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November 3, 2001

Serena Williams


MODERATOR: Questions for Serena.

Q. Looks like you're gathering strength a bit as the week goes on. Is that how it feels in your tennis?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, for sure. I'm feeling a lot better. I'm serving a little better. I talked to my dad yesterday a long time, because I wasn't too happy with the way I played yesterday. He told me, "That match is over; you don't need to think about it anymore."

Q. You guys have had a pretty good run, you and your sister, against Lindsay this year. You haven't lost to her all season.

SERENA WILLIAMS: Really? I didn't know that.

Q. She's been playing pretty well, won three tournaments in a row. How do you see tomorrow?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Whatever happened in the past is the past. Trust me, neither me or she is going to be thinking about what the past record is. This is the last match of the year. She wants to win it; I want to win it. You know, that's old news. It's just old news now.

Q. She said it's a little bit weird for her to be No. 1. She didn't win a Grand Slam this year. She didn't get to a final. She follows the rules, goes along and plays. What do you think about the fact she's No. 1, not Venus or Capriati?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, she's been winning a lot of tournaments. She won the past three tournaments. She's very consistent. She's playing a lot of events. Those points up there are really close. It's really close up there. Anyone could be No. 1 at any given point in time, those three players. It's very close.

Q. On the same theme, I gather they are talking about changing the point structure to put more weight on the Grand Slams and one or two other of the bigger tournaments in which you play. Do you think that's a good move? Do you have any feelings on that? In other words, the better you do in things like the Slams and probably things like Indian Wells, Key Biscayne, the more it will be reflected in your ranking.

SERENA WILLIAMS: I think maybe -- I don't know. I think a lot of people could go out and play the Grand Slams, they play it too hard, then they get to the other tournaments and don't play as hard. I think no matter what tournaments you're in, not only you, but also for the tournament directors, I think you should go out and play every match as hard as you can. I think since the Slams are special, maybe there should be a few more points at the Slams, yeah.

Q. You have some fond memories of this hall.

SERENA WILLIAMS: I do. I haven't lost in this hall. I'm trying to keep it that way. I love playing here. We'll see tomorrow.

Q. Was there ever any question in your mind about you being able to play here or were you sure all along?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I became afraid to fly. I suffer from xenophobia. That's my only issue. I don't like to fly to start out with. It took all my guts to get on the plane. The next thing I know, I was here. I said a lot of prayers, prayed. I think that's the worst way to die, is on a plane, or maybe drowning. I don't care, I have too much time on my hand (laughter). But I think that's the worst way. I was really afraid. I was.

Q. Did you take some good pills before you got on the plane?

SERENA WILLIAMS: No. I just said some prayers, went from there.

Q. A long flight.

SERENA WILLIAMS: It wasn't that bad. It actually wasn't that bad. It wasn't as bad as going to Australia. No flight is long to me compared to Australia. It's like everything else is quick.

Q. When you're home, people are playing tournaments, you're not there, are you watching?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Oh, yeah. That's another thing that made me want to come. I was watching, what was it, Filderstadt. I was like, "oh, I wish I could be there." I wanted to be there so bad. I wanted to be in the competition. I knew I could have been in the final there. I knew I could have done well there. I wanted to play there. That really kind of motivated me to get off my bum (laughter).

Q. You're watching all the matches or what?

SERENA WILLIAMS: They only show like the finals. Unfortunately, Venus and I don't have cable at the house (laughter).

Q. Too expensive?

SERENA WILLIAMS: It's a little too expensive. We don't have cable. We're only able to catch the finals (laughter). Actually, Venus was getting that fixed when I left.

Q. Will this make it easier for you to fly now that you've sort of done it this time?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I think so. I think getting up the first time and going. I'm okay. The security is unbelievable now. Well, at the big airports, I left out of Miami. The line to get through is literally like two hours. But, fortunately, I didn't have to wait in the line like that. I think things are hopefully going to be a bit better.

End of FastScripts....

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