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January 24, 2001

Serena Williams


MODERATOR: Questions for Serena.

Q. How are you feeling now after you also had a long three-setter in doubles?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I don't know how I'm still up and running right now really. I think I'm going on what I would like to call reserve. I practice, you know, my life from -- I'm 19 now, I've been playing for about 15 years, and so all the stuff that I stored up in the past 15 years is what I'm going on right now.

Q. What was the sort of things you were saying to the trainer and to Georgina when you obviously called for some guidance or help at the end of the first set?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, it was strange because I didn't know what to do. I was feeling dizzy and just -- I just really didn't know how I was out there at that point. I wanted to know if there was like a tablet I could take because I didn't know, I had no idea.

Q. And was there?

SERENA WILLIAMS: No. They gave me lots of fluids and some pink stuff that I could take. It really helped a lot because in the end I was able to get my feet moving. It really helped.

Q. How long did it take before the dizziness wore off?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I think it wore off definitely during the third set, you know, definitely after the second, yeah, for sure, and some time during the third, maybe the beginning of the third.

Q. Was there ever any question that you wouldn't actually go out and play the match?

SERENA WILLIAMS: No, not at all. I was feeling good. I thought I was feeling good. This is a quarterfinal of a Grand Slam, an opportunity to do well, because I usually play very well. I never second-guessed myself.

Q. How would you describe the quality of that third set?

SERENA WILLIAMS: It was definitely very high quality. We both were running down a tremendous amount of balls. Martina was just really -- she really went on adrenaline and a lot of heart. That's what won it in the end, I think - I guess.

Q. Other than the problems with the food poisoning, do you think you've come to this tournament with your full fitness?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, for sure, I'm definitely very fit. Look at me. I just played a doubles match. I have food poisoning and I haven't eaten all day. I could play another match. I don't know why, I don't know how, but I'm very fit. I can keep going on.

Q. It was interesting today that your matches were back to back. Venus sort of was listless for her first set, as well.

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I think that was more problems with her technique, and she didn't go right at that. I told her I was disappointed in the way she played. She says she'll play better next time.

Q. When did you lose the match, with two breaks up in the final set?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I don't know. I really don't keep count of things like that. You know, those are the things that are in the past. You know, like I said, Martina really came through with a lot of heart, a lot of determination. That's what happened.

Q. In the end, did fitness or ability lose that game for you? What was the problem in the end, do you think?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, it definitely wasn't ability. I have the ability to beat anybody at any time. It definitely wasn't fitness. I just think Martina played a very good game. She started attacking and moving up, and she was able just to make more shots. I mean, I would assume that I had a lot of errors, I'm pretty sure I did, I usually do, and she was able to, you know, do what was right at the right times.

Q. Do you have any regrets, you had some fantastic shots, didn't seem to follow them in, any regrets for not putting a little pressure on her?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I haven't thought about it much yet. I really haven't had time to think about it. But now that you mention it, you know, I might have to start coming in more. If not, I'm going to have to, you know, do something. Maybe if every shot I don't come in, there will be just less things I can do, like shopping or something.

Q. Whenever you lose sort of a big match like this, which was so tense, so close, do you ever sit down and watch a tape of it later so you can refresh your memory as to what went wrong and how you can put that right in the future?

SERENA WILLIAMS: No (smiling).

Q. Is that a correct answer?

SERENA WILLIAMS: That was, yeah -- that was my answer.

Q. That wasn't what he asked. Is the Australian Open the most difficult Grand Slam for you both, Venus and you?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I don't see where it's difficult, no. I think all Grand Slams have 128 draw for singles, 64, I think it is, for doubles. I think they're all the same.

Q. Would you look back on that match as a match you lost, or will you look on it as a great match that enthralled the people that watched it?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I'll look at it as a match that Martina won. I was thinking about it at my doubles match. I told Venus, "Last time I lost a match like this at the Australian Open, I went on to, you know, dominate." Venus said, "You know what? I'm going to stay out of the tournaments you enter and not going to play them." I guess we know what to expect from now on. I learn a lot from each match, I go on. I learn a lot, yeah.

Q. Do you have any idea what the source of the food poisoning was?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I really have no idea. I have no idea. I don't -- I wish I did.

Q. When did it first hit you?

SERENA WILLIAMS: My match before, I think it was Bedanova. I didn't realize it at the time, but I didn't eat before that. I just couldn't because everything I did, it would just come back up. I just went out there and I played a good solid match. Just the whole rest of that day and yesterday, I couldn't even practice, so.

Q. Did you see a doctor and have any medication?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I saw a doctor yesterday and today. They gave me some medication. You know, you guys don't have to worry, I'll be better. Martina played a great match today, so it was great for the fans and the press and everything.

Q. You don't know what the pink stuff was?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I don't know what it was, but I didn't like it. It was terrible.

Q. But it helped?

SERENA WILLIAMS: It helped, unfortunately. Well, fortunately, but what a way to help.

Q. You said you won't play the same tournaments as Venus.

SERENA WILLIAMS: No. I said Venus said she was not going to enter any tournaments that I am because we know what happened last time I played a match like this at the Australian Open.

Q. But she will enter the Grand Slams, probably, with you?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I wouldn't suggest it, but hey (laughter).

Q. What is your program between now and Key Biscayne?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I have a tournament overseas, then I'm going to do the American tour.

Q. Paris, is it?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I believe I have that tournament.

Q. You weren't too impressed with Venus' game. What do you predict for tomorrow?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Oh, Venus, I had a long talk with her in the locker room. You know, she's promised not to do a game like that anymore. She'll definitely be in better form tomorrow. Unfortunately, I'll be in the stands, you know, cheering her on instead of taking her on.

End of FastScripts....

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