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August 31, 2018

Serena Williams

New York, NY, USA

S. WILLIAMS/V. Williams

6-1, 6-2

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. How does it feel to get that out of the way and in such a convincing fashion?
SERENA WILLIAMS: It feels good for the match to be over with. Win or lose, it just feels good that that's done.

Q. How much did your ankle bother you? You already had tape on it.
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I roll my ankle often. The tape on it helped a lot. So I just added a lot more secure tape. See how it goes.

It didn't bother me at all.

Q. Given everything that both of you guys have accomplished as pros, how much different is it playing against each other now versus when you were kids? Totally different mindset, maybe more of a sibling rivalry where you wanted blood when you were kids? Different now because of the respect?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, it's definitely different now. I feel like we want it so bad now. I mean, we wanted it really bad when you were younger, but we had a lot more years in our future.

Now, I mean, we definitely want to continue to play, but it's not like we're 18 and 19 any more. So it's a little bit different.

Q. How much mental energy does it take for you to play Venus? Looks like you guys don't even look at each other. Are you thinking all the time focus, focus, focus?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, for me it takes more mental energy than physical. It's not easy, but it is what it is. We started this journey 35 years ago, maybe less (smiling). Well, in a way, it started before we were born, so we started this journey a long time ago. We kind of knew what to expect.

Even though it's difficult, especially for me, we just do the best that we can.

Q. Venus said she thought it was the best match you've ever played against her. Wondered what you thought.
SERENA WILLIAMS: I don't know. I think it's by far the best match I ever played against her in forever. But I don't know about ever, ever. It probably was. I played much better tonight than I have since I started this journey on my way back.

Q. Your next opponent is somebody you have not played in a long time, somebody who has many years in her career, is playing quite well now. What are your thoughts on the matches you've had with Kaia and what you expect now?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, she obviously knows how to win. She played and beat the No. 1 seed. I've played her a lot. We've had some close matches. Each match is new. She knows how to play very good tennis.

Q. In all your years of playing Venus, could you say one or two moments that were either emotional or dramatic for you?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I mean, all of them, from the first one to the last. Obviously the first one was pretty awesome and pretty emotional, just a rollercoaster. This one, the last so far, has been the same feeling.

Q. (Question regarding Colin Kaepernick.)
SERENA WILLIAMS: I try to stay really focused on the court. I don't really try to look too much what's going on.

Q. (Question about using your platform for change.)
SERENA WILLIAMS: I think every athlete, every human, and definitely every African American should be completely grateful and honored how Colin and Eric are doing so much more for the greater good, so to say. They really use their platform in ways that is really unfathomable.

I feel like they obviously have great respect from a lot of their peers, especially other athletes, people that really are looking for social change.

Q. When you're dominating an opponent the way you did tonight, you look across the court, you see it's your sister, how do you realize, I've got to get this done, out of the way, not realizing that's your sibling, somebody you care so much about?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, it's just about focusing on each point. It's not necessarily Venus, and it is my sibling, but it's one of the greatest players of all time, by far the greatest player I've ever played against.

It is definitely something that you have to put aside if you're playing against someone like her.

Q. (Question about Claudia Rankine book Citizen.)
SERENA WILLIAMS: I had a really good conversation with Claudia. She wrote a really great piece, one of the few pieces I've ever read, about myself. I thoroughly enjoyed it. I love her writing. Again, she's someone that I really look up to, is -- I admire her, I admire her work, everything she's done, the work she also does for social justice and social change, and social awareness, I should say, yeah.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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