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July 9, 2019

Serena Williams

Wimbledon, London, England


6-4, 4-6, 6-3

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. In Andy's BBC sports column, he spoke about when you train together you talk about parenting because you have two children of similar age. He talked about the importance of the creche at Wimbledon. Have your two children played together?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Actually, I don't know. They would make a dynamic doubles team.

I don't know, the creche has been really cool for the players. I for one never thought I would use it. It's so amazing when you become a parent how life changes and how many different things you think about.

Q. You appeared to be looking at some notes in your bag at the change of ends. Can you explain what was going on?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, just keeping focused on the match. I've been looking at notes for decades. Sometimes when I need them or I feel like I need a little extra something, I just remember things that I write down before the match and just try to stay focused on it.

Q. Is that messages to yourself?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yes, they are messages that I write myself.

Q. I think by each match you're going higher and higher. You've had some bad luck earlier this year with injuries, unable to do what you normally do. Where do you see yourself now? 70%? 75%? 90%?
SERENA WILLIAMS: It's hard to say. I haven't had a tremendous amount of time to prepare for this. But, you know, like I said in the beginning of this tournament, each and every match for me has to count as, like, five or ten matches because I have not played a lot.

This is the first time since Australia that I actually felt, like, good. It's been a really, really long year for me already, and hard year, because I'm usually not typically injured.

I don't know where I am. I do know I feel good. Now that I feel good, I can actually focus on training and technique and practice, something that I just literally haven't been able to do a lot of.

Q. There's a lot of interaction within the box. We noticed Alexis getting emotional. It's easy with you on court, you're dealing with it. It is harder for the box. Did you notice a lot of interaction there?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Definitely harder. I know from experience, I'd much rather be on the court than in the box. I didn't notice a lot. I was really out there, sometimes I would look out there and pump my fists. Towards the end I saw the box jumping, which is, looking back, really cool.

Most of all I don't really notice the emotions. I know it's extremely hard in the box, though.

Q. Seems like so often in your matches you get yourself together when you get your hair together in a bun. Seems to give you a couple-game boost. Do you ever think about doing it earlier?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, today it was just in my way, and the wind. I was missing a shot because it's in my face. I was like, This is not happening. I just needed to get it out of the way, put the business bun up and just get to business.

Q. What was the key in the third set?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I just needed to just fight. Alison, I mean, she played great throughout the whole tournament. She's beaten so many amazing players, players that have had great years.

She was not giving it to me. I needed to step up and take it. That's what I had to do.

Q. I was wondering how much of an inspiration has been for you watching the U.S. soccer team winning the World Cup, the way they won it, the way they celebrated unapologetically? Has it been an inspiration for you? Are you in contact? You talk to them? A parade tomorrow in New York.
SERENA WILLIAMS: I obviously was super excited for the U.S. women to win, to do good. Man, they're like amazing. It's so good to see. They have a whole nation cheering them on. No matter where you are, you're just cheering on the women's U.S. team.

Just inspired by what they stand for, taking a stand and fighting for being paid for something that they are world champions at is something that I feel really close to. Really inspired by the team all together.

Q. The ankle okay?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Uhm, yeah, it's okay I think. I'm going to see. I roll my ankle a lot, so... It wasn't a bad one. It was just like a slight tweak so it should be fine.

Q. Were you surprised to get that big a fine for something that happened on the practice court? There was an issue last night.
SERENA WILLIAMS: I haven't really thought about it, to be honest. I was just focused on my match today.

Q. There's been a lot of talk this week about how the men, the top three men, have been so dominant, whereas the women's game at the minute seems to be unpredictable. Why do you think that is? If you get fit, if you have a good run of form, do you think you can take back dominance of the women's game?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I believe in myself. I believe if I'm feeling well, I can be a big competitor in a sport that I love and I've done so well at. So just the key word is getting fit and getting back into match play injury-free.

So now that I am, I can kind of actually start to, like I say, just play tennis. That has been literally something that I have not been able to do all year.

Q. About the unpredictability of the field in general? Anybody can take a set from anybody at the minute, a lot of three-set matches.
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I think that makes it super exciting. You want to come to see some tennis. I think, if anything, it speaks for the level of all players, the depth of the women's field. Everyone is playing incredibly tough.

Q. 37 slam semifinals, like Steffi Graf, which is not too bad. Years ago Martina Navratilova was saying when she was getting older that she was feeling more pressure the longer she was going to play, more expectations, more pressure, somehow more difficult. Somebody could think with experience it's easier. I'd like to know your comment about it.
SERENA WILLIAMS: I agree. I definitely feel a lot more pressure as I got older. Now that I am past older, I feel a little bit less pressure (smiling). I'm so serious. I definitely felt pressure, like not so much when I was younger, and then older, yes, yes, yes.

Now it's like I've done everything I need to do. Like, I've had a great career, so I don't feel the pressure as much any more.

Q. Back to the fine. Can you explain what happened in the incident?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I just threw my racquet. I got fined.

Q. What exactly happened? What did you damage that was 10,000 worth?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I mean, I guess if you could tell me, I would appreciate it. I mean, I have always been an Avenger in my heart. Maybe I'm super strong, I don't know.

Q. In the middle of a battle when you are fighting in the way we know very well, you are Serena. In that moment you are in your place on the Centre Court of Wimbledon or you are in your situation? This is the best place to live this moment or not?
SERENA WILLIAMS: There's so many great stadiums and great times and great matches. I don't think there's too much that compares to Wimbledon. I feel like it is one of the few places where when the match is intense, you can hear a pin drop. It's definitely a special place.

So, yeah, it's hard to compare any other tournament to the atmosphere here.

Q. A great thing about tennis is that the athlete is out there by themselves. When you know it's time you have to really make a charge, what is your self-talk?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I don't know. I just keep fighting. I don't know what I tell myself. I guess I'm in the moment. I don't even know if I tell myself anything in particular. I just say, Okay, this shot.

I think of more techniques, This is what you need to do to get the ball in. Maybe I should come to the net, maybe I should stay back. It's nothing, one thing in particular.

Q. It's a special walk you've taken many times here from the locker room to Centre Court. What are your feelings about that walk?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I get a little nervous, you know. I get excited because I know that it's going to be another opportunity to just do what I do best.

Q. What's the atmosphere like on that walk? The walk here is different from any other place.
SERENA WILLIAMS: As the tournament goes on, the walk is definitely heavier. But it's always a special atmosphere. It's something that you really don't experience in tennis.

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