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March 25, 2000

Serena Williams


WTA: Questions for Serena.

Q. How did you feel you played today?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I played okay. You know, I think I'm feeling a lot better. I feel I'm really trying to cut back on the errors. I think I made more in the second set than I did in the first. I'm doing a lot better than I was.

Q. You haven't played her. Was it a little hard to gauge her game?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I hadn't ever played her. I didn't know she hit so many balls cross-court. The majority, I would say 99.9%, of her balls would go cross-court. It was kind of strange, you know.

Q. How are you feeling with where your game is at right now?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Right now I'm definitely feeling a lot better than I have in the past. I went home and I really worked on a lot of consistency, a lot of movement. I just worked on different things that I hadn't worked on. There's always a change in someone's game, so I'm trying to change for the better.

Q. You had that great family party here last year, you two getting into the final. Does it feel weird being back here without Venus playing with you?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, it does a little. Venus is the defending champion. She only lost once at this tournament, I believe. Unbelievable. It feels weird. But, you know, I'm a player. I'm definitely ready to play.

Q. Do you feel some pressure to win it for the Williams' house again?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I really want to do that. I want to go ahead and take it home. I'll do my best.

Q. "Take it home." Has a nice ring to it.

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, take it home.

Q. You love mixed doubles. Did you ever tell Butch to add mixed doubles to this tournament for you?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I don't know. It's a lot of events to play in a ten-day tournament.

Q. If they had mixed doubles, would you play in it?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I don't think so. I'm really concentrating now on my singles. That's where it is mostly.

Q. You and Venus are working on a house you're getting ready to move in. How is that going?

SERENA WILLIAMS: It's going very slow. The stadium at Indian Wells was built in like, what, 12 months. Our house has been like 16 months and it's still not built. It's like 6500 square feet, but still there's no reason.

Q. Who oversees the construction?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I should give the name, but I won't.

Q. Has it been fun to plan and design and figure out how you're going to decorate?

SERENA WILLIAMS: No. There's so many things you have to choose. At first in the beginning it was great. "Wow, I want this." Now it's, "I'll take that." It doesn't matter anymore." "Do you want this?" "Sure, it doesn't matter." We got to pick out chandeliers. I didn't even see the chandeliers. I don't really care anymore. I really just don't care. It's so tiring. All the decisions, it's unbelievable.

Q. You sound very grown up talking about this house. Do you feel more grown up than you were a year ago, substantially?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, definitely for sure. My game has definitely grown. I've won more titles. I'm a more consistent player. I'm a better person, looking better, yeah (laughter). Everyone is really trying to improve. You've got to improve the whole all-around Serena, not just the tennis one.

Q. Has The Open win reverberated in your life in any way that you didn't expect, people coming up to you, somebody you didn't expect? What has it been like?

SERENA WILLIAMS: There was a lot more people. To be honest, I was bothered so much before The Open, during The Open and after The Open, I couldn't really tell you the difference. I couldn't go anywhere really. I really still can't. I guess people recognize me more, maybe my name more. Usually it's always Venus Williams and the other sister. Now more people - everyone - is saying Serena Williams, sometimes they say the other sister. Sometimes it goes vice versa. If they say Venus, I can keep walking, because I'm not Venus. "Can you sign this, Venus?" "Oh, I'm not Venus." I can just walk by. It doesn't happen so often at all.

Q. With Venus being out, there's a lot of rumors, she's going to retire, it's all over, is she coming back, when is she coming back.


Q. Is it absurd?

SERENA WILLIAMS: You really have to ask her. I mean, rumor has it she's retiring. I read it myself. Like, Wow, Venus, are you retiring? I have the inside information. Unfortunately, I'm not able to release that.

Q. Would you be surprised to see her never play again?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I'd be very surprised. I'm sure you guys would, too. I'm going to announce my retirement at Wimbledon (laughter).

Q. After you win it?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah. This is my last event. It's been swell. Wait, this is 2000 now. It's been great.

Q. People have likened the Women's Tour to a soap opera. Do you think there's any truth to that comparison?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I don't know. I guess. I mean, women deal a lot with emotions sometimes. I guess a lot of people act out. I know a few people say things to the press that obviously don't add up at all. As for me, I kind of like to stay out of it. I'm not in the soap opera. I'd rather do a movie. I'm not the soap opera type.

Q. Do you enjoy the kind of mix of personalities out there, or at least reading about them?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I guess it's fun. It gets women's tennis out there. Everyone is excited to watch, see what's going to happen next, who is going to go where. It's really exciting. It's the future.

Q. Are you taking courses this semester?

SERENA WILLIAMS: No, no. I only can go in the fall, then I have to play tournaments. I've played too many tournaments. I can't do it.

Q. Is Venus taking any?

SERENA WILLIAMS: No. I mean, she said she could have since she didn't play. But she thought she was going to play. She was really disappointed that she wasn't able to take any classes. She could have had another whole quarter under here. Unfortunately she doesn't.

Q. Is she bouncing off the walls not being able to play?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, she is. I see her out there actually working. It's her wrist. I see her out there working on her legs, strengthening, conditioning. I'm going to have to be ready when she comes back.

End of FastScripts….

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