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July 2, 2001

Serena Williams


Q. That looked pretty comfortable. Were you happy with your match?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, I guess you can say I was happy to win that match, for sure, yeah.

Q. And how do you feel now about the prospect of playing Jennifer Capriati?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, I feel real good about it. You know, it's about time I start playing better. I love this surface. Why not?

Q. Elaborating on facing Capriati, can you break down what happened the last time you played and when would be the keys in the next match?

SERENA WILLIAMS: The last time I didn't play. I think it was someone impostering (sic) me. I was hitting a lot of errors and going crazy. This time I just need to make sure I'm out there performing and I'm not making all those errors, playing the way Serena Williams knows how to play.

Q. What's special about her game right now? How much has she raised her level, and what's most impressive to you?

SERENA WILLIAMS: She's definitely raised her level a lot, obviously, to win two Grand Slams in a row. Yeah, playing great.

Q. How do you feel about your game compared to the level you were at last year at this time at Wimbledon? You were playing fantastic last year. You seem a little bit more dissatisfied with your level here, or is that wrong?

SERENA WILLIAMS: No, not at all. I'm definitely playing a bit better this year, or maybe -- no, I think every year I improve. Last year I was playing pretty much immaculate tennis. But this year, I don't know, maybe -- I don't know. Score lines are kind of the same. I'm just trying to make it.

Q. How long did that loss in the semis last year stay with you?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I really don't know. I try to put things behind me and move on. So, I don't know, it was a tough loss for me. That one was a tough one for me to put behind.

Q. Is it normally easy for you to put things behind you or do you have to work at it?

SERENA WILLIAMS: No, it's normally easy for me to put things behind me. Usually I insist that they never happen. Obviously, in some cases like that, I know that they happen (laughter). But some things, you know, "Hey, that wasn't me."

Q. Is that the case with the match against Capriati? Easy or hard to put it behind you?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, I don't know. I just -- I was so dissatisfied with the way I played. I've been more determined after that match. That's something that I don't want to put behind me because I want to remember all the bad things that I did in that match so I can improve the next time.

Q. Will you be thinking about that when you walk out onto the court against her?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Oh, no. I'll be thinking about, you know, this match, hopefully making it happen.

Q. Do you think you match up better against her on grass than on hard court?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Actually, hard court's my favourite surface. I love the grass, but I grew up on hard.

Q. But in the match-up with her, compared to, say, the Ericsson, do you think you might have an advantage here because you have a better serve, for example?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I think against any player on any surface, I have a great chance.

Q. Last year, having gone through the draw relatively easy through the early rounds like you have this year, will you do anything different this year in terms of your preparation, practising more, just to get more time in?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, my dad and I discussed how in the Slams, especially in the early rounds, I tend to fly through my matches. So we're working on a plan on doing some things that we'll work on in practise, so when I do play a harder player like I did against Venus in the semis or maybe Capriati now, then I'll be ready, and then I won't be so just used to getting, you know, more the players that weren't hitting that hard. These players hit a bit harder. Get a few more balls back.

Q. How do you prep yourself for the later-round matches so you are ready?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, I think I just prep myself mentally and keep reminding myself that this is Wimbledon, this is not your normal tournament. When I think about that, I really want to play better.

Q. And your hair looks absolutely mah-velous. Would you ever think of playing with it long or would you be afraid you'd get whiplash?

SERENA WILLIAMS: No, yeah, I might get that whiplash, so I have to pull it back, turn it up, twist it around so it doesn't look that long.

Q. How hungry are you to win here?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, right now I'm really ready. It's been a minute (sic) since I won a Grand Slam. I'm really focused. Before I got here, I really went home and I worked really hard. I just really think I might deserve this.

Q. Does Venus' success push you along, as well? It must be a good thing, in some way. Does that help in any way - you push her, she pushes you?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, for sure. I usually watch her matches, some of the things she does, I make notes to make sure I do it in my next round. You know, she has a good record against all the players out here, so I usually make sure I watch her, you know, learn from "Big Sis."

Q. What's the biggest lesson you've learned from Venus?

SERENA WILLIAMS: From Venus, I would say it would have to, again, be staying calm - wouldn't be able to tell if Venus was winning or losing in a match. I think just the way she does that, it's great.

Q. Last year you and Venus both talked about your escapades in buying a dress for the ball. Did you guys do that before this tournament?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah. I already brought my dress. I have a couple more rounds to think about that first. I always usually bring my dress ahead of time because I know I'm going to be there because I know I'm going to win an event. This year I'm definitely trying to win the singles event.

Q. Is it the same dress that you brought last year or did you buy a new one?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Oh, no, this one is more stylish, more funky, more trendy. It's not as bally.

Q. Have you finished the book on Egypt?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I finished it.

Q. Do you recommend it? Should we put it down as a recommend?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Venus really enjoyed the book. Out of a 10, I give it about a 6 or a 7. I think Venus gave it like a 9 or a 10. I didn't enjoy it as much as she did.

Yeah, I'd recommend it. It was a good read.

Q. What was the name of it?

SERENA WILLIAMS: It was the "Eye of Rah" by Mike Asher, A-s-h-e-r.

Q. Are you always a harsher critic than Venus?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I know it seems that way with tennis and books. I guess so.

Q. Now, in your spare time, you read. What else do you girls really enjoy doing in your spare time?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, we enjoy doing all kinds of -- lately I've been, you know, of course fashion. Like, I have a sketch book that I carry around with me that I try to sketch things, make it happen like that. What else? That's about it.

Q. Do you play cards or anything before a match?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Oh, no. When we're together, we usually just talk and laugh, reminisce. We're so young to be reminiscing (laughter). "I remember those days."

Q. Aside from you and Venus, what player on the tour, male or female, do you think has the most style that catches your eye?

SERENA WILLIAMS: With the most style? I never really thought about that, honestly. I think a lot of people, their company puts style in them, makes them wear style. But as for like when I see them off the court, I'm a critic, there I go again, "Oh, no, wrong shoes." That's what a fashion person does. I don't know. I know a lot of people are out there really trying, but they're not doing it right.

Q. Could you give us names?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Of course not (laughter).

Q. If we paid you billions of dollars, what about a worst dressed list? You could become internationally famous.

SERENA WILLIAMS: I could. I would like to do that. I would do a good job. I would be a good stylist, a good fashion stylist, what to wear, what not to wear. Maybe if your body type isn't for certain dresses, maybe you shouldn't wear them.

Q. Do you know the limitations in terms of how much colour? Someone like Agassi comes every year, always wears plain white. Would you do something to jazz up the basic white?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Not too much. Like my dress just has like a green trim around it, and I've added the little butterfly that it was self sewn on to give it a little excitement. I think Wimbledon, I like walking on the court with a white dress, then the green grass, I just think it's beautiful. I think maybe you can stick to a small trim, maybe not black, maybe a different colour, because everyone does black. I think that would be nice.

Q. How would you respond to those low-minded critics who claimed your pink dress at Roland Garros clashed with the orange clay court?

SERENA WILLIAMS: That's preposterous (smiling).

Q. What are you most critical of in your own game?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, I think I'm most critical of -- I think my serve. I mean, yeah. I'm definitely most critical of my serve, for sure.

Q. What time did you know today that your match was first up?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I knew yesterday.

Q. Sorry.

SERENA WILLIAMS: That's okay (smiling).

End of FastScripts….

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