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August 11, 2019

Serena Williams

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

B. ANDREESCU/S. Williams

3-1 [Ret.]

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. We wish you good health for the future for sure. When Bianca talked to you on court, just the way she consoled you and just trying to get you through, just your whole thoughts on that. And when did you feel the injury for your back and how has the recovery been since then?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, I don't know. I think Bianca is a great girl, always have. That's why I have always wanted to play her. She's just a fabulous personality.

And, yeah, so she was -- she just -- she's an old soul.

Q. Can you tell us when you first felt this injury? Was it only today or something earlier in the week? And what assessment have you had since you got off the court in terms of its severity?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, it started yesterday in my match and it just got worse. Just my whole back just completely spasmed, and to a point where I couldn't sleep and I couldn't really move.

And so I was just trying to figure out, How do you play a match where you have no rotation?

Q. You were willing to give it a go, though, at least.
SERENA WILLIAMS: I mean, absolutely. I love playing here. I love the crowd. I mean, it would have been a wonderful match regardless of the outcome.

And I don't want to get this far and not at least try. I think I would have really regretted not at least going out there and seeing maybe if a miracle happened.

Q. So now looking ahead towards your next tournaments, what does the recovery process look like and is it a concern going forward?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, that's the most frustrating part is that, I mean, I've had this before and it's, like, 24, 36 hours where I'm just in crazy spasm and then it's, like, gone. And so that's a little bit frustrating for me because I know that I could play. I just can't play today.

So I don't know. I'm just taking it a day at a time and see if it is usually what happens, if it continues like that, with just that small window and see if I improve after that small window.

Q. I'm sure you considered getting on-court treatment to try to play her. Why did you feel that wouldn't work or just there was no chance it was going loosen up?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I just knew. I know my body. And I've played many matches incredibly injured, you know, but this is just different.

Like, it's difficult for me to serve, for me to -- I mean, I could move, but I need my upper body. My lower body was fine, but I just couldn't do anything with my upper body and, again, for this period of time.

So that was just -- and I had so much treatment before, hours and hours of treatment.

So I just knew. I knew I wasn't going to be able to continue.

Q. Have you made a decision on Cincinnati and what is your status for that tournament and the US Open?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Like I said, it's just -- that's the most frustrating part is that I've had these awful spasms a lot in my career, actually. And they're incredibly painful, but it goes away after, like, 24, 36, maybe 48 hours, and like clockwork.

So I do different treatments. I take a day off. But obviously, I didn't have 24 hours or plus to take off.

But in that first phase, it is incredibly painful, to a point where I usually don't get out of bed.

So if it's what typically happens, I will be fine, but I have to wait and see.

Q. So are you going to Cincinnati?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah. As of now, I'm going to go to see what happens.

Q. Could you share the best moments that you had this week at Rogers Cup?
SERENA WILLIAMS: My best moment is definitely today out there with Bianca. I'm officially a fan. I mean, I was before, like I said.

But I just think I was really sad, and she made me feel a lot better, so that was really nice.

Q. You referred to her as an old soul. What did you mean by that?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Wiser than her -- she's only 19. She definitely doesn't seem like a 19-year old in her words, on court and her game, her attitude, her actions. You know, so that's what I mean by that.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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