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July 8, 2019

Serena Williams

Wimbledon, London, England

S. WILLIAMS/C. Suarez Navarro

6-2, 6-2

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Your groundstrokes today looked as good as they've looked since you've come back. How much of that is the rust wearing off? How much is trusting the knee is going to hold up?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, it's definitely a lot of both. The rust definitely wearing off. Most of all I feel confident that I can actually move and I don't have to, like, go for winners so soon because I'm in pain.

It's like, Oh, now I can just play my game, hit shots, not have to worry about anything else. It's good when your mind is clear and you can just play.

Q. There's been a bit of debate over the nickname that you and Andy use. 'Sir Andy' seems to be particularly popular on social media. Have you discussed it between you?
SERENA WILLIAMS: We haven't. He did tweet Sir Andy. I was like, I like Murena. My vote is still for Murena.

Q. There's a little bit of confusion in the first set about reaching over the net. Did you not realize that was a rule? Is it a good rule?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I definitely didn't realize it was a rule. But I absolutely did have my hand over, so she definitely made the right call. I feel like I may have done that before like in doubles, so...

I'm glad, because I don't want to make that mistake in our Murena doubles match. I'm glad that happened here.

Q. Do you think it's a good rule?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I don't think about it. I guess it should be on your side of the court. I guess if it bounced on your side and flipped back over, then you can reach over. That's what I was thinking of. But it didn't bounce on my side and go back over, so...

Yeah, I think it's a good rule. It's tennis. I should know the rules (smiling).

Q. Now you're in the quarterfinals. Do you see yourself improving on a day-to-day basis?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I definitely feel like I'm getting better and better day by day. But, you know, every match is still super hard. Like even today I won a lot of points. It wasn't like your average 6-2, 6-2 score. Wasn't too many 40-Love games at all actually.

I think everyone is also getting better. As the tournament goes on, that's when the better players are surviving.

Q. Alison was just in here, she's so joyful, smiling, ready for any battle, as she says. Can you talk about her as a person and a player, having played doubles with her?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, she's a great person. She's a fighter on the court. She's playing really great, especially on the grass. She's attacking that ball really well. She doesn't let anything limit her.

It was really fun to play doubles with her. We had a good time on the court. Also she was very serious, as was I. We were trying to win our match for the team. It was a good experience.

I think she's a great girl, a great person. She's just kind of a great personality that you kind of gravitate to.

Q. Obviously the Coco story is huge. In the past in tennis we've seen a process where there were great phenoms that came on, but had tough hardships, a fall. Talk about that dynamic. Would you have any thoughts about that?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I don't understand your question.

Q. The question is, a lot of players in the past came on and were phenomenal stars.

Q. Then just had huge problems being in the spotlight or dealing with fame. I feel you and Venus dealt with that issue a lot better than others.

We have a really strong family. For us, it's like fame is relative. We're not famous when we go home or when we go to sleep and we shut our eyes. We really look at ourselves as anyone else. We really always try to remain incredibly humble.

I think it was the way we were raised by my mom and my dad just to take everything in stride. Honestly, I think for me in particular Venus set such a good example. She really led that charge for me. I pretty much did everything that she did, so she was always on the straight and narrow. I was just following right behind her. I had a really good role model.

I really think it boils down to parents and role models.

Q. You've been here many times over the years, fairly successful. Is it a bit odd to find the fixation of the village media like me on your mixed doubles? How do you find the attention from fans?
SERENA WILLIAMS: No, it's fine. It's great. I definitely have been really enjoying the mixed doubles, this pairing. Quite frankly, it's pretty cool. It's pretty awesome.

Q. You were on Court 1 again today. Do you think your match today should have been on Centre? Would you like to see Manic Monday have more women on Centre Court?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I didn't think about it. I just saw that I played on 1. I was happy that I was first on, seeing that potentially it's two matches back-to-back. I think for me, again, it boils down to I'm here to play. I'm not here to complain about a lot of stuff unless I need to. Someone has to be there, and I'm fine.

Q. You're up against a very experienced pairing in the next doubles match. What are your thoughts about that match, the challenge they present to you?
SERENA WILLIAMS: We just have to be focused, go out there and do what we have to do. It's always hard to play people that are really experienced in doubles, that have had a lot of success.

We're just going to bring our singles attitude to the court with a doubles mindset.

Q. During your career, you've witnessed and participated in some incredible athletic achievements, tennis achievements. How would you rate what Roger, Novak, and Rafa have all done at the same time in sustaining their level of play against one another and everybody else?
SERENA WILLIAMS: It's a fantastic story really, to have those three guys just basically dominating almost in the same era, in the same era. You wouldn't think that could happen in sport, and it's happened each obviously in their own time, but the battles they have against each other are really fantastic.

I was just watching Roger's match the other day. I'm every day amazed at what he can do, the magic produce on the court.

When I look at Novak to see how relaxed he is, how confident he is, it just exudes from him, which is something that's truly remarkable.

They all are incredibly remarkable. It's really great to play in the same time that these three, like I said before, best players to ever exist in this era, to be a part of that is really cool.

Q. About the scheduling. It's been a hot topic behind the scenes, the players council, Victoria was worried whether the women have the same platform as men, get on the show courts so much. Given your stance on equality as a whole, historically has it been the case that the women's game has been promoted the same in terms of scheduling on the main courts and should be pushed the way it is being pushed right now from the women's council to get that changed for all the slams, not just this one?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Of course, the women's matches aren't pushed as much as the men's matches to be on the marquee courts. I think there are some players that are pushed more than others.

Like you said, with what I believe, just trying to get equality for women to be treated the same way, it's important to have those voices like Vika's voice to be loud.

Q. Often players say the first round of a Grand Slam is nerve-wracking. They survive to the second week, they're happy. Then comes Monday. How do you compare the first round to now on?
SERENA WILLIAMS: First round typically you just don't want to lose because it's, like, you go home early. It's tough. You feel all the stuff that you could have done. Also it's not the best attitude to have, to go out there playing not to lose.

But the further you get along, the further you start thinking, I have a chance to win this.

Q. Would you welcome the chance to play Coco at Wimbledon this year?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Absolutely. I've said it every time. She's a complete star. I personally was nothing like her at 15. First of all, I didn't play like that. I didn't look like that. She's just so poised. I was somewhere watching cartoons, for sure. (Smiling).

Q. You mentioned Roger. What really strikes you about his game?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Honestly, what strikes me most is just how he just keeps producing it day after day, time after time. I mean, any match, he'll just pull out some magic. I'm just really amazed at his hands, how fast they are, how athletic he is, but how graceful. It's like a ballerina with all that power. It's so effortless, it's amazing. It's amazing to watch.

Q. You said in your interview after the match, there's a sense of relief. Elaborate on that relief you feel.
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I didn't say it was a relief to be in the quarters. I said -- I don't know what I said, but that doesn't sound like me to say I'm relieved to be in the quarters.

It's just good that I'm not in pain. Doing three hours of treatment after every practice, every match, just to be able to have 50% of pain. That was tough. Now I'm just feeling so much better. I just can't -- I literally can't even tell you how much better I feel. That's a relief.

That's a victory in itself, to know that I'm feeling better no matter what. I'm on the right path. I finally found the solution. I can be strong for the rest of the year.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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