August 31, 2000
U.S. OPEN CHAMPIONSHIP. Flushing Meadows, New York
MODERATOR: Questions, please, for Serena.
Q. How critical was that third game in the second set, Love-40?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, that was pretty important. I needed to win that game to keep the
momentum, to keep myself holding serve. Usually I never lose serve. Usually I really never
lose serve. Already in this tournament I've lost twice. That's more than I've lost in the
past two tournaments combined. It was important for me to win that game.
Q. What is it about your serve?
SERENA WILLIAMS: It will come around. This is only the second round. I'm going to serve
better in the next round because I know I'm going to serve better, I feel that I'm going
to serve better.
Q. Who has a better serve, you or Venus? What are the strengths and weaknesses of each?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I don't know. I'm not -- I don't know. I'm not going to comment on
Q. What do you like about the way Venus serves? When you watch her, what appeals to you
most about her first serve and also her second serve?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, Venus has a nice, big serve, really nice, really big. She hits
it bigger than what I'm able to hit mine, for sure. She's taller, so.
Q. Is hers the most powerful serve on the women's tour right now?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Venus'? Yes, because she definitely has the hardest serve on the tour.
Definitely, for sure. My serve, the highest I ever got was 121. That's pretty remarkable
for my size. I can get there again. I'm just not really hitting them that hard lately.
Q. You practice with Venus all the time. What do you think are the things that she
needs to do to raise her serve to the best she could possibly raise it to?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, she served well in her last match. Whatever she did there, she
should do it again.
Q. Are you having fun with the idea of playing --?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Is this a one-on-one?
Q. Are you having fun with the idea of playing against John McEnroe or another man?
What do you think would happen if you got the opportunity?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, well, you know, they're not making this challenge against other
people. I don't know why. I have no idea why. Why doesn't he want to play Martina or
Lindsay? Why us?
Q. How would you do?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Who knows. Who knows. I'm not here to talk about it. I think he wants
to get a rivalry going. I think maybe he wants to play us. Just by chance, maybe he wants
to play us. I'm here to concentrate right now on my singles and doubles, and that's what's
Q. Does John maybe not have as much respect for women tennis players?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I think in the beginning maybe he didn't, but now he's really grown to
see it and to respect it, to have a lot of insight in it.
Q. Zina Garrison was in the broadcast booth during your match. How much of a mentor has
she been to you and your sister?
SERENA WILLIAMS: She was actually my mentor -- we have mentors. She was my mentor.
Obviously she was a very good player. Some of the things she say is just something we can
definitely take to heart and learn.
Q. For instance? Is that personal?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I don't really want to talk about that right now. I don't want to talk
tonight, guys (laughter).
Q. Your father keeps saying that he has to consult the 'magic cat' in Compton? Is that
an inside joke?
SERENA WILLIAMS: No, actually I have not heard that.
Q. He has to consult the 'magic cat.'
SERENA WILLIAMS: I don't believe in magic, you know. If so, then I would be dominating
really, singles, doubles, everything.
Q. Are you glad he hasn't made a prediction this time?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I don't know. I haven't heard him make any predictions. I don't read
the papers that much. I just keep it on the down. My dad doesn't bring that with us. He
makes sure we have a good practice and we practice really hard.
Q. Can you share with us - you're net savvy - your favorite websites that you go to?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Actually, there's a nice website out there, Williamssisters.com. We
don't own it, but someone put it up. It's really nice. Also UBO is starting a new website
for the Williams sisters. It's for our newsletter. It's listed on UBO.com. That's Urban
Box Office. Where else do I go? I usually just check my mail.
Q. Venus said yesterday that you're muscular just out of genetics, that you don't work
out at all. Is that true? It looks like you've been working out, just the way you're
SERENA WILLIAMS: I'm in the gym every day. I'm about to go to the gym right now, as a
matter of fact (laughter). That's a joke. No, when I was born, I was 'little baby
muscles.' That's just the way I came. I do go to the gym. Actually I go to the gym a
little more than Venus. When I go home, I might go a little more. I've always been this
way, but just to keep myself toned, I'll go to the gym. I don't want to get any bigger
because it will be very unattractive. Right now it's perfect.
Q. During the first set, it looked like you turned a little bit awkwardly, sort of
yelled out. Is anything wrong with your knee or ankle?
SERENA WILLIAMS: No, not that I'm aware of. I'm fine right now. I'm doing good.
Q. Being defending champion, do you feel any added pressure compared to last year?
SERENA WILLIAMS: No. I don't feel any added pressure. I have hopefully five more
matches to play. I would love to play five more matches, in singles, that is.
Q. Have you found that players have treated you differently because you are the
defending champion? If so, how so?
SERENA WILLIAMS: No, I have not been around much. I'm only here to play my match.
Actually, the first time Venus played her night match, I was not here. Whether they treat
me different or not, I really don't know. I don't take notice to it because I have not
Q. How does playing on alternate days with Venus affect your practice schedule? Do you
still just practice together early in the morning regardless of who's going to play that
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, we'll practice together early in the morning. Like today, I
practiced with Venus. But we also have a hitting partner here. Like tomorrow I want to
practice more, Venus might want to just practice for 30 minutes in the morning, a little
warm-up before her match, but I want to get a full practice. I might come out a little
earlier, hit with her for her warm-up, then we'll both leave. So that's how it works out.
End of FastScriptsâ€¦.