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September 4, 1998

Serena Williams

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

Q. How are you feeling?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Good. All right, no one has any questions?

Q. I have got one. You were able to beat her twice this year, what did you not do tonight that you were able to do in the other --

SERENA WILLIAMS: Today my serving was off. I couldn't serve at all, and second set I did serve pretty well. But I don't know, my serve just wasn't there tonight. So --

Q. Was that the difference in the match or did she raise her game from the time you played her previously?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I think ultimately it was the serve, yeah. I couldn't hold and completely break -- broke down in the end.

Q. What do you take away from the experience of this year's US Open that might help you for your game down the road?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, I just know that I need to work on -- I need to work on a lot of things and, yeah, just need to be more -- I can't say be more serious because I think I am pretty serious all the time. So.... I just need to take out that everyone is out to win.

Q. Are you surprised at the outcome tonight? You seem pretty obviously disappointed, but are you surprised that she was able to beat you?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I am not surprised, but I never did expect to lose. I threw out the whole match even though I was down even on a matchpoint. I just never expected to lose. I just -- it didn't hit me until it was over.

Q. When you broke the string in the fifth game of that final set, you lost that game. Did it have any effect on you changing rackets?

SERENA WILLIAMS: No, it did not. The rackets usually don't have an effect on the way you play. Usually it is the way you play that has most effect.

Q. She said everything as far as what happened last year is all part of the past, no problems. Do you feel the same way as far as Irina goes?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I mean, no one really remembers that anymore.

Q. By "no one" you mean yourself and Venus, or you mean no one, the public?

SERENA WILLIAMS: That it is just so in the past. It is just -- only people that remember it are those who dwell in the past and can't get over it and might have problems. Those are the only people who remember it. Do you remember it?

Q. I remember it. It is pretty hard to forget.

SERENA WILLIAMS: You are one of those people.

Q. I dwell on the past. I love history.

SERENA WILLIAMS: Do you have problems?

Q. Yeah.


Q. I have problems.

SERENA WILLIAMS: Not that you are aware of? Coming out of the closet? Did anyone do their homework? When you came here next time, I wanted -- I see you are looking down? It has been two days, you know.

Q. It has been a rough two days.

SERENA WILLIAMS: Not dictionary around anywhere? You could look at the computer. I am very disappointed.

Q. Can you put us out of our misery?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I think that you guys -- I am not the encyclopedia here. I am very disappointed. You guys all get Fs. I always wanted to say that.

Q. When you see a drop shot coming over the net, your back is still on the baseline. What goes through your mind? How do you tell yourself that you are not going to miss that? Seems like you run down everything?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Usually when I see a drop shot I usually smile to myself because I know I am going to make it and I usually think I am going to win the point. I love running down dropshots. I like running for it like that.

Q. Second set, at that point seemed she was just letting the games go. What was going through your mind?

SERENA WILLIAMS: (Laughs) Well, I think I have played better in the second set and I was -- I see someone over there looking --

Q. I got the dictionary?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I stuck with my plan the second set, but I kind of -- she played a little better in the second set and my serve, it was really kicking in the second set also. So it was after that, I guess, it went away again. It wasn't there in the first and the third.

Q. Ghetto: A section of a city in which a minority group lives because of poverty or social pressure. Websters.

SERENA WILLIAMS: That is Websters --

Q. Official.

SERENA WILLIAMS: You are supposed to look in an encyclopedia.

Q. We can't cart those around with us.

SERENA WILLIAMS: A ghetto was -- it was actually a German word that was derived from when the Jewish people, they lived -- they actually took the Jewish people out of their homes, because the Germans wanted to be on a pedestal, compared to the Jews and they took them out of their homes and they just put them in a community and it was the community they called it -- they named it a ghetto. It was named that because there was no sanitation area, facilities to use inside or anything. So they named it the ghetto. They named the facilities the ghetto and they actually had roads that led from ghettos to ghettos and the Jews could not leave the ghettos. So, sometimes when you guys say: How does it feel being born in the ghetto - that is -- I think of that definition. So after that, Americans start using ghettos as a place of bad -- just a bad area because that is what it originally was. That wasn't that hard; was it?

Q. That goes back to the middle ages. That is not just from the 20th century.

SERENA WILLIAMS: That was World War II.

Q. Goes back way before that.

SERENA WILLIAMS: Okay, we can talk. You have your information and I have mine.

Q. Way before that.


Q. Absolutely a lot of history there.

SERENA WILLIAMS: Anymore questions?

Q. Curious if you look back at your Grand Slams --

SERENA WILLIAMS: I have got the answers.

Q. What is your feeling overall about your Grand Slam season?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I am very disappointed this year because I feel that I could have won and at least a Grand Slam this year, especially this one particular, but I obviously didn't do it. I guess I have to start next year.

Q. Venus give you any specific advice going into this about what the Open is like?

SERENA WILLIAMS: No, I was here last year so was able to see what the Open was like.

End of FastScripts….

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