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July 4, 2000

Serena Williams


MODERATOR: Good afternoon, Ladies and Gentlemen. Serena has a pretty tight schedule because she has to play doubles, has more TV. If we can make it relatively quick. Who has the first question?

Q. What exciting happened in your life today?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, I made it to the semifinals of Wimbledon for the first time in my career, only my second go at Wimbledon. That's pretty exciting. I'm happy.

Q. Can you play much better than that?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Today I think is one of the best matches I played in my career so far. Usually I played a match, you know , I did really well in the first set, but then I slacked off a little second, or maybe I did good in the second, didn't do so good in the first. Today I played pretty well mostly the whole way through.

Q. What have you said to Venus?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Nothing much. You know, we were just both really happy that she was able to come through also.

Q. Your confidence must be sky high now? Nobody has come near to stopping you so far.

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, it really is. I'm feeling very excited, very happy, feel like I can make anything happen.

Q. Venus' win was a little bit more dramatic than yours. What did she show to you on the 4th of July?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Actually, I think that's one of the happiest, besides when Venus had the run at the US Open, that I've seen her after a match. Usually she's, "Okay, yes." This time she was pretty happy. That was very exciting for our whole family.

Q. Did your father say anything?

SERENA WILLIAMS: No. I guess we're still kind of really trying to soak it up. That's not the word I was looking for, but that will do.

Q. Do you have any kind of mixed feelings, the prospect of facing her next, thrilled as you were that she won?

SERENA WILLIAMS: No, not at all. I'm really just happy to play another match. I haven't really played her that much in my career. It's just another meeting between the both of us.

Q. How does your father work it out? How can he give both of you a mental edge over the other?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I don't know. You would have to ask him. I don't know. I think he's just going to tell us what we need to work on. Basically we'll just go ahead and do that. One Williams will definitely be in the finals for the first time.

Q. You would have us believe there is no sibling rivalry between the two of you?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yes, there is no sibling rivalry between the two of us.

Q. If you were to lose, you will be wholly delighted for Venus?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, obviously, I mean, how can you say that? "Oh, I don't want to win, but I want you to win." It's not too much like that. It's like, "I want to win." If I don't win, I'm sure I'm going to be sad, go home, work on a couple different things, see what I can do better. It's just like a regular match.

Q. Don't you think it's a shame in a way, it would be a great final?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I definitely think so. It would have been more exciting as a final. Unfortunately I was not able to be on the other side of the draw. That's just the way it turned out.

Q. How did your dad work out the logistics of both matches? I notice he got up at yours at 5-Love in the second set.

SERENA WILLIAMS: He didn't come to mine until in the second set. I don't know how he worked that out. I think maybe he wanted to be there in the beginning for Venus' match, come to see what was happening on my court maybe.

Q. He didn't discuss his game plan with you?

SERENA WILLIAMS: No, he did not. I'll have to get it.

Q. Was there ever a point where you and Venus had a spat on the court, even when you were little kids?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Not really. Venus has always been so calm, so just like a monotone type person, she's just so calm. Whereas me, I'm on the other end of the stick. I'm really excited, always, you know, going crazy. I think we really balance each other out, especially when we're playing each other.

Q. There was never a point where you were like, "You hooked me," anything like that?

SERENA WILLIAMS: No. I did have a problem with cheating when I was younger.

Q. Who was cheating?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Sometimes now (smiling).

Q. Was there much arguing over calls?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I mean, not from Venus' side, no. That's all I can say.

Q. Do you remember when Venus played her first pro match in Oakland, California?


Q. You came out, you must have been around 11 or 12 years old. What went through your mind as a very young girl watching your older sister play her first pro match?

SERENA WILLIAMS: It was very exciting. At that time I was like, "Wow, I want to play." Really back then I wanted it more than anything to be on the tour, to be able to play, compete in some matches. I think that's why I was able to do so well in the beginning. Not only did I get to see Venus and her mistakes, I just really wanted it.

