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July 3, 2001

Serena Williams


MODERATOR: Ladies and Gentlemen, Serena Williams.

Q. You said the other day that at the French, it was an impostor out there in your place. Who was out there today and what physical struggles did you have to go through?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, I was definitely playing out there. I think in the end I lost the match because Jennifer just picked up her game and played a bit better.

Q. What were the physical problems that you were having? Will it interfere with the doubles, for example, this afternoon?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, for four days now I've just been struggling. When was the last match I played before? The Round of 16, I think I played, that was on a Friday, when I played Gagliardi. Was that on a Friday? Yes, no?

Q. Friday or Saturday.

SERENA WILLIAMS: That's when I got this sickness. I haven't been able to really eat since. I haven't been right since. It was just, ugh, going on emotion.

Q. What was it diagnosed as by the doctor?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I went to the doctor twice. It was gas , I don't know, gastromunical (phonetic) virus, viral infection. I think maybe I've had it for a while, and it's just come to its apex now maybe.

Q. How have you been treating it?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, I've been taking a lot of Pepto-Bismol, Imodium AD, things like that.

Q. Did you think of pulling out of the tournament?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I did. I started not to play Maggie Maleeva. I went to the WTA and I was like, "I don't know if I can do it." So I was pretty happy that I did. I don't know how I got through. I was thinking about pulling out before that match.

Q. So you're getting, what, after three, four, five games, you start to feel weak because you're not able to eat before the match?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I just have no energy. Just like usually I'm a strong person, you know, I'm very well-conditioned. It's just like I'm just totally going on emotion, not anything physical at all.

Q. You came very close to winning this match, though. Were you surprising yourself given your condition?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I guess maybe, yeah. But, you know, I think I -- I still think I could have won had I just toughed up for a couple more points.

Q. You were up Love-30 in the second set, two points from winning it. Actually, just played a great point, surprising Capriati at the net for the volley winner. At that point how were you feeling?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, obviously I was feeling like I'm going in for the win, I'm just trying to take it, you know. But things didn't turn out that way.

Q. But right at that point when she served at Love-30, were you feeling okay, or did she just suck it up and play great tennis from that point?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I think, you know, she definitely sucked it up and started playing some great tennis at that point, for sure. I definitely think she went out there and just went for broke, didn't have anything to lose. So she was like, "I'm going to go for it all."

Q. Were you playing in pain?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I wasn't in pain. I was just -- yeah, I guess I was in pain. Yeah, for sure.

Q. When you rushed out ...


Q. ... were you sick?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah. It was bizarre. I've never had this. I've never even had this in practise. It's not like I had a chance to, you know, kind of deal with this before.

Q. It seemed like a wild match with just no pattern to it at all. How would you describe it?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I think we both made a ton of errors. I know I did - and she did. I think overall, it was a good match for the fans.

Q. When you left at 4-Love in the third, did you get sick?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah. I was really nauseated. I just had to get out of there. I don't know how I came back. I was thinking, "Oh, man." It was horrible.

Q. It was like a goo that you were ingesting?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah. It's something that's supposed to help nausea, you know, just all that. It's like a Pepto-Bismol-type thing. It's really, really bad tasting.

Q. You had, I guess, 75 unforced errors. Do you think a lot of that was because maybe you were rushing points?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I just knew when I had to come out here, I should just go for it because I -- my energy level without food for four days is not going to be, you know, the best. So I just went out there. I knew that I had to either do that or...

Q. Are you sticking with it for the doubles this afternoon?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I don't know. I mean, right now I have the chills, I don't feel well, I have a horrible headache. I'm not alive right now, so...

Q. Have you lost weight the last several days?


Q. If so, how much?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I have, I have. I've lost about four pounds. But I have such a high metabolism, if I don't eat for three days, I'll lose like eight pounds. Fortunately I've only lost like four. It's a great diet (laughter).

Q. What has been your diet for the last four days?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, yesterday I was pretty happy because I had a little pasta. I had a little banana in my match today. I had a little pasta earlier today. Let's see. I think that's about it. I had a yogurt a couple days ago maybe. Then I just couldn't keep it down. It just kept coming up.

