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March 27, 2002

Serena Williams


THE MODERATOR: First question, please.

Q. Serena, well played. Is it because gentleman prefer blondes or blondes have more fun?

SERENA WILLIAMS: A little bit of both, actually (laughter).

Q. When's the last time you played as well as you played in the second set there, Serena?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I think I played my second-round match, I was really happy with the way I played. I only lost one game. The girl was, she was a good player. So I think that was about the last time.

Q. But is that good enough to make you happy? I mean, is that everything you are looking for there?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Come on, guys. You know I'm insatiable. My serve was struggling the whole match, I think.

Q. Are you looking forward to a match against your sister?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, yeah, for sure. We've been practicing hard, and at least one of us - sorry - is going to go on to the next round. Hey, one of us is going to be in the final again, three years in a row. It was Venus the past -- last year I guess, two years. So that's a guarantee, and we're both really excited.

Q. Do you feel like it's your turn in the rivalry?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, I just feel like it's my turn to stop making so many errors. We'll see what happens. It's all on how many errors I'm going to make, how many she's going to make. It's going to be like that. But it really -- I'm just really ready to compete. I've been playing very well. You know, I'm on a little winning streak, so we'll see.

Q. Have you two played each other enough now that any discomfort is gone?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I think Venus and I have definitely played each other enough. I think after the first time it was enough for me. Now we know our games just unbelievable. But now even in a match situation we know it a little better too.

Q. Still a lot at stake, you know, being in the semifinals of a big tournament. Is it any easier or harder than facing her with the title on the line?

SERENA WILLIAMS: No, I'm definitely just trying to win the title. I need the points. I need the title. She needs the points, she won the title last year so she has the points coming off. So, we both have a very good reason to go out there and fight as hard as we can.

Q. In retrospect, how did you feel about the way you played in the US Open?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I was very disappointed, I must have made about 100 errors, just unforced after each ball. It was really disappointing because I played so well to get to that point. Then I kind of fell off. But that was several months ago. I'm not thinking about that match. I'm sure Venus isn't either. We're just going to go out there.

Q. You mentioned errors. Do you think some of that comes from going for it?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, my game, I'm going to have some errors. Venus' game also. Just hard hitters in general. I'm not going to go out there and make two errors. It's going to be impossible. So I'm expected to do a little something. But I give and take a little. I've been playing a little bit better. So taking it a day at a time, step at a time. Baby steps.

Q. Do you feel that at this point in your career you're best equipped now to beat Venus?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I definitely think so. I'm always going in there thinking positive, and just... I never, ever, ever, ever think negative.

Q. Just to change gears a little bit, there's a Target Cup, the Juniors out here are playing. Just your thought on the Juniors being out here playing, having a chance to interact with the professionals out there and the experience for them.

SERENA WILLIAMS: I think it's good. I never played the junior events, and they have them at the Slams and now they have them here. This is definitely like the fifth Grand Slam because it's so big now, now that they have the addition of the Juniors. So I think it's a good thing for sure.

Q. If you played more Juniors, could that have done something for you?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I think that would have burned me out. Just thinking, "Gosh, I've already been here, I've already done that," I would have been jaded. I was able to live my life as a young kid and do things a normal child's able to do, instead of traveling a lot. But that's just me. I get bored very quick. I'm the type of person that can do things for a little while, then I'll get bored and have to move on to the next thing. Not everyone is like that.

Q. You got off to such a good start in the second set. Did you have a sense that it would be very difficult for Martina to keep things from snowballing at that point?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, Martina, she's always good at making comebacks. So until I was shaking her hand, that's when I knew the match was over. But I never think the match is over until it's done, because she's good at making comebacks. And you just have to keep thinking like that. You can't just think, "Oh, it's over," because before you know it, it is over and you're going home.

Q. You bang a good serve. You sneak a peek at the scoreboard where it shows the speeds?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, always. After every serve I always look at the scoreboard - always. So I haven't hit -- my biggest this week, I think, was 117. I haven't been hitting them big. I guess that's not big, I mean... (Laughing). Okay.

Q. It's not small.

SERENA WILLIAMS: It's not, no. I've hit harder than that before, so...

Q. You feel like you've ever played your best against Venus?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I think when I played her at the Grand Slam Cup, there was a lot of money on that line, I was determined to win (laughing). And, you know, money can make people real tenacious. No one could have beat me that day. That was definitely the best match I've ever played.

Q. Against anybody?


Q. Against her.

SERENA WILLIAMS: Against her. So...

Q. Do you ever talk to her before a match?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah. Definitely. Tennis, for sure -- tennis can only go so far and so long in our careers. I definitely talk to her before the match, get a chitchat on.

Q. What is your routine like the day that you actually play her?

SERENA WILLIAMS: It's normal. Really, it is. We have connecting rooms, so, I mean, it's nothing different. You know, if I see her, it's not like I'll try to bump her or anything (laughter). Or hit her, because -- give myself an unfair advantage, or maybe put a pillow over her in the middle of the night. I don't try to do that -- honestly, it's the same routine. We're not -- I'm not looking for an unfair advantage. Really.

Q. Do you do trash-talking, kidding around?

SERENA WILLIAMS: No, we don't. Really. It's just we take it as another match. No more than I would trash-talk anyone else.

Q. You guys trash-talk in practice when you hit together?

SERENA WILLIAMS: No, not at all. To be honest with you, no. We just -- I'm not huge on practice. I'm not the type of person that wants to hit six hours a day. Although lately I've been practicing a lot. But, no, we don't really -- we practice with each other, but we have hitting partners, too. So it kind of mixes it up a little bit.

Q. Sell your Porsche yet?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Not yet. I haven't had any bidders.

Q. Big money over here.


Q. Do you have any regrets about not defending your title at Indian Wells?

SERENA WILLIAMS: No. I lost points. That's the only regrets I have. My ranking fell. But, you know what, I'm not even looking at ranking. I'm just looking at titles, then the ranking will come. It seems no matter how much I win, I seem to stay at the same place. I guess because I don't play that many events. No, I like to go places where people enjoy seeing me play.

Q. You felt they didn't?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I felt a lot of people did. It would be totally unfair for me to say they didn't, because there was a person in the crowd that actually got me motivated in that final. So that would be completely unfair. But at the same time, it would be unfair for me to say that they did enjoy it.

Q. Would you think of going next year?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Probably not. I'm not going to sit up here and fabricate things. I'm not going to cheat myself. I probably won't be going there next year either.

End of FastScripts….

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