Q. What did you do so much better in the match against Venus that you won that you hadn't done in the previous matches?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I kind of played the way I did today. I was just really focused the whole time, throughout. I really played well the last time I played her at the Grand Slam Cup.

Q. Do you have to focus and concentrate hard on getting it out of your mind that she is your sister and best friend?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah. I think me more than Venus because she's slightly older and has a little more experience than me.

Q. Now that you've beaten her once, do you feel maybe the monkey is off the back a little?


Q. If you're both playing your best, who wins?

SERENA WILLIAMS: That's really hard to say. I don't know. I don't think we'll both be playing our best. I have yet to really show my best tennis. Hopefully I will be able to do that soon. Venus has yet to play her best tennis. Although, I think I'm playing much better here than I was in the US Open or any other tournament I've played in my life. I'm definitely playing a little better, but it's not my best.

Q. Did she play her best against Hingis, Venus?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Not at all. Not at all. To be honest, I was really unhappy with the way she played. I would talk to her about it - I don't know (laughter).

Q. We won't tell her next opponent.

SERENA WILLIAMS: No, I mean, I was happy that she won. I was happy that she played some points. Overall, I think -- she thinks also she could have played a lot better, obviously.

Q. What is the scouting report on your next opponent?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, she has a big serve. Gosh, very tall. She's an Ace. I'm Mama Smash.

Q. Who do you think is mentally tougher?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I don't know. We're really strong. Venus has had a lot of tough three-set matches in her career. So have I. I don't know. I know for a fact I'm really there, but so is she. It's like we're really even. We meet our match whenever we play each other.

Q. If she's Mama Smash, who are you?

SERENA WILLIAMS: No, I'm the Smash, and Venus is an Ace. I'm a Smash.

Q. Do you think she should have closed that out in two sets today?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, for sure, obviously. But Martina was playing what she does best, getting the balls back, doing what she does really good. That's what she did. Venus kind of lost it a little. She had a little problem with her serve.

Q. Does it get at all tense leading up to a match when you guys play or do you guys actually have a good time?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Actually, we know at least one of us will be in the next round. We're going to give it our all when we're out there.

Q. How hard is it for your parents, your mom, sisters, to watch you guys play against each other?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Again, I don't know. You'd have to ask them. I can't imagine. I know I would be heartbroken if my little Jackie had to play my Star. Those are my two dogs. I mean, yeah, sometimes a good competition, because Star is faster (laughter). Sorry.

Q. Your dad just told us he's not going to watch the match.


Q. Yes. Why do you think he's not going to watch it?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I don't know. Maybe it's too much pressure on him. I don't know. It's probably the same reason I wouldn't watch my dogs.

Q. You've come through so easily; you haven't faced any real competition. Venus has played a hell of a match today.

SERENA WILLIAMS: I think I needed a tough match. I think I got it today. Lisa was playing some really good tennis. I've never seen her play that well actually. Till the last point, she kept moving her feet, she was serving, she was volleying, doing everything perfect.

Q. You think that was a tough match?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I think she played well. I just played slightly better maybe.

Q. How will you spend the next two days? Because you're playing one another, will that alter the routine and how much time you'll spend together at all?

SERENA WILLIAMS: No. Tennis is just a game. Family is forever. I can only play sports, tennis, for ten years. Ten years from now I don't think I'll even be playing. I don't want to ruin something that should last a lifetime versus something that just lasts a couple years.

Q. This gives no tension to the two of you being together the next two days?


Q. Will you hit with her tomorrow?


Q. How much of an advantage is it having won the US Open?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I don't think I have an advantage. Venus has been to the finals before. She's been to the semifinals before. We're both really experienced. I'm glad that we both are pretty much experienced at this point.

Q. Just to be clear, when you were little, you were the one maybe who had to cheat a little bit to beat her?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, because I love to win. She was bigger and stronger. She had unfair advantages.

End of FastScripts....

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