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June 24, 2002

Serena Williams

Wimbledon, England

MODERATOR: Afternoon, Ladies and Gentlemen. Serena Williams for you.

Q. Can you talk about what it was like to play out there when Centre Court is still pretty pure, not all dirt.

SERENA WILLIAMS: It's great definitely to get out there so early. Every time I step out on Centre Court, I just feel honored. So it definitely just felt great. You just wonder why so many people would love to get a chance to win Wimbledon.

Q. You have a chance to do something that I believe only three players, male or female, have ever done, and that's win the French and Wimbledon in the same year. How aware are you of that piece of history that you're chasing? What would it mean to you?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, I didn't even look into it. I never heard of that. As I say always, six matches to go hopefully. So if I can even get that far, I'll be very happy.

Q. Have you and Venus talked about the match in Paris, saying, "You did this, you did that, what a great shot, what a bad shot"?

SERENA WILLIAMS: No, we never really talk about the matches we play against other. To be honest, we really don't talk about tennis off the court, unless I'm playing an opponent that she knows, only then we'll talk - if she has a match and I've played the opponent. But normally, we normally don't really get involved in too much tennis talking.

Q. Pretty simple question, but do you prefer tennis on clay like the French Open or on grass like here?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, everyone says that my game is suited for grass, and I couldn't play on clay. But obviously I like the grass because, you know, you can just hit a hard ball and come to the net and put it away, whereas on clay, you hit a hard ball, maybe three or four more. So I think I definitely like the grass more.

Q. What was it exactly like out there today, the court being so not dug up?

SERENA WILLIAMS: It was definitely fresh and crisp. It was just great. You know, I don't think I've ever opened up on center - not opened up but played on Centre Court my first round match, so I'm really excited about it.

Q. There's been concern about security issues this year, you having your own security officer with you. Is it easy to put that out of your head when you're actually playing?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I haven't actually heard of any security issues, but I do have my own security here because, you know, the more famous you get, the more worse it gets. I just try to take extra precaution because I like living (laughter).

Q. Do you find that, nevertheless, it distracts from playing tennis? Can you put all that out of your head when you get on the court?

SERENA WILLIAMS: No, I definitely put it all out of my head. Once I step on the court, the only thing I'm thinking about is my game and my opponent, and just trying to keep focused and stay focused out there. I don't normally think about any problems that could happen because I think if you maybe get too involved, then you may become a little bit paranoid, and I try not to do this.

Q. You're on the opposing side of the draw to your sister. I know you're not looking too far ahead, but would you like to meet her in the final or would you rather meet someone else?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, obviously I would like to see Venus do as well as she can I would never hope for her to lose. So obviously I would like to see her go all the way. I would like to go all the way, too. But we both have to stay focused because we're the people to beat now. Everyone obviously wants to beat us. Just have to, you know, keep our heads up and stay tough.

Q. You said the more famous you get, the worse it gets. Have you found even since you moved up to No. 2, has life gotten crazier?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I couldn't imagine my life getting any crazier. I can't go anywhere, especially in America. It's very difficult for me to go anywhere - even to the local grocery store. I can't go because people are always really excited to see me. So I don't think ever since I became No. 2 maybe it's gotten worse. I wouldn't know because it's been like this for a long time now.

Q. So do you feel like you're always on display?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I feel like people are always staring at me. But, you know, you always get used to it. You feel all eyes on you. I've really gotten used to it in the past. Now obviously maybe it's a bit more. If it is a bit more, it's maybe just a little bit because I was pretty far out there in the media. I've always been doing pretty well.

Q. So you love to shop. You have to eat. How do you balance that?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I do love to shop, and I eat to live, I don't live to eat. So I eat the minimal amount of food that I can so I can stay in shape. Venus always gets angry at me because I never go grocery shopping, I never buy food. She always tells me to go to the store, and I never go. It's good. She always cooks, but she's very upset at me all the time, "Serena, you never go to the store." I'm like, "Yeah, you know." I'm very lazy about that. When we stay at home, there's nothing in our refrigerator. Some people came over one time, our friends, they were like, "You have nothing in your refrigerator." There was nothing to eat. Our cereal has bugs in it because it's so old. My mom sometimes brings things over. Sometimes she goes to the grocery store and cooks for us. Life is so tough.

Q. Do you ever try disguises when you go out?

SERENA WILLIAMS: No, never tried it. I wouldn't know what I would do if I tried a disguise. I found that a scarf and sunglasses works better than a hat and sunglasses. As for a disguise, I never thought about what I could try. Thinking of a wig, people notice my face, so that doesn't really help. If I wear long sleeves and long pants, that does tend to help a little bit. Just keep your head down when you walk.

Q. Which of the major titles means most to you?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, both of them were so special. I mean, I was so young when I won The Open. Obviously, that was really a special moment for me. It's been my dream always to win the US Open. And the French, it's just like, you know, it's an unbelievable win for me because I overcame a lot of stuff in that tournament, just the whole time. This whole year has just been amazing for me. So both of them are equally as special. I think any time you win a Grand Slam, you can't say, "This one's better than the other." I haven't won Wimbledon yet.

Q. What does Wimbledon mean for you?

SERENA WILLIAMS: No, I mean, my goal this year - before the year even started, at the end of the last year - was to win Wimbledon. My goal always when I'm entering a tournament is to do the best I can. I never believe that I'm going to lose when I'm in a tournament. The French, I didn't believe I was going to lose or else I just wouldn't play. That's in every tournament. I think when you go out thinking positive, your results will be good. I necessarily don't think I really planned on winning the French. I mean, I planned on winning each match as I played. But it's just a totally different thing holding up the trophy. I really wanted to win this tournament this year because Venus has won it two years in a row, and to see those little plates in our little trophy area, I want one of those with my name on it. To hold the plate with all the history behind it, I would just love to do this.

End of FastScripts….

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