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October 30, 2001

Serena Williams


MODERATOR: Questions for Serena.

Q. How good was it to come back on court?

SERENA WILLIAMS: It was pretty exciting to be back on court. I've been waiting a while. I've been wanting to play a lot of tournaments sooner, but I wasn't able to. It's great to be back.

Q. And have you been surprised that you came back so strong?

SERENA WILLIAMS: No. I've been working really hard at home. I'm on a mission. I have some goals that I set for myself. I have to reach those goals. I'm tired of seeing people ranked ahead of me that just shouldn't be.

Q. You'll be playing Justine Henin or Anke Huber in the next round. Which one do you prefer?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I've never played Anke. I played Justine once. But I think it would be nice for the Germans for Anke to do well here. Really to me, it doesn't matter. It should be a good match, for sure.

Q. Do you know Anke will play maybe her last one?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah. That's why I say it will be nice if she does well here. Other than that, it doesn't really matter to me.

Q. Looked pretty easy out there today. The game is pretty much in line with what you hoped for in the later stages of this tournament?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I don't think I actually served very well today. I missed a few too many first serves. Overall mentally I think I was okay. Things that I worked on, I was able to do. That's why I was able to make it look so easy - if you kind of just attack some balls, be out there less than an hour. I think other than that it was pretty easy. Actually, it wasn't that easy. She played good. She made me run. She made me work. I don't think the score did any justice.

Q. You mentioned goals. What are some of your next goals?

SERENA WILLIAMS: My next goal is to be No. 1. I'm going to have to play more tournaments, play better in the Grand Slams. Honestly, I can do it. I've been motivated. I need to do it. Maybe I can work harder to get to that goal.

Q. There's a good player called Venus, Venus Williams. How about her?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I'm going to have to take down anyone who stands in my way (laughter).

Q. How is she feeling now? Is she hurt with her hand?

SERENA WILLIAMS: We're just having some troubles. We were working hard. It was all muggy in Florida, rainy, just hot. She's having some issues again. But she should be okay soon enough. Don't worry.

Q. You might take advantage of her not being here.

SERENA WILLIAMS: I can't, because I can only play this one tournament. By the time January comes back, she'll be back into it. We're both working hard. It's definitely going to be a rivalry for future reference, for sure.

Q. Is it much the same injury she had before?


Q. Is there anything they can do to stop it recurring? She had quite a long layoff last time.

SERENA WILLIAMS: She did have a long layoff last time. I think this time it should be okay. We have a trainer now we work with all the time, so...

Q. What sort of things can she do to try to prevent it?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I would suggest prayer (laughter). Besides rehab and tons of ice.

Q. It's not something that's going to need surgery.

SERENA WILLIAMS: I don't think so, no. We're not too much into surgery. I'm really afraid of that.

Q. What is the score between you two?

SERENA WILLIAMS: What is the score?

Q. How many matches did you win? How many did she win?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I don't know. You guys are the press. You keep up with that, not me. You guys usually have all those stats. I don't usually have all those stats.

Q. I don't believe that you don't know.

SERENA WILLIAMS: I'm sorry. I don't believe I'm still here.

Q. Would you care to elaborate on that?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I mean, I'm ready to go home. I'm tired. I'm hungry. Come on.

Q. In the circumstances of, you know, what has happened with Venus, the injury, are you disappointed that apparently some people seem to think it may not be as bad as has been made out, she might have come just the same? Lindsay was one of the people yesterday who sort of was saying she was a little bit skeptical.


Q. Yes. She's not sure.

SERENA WILLIAMS: Everyone has their own opinion. You can't stop anyone from having their own opinion. The only people that know the truth are Venus and the people around her. I myself know Venus wasn't on the practice court when I was there. Venus would stay at home when I went to the practice court because she couldn't practice. But everyone is entitled to their own opinion. I think actually some of us should actually be happy she didn't come instead of complaining about it. I mean, honestly.

Q. If I may say so, that's a good remark. A question about Munich. Are you going to stay here to see something about Munich after you finish the tournament?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I don't know. I want to go home and take a break. I've been working really hard these past few days, these past few weeks. I want to go home, just hang out with my dogs and family without having to do so much tennis things. I just want to take a week off and just relax. I want to be at home. When you're practicing, it's not like you're at home because you're always on the court, stretching, working out, at the gym. I've been here before. I've actually been to the Oktoberfest. I've been a bit of Munich before. Maybe next time.

Q. So you speak some German.

SERENA WILLIAMS: Ich spreche kein Deutsch.

End of FastScripts....

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