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August 30, 2004

Serena Williams


THE MODERATOR: Questions for Serena, please.

Q. No boots?


Q. No boots in here?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Oh, no. I don't need to be warm right now.

Q. Did they tell you you couldn't wear the boots while you were playing?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, I got confused because I could wear them while I'm playing because they're breathable and they're really cool, light fabric. Then they were so comfortable, I was trying to decide if I should take them off or if I should leave them on. I was warming up, I was like "Should I take them off?" I thought if I take them off, then I'll take them off later on like in the second set. Then I thought, "Okay, I don't want to be distracted." So I just decided to take them off.

Q. Nobody told you you couldn't wear them?

SERENA WILLIAMS: No, you can actually. You can wear them while you're playing, I'm sure.

Q. If you had to write a fashion report about what you were wearing tonight...

SERENA WILLIAMS: I would report it as "Serena-the-Innovator Strikes Again."

Q. Where would you go next?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Am I writing a story for you (laughter)? Where would I go next?

Q. Is it like a biker-look?

SERENA WILLIAMS: No, it's like a rebel-look, when I'm being really rebellious. I'm just doing things different with the black and the studs. You know, the armband, I wear it up here. I'm just being a rebel. So maybe I would start out with something like, "Serena's going rebel without a cause."

Q. What's the inspiration?

SERENA WILLIAMS: The inspiration was I actually designed this line. I thought to myself, "What does everyone wear?" I'm thinking to myself jeans. What do I wear? I wear jeans. I wear, you know, these comfortable fabrics. I kept thinking -- my mind kept going back to jeans. I just signed with Nike. I thought, "Andre Agassi in 1990 was wearing jeans." And I thought, "Who could do it better than Nike?"

Q. 2002 was the cat suit.


Q. What would you call this?

SERENA WILLIAMS: This is "Rebel Without a Cause Line." There's no cause for me to be such a rebel that I'm being right now.

Q. Have you seen the James Dean movie?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I'm even chewing gum and I never chew gum (smiling).

Q. Your thoughts on James Dean?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I had saw his story once. I think I was watching AMC. I thought he was really cool, so I'm really excited that I'm kind of the James Dean female version of it.

Q. Are you as excited with your tennis tonight?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I am. I really am. I think I performed at a decent level today.

Q. Just decent?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Definitely decent, yeah. I think -- I've been working really, really hard. So I think it's, you know, I'm finally getting to a point where I'm actually playing better and focusing better.

Q. Where are you with the knee right now? Does it limit you?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I'm feeling pretty good out there.

Q. Would you have preferred a tougher first-round match?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Of course not.

Q. To get more into the tournament? I mean, Jennifer Capriati said she enjoyed going three sets. She got fully into the tournament, gave her a good workout. Was it too easy?

SERENA WILLIAMS: (Blowing a bubble) rebel. Truth be told, I really don't think she enjoyed going three sets. I think she would have preferred to win 6-0, 6-0. I think everyone out here would prefer to win all their matches really easy. I personally know I do. It saves my energy and I can go do different things.

Q. You've never gone this long without winning a title. Are you getting irritated with that?

SERENA WILLIAMS: No, I haven't even thought about it. I also have never had major surgery and been out for a long time and not picked up a racquet for a long time. So I think it's definitely not like I've been playing and playing, and actually had an incredible 12 months.

Q. Someone said earlier, and I could be misquoting, that you feel like you're the defending champion?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Misquote, yeah. I feel like I have nothing to lose, but I guess the last time I was here, I won. But I didn't win last year. I'm not defending any points. So I really feel like I have nothing to lose here.

Q. How does it feel to be back? Do you feel you missed it?

SERENA WILLIAMS: No, it feels -- definitely missed out, for sure. It feels incredible. I mean, this is definitely, I think -- I love Wimbledon, and I love just the history. But this is my favorite because I think it's the first one I've ever won. I just have so many unbelievable memories here.

Q. Sandra said she was shaking when she came out. She never played a night match here. How hard is it to play your first night match here? How much fun was it to be back for a night match?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I've been blessed. I've been able to play a few night matches here. I was totally relaxed. I just relaxed today, was at home all day, watched different movies. Hi, mom. I saw an old movie. I'm sure you saw it already. You see it? "Abandon Ship," it was a black and white. My mom has seen every old movie in the book. I know she's seen it. It was really good (smiling).

