February 6, 2021
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. Tell us how you're feeling. You had to withdraw from a match yesterday. Give us an update on your health status right now.
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I feel pretty good. I've gotten a lot of treatment already on my shoulder. But I'm super confident it's going to be great.
I'm feeling very confident, I think is a better word, and getting ready for hopefully the next two weeks.
Q. Do you feel any different coming into this Australian Open compared to previous years?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, you know, I feel a little different in terms of I think us as a world has gone through so much. It just feels -- everything feels a little different, so yeah.
Q. The number that everyone is talking about is number 24. How much does that weigh on your shoulders as we start a new year?
SERENA WILLIAMS: It's definitely on my shoulders and on my mind. I think it's good to be on my mind. I think it's a different burden, I should say, on my shoulders because I'm used to it now. It's more relaxing I would like to say, yeah.
Q. You spent two weeks quarantining in Adelaide recently. Obviously that's not an easy time. Are there any positives you can draw from two weeks like that?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I didn't have really any negatives. I mean, I realized that my life is one big quarantine because I don't really leave the house much. It wasn't much different than what I normally do, so...
It was just being forced to do that, not having any other options. Like I said, I think it was the best thing for all the players to do. Even to have an opportunity to come play was super exciting. Yeah, so...
Q. You say you don't leave the house that much. I noticed you on the cover of Architectural Design. Can you explain that process. They obviously came to your house to shoot that.
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, that was fun. We started that process a long time ago. I did that build-out with Venus' interior design company, which is well renowned in Florida. That was their first cover piece.
It was a long, long, long project. It was actually a perfect shoot. They came, and I didn't have to go on set. It was there.
Q. On the shoulder injury, do you feel it's going to niggle at you or have an issue in this first few days? Is it something that's going to be lingering or do you feel close to all clear?
SERENA WILLIAMS: It's definitely something that I'm going to have to deal with for the fortnight. Kind of knowing that going into a tournament definitely helps. Also knowing, okay, I'm going to have to probably pick up some different therapy exercises after each match, et cetera. It's going to be really important.
Q. The fact that matches were starting to get close to the start of the Grand Slam, did that factor into your decision at all?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I didn't really think about that so much. I was just thinking about more or less how I was feeling. I think at my age, my career, I really just try to go on how I'm feeling physically and not put myself in a bad position in general for my health.
Q. I wanted to get your reaction to Bianca Andreescu returning to competition. It's been more than a year since we've seen her in a tournament. What is your reaction to her return? What sort of potential do you think she has? You've gone through lengthy injury layoffs over the course of your career, more than a couple of times unfortunately, but you've always managed to come back and be successful. For you, what was the hardest part of getting back into competition?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I think she has a bright future. She's really young, rather incredibly mature. I've always said I think her light burns brightly. She really has a great game to continue to win more Grand Slams.
For me, I think the hardest thing to come back from was just getting used to being in the matches and being in that moment. For me, that's always one of the things that was hard for me.
Q. You face Laura Siegemund in the first round of the Australian Open. Your thoughts on that?
SERENA WILLIAMS: She has had lots of great wins over top players. She has a different game. She mixes up the pace a lot. It will be a really good match for me to get in there early and play my best.
Q. How are you feeling? What is the overwhelming thought process playing the first major of the year, 48 hours out of kicking things off here?
SERENA WILLIAMS: So my thought process is just to do what I do best. At the end of the day that's play tennis.
Q. I think many of us saw and enjoyed the video on social media of you and your trophy room, trying to find certain trophies. You mentioned some of them weren't there. Where are your other trophies kept? The Wheaties box, I was surprised to see that. Why does that one have so much significance to you?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I have different homes in different places. I keep trophies in different places sometimes. Some are in vaults. My coach has a lot of them actually, so...
And the Wheaties, it's cool. It's not every day you get the cover of a Wheaties box. I thought that definitely deserved to have a spot in the trophy room.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports