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March 20, 1998

Serena Williams


Q. What was your feeling as to what happened in the second set?

SERENA WILLIAMS: See what happened was in the first set I think I was a little nervous being at home, Florida, and got off -- I didn't get off to a slow start because I won the first game. We were on serve until like 4-All, I believe, and she broke me. But anyway, I don't know, I just tried to -- in the second set I got a lot more balls over the net because I knew if I could do that she would miss.

Q. Few people seem to have a hex on Spirlea, you and your sister I mean.

SERENA WILLIAMS: No. She is playing good. In the first set it was pretty tough for me to do anything there. I was trying to be ready, and she was making great shots. And I was just -- I was just trying to make my shots. It is pretty tough in the first set.

Q. Other than your sister and Martina Hingis, what would you consider your toughest opponents on the Tour?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I don't know. I mean, there is a lot of good people coming up, like Lucic. And everyone is doing good, so -- I would say Lindsay, because Lindsay is really playing good tennis. And every time I play her it is tough, so, I have to be ready when I play her, yeah. Besides Venus, yes, I would say her.

Q. Have you had any approaches from the US Tennis Association about Federation Cup?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yes. I was going to play Federation Cup this year, but I am not going to be able to because I have to go to school. And since I am on the Tour a lot this year I am going to have to go to summer school because I'm getting behind in Algebra 2.

Q. Bloody Algebra 2. Yeah, I never got past Algebra 1.

SERENA WILLIAMS: So I have taken the geometry already, and I am now in Algebra 2. It is pretty tough. I am going to have to go to summer school too. I was going to do it, but...

Q. So you wouldn't?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Not this year.

Q. You were invited?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yes, I would love to play. I actually wanted to play. I don't think I will be able to because I have a lot of school too, and I kind of want to get through with the school so I can play next year.

Q. This is not public school now?

SERENA WILLIAMS: No, I go to private school. Probably rooting me on.

Q. What is the school called?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I am not going to give the name of the school.

Q. But it is --


Q. -- Palm Beach area?


Q. When you finish high school, Serena, are you planning on going continuing with college?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Definitely. Basically my plan is to go on. Because I always want to continue my education. I like to do a lot of other things. Like if I am on the Tour, I can always read a book. There is always a book available for me to read and do some work, so I would love to take some classes in college.

Q. What other interests do you have other than tennis and reading?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I like to do a lot of things. I like to -- I was skate boarding until I injured my wrist. So I don't do that anymore. I just do a lot of different things. I try to have fun and be a kid.

Q. Do you have the sense that if you broke serve that first game in the second set, given how tough the first set was, the minute you broke, that the match was over?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I never sensed the match was over. I try not to do that until matchpoint is over with, because there is always comebacks available, and -- (Laughter) -- and I always see one -- like if I am behind, I always say, oh, this is available, I can come back if I want to. I try and say this person probably thinks the same thing, even though they might not. I try to say that to make sure I stay concentrated. That is what I do when I get ahead.

Q. She has a different head than you have?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I don't know. You would have to ask her.

Q. Will we see you in Wimbledon?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I was thinking -- are you guys going to tell it to stop raining this year?

Q. We will try to.

SERENA WILLIAMS: If you guys tell it to stop raining, I will come.

Q. How do you see your chances on grass?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I have decided when I go on the grass, I am going to serve and volley. There is one man player who plays great on the clay, and then on the grass he actually serves and volleys. And I said, Serena, I have to do the same thing. Because last year on the grass Venus stayed at the baseline. It wasn't so good, as we all know. So I saw this guy, I was like I had to be just like him.

Q. Who are you thinking of?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yevgeny Kafelnikov, he plays great on the clay. He actually won the French Open. He actually serve and volleys on the grass. I said, you know, I have to do this too. If he can do it, I believe I can do it. That really helps me.

Q. Came back from 4 matchpoints down today.


Q. What is your schedule next year as far as school and playing?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I am supposed to finish high school this year. I am a senior this year, but in Algebra 2, since I have so much work to do, I might have to go to summer school and finish that.

Q. Algebra 2, what it is about Algebra 2?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Oh, God, I don't know. It is the blues. Algebra 2 blues. Really, I mean, it is hard -- things that you actually -- I can understand some of it you would use in life, but some things you never use, really. I mean, it is really ridiculous: Like physics -- you use physics a lot every day in life. While you are able to walk -- I love physics. It was may favorite subject. But you don't use Algebra 2.

Q. You hire people.

SERENA WILLIAMS: I really don't like it.

Q. That is what accountants are for?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Unless you are going to be something like that. It is a nightmare.

Q. What are your expectations for this tournament?

SERENA WILLIAMS: My goal this tournament is not to make a footfault because I have been doing that a lot in the past, so wherever I go, singles or doubles, I am not going to make a footfault.

Q. None today.

SERENA WILLIAMS: None today. None yesterday.

Q. Where did you make a lot?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Every other tournament: Footfault, footfault, footfault. I am not going to make anymore footfaults. Hit a nice big serve, footfault.

Q. Is it that simple, your goals?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I like to keep happy goals, yeah.

Q. Are you thinking of any exhibitions against any men players at this tournament?

SERENA WILLIAMS: It might be a possibility, but you will have to ask me later. (Laughter)

Q. When you say "simple goals," does that mean you don't think about the possibility of maybe getting to the semis?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I always keep that in my mind, but I also have to realize that this is my 9th tournament, 8th, 9th, so I have to realize I am just having fun. A lot -- I don't think anyone -- well, maybe a couple of people have done as well as I have done in just a few tournaments like this, so I have to realize that I am just going to go out there and have fun.

Q. Some of the girls are very frustrated about the lack of tournaments they can play in. Do you feel the same way, the fact that you are restricted?

SERENA WILLIAMS: No, no. No. Because I am glad that they have that lack of tournaments or else I would be even farther behind in Algebra 2.

Q. What happened to zoology?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Oh, I am still taking that. I am ahead in that class. I love zoology and biology, I like that.

Q. You are going to get an A in that one?


Q. You seem to get really psyched for the top players?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I like playing the top players.

Q. Are you lacking a little mental toughness when you play someone who you think you can beat?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I think I definitely need to work on that, like, I play some players that I think I can beat and I might have a tougher time with them. So, I think I would definitely need to work on getting my mental edge over them the way I have -- I actually don't -- yeah, I would have to get that mental edge.

Q. You don't seem quite as psyched for the others, but for the top players you do?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I have to be ready. I like playing the seeds.

Q. Do you have in your algebra book with you?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yes. No, I left my algebra book in Australia. (Laughter) I have someone else's algebra book with me. I left mine in Australia. I was so upset.

Q. Must have been Freudian?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Might have been a Freudian slip. (Laughter) Thanks.

End of FastScripts....

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