Q. Can you describe the best vacation you've ever taken.

SERENA WILLIAMS: I haven't had it yet. Well, okay, so the best vacation... See, I never really, really been on vacation because all my life I been working, then I had to get surgery, I had to do rehab so it wasn't like I could go on vacation. I was in Cabo once, this wonderful resort in Cabo. That was nice. All I did was sit at the -- I was only there for two days. I can't be on vacation long because it's like I'm so itchy, I have to do something. I'm just like, "Okay, I feel like I'm wasting time." I keep tapping. I can't sit still.

Q. How long ago was that, that you were there?

SERENA WILLIAMS: That was this year, earlier this year. But I was only there for like a weekend.

Q. Was it La Palmilla?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, La Palmilla. It was really nice. I stayed at the pool all day. But after two days I was really ready to go.

Q. You said you felt comfortable actually wearing the boots during warm-up. Will you wear them during a match?

SERENA WILLIAMS: If so, it will be during a night match. But there's so much humidity here. The humidity is incredible. So maybe European indoor season, like in Russia where it's really cold.

Q. There's a cold front coming.

SERENA WILLIAMS: Oh, it is? Oh, that's too bad, my outfits don't have much clothes to them - or much fabric, I should say.

Q. You will probably win more Grand Slams, but do you think the days of the Williams sisters' domination on the tour is over because of all the young talent that's out there right now?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I definitely don't think so. I think that myself and my sister have had an extreme 12 months that we've been through. So I think before we left, we pretty much were in the finals of most events, so... We are just coming back. So, you know, it's like, "Slow down."

Q. Do you feel like you've recovered physically and mentally from everything that's happened?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I think mentally I'm definitely recovering.

Q. Going way back for a second, a little bit more than a year ago, you had the Serena Slam going. You had all four majors. What do you think it would take to get a calendar Slam? Do you think that that's sort of -- do you think that's a real possibility?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I think anything is possible if you set your mind to it.

Q. Is that something you've thought about, like as a goal some time before the end of your career?


Q. Pretty strong fashion statement tonight. What are your most strong fashion statements you ever made and what's your runner-up?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I don't know. You guys will have to answer that, conflict of interest (smiling).

Q. Let's put it a different way. How does tonight compare with the cat suit?

SERENA WILLIAMS: It's pretty close. I like the jeans. I love the jeans. But I was really comfortable in the cat suit. It was really awesome.

Q. Edge to that?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Not necessarily. I still have a lot of outfits I haven't unveiled yet that I'm wearing at this US Open.

Q. You may know there's a very, very strong hurricane bearing down on the east coast of Florida.

SERENA WILLIAMS: Oh, really? Is it gonna hit...?

Q. Are you at all concerned about the house?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I guess I have to watch The Weather Channel. I didn't know. I have insurance, though. Maybe I should go home and take a bunch of pictures.

Q. Are there things back there that need to be taken care of, the dogs?

SERENA WILLIAMS: One of my dogs are with me, the other one's in doggy day-care and is pretty safe at doggy day-care. Hurricanes never usually hit Florida, knock on wood. I guess they usually go to the Carolinas. Guess it's going to Florida now.

Q. The forecast is somewhere between Miami and Palm Beach County.

SERENA WILLIAMS: Really? I hope not.

Q. It's already at number four.

SERENA WILLIAMS: Really? Yeah, so I'm gonna have to run home and get those pictures just in case, you know, my house goes. I can at least get my insurance (laughing).

Q. From a tennis standpoint do you feel like you're playing well enough at this point to win the tournament?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I wouldn't be here if I didn't feel that way.

Q. As the draw goes, you could be playing Alicia Molik in the fourth round. Have you been watching her? What do you think of her game?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I think she's a really good player. She's been playing really well. She's been playing some really good tennis. Especially these past two years she's really, really improved. Her serve has gotten incredible. So, I mean, she's definitely not someone I should overlook, but I have to play my next round first.

Q. Can you describe your worst moment you've had traveling?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I was flying a certain airline, which I won't mention, but I will never fly that airline again, and all my bags were lost. I just bought like I don't know how much money worth of shoes and Gucci shoes and bags and all these unbelievable clothes that I was just vacationing with so... Never saw them again. I had some boots that were incredible. Cost me like $5,000.

Q. What airline was that (laughter)?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I'll wait till I go on "Oprah."

Q. Who do you think your biggest threat is in the tournament?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I think myself. I can make it or break it.

End of FastScripts….

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