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March 23, 1999

Serena Williams


REVEN OLIVER: First question.

Q. Serena, one of your best matches ever?

Serena WILLIAMS: I think I really played solid today. I was really focused. I didn't lose serve at all, so that was what I was really looking forward to doing. I think I really did that pretty solid.

Q. Serena, how much confidence do you have right now?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Right now I'm feeling pretty confident. Who wouldn't, you know. I haven't lost a match in a little while. I'm playing tough opponents and having pretty solid wins over them. I'm feeling very confident right now. Very.

Q. Last year you had some leads, crucial matches, what's different this year for you?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Last year I was young. It was my first time playing matches against top players. This year I guess you can say I'm old.

Q. At 17?

SERENA WILLIAMS: So I'm a little more experienced. I know how to handle those. I'm determined not to lose those points anymore. That will be my own doublefault.

Q. Serena, it took you two matches to face a breakpoint, can you talk about just the focus in you to -- I mean ,in a dominating match playing a player like Seles who knows how to take advantage of those opportunities?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yes, she was really taking advantage of a lot of opportunities to get to the breakpoint. It's just I didn't want to lose serve today and I just was trying to stay focused and really hold serve, or hit a big one in, or try to get a good second serve in.

Q. Did you also plan on running her around because maybe her speed, lack of speed is a major factor?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I actually think she played very well today. I've really never seen her play this well. She probably came out really trying to play me well and I actually saw her run fast today. Any other day it was different, but today, boy, she was on the run. She got balls I really didn't expect her to get. That was my fault because I should expect everyone to get every ball.

Q. Is there anyone you fear right now?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Oh, I don't fear anyone. I fear God only.

Q. Who is better right now, you or Venus?

SERENA WILLIAMS: We are both playing very well. If we both make it to the final, I guess you'll have to see. Venus is playing awesome. I'm playing good.

Q. Serena, Venus yesterday said you just put it in your mind that you decided to win these past couple of weeks...

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, who doesn't want to decide to win.

Q. Exactly. If you can kind of break it down? What is working for you, what are you doing differently recently?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, just, like I said in all my interviews before. I just think the only thing I'm doing differently now is, I'm just thinking positive. I only have positive thoughts in my mind. I'm not thinking anything negative. I'm thinking optimistically.

Q. Perhaps you are less anxious now?


Q. Anxious.

SERENA WILLIAMS: Oh, yes, I guess so. Last year I had my goals set too high for me to reach it. This year I said just to win one match at a time, do the best I can do. It's good for me. Really good.

Q. A lot of time siblings, the older one has the upper hand mentally?


Q. Are you concerned about that?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I never was aware of siblings having the upper hand mentally. I think that's just something that's just in a book. You can't always trust that. (Laughter)

Q. Does it make a big difference for you playing so close to home or does it influence you if you play --?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I like playing here at home because I always get to play on stadium. I like to play on the big courts, so it is exciting. I have a lot of fans here.

Q. People supporting you?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yes, I have a lot of supporters. A lot of fans in the crowd. Yes, so I like playing here a lot.

Q. Do you think you and your sister are kind of redefining the women's game with the power and the speed?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I definitely think so. We are both powerful, but we are also consistent. We both can run fast and we also have like a lot of touch. Just a lot of different things in our game. We are really setting the standards for the future generation. Tennis is always going to take a step up now that we've come along. That's good for the game.

Q. Can you talk about, I know you've heard this question before, but each time you all advance farther in a tournament or win a tournament, you all went through the process a lot differently; you didn't go through the rigors of the juniors. Can you explain how that has helped you?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I think what helped me develop was watching Venus play, win her matches, to see how people play, how people were on the tour. I was able to come on faster than what Venus was. I think that's what helped me more than anything. You have to ask her about Juniors.

REVEN OLIVER: Any other questions?

Q. Serena, you have a doubles match tomorrow I think not before 3:00.

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yes, but I'm not playing doubles tomorrow.

Q. Okay. Amanda Coetzer -- you get a lot of balls back obviously?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yes, I get a lot of balls back, too. I've been looking forward to playing her. Venus played her a couple of times. She is going to tell me how to play her. I don't have anything to lose. I'm pretty excited about it.

