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July 14, 2018

Serena Williams

Wimbledon, London, England

A. KERBER/S. Williams

6-3, 6-3

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Did you feel like she never really gave you an opportunity to get into the match? She seemed to take control fast.
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, she played from first point to the last point really good. She played unbelievable today.

Q. What do you think of a situation where a Grand Slam final does not have a precise start time because of a match being held over? What impact did that have, if any, on your preparations?
SERENA WILLIAMS: It definitely didn't have any impact on me. It was a necessary evil that needed to be done. They didn't finish their match. They had to finish. It had to be completed.

Q. Surely it affected your preparation in some way, not to know what time you were starting, how to deal with that as the other match went on so long.
SERENA WILLIAMS: I mean, no, it didn't. I'm not going to ever make an excuse. Actually had nothing -- actually, every match this tournament I didn't have a start time. I never played at 1 or anything, so I was always second after. I was fine.

Q. What does this fortnight and what does this opportunity to be in the final mean to you?
SERENA WILLIAMS: It was a great opportunity for me. You know, I didn't know a couple of months ago where I was, where I would be, how I would do, how I would be able to come back. It was such a long way to see light at the end of the road kind of.

So I think these two weeks have really showed me that, okay, I can compete. Obviously I can compete for the long run in a Grand Slam. I can, you know, come out and be a contender to win Grand Slams.

Q. You said just after the defeat that you were only getting started. How much further do you think you've got to go to get back to your top level over the next few months?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I don't know. I feel like I have a ways to go. This is literally just the beginning, literally just the beginning. It's good to just continue that path and just continue to keep going for me.

Q. You haven't played a ton of tournaments this year. Do you plan on playing a fuller schedule in the American hard courts?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I haven't played because I took some time off to train and get ready for the Grand Slams. I definitely am going to continue to play and just work on my game, work on staying in there.

Q. What kind of insights did you get into your game over the course of these two weeks?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Just got the fact of things I want to work on for the future, things that I want to do, try and execute that. Really just these two weeks were so mental for me. I won matches. I was really mentally fighting for literally every match. I did the best that I could every match that I played.

I just feel like I'm taking the steps in the right direction. I took a giant step at Wimbledon. But my journey has just began. Just have to keep going.

Q. Looking at the 14 matches you played this year, almost all of your opponents were big hitters like Giorgi and Goerges. Is it tough then to come up in a Wimbledon final against someone who plays a completely different style?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, it was definitely a different game, but at times she hit the ball really hard. She was striking the ball out there today.

But, yeah, I just have to add it to the list. All right, next time when I play her or play someone like her, I'll be more ready.

Q. For your fans, do you have any kind of injuries you might want to be worried about? The whole tournament, the movement was good. Is there any other kind of injury you're carrying at the moment?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Not that I'm aware of, no. I'm feeling pretty good. It was a very fast game out there today. It was a lot different than any other match I've played. Just taking it one at a time.

Q. How significantly have your priorities changed over the past 12 months?
SERENA WILLIAMS: They've changed a lot. Like my priority is my baby, you know. Just being with her, doing things with her, spending time with her. That's totally my priorities.

But it's weird. I set my schedule so I have time. Like, I train in the morning. I spend the rest of the day with her. So I don't get to be with her the full day, but a pretty good chunk out of the day.

Q. Now that the tournament is complete, do you reflect on not having doubles? Has that been a positive for your singles? Would you not play doubles at the US Open?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I don't know. It was nice sometimes to have the day off, but also I remember thinking, Wow, it would be really good to go out there and practice my returns, have like that match setting kind of thing to go out there and feel.

So I don't know. I'm 50/50. I'll see how I feel physically, see if I'm physically fit enough to continue to play both at least in New York. If so, I might. If not, I'll just play singles.

Q. You've become somewhat of a role model for moms, especially working moms, many of whom struggle to go back to work after having a child. What is your message to mothers out there?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, I just like to tell all the moms, like, I had such a long struggle to come back, and it was really difficult. Honestly, I feel like if I can do it, they can do it. I'm just that person, that vessel, that's saying, You can be whatever you want to be. If you want to go back to work, and to me after becoming a mom, I feel like there's no pressure to do that because having a child is a completely full-time job.

But to those that do want to go back, you know, You can do it, you can really do it.

Q. When you set Olympia down and tell her you played tennis in front of two duchesses and some sporting royalty, what will you tell her about it? And how will you make it a happy story despite not coming through with a victory?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, I think it was a happy story. I'll probably change the ending (smiling).

Q. When you play Kerber, sometimes she doesn't hit the ball that hard all the time. Balls can be tricky coming at you. What about her shot in particular is the trickiest?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I don't know right now. I just feel like she just did a lot of different shots today. It wasn't just one shot. It was lots and lots and lots of different shots. I just know going next time, I'll just be ready for that.

Q. You've obviously won many titles and slams. You said throughout the week this is different. Have you surprised yourself at all during the past two weeks?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I always enter a tournament just coming to do my best. This particular tournament, I entered just wanting to win some matches. I kept winning, and it kept happening. It was definitely a little bit of a surprise for me.

Also it was super encouraging to know that I can compete and do well.

Q. You don't want to make excuses, which is admirable. As someone who has always campaigned on behalf of the women's game as a whole, is it disrespectful that the biggest match of the year doesn't have a fixed start, has to take its turn because of the other match that held it up?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, I appreciate your support. Like I said, I'm completely a supporter of women, and women's sport obviously. Honestly, I just feel like it was a necessary evil. Not knowing how this match would go, two hours, three hours, I don't think they could put the men's semifinal behind the women because they have to come back the next day.

If the tables were turned, I would have -- hopefully they would have done the same with the women. They would have put the women's semifinal before the men's final, if we had to come back the next day.

If you look at it that way, it was probably really the only way to schedule it, yeah.

Q. How do your emotions and your handling of defeat today maybe differ from all the other times you've experienced that?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I'm just better at acting now, I guess (laughter).

Q. Obviously with the two semifinal matches, the men have been talking about the need for a fifth-set tiebreaker here. I know the women are playing three sets. Do you think it's time in the women's game at the other Grand Slams besides the US Open for the tiebreak system?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I honestly don't care, to be honest. Like, it doesn't -- I really don't care one way. Personally I think it's exciting. But if they changed, I think it will be great. If they didn't, there will still be these remarkable, exciting matches. I don't really prefer one way or the other.

Q. How do you wind down now? Lewis was in your box. Will you be returning the favor at the Grand Prix tomorrow?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I will just, you know, go home and relax. If I make time -- if I make it home in time, I'll hang out with Olympia. If not, I'll just watch a movie.

I probably won't go to the Grand Prix. I thought they had that last weekend. It's this weekend?

Q. Yes.
SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, I don't know. I'll ask him, see what he's doing.

Q. In terms of your acting ability, what is the monologue going in your head right now?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I'm already deciphering what I need to improve on, what I need to do, what I did wrong, why I did it wrong, how I can do better, that whole madness that goes on in my mind. Then I'm saying, Okay, I do improve with losses. We'll see how it goes.

That's kind of where my mind is at right now.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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