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June 30, 2000

Serena Williams


MODERATOR: Good evening, Ladies and Gentlemen. Serena Williams for you.

Q. Long day; short match?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah. Long day; decent match. I'm glad I got that under my belt. It's nice.

Q. How long did you have to spend here today?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Actually not long. I got in at 3:30, so that was pretty short.

Q. Did you watch the end of Andre and Todd's match?

SERENA WILLIAMS: No, because I was practising. I left the house, Andre was down 5-2. I was like, "Wow." I can't root for Andre or Todd because they're both Americans; I like them both. I really like Andre. I really like Todd. It's like weird. Then I was practising, I hear a lot of screaming. I turn around, "10-8, wow, what a comeback." He was really determined.

Q. Are you impressed with that, that he's been able to pull that out so many times?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, that was pretty impressive because Todd was serving up two breaks. I really didn't think Andre would pull it through. That's what he's been working on these past few years.

Q. Are you good at that kind of stuff?

SERENA WILLIAMS: That's my specialty.

Q. Comeback kid?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Comeback, yeah. But I don't like to be down. I'd rather be ahead. If I have to, hey.

Q. You've been asked this before. Have you seen any racism on the tour yourself?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I believe I answered that question the other day. You can get the transcripts for it. I've already pretty much covered that question.

Q. You've only lost nine games in three matches here so far. What do you think your chances are next week?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Tomorrow's Saturday. I forgot I won't play Sunday. I'm looking good. I'm feeling good. That's most important. I'm just doing the best that I can do. Like I said earlier, I think that I'm doing a lot of things better than I actually was at The Open. I came here to win. I didn't come here for anything else, or at least give it a hundred percent. That's why I'm here. If I'm not here for that, then I just need to go home.

Q. What were you doing better specifically than The Open?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I just think mentally I'm more strong. I'm not making as many errors. I'm just more mentally there. My matches aren't as long. I'm the player I should have been a little while ago, unfortunately.

Q. What do you think you might do on your day off on Sunday?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I'm definitely going to practise, obviously, and try to stay focused, just know that the other girl that I have to play is working really hard, and so am I.

Q. How much harder is it to stay focused at a two-week tournament?

SERENA WILLIAMS: You know, I think it may be a little harder. But once you're winning your matches and you really want it, if you really want it, it's not hard at all. If you're just there just to be there and be seen, hey, you know, it's pretty hard to stay focused.

Q. Are you going to attempt to get a peek at this Champions Parade tomorrow?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I didn't hear about it. What is it?

Q. They're bringing in all these past champions back on Centre Court.


Q. You said many times that you've learned a great deal from your father. He in turn said that he's learned everything from his mother. His mother means everything to him. Could you take a moment and tell us what you know about her?

SERENA WILLIAMS: My grandmother?

Q. Your grandmother.

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yes. I was pretty young when she unfortunately passed away, but I remember she was always smiling, she was always a positive person. And my dad always talks about her all the time. He calls her, "Mom." It's kind of strange to hear my dad say, "Mom." It's just weird. He always talks about she helped him to be the person that he is. He's a very positive person. He's really outgoing and really he's like -- I wish there were a way to describe it. He's the type person that wants to get a job done, that wants to be the best at whatever he does, no matter what it is. He's very determined. I just imagine her to have been the same way. I never really got a chance to know her very well, but from all the stuff that he says and the things that he does, because usually the apple doesn't fall far from the tree.

Q. He said that she was an especially good sharecropper, and he learned so much, that's why you guys are so wealthy these days.

SERENA WILLIAMS: That's why we're so tough, too.

Q. Alexandra mentioned yesterday that she was kind of glad her first year on tour was over because she encountered a bit of hazing. I just wondered if that was anything that came up your first year on tour, if you felt any of those kind of situations?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I'm always around my mom, my dad, Venus, my whole family. Obviously it's out there. I mean, the world is not perfect. There's sin in the world, and everyone is not a perfect human being. Obviously, yeah, it's out there. Just stick close to yourself and be not too friendly. That's why a lot of people have a problem with us because we're not too friendly with anyone. We're cordial, we say hi, et cetera.

Q. Did you encounter anything like your sister did with Spirlea anytime on tour?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I just answered that question.

Q. What is it about some players that lets them come back, good when they're down, some players never get the hang of that?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I don't know. It's something inside you that you have to have that's innate. You have to be born with it. It's something that you can't go out and buy. I said this before. It sounds like something I said before in a different interview. Yeah, you can't go out and buy tenacity - is that right - yeah. I think if you're down, you just have to fight like that. You have to either be born with it or really, really work hard. But I don't know if you can get it from working hard. I think it's something that's more innate.

Q. Are you at the point where you really like playing on grass or are you still making adjustments?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Oh, God, I love it. I'm ready to go right back out. If it wasn't dark, I would go out right now.

Q. What's so wonderful about it?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I don't know. I mean, the points don't last long. I feel I can come to the net. My shots are just blazing. I'm not really even hitting them that hard. It may look like I am. Sometimes I am. My serve, I'm just doing better on the grass. I can't believe that I never felt this way before. They should have more grass court tournaments, for sure.

Q. Why do you think the difference?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I don't know. Maybe overall I'm more of a positive person. Maybe I'm more experienced also. I'm a bit older, getting old (laughter). I don't know. It's weird. I definitely should have felt this way sooner. I love it. Although I didn't come to the net much today. I'm going to work on that.

Q. Martina said that the game has become more one-dimensional because there's less ability for a first volley amongst women. Do you agree?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, sure. There's some more players coming up that are trying to serve-and-volley. I have an all-around game. I can come to the net, if I want. I guess in the women's, it is a lot of baseliners. Probably why it's a little more interesting.

End of FastScripts....

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