?
SERENA WILLIAMS: No. It was in '98, I remember. It was on Centre Court. That's all I remember. I remember winning. I was so excited because I was so young. She obviously was super young, too. That's all.

Honestly, we have totally different games now, the both of us. We both have gone through a lot. We both have survived, and here we are, which I think is a really remarkable story.

Q. Roger, after his match, was talking about the speed of the courts. He thinks it's helping older players because they experienced faster courts in years past. Do you think that's why so many players in their 30s are getting through so far?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I'm the worst to ask about fast courts, slow courts. So for me it all plays the same. I do pretty well on the slow surface. I did pretty well when it was a fast surface.

I'm not sure.

Q. What do you think was kind of the key for you today against Konta? Was it the serve? You weren't getting a lot of first serves in, but your second serve was quite effective today.
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, my first serve wasn't really great, but I've really been working on my second serve. Hasn't been great all tournament, so I've been kind of relying on my second serve. Also my whole game. I've been relying on my groundstrokes, forehand, backhand. My returns have really picked up.

All around, I feel like she's a great all-around player. So I feel like I had to be on it all around today.

Q. What particularly impressed you about her? Anything that surprised you? You studied her quite intently before. Did she do what you thought she was going to do?
SERENA WILLIAMS: She's a player that I actually watch a lot. I don't know, they play her a lot on the TV.

I didn't realize she was so tall, to be honest. I thought she was more my height. But I think she's taller than me, so...

Yeah, other than that, I've always wanted to play her. So it was a good opportunity to go out there.

Q. What does it say either about tennis or maybe even just life, three of the four semifinalists are in their 30s, pretty much almost 35, Mirjana is 34, but you and Venus 35, 36?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I thought you were going to keep going with that (smiling).

I don't know. I don't know. I feel like we've been just going. I've been doing this for many years. The past few years I've been super consistent, so...

Yeah, I'm just really happy for Venus, obviously. She's doing amazing. I'm really happy for Mirjana, as well. Like I said, I was there when she first started. To see her be able to never give up actually is super inspiring to me. It's a wonderful story.

At the end of the day, it really helps me to realize that you have to always go for your dreams. So I feel like it's just great.

Q. How much attention do you pay to what other players are going through in their lives? You mentioned Mirjana's story being inspiring. How important is it to know the history behind the names and faces you see in the draw?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I think when you're on tour, you do happen to know some things about a lot of the players, as much as you can know if you don't know them on a face-to-face level.

Q. Do you think tennis as a sport, does it tend to try and close the book on champions a little too soon, great talents, teenage prodigies, these players that come through and show a lot early in their career? Does it seem like maybe it moves on, or is it good about kind of keeping them in the mix, never forgetting what their accomplishments are?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Honestly, I've never thought of that. I guess, off the top of my head, I feel like, especially in the recent past decade of players, I feel like there's been a lot of players that are still playing on the tour, been really consistent. I feel like the press and the media has been really supportive of that.

Q. What do you make of the other semifinal? Three Americans in the semis, two playing each other. Thoughts on Venus and Coco's match.
SERENA WILLIAMS: It will be great to see an American in the final. Obviously I would love to be that American in the final. Regardless, there's going to be an American whose name is not Serena Williams, which I think will be pretty awesome.

Coco has been playing wonderful. She's beaten the No. 1 player. She's beaten so many players in this tournament. So she really obviously knows how to play great tennis. She's a great girl. We chat a lot in the locker room.

It's good to see her do well. Obviously I just feel like it will be a really good match. I think both semis will be really good matches.

Q. You grew up with Andy Roddick. You're close friends. Does it seem a little odd that here you are still competing for Grand Slam titles, and he's five years already out of the game and going into the Hall of Fame? Did you see him here?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I haven't seen him. I saw him on TV, obviously. I was really happy for him.

Yeah, I've kind of come to terms with that because I've seen players in the locker room that I've played, they're on the legends tour. I think at one point I was older than some of those players. I was wondering, Should I be on the legends tour?

But, you know, I've told Venus, Like, we could play singles, doubles, then we could play legends doubles, and we could still be in the event. In a way, we kind of qualify, at least with our ages. But we're going to stick to the main tour for now.

Q. They might have a rule against that.
SERENA WILLIAMS: I think you have to be retired for a few years.

Q. In the entertainment world, the Oscar nominations were just announced. La La Land got a record number. Here in the Australian Open we have three southern California women into the semis, which is extraordinary. Talk about Hollywood, southern California. Do you still love it?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Actually, I'm from L.A., California girl. It's good to see. It's kind of crazy to see three southern California girls in a Grand Slam semi. It's definitely awesome, though.

Yeah, the Oscar nominations were great. Beyond that, having so many African Americans nominated in each category was really exciting.

Q. Have you seen any of the African American movies like Moonlight or Fences?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I haven't seen Fences. I saw Hidden Figures. Really good movies.

Q. You say you're from southern California. Venus always identifies herself as Florida.
SERENA WILLIAMS: Really? She's from California, too (smiling).

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