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February 7, 2020

Captain Kathy Rinaldi

Serena Williams

Everett, Washington, USA

S. WILLIAMS/J. Ostapenko

7-6, 7-6

USA - 2

Latvia - 0

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. What was going through your mind during the tiebreaker, hearing all the crowd noise?
SERENA WILLIAMS: It was a really great crowd. We were talking about it in the locker room. It was so loud. I'm not used to it being that loud, so it was different.

It's so good to see, especially for Fed Cup, have the women bring out such amazing crowds like that. It was just really cool.

I don't know. I was just thinking, It's a tiebreaker, I got to win this or go to a third.

Q. How did you feel you played overall tonight? Seemed like in the tiebreaker you were really good, but in between that it was kind of inconsistent.
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I feel like you nailed it. I definitely played good in the tiebreaker. Yeah, at least I got to the tiebreaker. I could play better. I don't know. I could definitely do better.

But my opponent played well. She was hitting really hard, hitting a lot of winners. She was serving really well. It was definitely hard to get a good rhythm out there.

Q. You're now 14-0 in singles matches in Fed Cup. What about this competition brings out some of your best tennis?
SERENA WILLIAMS: You're not just playing for yourself, you're playing for your team. I also feel like it's just a different atmosphere because you have your coach next to you. You don't want to let her down. She's encouraging you.

I've always felt that way, so...

I just want to be able to go out there and do well. You're playing for your country, it's not just for you. Then you have your teammates, you can't let them down either. It's really fun.

Q. How is it that you got back into the Fed Cup this time?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I don't understand your question.

Q. How did you want to get back playing in the Fed Cup?
SERENA WILLIAMS: To be honest, I always try to play. I just am constantly injured. Last year I rolled my ankle and was out for several weeks. The one after Miami, I even offered to come as a hitting partner. My knee was so bad. I missed all the clay court season basically until the French Open.

Yeah, every time I try to play, something happens. This year I was like, Let me exit Australia early so I could play Fed Cup (laughter).

Q. Kathy, what were your thoughts tonight? Ever nervous in the second match?
CAPTAIN RINALDI: You know what, I have so much confidence in these girls. Obviously she's GOAT for a reason. She showed that tonight. But I have so much respect and admiration for Serena and Sonia. Sonia coming back after the Australian Open, keeping her commitment, coming here and playing. It's just great for American tennis.

To have Serena, such a strong leader, someone who has done so much for our sport, so much for women in sports, really stepped up today when she needed to, she's GOAT, no doubt about it. She proved that tonight again.

Q. Kathy, Coco is the only one not scheduled to play at all. Would you like to try and find an opportunity to get her out there tomorrow if possible?
CAPTAIN RINALDI: Obviously I have five players here, and I love 'em all. That's the toughest thing as a captain, is picking and choosing teams when you have so many great Americans.

Obviously I'd love to be able to give her an experience at Fed Cup, especially her first one. But our goal is we're one team, one goal, and that's to win.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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