September 2, 1998
U.S. OPEN, FLUSHING MEADOWS, NEW YORK
Q. How did it go?
SERENA WILLIAMS: It went very well out there today. I played a lot better than I did the other day, so I was pretty excited.
Q. Where do you stand on the big patch controversy?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Are you inferring to the WTA patch?
Q. Yeah, that is the one.
SERENA WILLIAMS: I wear it.
Q. Do you think all players should wear it?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I think everyone makes their own choice, the WTA COREL has done a lot for the WTA Tour, they sponsored it for the past two years, so, I think it is a good idea, but -- yeah, so.....
Q. How do you feel about playing Spirlea next round?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I feel pretty good going into this match because I have played her twice this year. I am going to have to be serious because every time I play her I have a tough set, so I am going to be looking forward to it, just make sure I am playing well and try to be serious.
Q. Are you thinking at all about Jana Novotna?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I haven't looked at the draw. I don't know anything about --
Q. You face Novotna.
SERENA WILLIAMS: Great. You just had to tell me? (Laughs)
Q. How is your injury?
SERENA WILLIAMS: It is great. It didn't hurt at all when I went out today, but the trainer suggested that I wore something just to make sure it was in a happy medium throughout the whole match so,....
Q. Do you think part of you getting match experience and playing more and more matches is you will have some inconsistency, you will play not so great last time out; very good this time out; more so than most players on the Tour, or is it the grind of the Tour and you can't --
SERENA WILLIAMS: I don't really -- I don't think I have played inconsistently in my career. I think the little career I have had is pretty consistent with my wins, trying to do the best I can do. I haven't any of this. Any of these inconsistencies maybe you have to ask another player.
Q. You came out of the last round, you said: Boy, I didn't play that well. You were clearly on today. Your skills stayed the same from week-to-week. How do you explain --
SERENA WILLIAMS: I think I was a little nervous in the first round and I just didn't play well in the first round. My shots weren't going in. I was going for a little too much. This time I came out with a plan, maybe last time I didn't necessarily have a plan, so that had to be the factor there.
Q. So, that counts as --
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah.
Q. What was your plan?
SERENA WILLIAMS: My plan was not to miss.
Q. Is it different, Serena, to have your dad on site at a Grand Slam providing you coaching advice when you are getting it from your mom, your dad, or are you pretty much on your own once you get here?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, I don't think it is different having my dad at the Grand Slams because we have been doing great with my mom also. We have been doing great with my dad. So I think it is actually the same coach. They both teach the same skills and the same things. So it doesn't matter whether I have my dad or my mom here.
Q. Is it like getting twice as much coaching or do they like take turns?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Sometimes like overload. (Laughs)
Q. Could you take a moment and tell us what your memories of Compton were, or what was it like growing up there?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Okay. Well, when I was younger I just remember growing up there, just going to school, and having fun. Yeah. I think that is enough. I am really -- I don't want to talk about that right now. Maybe some other day.
Q. Now, you are out and experiencing the circuit. Have you ever disagreed with your father on any coaching matters?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I haven't disagreed so far. I don't think that he has taught me the wrong thing in coaching. If anything, I am not doing all the right things. So, if I would do all the right things, I would definitely do a little better. It is kind of hard, sometimes you go out there and do everything perfect, so I don't disagree at any points that he has.
Q. Any aspects to match preparation that you approach differently than Venus or is that part of the Williams' system?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, I think I might be a little more serious before my matches, where Venus goes out -- because I tend -- maybe I might even be a little tense, maybe a little stressed, not as stressful as some people. But I think I sometimes go out there a little stressed. I could learn from Venus to be a little more relaxed and just more flowing and smooth before I go out there.
Q. Your father said last night that he liked to see a big professional tennis tournament come to Compton. He says a tournament should be played maybe in a ghetto, build a big stadium. Any thoughts about that?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Anyone hear know where the word ghetto came from?
Q. Where, Poland?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I will answer that question when someone knows.
Q. This is your father's words when he said that.
SERENA WILLIAMS: That is great. Maybe you can ask him further on that. Wait until you know.
Q. He says the two most exciting players are from Compton --
SERENA WILLIAMS: I think I am very exciting. I think Venus is very exciting. Maybe those are the two players from Compton that he was suggesting there. I think it is exciting. But you still don't know where the word ghetto came from. It is important.
Q. Maybe you should tell us.
SERENA WILLIAMS: I think you should look it up. I think everyone should learn. It will be great to come in here after my next match and you guys actually have the definition for me. I know where -- actually it will be a test. I would like to see that.
Q. Are the beads ever going to come off?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I am not sure. Right now I am just trying -- I am not even thinking about that right now.
Q. Talking about the beads.
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yes. That is -- I am not sure right now. I just have to think about that a little in the future. Maybe, maybe, I don't know.
Q. Someone whose grandparents grew up in a ghetto in Lithuania, I could ask you: What do you think of this site? Is this too sterile to have a tournament sort of out by itself? Is it better to have a tournament sort of in the middle of cities? I don't care if they are in ghettos or whatever?
SERENA WILLIAMS: You are using that word again. I think it is good. I don't see anything wrong with the US Open here. I think it is a good area by the city. You are by a couple of urban areas, more or less, so, I think it is actually a great idea to have the US Open here. It is nice, you get to see a lot of things. You get to see how other people live of different backgrounds.
Q. First time playing this, a tournament after hearing about it for so many years; now you are playing in it. How does it meet your expectations as a tournament?
SERENA WILLIAMS: It really meets my expectations. I know Arthur Ashe stadium is really huge. It is the biggest out of all the slams, so -- as for the other stadium, I was a little shocked. I remember when I was younger, I saw Boris Becker, it was like slow motion, he threw the racket into the stands, I was like: Wow, what a throw. But now, I can see why. So.... Other than that, it meets all my expectations.
Q. You said one of things that maybe you can learn from Venus is how to be more relaxed before you play. Do you think there is something you do really well that Venus might be able to learn from you?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I am sure there is a lot of things that I do well that she can learn from me. I think that will be better if you asked her because I wouldn't want to force anything on her.
Q. What are you doing for fun this week?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I was going to go to the Warner Brothers store because I am a great avid fan of Scooby Doo. So I was going to go over there and actually I have a Scooby Doo baret. I have -- so I am going to see if I can find a pin, maybe a watch and more barets, so that is what I am going to do.
Q. Last year after the bump with Spirlea, I think your father said Spirlea was lucky it wasn't Serena because Serena would have decked her if that happened. Do you have more of a temper? Is that true? What would --
SERENA WILLIAMS: Actually I couldn't tell you what happened back then. But I do know that sometimes I can get a little out of control, you can say, but I think actually if I had that happened, I probably wouldn't be here right now. (Laughs) I wouldn't probably be able to play on the COREL WTA Tour; probably have to join the ATP Tour. So, I will be over there, maybe. Probably would have lost in the first round, would have been tough. Thanks.
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