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May 15, 2002

Serena Williams


THE MODERATOR: Questions for Serena, please.

Q. Did you expect a tougher match out there today?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I think it was tough enough for me today, for sure. I felt like I was playing a bit in slow motion.

Q. An Italian playing in front of a home crowd is going to get a massive level of support. Did you feel as though you were the villain out there at times?

SERENA WILLIAMS: No, not at all. I -- no, I didn't. I just felt -- I felt comfortable. It seems like when I go places, I always tend to play their countrymen, so I'm used to it now.

Q. Compared to Sunday in your final at Berlin, how would you assess your form compared to that?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, I don't know. My serve, my first serve, I'm still missing it. But it's getting better and better. Just thinking more positive now. I think I thought a bit too negative in Berlin. By the time I got to the finals, I put too much pressure on myself.

Q. How is Venus today?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I haven't really been able to speak to her today, because I had to leave and practice early.

Q. Do you think that the fact that Venus pulled out will be remembered more than maybe the person who will win this tournament?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I don't know. We'll have to see. I don't think so. I don't think that really has -- no. Because I'm still in the tournament and you have Jennifer. There's a lot of good players still here.

Q. How do you feel on this clay?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I'm doing well on the clay. I like it. I like to slide. I like it a lot.

Q. Serena, do you set yourself any specific goals between now and the French Open or the end of the French Open? Are you seeing yourself as a winner of those tournaments?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, I set my goals yearly, and so I have my goals set for the end of the year championship. Every year I try to set goals for myself, and I try to reach them. Yes, I do set goals.

Q. What are they at this point?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, I just -- I don't really like to reveal my goals because I just like to have personal goals I like to set for myself.

Q. What would you say to Jelena Dokic, who's been very critical of your sister's withdrawal today?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I didn't know anything about it. I'm sorry.

Q. She said she would criticize Venus for pulling out at such a late stage.

SERENA WILLIAMS: She said, quote, unquote, "I will criticize Venus Williams for pulling out at such a late stage"?

Q. She said, "I would criticize her also," in response to the question about that, about the criticism.

SERENA WILLIAMS: I didn't know she was getting criticism. I'm sorry. I can't really read the Italian papers, so it's not like I know. I don't necessarily read the papers anyway.

Q. You, Capriati, Dokic and someone more for this tournament? Do you think there's space for someone else?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, I couldn't really tell you. Obviously, I have lots of confidence in myself. But right now I'm just taking it one match at a time. I'm not really -- we'll see. I think we're all in the same half, aren't we? I don't know. We'll see.

End of FastScripts….

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