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June 1, 2019

Serena Williams

Paris, France


6-2, 7-5

SERENA WILLIAMS: We can start.

THE MODERATOR: Any questions?

Q. Tough match today. What was not working for you and she sort of took control of that first set?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I think she played really well. I feel like she, in that first set in particular, she hit pretty much inches from the line, and I haven't played anyone like that in a long time. So, like, yeah, she actually played really well.

Q. If somebody told you, given the two matches that you had to pull out in the lead-up that you'd come this far, would you have taken it or are you still very disappointed?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Um, I would have thought they were lying, because I wouldn't expect to have gotten only to the third round, so I would have been, like, That's not true. Hey, it is what it is.

Q. Sonya said before the match that it was going to be hard for her to look across the net and see Serena Williams. What did you see when you looked across the net at her?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I don't know. I just saw a player that was playing unbelievable, and that's it. I didn't see anything else.

Q. How close to your optimal conditioning and practice were you after the difficulties you have had in the run-up?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I'm just pretty far away, but that's the optimistic part is I haven't been able to be on the court as much as I would have.

That's okay. At least I can start trying to put the time in now.

Q. You said you thought a lot about not coming here. Are you glad you came here in the end?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I am glad I came. You know, I love the city, and I love the tournament. I really wanted to be here. So I'm glad I came, at the end of the day. It's just been a really grueling season for me.

Q. You have got a month or so now until Wimbledon. Do you feel like that's enough time for you to get in optimal shape?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I hope so. I'm still working on it and working on getting there. So I think it will be, I think it be enough time. We'll see, but I definitely hope so.

Q. You had tremendous crowd support. That hasn't always been the case here. How did that make you feel?
SERENA WILLIAMS: It felt good. I felt like there was a lot of people out there rooting for her, though. So I feel like it was -- I think there was a ton of people rooting for both of us. I don't feel like it was completely one-sided.

It always feels really good to have crowd support. Or not, you know. I'm used to both (smiling).

Q. Do you feel as if you have somehow won the Paris public over in the last few years? Or is it more sort of the cheering for an older champion, if I might say, that you feel when you are out there?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I don't know. I never really thought about it.

You know, I think at the end of the day I have to just be true to myself, and I have to be me.

I feel like I am a great person, both on and off the court. People cheer for what they now know as opposed to what they don't know.

Q. On your journey back since giving birth, you have had some wonderful moments and also some challenges. What do you feel best about this part of your career, this part of your journey?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I don't know. It's hard to say. I feel like I have had some great runs last year, and, you know, I'm hoping to still build on that this year, and, you know, keep it going.

I don't know the great runs that I have had, but just at the Grand Slams.

Q. I know you almost never play grass lead-up tournaments. Are you feeling at all short on matches? Is there something you consider before Wimbledon?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I'm definitely feeling short on matches, and just getting in the swing of things. I don't really like playing out points when I practice. So I have some time on my hands, so maybe I'll jump in and get a wildcard on one of these grass court events and see what happens.

Q. You once said that once adrenaline kicks in, I'm fine. Did you feel adrenaline rush today or not?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I definitely found it today. Or else I wouldn't have been out there (smiling).

But again, I just think that the player I played today, she just played literally unbelievable. She really went out there today and did great.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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