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January 19, 2007

Serena Williams


THE MODERATOR: First question, please.

Q. How would you sum up your match?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I think I played -- I thought I played pretty well in the first set, and I thought I played -- I thought I played pretty well in the first set, but she obviously played a lot better, and I just kept sticking in there.
My serve wasn't where I wanted it. I felt like I served better in my last match.

Q. Good test of your fitness?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I think it was a good test of my fitness. I'm fit and I'm ready. I felt like I had another game to play after the match. I felt like, you know, we're still in the match.

Q. Lots of times in your career you played well with your back up against the wall. You were down 3-5 and it really seemed like your game went way up in the second. Talk about that.
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, well, I really had no other option than for my game to go up. I was down 3-5 and on the verge of being out of the tournament, and I obviously didn't want that to happen.
You know, I just felt -- I felt like I was playing well. I felt like I just wasn't making my shots or I was just barely missing them, and I just felt like -- I told myself just to stay in there and do what I had been practicing and it'll come together sooner or later.

Q. Were you in a way a little surprised of what you were capable to do, or not at all?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I wasn't surprised. I think if you put your mind to it you can do anything. I was just, you know, out there and playing my game. Like.
I always said, if I play well, if I play my game and I play the way I know I can, then it's tough to beat me.

Q. This is the first victory on a top ten player in two years, so can we say that Serena is back?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Has it been that long (laughter)? That's a terrible stat (laughter). My God.
Definitely, yeah. Definitely.

Q. When are you going to film the script you bought of Althea Gibson? Can you tell us something about that?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I think Althea Gibson has a great story, and there's a lot of talk -- we're working on a script right now. I think she had a great life, and I just think she's a little bit overlooked. You've got this US Open, you've got the Arthur Ashe court -- which Arthur Ashe is a great guy, and it was my lifelong dream when I met him. It was amazing.
Then you have the Louis Armstrong Center and the center being named after Billie Jean King, who, again, I always admired Billy, and she's someone that I love. But I just feel sometimes that Althea Gibson, who did so much for people like me to play this sport, and she was the first, before even Arthur Ashe, and I just think it will be a great story to tell. Yeah, it's a good script. I have to read it.

Q. Are you going to be directing or --
SERENA WILLIAMS: I definitely won't be directing it. Hopefully I can produce it or something.

Q. Nadia said that she felt like you were able to swing pretty freely because you've been in these big match appearances before and because you've had a great career already. Do you feel that way, that you have nothing to lose out there and that you can still go for your shots in pressure situations?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I think I've always gone for my shots in any type of pressure situation, and I am going to keep it up. I mean, it doesn't matter -- I think the more pressure I get, the tougher I get.

Q. Did you feel her getting tight at the end of the second set?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Honestly I was focused on me and what I was doing, so I don't remember whether she got tight or not. I was just trying to stay focused and just try to look -- do what I need today do at that point.

Q. How did you feel physically in the third set? Were you winded at all?
SERENA WILLIAMS: No, I wasn't winded. Like I said, I felt like I still had some games to play. I was ready to keep going. I wasn't tired at all. I'm still not tired. I feel like going to run a marathon (laughter).

Q. Do you feel like your court speed is basically back to where you wanted to? Are you as fast as you were in your prime, or getting closer?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I'm definitely getting closer. I feel like there's some more balls that I would like to get. I feel like I'm definitely moving a lot better, and it's my -- my legs are feeling a lot better, so I'm not worried.
Like when I first came back I was moving but I was worried if I moved too fast -- you just always feel nervous about moving for -- especially after the situation that I went through. I don't feel that way anymore.

Q. So you've stopped thinking about the knee when you're playing?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I don't even think about it. I just think about the ball, and that's the best thing. I think anyone can relate that's been in that situation.

Q. Can you talk about Jankovic, because in LA she gave you a pretty hard time. Just talk about the match-up there.
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, she's playing really well. I think she's a very solid player and a very, very good player, and so I'm going to have to be playing even better.

Q. The match today we saw you on the screen saying something like "call me" on the TV camera. Who were you saying call me to?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I'm trying to reach my dad. I haven't been able to reach him for a few days. I figure -- I know he's watching, so maybe he'll call me.

Q. So you think he was staying up that late to watch the match?
SERENA WILLIAMS: He definitely was. Venus told me he was. I don't know, whenever I call him my number doesn't come up. The call keeps dropping, so it's like frustrating.

Q. You were asked whether you feel like you might have something to prove. Does that make having a young up and comer like Jankovic in the next round an even better sort of result for you in a way?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I'm sorry, I didn't catch the question.

Q. You've been asked quite often if you feel you have something to prove. You've got a real up and comer in the next step, so it's almost a chance, isn't it?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Jankovic plays well. She's been playing very well. She wants to do well here, so I think we both do.
I think she still has a match to win, or did she win already? I'm sure she'll come through. I'm just looking forward to it.

Q. At 3-5 you really just stopped missing completely. You were playing really well and got in the zone there. Are you conscious of that, and does it affect the way you're playing, knowing you're sort of secure and going to be right on your game?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I was just conscious that I was just playing, and I knew that when I was down that it was time to either move or lose, and I definitely didn't want to lose. I just felt like I just didn't want to lose 6-1, 6-3 more than anything.

Q. Can you talk about U.S. women's tennis right now and being here as the one big U.S. woman that we have?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, U.S. women's tennis is struggling a little bit, I guess, but we have a couple solid players; namely Venus Williams and Serena Williams (laughter), and those two players are amazing (laughter). I think the best you guys have yet to see.

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