September 11, 2020
New York, New York, USA
V. AZARENKA/S. Williams
1-6, 6-3, 6-3
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. Obviously that is no doubt extremely disappointing. Can you explain your thoughts on the match, considering for a set and a bit you were in total command.
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I started really strong. Then she just kept fighting. She just changed and started playing better and better. Maybe I took a little too much off the gas pedal at some point.
Yeah, so... She played really well.
Q. Can you give us a sense of just how disappointing this is, given that each year you get so close and fall just short? Will you be competing at the French Open?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I don't know. I mean, it's obviously disappointing. At the same time, you know, I did what I could today. I feel like other times I've been close and I could have done better. Today I felt like I gave a lot.
Yeah, I mean, I'm definitely going to be going to Paris. Yeah, so...
Q. You had a great first set, came out with a lot of energy. What happened between the first set and the second set? Just the difference in play?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I mean, I just think I made more errors. I made a lot more errors. I didn't win a lot on my second serves, apparently. I wasn't serving. I mean, I served well, but I didn't dominate the way I needed to in that.
I made some really key mistakes on some returns in the second set that I probably should have done better. I mean, you know, I don't know. That's what I would say what happened.
I think she started playing really, really well. Like, she just started getting balls that she normally doesn't get back, she got those back. She started hitting shots that she normally doesn't make, she made those. She just really stepped her level up.
Q. Can you tell us exactly what happened with your ankle there in the third set? It wasn't obvious to us. What happened? What was wrong with your ankle?
SERENA WILLIAMS: It wasn't much. I just was stretching. Like, I ran for a shot. Off that first step that I took, it was a long point -- it wasn't my ankle, it was actually my Achilles. It just overstretched. It was pretty intense. Then that was that.
Q. How does making it deep into majors affect your resolve to keep up the pursuit for as long as it might take to get to number 24?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I don't know. I just -- I don't know. I haven't thought about that actually. I don't know.
Q. Just about the Achilles. Are you going to get any further tests? How do you feel you responded? Seems like you were moving around pretty well. How does it feel now?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I mean, it feels fine. I don't think it had anything to do. I think Victoria played well. It didn't affect my play ultimately at all, just for that one point.
Yeah, it's fine. I'm fine, yeah.
Q. I know it's a disappointing night for you, but you have a long history, played so many times before. You've seen her go through ups and downs. Is there part of you that's happy to see her doing well at this time in her career?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I mean, I always -- she's had a lot of, I would say, downs in her career. She started on a lot of highs.
I don't know. I don't know how she stayed positive, to be honest, so... That's a good lesson for all of us. No matter what, you just got to keep going. Hopefully she keeps living her dream.
Q. A bit about Vika. You've had so many matches at Grand Slams, other places, as well. What is she doing particularly well right now?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, you know, I don't know what she's doing well. She's moving well. She's playing well. I mean, she knows my game really well. We always have really good battles.
When she's playing against me, she just lifts her level to unseen levels. I think, you know, she won Cincinnati, so that's good. Hopefully she'll keep going. But she's just the kind of person you always root for, unless you're playing her obviously. She's just the kind of person you kind of always root for.
Q. Naomi was in her box watching your match. She's been up there watching almost all of your matches. Have you ever seen her up there? Is it something you notice? What does it mean to have a young champion playing well but still looks up to you so much?
SERENA WILLIAMS: It's hard to reflect. I just feel like she's such an intense player that is really exciting to watch. It's kind of hard to be a fan while you're in a tournament somewhat.
But, yeah, I watch a lot of her matches, too. It's no secret that I enjoy watching her game. I guess she enjoys watching me, too. I don't know. Maybe she was watching Vika tonight. I think she was watching Vika.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports