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August 31, 1999

Serena Williams

U.S. OPEN CHAMPIONSHIP, Flushing Meadows, New York

Q. That looked like that went pretty quick.

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, it was.

Q. Were you anticipating it to be that quick?

SERENA WILLIAMS: You never anticipate a match to be that quick. You just go out and try to do your best and stay focused as much as you can.

Q. How were the courts playing? I understand they are moving really fast out there?

SERENA WILLIAMS: They are really fast, actually. Deep balls that come really fast. They are really fast courts.

Q. Is that to your liking?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I don't care. I'm just ready to go either way.

Q. Venus was talking yesterday about how she's seen more and more African Americans coming out and watching tennis and that's something that she's become more and more aware of?

SERENA WILLIAMS: There's a lot more African American people coming out and watching our matches, and matches, period. It's definitely becoming more of a universal sport. That's really great.

Q. How would it feel to play your sister in this tournament? What would that be like for you?

SERENA WILLIAMS: That would be really exciting, because either way, one of us would be able to win our first Grand Slam. I'm six matches away.

Q. When you guys play against each other in practice a lot?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Not really. We hit together a lot and we practice together. We don't really compliment each other. We play left-handed sometimes and that's it.

Q. If you did meet her, what would you do to beat her? What do you see as a weakness?

SERENA WILLIAMS: In case she reads the paper, I'm not going to tell you. (Laughter.)

Q. Who is better left-handed?

SERENA WILLIAMS: It's tough to say. We would be split all the time. At first, I was winning a lot, and then she won a few; so, we're kind of even. No one can slice my backhand; I can't hit it.

Q. How do you feel about Pete withdrawing?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I was definitely disappointed when I heard. At first, I didn't believe it myself because I thought it was a joke. And to be quite honest, my heart missed a beat when I heard he pulled out. I was very, very disappointed.

Q. Venus said that she feels as though when she's on her game, nobody can beat her. Do you share the same sort of feeling from your standpoint, and is confidence perhaps the greatest trait that you and your sister share?

SERENA WILLIAMS: When I am on my game, nobody can beat me, and I think it's impossible for anyone to have a chance against me when I'm playing my best.

Q. Including Venus?


Q. So if you're both at your best, you expect to win?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I would. I definitely would. I'm sure she would; so, that would be a very good match.

Q. Yesterday, your dad said he missed most of the match because he was eating a hamburger and wanted to finish it. Was he having dinner tonight during your match?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I don't know. I'm not sure.

Q. Was he out there?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I don't think I saw him there, but I'm sure he was somewhere watching. My dad, he does a great deal with us during practice -- in practice he's done all he can do; so it's up to us out there in the match. He's been coaching us all of our lives; so, it's up to us now.

Q. Venus designs her own outfits. Do you do the same?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I did a few, but they didn't want to use my designs. (Laughter.)

Q. Why not?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I don't know. I'm going to try to get some better designs. I think they are really nice, myself, but I'll get some better ones. I'll design some more.

Q. Were you a little surprised at how easily you kind of dismantled Po?

SERENA WILLIAMS: The score was pretty surprising, I guess, because I played her before and I lost. I was really young then. I think I was 15 or 16. It was when I first came out; so, I knew that she was a pretty good player and had beaten me before and it was going to be a good match. So I guess I kind of dominated today. I returned very well. I don't think I played that great, but I was really returning well and I was serving okay. Other than that, I could use a lot of work with this tournament.

Q. Why did you choose to go with Wilson?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Wilson definitely makes the best racquets. We used Wilson when we were younger. When we lived in California we were like eight, nine that age. They are the best for me. They really make a great product. I like to use a lot of power. The racquet I use is really light, and I can get an unbelievable amount of power on the ball. It really suits me and my body and I really love those.

Q. Did you work closely with them before you decided?

SERENA WILLIAMS: We worked really close for 18 months trying to get the perfect racquet for me and what suited me best.

Q. Can we expect to see a Serena Williams autograph racquet soon?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Oh, yes, it's definitely we're working on getting one out for juniors, like the little junior racquets for kids, and little ones also. I'm really excited. It's going to be really cool. I think I'll get one myself.

End of FastScripts….

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