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November 2, 2001

Serena Williams


MODERATOR: Questions for Serena.

Q. You mentioned last time you wanted to make your way to No. 1 and there were a number of players ahead of you that shouldn't be. Was she one of them? What do you think of her game?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I wouldn't say she is because she works hard, she plays a lot of tournaments, and she wins a lot. So she deserves to be ranked where she is. But I have a decent record. I only played her twice. She played me a lot better this time. I had to make sure. She's working on new things. I think her game from the short time of The Open till now has went up like 50, 60%, which is a lot. I think she did really well. I think she's a good player.

Q. Were you pleased to get it over in straight sets?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Oh, for sure.

Q. Were you dreading a third?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Dreading a third?

Q. Yes.

SERENA WILLIAMS: No. I could be out there ten hours, it wouldn't matter. I'm all day. I stay all day. I'm in the best shape right now, mm-hmm. Actually, I'm ready to go run a marathon really quick (laughter).

Q. Did you have problems staying concentrated in the second set, especially on her serve? Basically the only points you won the last couple games on her serve were double-faults.

SERENA WILLIAMS: Really? No, I lost focus a bit. But I was able to come back. I never doubted the fact that I would win. I just never doubt that I am going to go out. I don't think like that anymore at all.

Q. Are you still not surprised to play so well after not playing tournaments for a month and a half?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I really didn't think I played that great today. I played decent in the first set. I was at home, I was working really hard on my serve. It's still not coming for me right now. Next round hopefully it will be better. I'm not doing bad (smiling).

Q. Have you ever won a match point that way before? Have you ever won a point in that way before?

SERENA WILLIAMS: No, not at all. That was crazy. I kept trying to come to the net. It's like, "Come on, come on." Finally I made it. A volley. Another volley. "No." Another volley. "No." She hit a lob. It was on the backhand, too. I was like, "Gosh." But I practiced that shot in practice. Venus and I, when we're at home, my dad always has us work on those shots. The little doubles that we do play, I hit that shot well.

Q. Did you have a broken string on your racquet on that point or not?

SERENA WILLIAMS: No. When I was younger actually my dad used to always say, "Every time you break a string, don't change the racquet immediately, play the point out." These days, if I break a string, I walk off the court and get a new racquet. Those years of doing that eventually paid off a bit.

Q. Your string wasn't broken on that match point?

SERENA WILLIAMS: It was. It was broken three different places. It was crazy.

Q. You say you're in good shape now. You say you could go and run a marathon.

SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, maybe not (smiling).

Q. You're in good shape. Really, has the end of the season come at the wrong time for you?

SERENA WILLIAMS: No, not at all. I'm a real health nut now. I don't think so. You know what, tennis players don't really get much time off. I can only take a week, at the most a week and a half off, before I start practicing again. I don't think it came at the wrong time. I think if I can end this year on a good note, very positive. I don't have many points to defend in Australia - actually nowhere except for The Open I did well. Other than that, I lost in the quarterfinals. It's pretty easy to get to the quarterfinals.

Q. Have you and Venus got any school stuff from now till Australia?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah. I thought I was going to play all -- I was supposed to play like five tournaments this fall. I only entered one class. If I had known I was going to play one tournament, I would have been in more classes. I'm only in one class. I actually had a class online. That's really simple. You can take your computer and go anywhere. I didn't get in any classes because I thought I was going to play a full fall schedule.

Q. Where are you planning to start the year? How much are you going to play through to the Lipton?

SERENA WILLIAMS: You guys are going to get tired of seeing me. Let's put it that way. I'm going to be everywhere, "Hey."

Q. Will you be in Sydney?


Q. Is there anything in particular you hope to show in your game next year that you've been trying to get into it before but it really hasn't come the way you'd like it to?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, for sure. There's something in particular I've been really working on - actually a few things. You guys are going to be really excited to see in January (laughter).

End of FastScripts....

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