January 18, 2001
THE MODERATOR: First question for Serena, please.
Q. How do you think you hit them?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I hit them a little better. I was a -- a little better. Not quite satisfied, where I want to be, but it's looking a little better. I think my strategy overall was more than my hitting.
Q. Still feeling a little bit rusty because of the off season?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I am. But you know, when the big match comes, when it comes down to a point where you need it, I just really don't feel rusty anymore. I feel like I'm in there. That's what I need to feel.
Q. Looks like you've got a very tough road to go here. To what extent do you pay attention to the draw?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I don't even know who I'll play next. I'll look tomorrow to see who I'll play. Honestly, everyone is tough whether it's the top player or the lower-ranked player, because everyone plays and they want to win. And now there's a lot of young kids coming up and everybody is out to win and do their best. Why not?
Q. You're not one to look at the draw at the start of the tournament?
SERENA WILLIAMS: No, not really. Not at all. Not at all. I just play it as it comes. You know what, in the end, I'm not the type of player that, you know, looks at, "Okay, I'm going to hit here," because in the end I'm just going to end up playing my game.
Q. Selena Roberts from New York. When you were attending classes in the fall, did you like having that time to yourself? Getting away, was that good for you even though now maybe you're a little rusty?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, it was good to get away. But I had a better schedule this year with my classes, they only went Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. My Wednesday only went late afternoon so I had a chance to practice a lot. Friday I ended in the morning, so I had a much better schedule. So I was able to get a lot of time in. I just, you know, am a little rusty from match play basically. I've been practicing on a new game. I'm trying to work on it, work on it. It's getting better. It's just getting some matches.
Q. New stuff you said? What kind of new stuff are you trying to work on?
SERENA WILLIAMS: No, I'm just working on a new game. I'm trying to change and just play -- become a new player with just a new look.
Q. John Hogan from the Australian. What's prompted you to change, look for something else in your game?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, I think every year you have to go out and improve because there's a lot of players on the Tour that are improving. There's a lot of young people coming up that really have nothing to lose. I know when I was coming up, I just played my heart out and that's what a lot of people are doing now. So I know for sure that I'm going to go out there and try to improve and get just a different look so they think -- they think they know my game but they really won't basically.
Q. What elements are you trying to change particularly?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I don't really like to talk about what I'm trying to change. I just think we should watch and see.
Q. (Inaudible) is that part of the equation, part of what you want to do more on?
SERENA WILLIAMS: For sure.
Q. You're actually going to play Tamarine Tanasugarn next. You played her a couple times last year. Do you remember those matches?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I think I've played her more than anyone else on the Tour now. I've played Martina, I think, seven times. Yeah, I guess not. But I've played -- I've played her a few times. I know her game pretty well. She's that type of player, last time we played we had a pretty good match. You never know what people are thinking. She's in the third round of a Grand Slam so she's probably really ready to, you know, play Serena. I never underestimate my opponent.
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