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March 7, 1999

Serena Williams


Q. You're arriving so fast. Where do you see yourself at the end of the year? Top 10? Top 5?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I definitely see myself in the Top 10, but, right now, I'm not looking at that. I'm just trying to play every match for match, do the best I can. I know if I'm playing well, doing the best that I can do, I'm definitely going to be in the Top 10, and probably the Top 5 if not better.

Q. You just beat Lindsay, very big win. How do you assess this achievement today?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, it was good for me. I wasn't hitting that well. I mean, there weren't that many balls going back in play. I was really mentally focused, and I really was mentally there. It was a good win for me.

Q. Is it mental, the things that are happening now suddenly, or are there other things? Why are things clicking together now?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I don't know. It was really good for me to win that tournament last week because I really was able to see that I can go out there and I can win. I don't know. I really practiced really hard for the last -- since the end of last year and the beginning of this year, I was really practicing hard and really focused. My hard work is beginning to pay off.

Q. Was there a point in the match today that you thought you had it? Was there any point where you thought, "It's mine"? Was it until the last point is over?

SERENA WILLIAMS: There's always a time in the match where you say, "Hey, this is mine, I'm going to take it." I did see it. But I was really just focused on playing point for point.

Q. When was that point today that you said, "This is mine"?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I mean, it was -- I don't know, it was probably in the second set I realized. Actually, during the first set I realized. Let me rewind, take that back. Before I went out there, I was out there with a positive mind because I had beat Lindsay before. I knew that she was going to be ready. She was probably going to attack the weaker part of my game. She was going to try a lot of things. But I knew that I could do well. I knew that I had a chance.

Q. How is the transition from indoor to outdoor? Was it easy? Did it take you a few days to adapt?

SERENA WILLIAMS: It's easy for me. It was the same. It's the same surface kind of to me. It's all the same, all hard. I don't have a problem with any surface I play on.

Q. Any problem with the wind? The flags are whipping around.

SERENA WILLIAMS: Were they? I had no problem with the wind or any of those factors.

Q. How does your leg feel from that little tumble near the end?

SERENA WILLIAMS: That was really tough. I had no idea I was going to slide. Maybe my shoe wasn't so solid (laughter). Actually, I got a little burn, but it's okay now. It's okay.

Q. How did you mentally turn the corner against Mauresmo in that third set?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, I don't know. It was tough for me because the whole crowd wanted her to win. They were really for her and against me. I think I had so much fight in me, I was determined, that I just couldn't lose. I was up 4-1. I actually should have closed it out at 6-2 or 6-3 at the most. But she really came fighting, roaring back. She hit a lot of unbelievable winners. I think what really turned it, I just wouldn't -- I just had a lot of fight in me.

Q. Was that important for you to close out a match like that in a final?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I definitely think it was. I really didn't want to lose, especially after being up, I didn't want to get a bad rep or anything, I have a rep to keep.

Q. You and Venus made history last year by winning two different tournaments the same week. Is this going to happen in the future when you go to different tournaments?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, we're definitely looking forward to going to different tournaments in the future because it's better for us. We get to see a different environment, et cetera. Right now, we are just trying to play different tournaments, do a lot of different things, see how it turns out for us. We played a lot of the same tournaments for us last year. It didn't work. Something is not working, let's try something different. That's what we're doing.

Q. You're playing in the same event next week, right?


Q. What decides whether you will enter a tournament together or you won't?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, I mean, there's some tournaments that Venus just didn't want to play. I think I actually said this so many times now. There's some tournaments that I didn't want to play. I just don't like the tournaments. I just didn't want to go, but Venus wanted to go. I was like, "Hey, I'll play doubles there, why don't you just take play singles." If I don't like the tournament, I don't want to be at the tournament; I want to take a week off; she likes the tournament; she'll just play it. I'm actually tired of answering that question. Let's move on.

Q. I understand the pace of the women's Tour. How much do you two get a chance to hit with each other? How much of an advantage is it to be the kid sister of somebody that hits the ball so hard?

SERENA WILLIAMS: It's a great advantage. Last week, could have been two weeks now, when everyone was saying that Mauresmo hits the ball so hard, I was hitting against Venus all my life, and she really hits the ball hard. When I played Mauresmo, she did hit it hard, but I was so used too to it, it was like, "Hey, I can handle this." It was definitely a good thing for me. WTA: Any other questions? No (laughter).

End of FastScripts....

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