Q. Serena, why are you not playing doubles tomorrow, did you all withdraw or is it being delayed?

SERENA WILLIAMS: You never play a doubles before a singles match. You always play singles --.

REVEN OLIVER: It's been postponed because of her singles.

Q. Why are you wearing two watches?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Why am I wearing two watches? I always have -- I have these rubberbands on right now. I always have two watches since like last year in Australia. I used to have a green Eggs & Ham watch, now I have a Scooby-Doo watch. I Love Scooby-Doo. I watch it all the time.

Q. I know you like to take one match at a time, do you and Venus talk about it from time-to-time, meeting in the finals?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I don't like to talk about tennis when I am off the court. I like to talk about a lot of other things. Tennis is not my whole life. It is just something I do as a professional. Like when you go home, do you talk to your wife, or whatever, about -- do you talk to her about, you know, your journal all the time?

Q. Never.

SERENA WILLIAMS: No, so I don't talk about tennis all the time either. You have to have a balance.

Q. Serena, it seems like it is easy for you to get up to play your opponents, but what if it is your sister in the final, will that be -- how different would that be?

SERENA WILLIAMS: It will just be great for me to make it to the final and Venus to make it to the final and just for us both to be there. So it will just be a great experience, I think. It will be fun for me. Venus and I. It will be fun for a lot of people to watch. It will be exciting.

Q. What are your plans, if you have them already set up, for Europe this season?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I'm playing a couple of tournaments in Europe, yes.

Q. What?

SERENA WILLIAMS: What are my plans? I plan to go to Europe.

Q. Everybody knows your father is really important for you, and everything, in your life, about tennis, so where is your father, didn't he watch the game?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Was he here tonight?

Q. Yes.

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yes, he was up with Venus and he's always at a lot of my matches. He really supports me. Sometimes if I hit a bad shot I look up and he goes come on, come on. He makes me feel good.

Q. Did you talk with him after this game?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Not yet. I haven't seen him yet. I will definitely talk to him today.

Q. Did you watch Venus play, and if so, were you a little stressed out when she was struggling?

SERENA WILLIAMS: No, I didn't watch Venus play because I had my own match. I was at the hotel and they didn't show it on TV. I was stressed out about her previous match. Really stressed.

Q. Serena, tell me about this newsletter and whose idea that was and why you do it?

SERENA WILLIAMS: It was Venus' idea why don't we do it, the Tennis Monthly Recap. She just came to me and said, hey, look at this. I was like wow. So I wrote an article about -- my first article was the great Brazilian Hope, and her -- I did an article on Hanover, like the ATP Tour Championships and she did the Chase Championships. So, it was her idea and we just grew on it, and now it's getting pretty big, too big.

Q. You like being a journalist?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I do. Maybe one day you will see me in here asking questions for the Tennis Monthly recap.

Q. Do you talk about your writing on the tennis court? What's best question that you would ask yourself?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I haven't yet done an interview with Serena, so we will have to wait and see.

Q. How you feel about the Brazilian people? The Brazilian people really like you.

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I've noticed that. Long time ago, when I was playing in Sidney, I was playing Steffi, and it was so tough on me because I didn't really have any fans. Then I saw some Brazilians on the side, they were pulling for me. Whenever I see a Brazilian I always give them an autograph and a sign. I'm really nice to them. It's really great.

Q. Brazilians like to say Serena?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Serena. Serena. There is actually a new tournament in Brazil, I'm not going this year, but I'm definitely considering going next year.

Q. Serena, you are obviously not going to play every tournament, every week all year, do you see yourself wanting to do something like that, go to a tournament just to cover it?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yes, I definitely -- some tournaments, not every tournament. I go to enough.

REVEN OLIVER: Can we have last question, please.

Q. Serena, you are the girl with the most interesting funny outfit today on the tour, do you enjoy to be the focus for that?

. SERENA WILLIAMS: I think my outfit is cute. I don't think it is funny.

Q. It is cute.


REVEN OLIVER: Thank you.

End of FastScripts....

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