Q. This sickness, did it affect you in your other matches earlier in the tournament?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Like I said, I don't know. I was going to pull out against the Maleeva match. My trainer Carey (phonetic) was like, "If you can just get through this day." "Okay, okay." I wrote on my notes, "We'll hit a bunch of aces, a bunch of winners, see what happens." Fortunately enough, I don't know how I was able to come through that match so quick and easy like that. I was really shocked and surprised. I was really happy that I actually stuck in there and played her.

Q. What's up with your matches with Jennifer?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, what is it, 1-4 now?

Q. You said you were an impostor at Roland Garros, hobbled at Ericsson.

SERENA WILLIAMS: I think there's about three matches against her that I actually should have won. I know there's one match that maybe I shouldn't have won. I really wasn't mentally there a couple years ago. The last three matches, I really think I really had a chance to win . Maybe not at the Ericsson - I was really, really hurt. I couldn't even run. As a matter of fact, I had to pull out of the rest of the clay court season after that. So maybe not that one. But I think the last two matches I think I had my chance, but she actually picked up the level of her game. Like I said, she won just because she picked up her level.

Q. Is it getting to your head a little bit, your problems with Jennifer?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I don't have any problems. I just think my problem I'm a hypochondriac, that's it.

Q. What's your thought on the Henin-Capriati match-up?

SERENA WILLIAMS: It's a great match-up. Henin is playing great. I don't know. It should be a good match, for sure.

Q. Are you disappointed? Coming into a Grand Slam, you're at the opposite end of your sister, a potential final, the press, the fact that you aren't able to play your best?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Seems like every time I get up, I'm only to be put down. I don't know. Maybe I should go see like a doctor and just get -- like I said, I might be a hypochondriac, no kidding.

Q. Did the number of long points, so many deuces, that sort of thing, work against you, considering your condition?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I think, yeah, obviously. If I could have been able to put some of those points away instead of making an error, doing things like that, I think that definitely would have helped. But some points she really just hit winners, she hit a good serve. She really played her game. She really went all out. She just went for it. Couldn't blame her.

Q. During the actual match today, did you think you might have to pull out at some point?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, after the first set, believe it or not, I was just like,"Ugh."

Q. It's been almost two years since you won a Slam title. Is that a bit surprising?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, of course. Really, really surprising. Really disappointing. Extremely upsetting. But, you know, I'm only 19. People out there, I still have a lot of time on my hands.

Q. Are you taking care of yourself physically the way you should be or do you think you just have bad luck by eating the wrong things?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I honestly think I have bad luck. I went home after the French and I worked really hard only to have this setback. It was pretty disappointing (tearing up), as you can see.

Q. When you look back on this match, how much do you think you'll attribute this loss to the way Capriati played and how much to the illness?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Like I said, I definitely think I should have won. I think she really picked up her game in the end. I think she really went out there, and I was up 30-Love. She really started turning her hips, hitting deep balls, really going for it. She definitely deserved the win because she picked up the level of her game, and mine kind of stayed at the same level.

Q. You have had a couple of big matches in the past against your sister, for example, a three-setter at Key Biscayne. Venus just ran away at the end of the match. Do you feel like you need to work on closing matches out?

SERENA WILLIAMS: No. I'm usually able to close out my opponents, for sure. This is the first time I haven't closed out an opponent in a minute. But usually I'm able to close out my opponents.

Q. Last year for example in the second set, you're up 4-2 with breakpoints to go 5-2.


Q. Yes. Into the tiebreak, she won the last five points of the tiebreak.


Q. Were you disappointed about not closing that set out?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Honestly, that was a year ago. If I'm still disappointed about that, then something's dreadfully wrong.

Q. What is your definition of a hypochondriac?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Someone that is always -- that is prone to get sick, prone to get hurt and injured, more prone than the next individual. That's me. That's Serena Williams. Under hypochondriac, they should put "Serena Williams."

Q. Do you think Venus can go on and win it now?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I definitely think so. She's playing great tennis. She's playing excellent. And Venus has a game and the mind and the physique, and she's really prepared because we both were working really hard after the French. So I know what we did. For sure.

End of FastScripts....

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