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March 10, 2001

Serena Williams


MODERATOR: Questions for Serena.

Q. I want to know what color you call that?


Q. Your dress.

SERENA WILLIAMS: This is a pink, hot pink.

Q. Hot pink?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Hot pink for a hot girl.

Q. Are you still sick?

SERENA WILLIAMS: No, not at all. I just have an allergy. I went to the locker room, started sneezing. That's it.

Q. You haven't played since Australia. Was it tough to get started today?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I think it was a little tough to get started today. We've been practicing really hard, getting those hours in. So I'm really ready. I just had a problem. I don't know, I'm glad I played, glad I won. Each round should be easier. Usually it's just harder, but each round I should play better.

Q. You were really teeing off on her serves, especially second serves, really going for winners.


Q. Was that a game plan for you there?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yes. Today I was trying a few different techniques. I wanted to attack her second serve and I wanted to go for a few more dropshots, hit some angles. Just a different game.

Q. You seem to be hitting the ball so hard on those shots, do you have any problems with arm problems because of that?

SERENA WILLIAMS: No. When you hit those type of shots, you should use your legs. If I am having arm problems, I should try to use more leg strength, yeah.

Q. In the beginning you made a couple of unforced errors, maybe just trying too hard. Take time to fall into the groove?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, it took me a long time to fall into the groove today, for sure.

Q. Glad to be back here, considering what's happened in the past? This is one of your favorite spots?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, it is. I really enjoy it here a lot. It's a great place. It's one of my favorite tournaments. I like this whole tour because it's a total US tour now. I like it a lot.

Q. Was it cold out there? That's a bizarre question for the desert. How was the weather?

SERENA WILLIAMS: No, it wasn't cold out there. It was a little hot, and I was running, so I didn't feel cold at all.

Q. Venus told us yesterday that one of her character traits that maybe is not so good is she's really lazy, she loves to be lazy. Is that the same for you? What trait would you say is kind of your not-so-good trait?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I convinced myself that I'm not lazy.

Q. Is that the truth, though?

SERENA WILLIAMS: That's what I keep telling myself. Sure, I may be in denial, but I like to tell myself that I'm not lazy. A bad trait of mine? You might not believe this, but I like to do everything Venus does.

Q. That's a typical younger sister type thing.

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah. Everything she does, I pretty much, "What are you getting? What are you wearing?" "Why?" "I don't know, I just want to know." That's how it usually goes.

Q. Are you guys out of the doubles? Are you playing doubles?

SERENA WILLIAMS: No, we never entered doubles. For some reason, we were in the doubles. We never physically got in the doubles. Someone put us in. We don't like to play doubles because we usually do well in singles, we usually do well in doubles, but it's just a lot of matches. We never wanted to play doubles here.

Q. It seems like some of the top women are not. Martina is not playing as many doubles. Are you just going to play in the Grand Slams?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I always just did that. Sometimes I like to play at the Lipton, but other than that I usually don't play that many doubles tournaments.

MODERATOR: At the what?

SERENA WILLIAMS: At the Ericsson (laughter). It's just all my life, it's been called the other name.

Q. Since you like to follow Venus, we know you're also taking an online English class. She says you're both struggling.

SERENA WILLIAMS: Oh, I'm really struggling. I mean, I don't do my work at all. It's gotten really sad. I have an essay to write. What's today, Saturday? It's due today. I have yet to read the syllabus about the essay. But I usually ask Venus what I need to do, and she tells me (laughter). It usually works out.

Q. What kind of grade are you getting in the class right now?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I don't know. He sends me my grades every week, but I never download it to see what I got. I'm sure I'm passing. I always do well. I mean, I'm a good writer. It's just time-consuming.

Q. If you were a fan, not a player, would you rather watch two Top 10 women play each other or two Top 10 men play each other, and why?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I don't know. I really don't want to answer that question right now. I'm sure we all know that everyone would rather watch the women play.

Q. What do you think about the draw, you, Venus and Lindsay all on the same side? How does that sit with you?

SERENA WILLIAMS: It's a little weird. I mean, it's okay. Usually No. 3 seed is at the top half of the draw. It was different.

Q. You haven't played much the last six months. Do you feel a little bit out of sync?

SERENA WILLIAMS: No, I don't. I do not.

Q. So how are you approaching this year now from today on?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, like I say, I've been doing more than my fair share of practice. I've been working really hard and training a lot. I am approaching this tournament as going in match after match and really coming out on top.

Q. When you're training like that, are you training with Venus for the most part?

SERENA WILLIAMS: We have hitting partners, I train with Venus, and then we go to the gym. It varies.

Q. Was this a calculated decision to take this much time off? Why did you decide you needed to?

SERENA WILLIAMS: No. I just -- I'm going to play a lot of tournaments. You know, this is just how my schedule is. I didn't play Paris because I didn't really -- I just didn't go over there. I didn't play Scottsdale because I caught the flu. It was horrible. I had it for two weeks. I never had the flu that long. That was a real disappointment. Then after that, fortunately like at the beginning of Scottsdale, I got over it. But I was miserable. I was in bed. It was awful. It was absolutely awful. But every time -- every year around that time, I always get the flu. So maybe I should like not schedule a tournament during that part of the year because every year around that time I get the flu, for some reason.

Q. When you work your schedule, do you do it by yourself?

SERENA WILLIAMS: No. I do it with my mom and my dad.

Q. Do you take flu shots?

SERENA WILLIAMS: No. I don't take shots. I don't like needles.

Q. How committed this year are you to winning Slams and maybe reaching No. 1?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, my dad and I have already went over our goals this year, and that's where I'm really going to work harder. My goal this year is to reach my goals (laughter).

Q. That's commendable.


Q. Which are what?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I really don't like to discuss my goals in the press. I like to keep them to myself so I don't put too much pressure on other people and myself. You know, I just like to keep it in.

Q. Could you give us a clue as to the color of your next ensemble or is it going to have to shock us?

SERENA WILLIAMS: It's going to have to shock you. I've designed one part of it. It's something nice. This is tennis wear. It's really nice. It's going to be at the US Open, so you guys have to stay tuned.

Q. Did you design this (referring to the one she has on)?

SERENA WILLIAMS: No, I didn't design this one.

End of FastScripts....

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