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July 6, 2000

Serena Williams


MODERATOR: Good afternoon, Ladies and Gentlemen. Serena Williams.

Q. What are your immediate impressions after the match?

SERENA WILLIAMS: What do you mean?

Q. How do you feel about it? Were you happy with your performance?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I don't think I played that well today. I missed a lot of shots, especially on my forehand side - it's usually my stronger side.

Q. You had countless break opportunities in the second set. Do you feel like you kind of let the match slip away there?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Maybe, yeah, sure. I didn't take. Sometimes she hit a big serve, you know.

Q. What was going through your mind when you double-faulted at the end? Just fell away for you today? What were you thinking at that point?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I guess. I never usually double-fault. Usually used to playing tough three-setter matches and I'd hit one double-fault in the whole match. Today, I don't know, I hit a lot.

Q. Is it more of an emotional experience to lose to Venus than it is to lose to anybody else for you?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I don't think so, no.

Q. What are your emotions right now?

SERENA WILLIAMS: What do you mean?

Q. What's going through your mind?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I don't know. I lost in the semifinals of Wimbledon.

Q. Was it a tougher experience than you imagined, a better experience? You must have thought about how it was going to be out there.

SERENA WILLIAMS: Uhm, I guess I don't know. Venus played pretty well today. She brought out her best game against me today. I just - I don't know. I guess I wasn't all that ready.

Q. Are you pleased with her in any way?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, obviously, yeah, I am.

Q. You look pretty broken up. Did you really expect to play much, much better than you did today?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I did. I expected to play a lot better than I did today. It was my goal to do better in this tournament, but that's okay. I'm only 18. Venus is 20. I have a lot of years ahead of me.

Q. Did your dad watch the match? Has he spoken to you since it finished?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I don't know. I have no idea.

Q. He hasn't spoken to you?


Q. Did you find the footing tough out there? You seemed to lose your footing a lot.

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I kept slipping. There's a dry area in the back I guess because the tournament has been going on for almost two weeks now. I just kept slipping, sometimes on really crucial points.

Q. You dominated with your groundstrokes through five rounds. Today your forehand started to go off quite a bit. Did it shake your confidence when you started to miss a lot of forehands today?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Out there, I don't know if you can lose your confidence that fast out there. So, no. I'd say no.

Q. You mentioned that you're younger. Was there some sense in your family that this was Venus' turn since you had already won a Grand Slam?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I can't answer that question for my family.

Q. Did you have any discussion at all before the match about this being Venus' big opportunity to win her first Grand Slam?


Q. A lot of us who are younger siblings know sometimes it's really kind of hard psychologically to beat the older one, whatever it is, even a game of checkers. Does that ever play into it with you at this point? It's tough being the youngest.

SERENA WILLIAMS: No, I don't think so. I mean, I beat her before. Like I said, she brought out her best game against me today.

Q. Have you been reading the papers at all? Almost every single person from Sampras, Agassi, Navratilova, was picking you to win the match. Were you aware there was a unanimous opinion that you were going to win? Do you think maybe there was some pressure there?

SERENA WILLIAMS: No, I just didn't play well today. It just didn't go right for me today. I didn't feel it. You know, I just didn't play well at all. I'm very disappointed in the way I performed.

Q. You're good at analyzing your own game. You said maybe you weren't quite ready in the beginning. Why do you think that happened to you in the first set?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I don't know. I didn't have the right feel out there. I didn't hit my shots right. The way I was in my other matches, the way I was making contact with it, I just didn't feel it.

Q. It's not meant to be unsympathetic because you're the loser, but could you give some views on how you feel Venus will play, what her potential is for the final?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, if she played the way she did against me today, then she should have a pretty good chance.

Q. When it finally came about, was there any part of the experience that you found enjoyable at all or did it wind up being a necessary evil at this stage to have to face your sister?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Repeat the question.

Q. Was there any part of the experience that you found enjoyable or pleasant at all, or was it more difficult than you had assumed to face your sister at this stage?

SERENA WILLIAMS: It really wasn't difficult to face her at this stage at all. We were both really trying to fight and win, do our best.

Q. What has Venus said to you?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I really didn't see her.

Q. Was this your first game on Centre Court? Do you think maybe the occasion got to you a bit?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I played on centre before.

Q. Did you practise with Venus this morning, and how long?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, a half-hour.

