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March 24, 1999

Serena Williams


BROOKE LAWER: First question for Serena.

Q. Were you happy with the way this match was going in the first set? Seemed like it was a little sloppy out there.

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I didn't play so well in the first set at all. I don't think I played so well in the first set. Yeah, it was sloppy a bit. A lot of mistakes. I didn't do the right things out there. I don't know. I guess I was a little tired in the beginning, but I was able to come through.

Q. What changed things around then?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I decided that I didn't want to miss too many more balls. I was making too many errors in the first couple games. It was a little ridiculous, so I had to stop.

Q. You haven't been broken before in this tournament. You got broken three times in the first set. Was that an indication --?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I didn't really get broken in the first set. I just ran out of time.

Q. I don't understand your answer.

SERENA WILLIAMS: I ran out of time. If I had more time, I wouldn't have been broken.

Q. Could you talk about your next round opponent?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I think I play Hingis. Yeah, we haven't played in a little while. We have a lot of business to deal with out there. It should be a good match. I don't have anything to lose. She's No. 1. I'm No. 16. Yeah, it should definitely be a good match because I haven't really heard too much about her from this tournament. I'm sure she's playing well being in the semifinals. So am I.

Q. What kind of business do you have to deal with?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I have to go out and play. I have a job next time I play.

Q. Is there anything more important in this semifinal than the fact that she's No. 1?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I don't find that so important, her being the No. 1 player. I'm going to have to play the top players, No. 1, No. 2, sooner or later. It's important that I'm ready and focused. She didn't get No. 1 by just joking around. She was serious.

Q. You say it's a while since you last played her. What differences do you think she'll find coming from across the other side of the net?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, I think I saw her mom here tonight, so I'm sure she was at my match watching me, trying to get the latest scouting report. I have hers, too. What was your question again?

Q. In another way, I'm asking you how much a better player are you now than when you last played her?

SERENA WILLIAMS: When I last played her, I couldn't play. I'm sure you can decipher the difference.

Q. Is that still in your mind, that last year when you had the two match points? Is that something you're thinking about as far as the business you have to deal with, get that off your slate?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I had two match points last year?

Q. Yes.

SERENA WILLIAMS: It must really not be on my mind.

Q. Did you feel you broke Amanda's spirit when you broke her to win the first set? Did you just pick up your game that much more in the second set?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I didn't really do much pick up my game much more. I think she was a little down. Yeah, so.

Q. Do you feel this roll could go on for quite awhile, the number of wins you've had?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, I hope it goes on for quite awhile. I hope I can keep winning. I always want to keep winning. I just want to go out there and do the best I can do. Even if I end up losing, if I played my best, gave my all, then it's okay with me. Actually, it wouldn't be. I'd go out and work harder. You know what I'm saying.

Q. Does winning make you want to work harder?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, sure. If you keep winning, you don't want anyone to beat you. You want to keep jumping up the next level, the next level, until you're the best. I'm not at the top yet.

Q. But are you working hard? Are you working harder now maybe than when you last played?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, sure. I'm playing more tournaments. I'm playing more matches. I'm working a lot harder.

Q. Do you have any time frame for getting to the top spot?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, my goals this year are just to play a match at a time. Like last year, I had too many high goals. I had too many frames set like that. I'm trying something different this year. It's working out so far. I'm going to stick with it. Play every match, every tournament, not literally every tournament, but play every match in the tournaments I play, and do the best I can just match for match, point for point, break it down.

Q. Rankings are one thing; current form over the last couple of tournaments is another. Your current form is second to none at the moment. How much confidence does that give you going into matches?

SERENA WILLIAMS: It definitely gives me a lot of confidence going into matches being in my best form I have in my career so far. It's pretty exciting I'm doing so well already. I really haven't been out that long. I guess it can make anyone feel good.

Q. Are you drained right now?


Q. Is Hingis the ultimate test for you as a player at the moment?


Q. What would be?

SERENA WILLIAMS: If you wouldn't know, I can't tell you.

Q. Can I guess it would be playing your sister?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Exactly. Is that it? Thanks.

End of FastScripts....

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