March 19, 1998
KEY BISCAYNE, FLORIDA
Q. Talk a little bit about your win tonight.
SERENA WILLIAMS: I think when I first went out there I was a little nervous because I wasn't doing as best as I could. I was making a lot of errors. I wasn't playing the game as I practiced. But as the match went on, I was playing better. So it was okay.
Q. Weather didn't bother you? On and off, on and off?
SERENA WILLIAMS: No, those type of things don't bother me.
Q. Did the delay bother you at all?
SERENA WILLIAMS: No, the delay didn't bother me. Those type of things don't bother me.
Q. Is it different for you being here considering it seems like a lot of attention is placed on your sister and now you are coming up?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, I don't think -- I think it is better that it is placed on her because she has a little more pressure on her to do well, whereas I wouldn't have any pressure at all. Probably didn't realize I was so good until recently in January with the results that I have had. I guess they realize now. I guess I was good back then. I didn't have any pressure on me at all, I was able to compete and do well.
Q. Your father was comparing the two of you yesterday. He called you "the meaner of the two."
SERENA WILLIAMS: Everyone keeps asking me that. I don't think I am mean at all. I am very nice person, sometimes.
Q. I don't think he was characterizing your personality.
SERENA WILLIAMS: I understand what you are saying. I don't know, sometimes. It depends. You can say I am, but it is not as a personal manner that I would be angry at you or I would be mean or anything like that.
Q. When you go out do you have --
SERENA WILLIAMS: When I go out I think I am a little more of that way.
Q. More aggressive?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah. I mean, you have to be if you really -- I think I have to be.
Q. Did last year help you feel that you belong now?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I definitely think so. I think playing those tournaments and doing well in them made me feel that I can really hang with the top players.
Q. Did you take it very personal when you got hit with that ball? I noticed you came back with an ace.
SERENA WILLIAMS: I was very upset because I meant -- I was going to get that ball. I was very -- because the ball was right there, all I had to do was hit it. I was very upset because I thought I was going to miss it. But I think I was a little angry that she did that with me. Who knows, maybe I am mean.
Q. There is no way to overlook the two of you being here. Can you describe the relationship that you have, also being here together.
SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, I think it is good that I am here with her because I am able to hit with her and we are able -- we don't have to worry about: Do I have to look for somebody to hit with. So I think it is the best for us to be able to be here together. And we get a lot of attention. And if you see Venus, you will probably say "Where is her sister" or if you see me they will say, "Where is her sister." I don't mind at all.
Q. In the back of your mind, you look at the possibility of maybe the two of you meeting together in ten days?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Semifinal?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I have to play really well, because I have to -- from now on I have to play really good. For me, it will help me get my ranking up. Actually, when I am in a tournament, hopefully -- I am happy I have this draw. I am going to be playing a lot of seeds. I am going to be -- I have -- I am going to have to play hard because it is not easy.
Q. The aggressive aspect, you could attribute that to jumping up 400 spots in the ranking?
SERENA WILLIAMS: 413, yeah. I definitely think so. It has a major factor with it, yeah, because maybe if I was a little softer going, I probably wouldn't be able to come back because couple of times I was able to come back in some matches. So, I definitely think so.
Q. You are standing about three feet behind the service line on a bunch of those serves. Is that just sheer confidence?
SERENA WILLIAMS: No. I do it in practice and I feel that if I can do that and get to the net, then they would just have to pass me. If they do, that is great. If not, I am going to make my shot. I want to do that because I want to come to the net; be more aggressive.
Q. Did you have any family in the stands?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yes, my sister is here. She is right there.
Q. Which sister is that?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Lyndrea. My mom and my dad and Venus, was she up there? I didn't see them at all. Until the end of the match my dad said, "Good job," and I looked up and there they were.
Q. So you weren't looking to them for any --
SERENA WILLIAMS: No, I don't do that because I feel when you are out there then it is for you to do whatever you practice on. If you practice bad things, and obviously you are going to go out there and do bad things. So, when I practice, I try and practice very well so I won't have to look into the stands to get a little help and aid here. I don't think that is fair.
Q. You had a number of backhand winners. What happened?
SERENA WILLIAMS: What happened was my -- last month or last week in Oklahoma, whatever, my backhand was bad and I went out and I worked on it. Now it is my stronger side again. My forehand, it was off today, maybe because I wasn't working on it as much as my backhand. Tomorrow you guys will see improvement on my forehand. I have to improve if I want to win.
Q. It is your aggressive side coming out?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yes. Might be out tonight hitting some forehands. I need to work on that.
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