Q. You were playing confidently at the beginning of the second set. You were up 4-2, then things fell apart for you. You lost three straight games, 10 or 11 straight points. What happened there? Did you lose concentration?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I made too many unforced errors.

Q. Do you know why you made that many unforced errors?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Because my technique was not correct. You know, if you're not -- it all boils down to technique.

Q. Do you remember what Venus said to you the moment the match ended? She leaned over and said something to you.


Q. The tears at the end, is that the emotion of losing a big match like this, losing to your sister, being disappointed in your own play?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Tears weren't coming down my eyes.

Q. No tears?


Q. You'd been a very aggressive player in the earlier rounds. I know Venus is very difficult to get to the net on. At any point in the second set particularly, did you consider changing tactics and trying to force the play a little bit by coming to the net?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I guess in a way I did. I just didn't make it to the net often in this match. It was kind of hard to get to the net sometimes if you're really used to playing on the baseline. I just didn't really make too much of an effort.

Q. You said you weren't prepared at the beginning. Is it at all possible that your heart wasn't completely in it?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I never said that I was not prepared in the beginning. I said I wasn't ready for Venus to play that hard. She usually doesn't play that well.

Q. You practise with her all the time. You've seen her play really well. Why didn't you expect her to play well in a Grand Slam semi?

SERENA WILLIAMS: You guys get it all mixed up. I refuse to answer that question.

Q. Are you going to watch Venus in the final?


Q. Venus said afterward when you guys were little, she would look after you, that kind of thing. Do you remember that? Has she always had that role for you?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, she had to, I remember.

Q. Was there anything specific?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, there's a lot of things she used to do.

Q. Anything you want to share with us?


Q. Any disappointment your father wasn't there? Would you have liked to have seen him in the box?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I wasn't really disappointed, no. I guess it would be kind of hard, difficult for him to have been there.

Q. When you got up this morning, came into practise, did you discuss the match at all as a pair?

SERENA WILLIAMS: No. We don't talk tennis off the court too much. You know, we usually don't talk about tennis all the time. A lot of people think that, you know, we were going to say, "Venus, okay, we're going to talk about tennis here. What are we going to do?" Tennis isn't a hundred percent of our lives. It only affects our careers. Right now that's what it is.

Q. Do you hope this gets easier for you guys, facing each other, if it happens over and over and over again - you don't have to deal with all the questions, everything that goes with it? Do you look forward to it getting easier?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I don't know. I don't know. I never thought about that.

Q. Did your father explain to you and Venus why he would not be at the match today?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Did he explain to you guys?

Q. No. Aside from the strong start by Venus, anything else surprise you?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, her serve. In her last five matches, she, you know, didn't serve that well. That's one thing I was counting on to be able to really capitalize, was her serve. She decided that, you know, she was going to serve well today.

Q. Did your dad explain to you and Venus why he wasn't going to be here today?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Did he explain to you guys (smiling)?

Q. He said things like he was going to stay home and work on his computer, do other things. Did he say anything to you about it?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I don't really care to discuss that.

Q. Given that you're in a semifinal, would you rather have not been playing your sister?

SERENA WILLIAMS: It doesn't matter who you play. You just have to be -- you're going to play an opponent a lot in your career. You just have to be able to perform.

Q. Was there anything special to having Gladys Knight and some musical stars? I don't know if you're really fans of them.

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I like Gladys Knight a lot. I know when you're on the court, you really don't think about that too much. "My God, someone's sitting there watching us."

Q. Do you think years from now you're going to look back on this as the day that the two of us got to play on Centre Court in a semifinal or will you look at the it more as a day you didn't win the semifinal?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Who knows? I can't tell the future. I have to see ten years from now.

Q. Do you think with all the attention to this match-up, this could have a positive effect on the game, bring more people to the sport?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, sure. Yeah, definitely sure.

Q. Has this been the toughest defeat you've sort of had to suffer in your career?

SERENA WILLIAMS: No. I've had worse losses. This is not a bad loss. I just have had a couple, you know, terrible defeats. I wouldn't say this is a bad loss.

Q. Do you feel like she's better than you right now?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Today she was, but I can't say that overall she's better than me. I can't say that about anyone, whether it was Pete Sampras or, you know, the 50th ranked girl in the world.

End of FastScripts....

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