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January 17, 2017

Serena Williams

Melbourne, Victoria, Australia


6-4, 6-3

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. That was your first big hit of the year. How do you think your performance was?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I think it was pretty good. I mean, she's a really good player. So I think I was able to start out well.

Q. You went on a roll, start of the second set, won five games, looked fairly invincible at that time. What changed at the end?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I just wasn't as aggressive as I was during those games. You know, she started playing better.

I made a few errors on some key points, but for the most part, I still was going for everything and I was able to close it out.

Q. How did you fare in the heat today?
SERENA WILLIAMS: It was fine. I didn't have a problem with the heat.

Q. Did you realize any difference, this game compared to the last match you had in Canada?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I felt like -- I don't know really. I feel like she's definitely been having a lot more power. Obviously she beat me in Canada the last time we played, but I really don't remember much about that match. I do remember -- I just felt like she was doing really well.

Q. Talk about your T-shirt and the phrase "Equality." What does equality mean to you and thoughts about King on this day?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, well, with today being Martin Luther King Day, it's important to spread the message of equality, which is something he talked about a lot and he tried to spread a lot, is equality and rights for everyone.

With that, Nike and all the Nike athletes really want to be a part of this movement, especially, again, being that it's Martin Luther King Day. And we really just want to speak up about things that we believe in and talk about equality.

Q. Are you concerned about the future of equality in the U.S.?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I think it's a concern for just everyone in general. We want to make sure we always continue to move forward and always have the opportunity to have equal rights for all.

We don't want to stop that forward movement. It's just always great to raise awareness for it.

Q. Do you fear what is going to happen under the next administration?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I don't talk -- I don't have any comments on that.

Q. Someone who has been here for a while, how far has the Australian Open progressed? The improvements? How do you see it?
SERENA WILLIAMS: It's progressed a lot. There is just so many changes. I think every year I come here, it's always a lot of changes. Great, positive changes. I think it's cool.

Q. The other day Venus said that, once again, you're sort of leading the way in your relationship. You're getting a real life. Obviously getting engaged is a huge thing, especially for an athlete who travels the world constantly. How does that feel to you, having that incredible milestone? Do you feel changed in any way? Does it touch you? How does it feel?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I guess it feels good. I really haven't thought about it too much, because I wasn't even really going to think about it until after the tournament.

I just kept saying that February I'll start looking at the bigger picture of my life. But right now I'm just so focused that this is kind of all I can think about.

Q. Your fiance has an incredible story and incredible achievements. What's the thing you love most about it him?
SERENA WILLIAMS: He's incredibly a really nice person. I think definitely he treats everyone the same, which is really cool to see. Really, really nice to see.

Q. What was your first thought when you heard the thought that George Michael dying?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I was devastated. Totally devastated. I loved George Michael.

Q. "Spinning the Wheel"?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Pardon? Spinning the Wheel?

Q. Your favorite song by George?

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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