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June 25, 2007

Serena Williams


THE MODERATOR: Serena Williams for you.

Q. You could wind up playing an awful lot of matches here, singles and doubles. How would you rate the importance of getting this singles match out of the way the first day?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, it was really important. I heard there was going to be showers from 6 on. I was extremely upset when it got tied at 3-All, I had to get off the court. I was really upset because I thought for sure I was going to play tomorrow.

Q. Were you okay physically out there today?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I was doing the best I could today.

Q. Is there an injury you want to tell us about or can tell us about?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Not that I want to tell you about, no (smiling).

Q. Your father had mentioned in a couple interviews you had a pulled hamstring problem.
SERENA WILLIAMS: I don't think it's a pulled hamstring, it's just a tight hamstring.

Q. How is it faring now, or how did it fare during the match?
SERENA WILLIAMS: You know, it's faring. It's doing okay. I'm just taking it a day at a time. It's getting better - better than it was a couple days ago. Flared up, but it's getting better now slowly but surely.

Q. How did it affect you at the French and how has it affected your preparation for Wimbledon?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Didn't really affect me too much at the French. As for my preparation, I took a couple days off here and there, but I was consistently hitting, which is more than I usually do.

Q. Is it the kind of thing that it will get better in time, do you think, or is it something that could still...
SERENA WILLIAMS: I'm hoping and praying it will get better in time. It's gotten better since I've been getting treatment on it. I'm really hot. So it's getting better.

Q. Did it bother you enough today that it might make you rethink doubles?

Q. Why isn't it taped?
SERENA WILLIAMS: When it's taped it hurts my other leg. Like the rubbing, I get a burn on my other leg. I hate it.

Q. How would you describe the difference in the first set and the second set? Did that have more to do with your raising your game or her kind of wearing down?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I think I raised my game on some points, which I think was the big difference. Out of a 10, I was probably at a 2, maybe, lucky, today.
I hit six double-faults, which is more than I hit in a tournament normally. I never double-fault, so that was strange, very weird out there. I think it was a little bit of both.

Q. When did the hamstring injury occur, and what has been the worst that it's been since the injury occurred?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I'm going to have to have a talk to my dad (smiling).
When did it occur? I had it a while. I don't know when it occurred. It's just kind of happened. Like one day I woke up and I was stiff. Oh, my God, I'm getting old.

Q. And how bad is the worst it's been?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Worse than today, so that's good news, very good news.

Q. Did you feel limited at all today because of the injury?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Honestly, I did a little limited. But I think if things had been tougher, I would have fought through it. I just would have kept going and fighting harder and harder for sure.

Q. So how much does it affect you mentally as well as the physical limitation?
SERENA WILLIAMS: You know, I'm glad I have tomorrow off. I don't think I'm going to play doubles tomorrow. That's going to help me mentally a lot. I'm not going to hit too long. I usually like to hit a long time, but I won't hit too long.
Just keep getting it worked on and treated and just go from there.

Q. What's in the book that you have on court? Just notes?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, just notes. Instead of sheets of paper, it's easier to have a book, that way I can keep them.

Q. They're going to be plowing Court 2.
SERENA WILLIAMS: What do you mean?

Q. They're going to get rid of Court 2 that you played on, and you've had some tough matches out there in your career.
SERENA WILLIAMS: So what's going to happen to it? It's going to be like one big Court 2 and like no more Court 3?

Q. They're going to do it under, as far as I understand, and bring it back as a stadium-type court in '09. The question is, are you going to be glad to see that court go?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I like Court 2. I like playing on it because it's small. Like my friends come and they can see the match like really close and it's cool. I don't know. I like Court 2. I like it.

Q. When you got emotional in the first set, was that down to your injury?
SERENA WILLIAMS: No. I just was upset that I wasn't playing that great.

Q. Was there any point there where you think to yourself in the first set, I can't lose to this person? What goes through your mind? What are you telling yourself at that point?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I told myself, I have a better chance of winning Wimbledon than my opponent, so it's best that I win.

Q. What are the differences between the first and the second set?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I don't know if there was much of a difference. I maybe didn't make so many errors. I don't know. I have to look through my stats.

Q. Do you think you have a better chance of winning Wimbledon than any other player in the tournament?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, I think everyone has a great chance, but I just thought I had a better chance than my opponent today, so... .
I just thought about that. I was like, If I lose, then -- no, I have a better chance. But she's more of a clay court player.

Q. You said you're going to talk to your dad about speaking about your injury. What are you going to tell him? Does it bother you when people do discuss injuries that you have?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I don't know if it bothers me. Not much bothers me anymore, to be honest. I don't know what I'm going to talk to him about. I'll probably let it slide this time (smiling).

Q. What were you thinking after the ninth game of the first set, put her in position to serve for it?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I thought my -- my goal was not to lose serve. I was really disappointed. I wasn't serving well. I lost serve because I kept making errors. I was just really frustrated at that point. I just wanted to just smash my racquet.
But seeing that it's gold, I can't, which is great for me. I needed this. Any other time I think I would have smashed it.

Q. Could the tight hamstring have had anything to do with the frustration with your serve? Does that have anything to do with sort of pushing off?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I don't think it does. I don't think it does at all. Not at all.

Q. You've been drawn in the same quarter again as Justine. Does that concern you at all?
SERENA WILLIAMS: No, not at all. I'm excited to hear that. No, that's great.

Q. Are there any other times you've had to have a chat with your dad about things he said to people he shouldn't have, not necessarily in tennis, but just being your dad?

Q. To embarrass you with the family.
SERENA WILLIAMS: Oh, God, no. I love my dad to death. He's a great guy. I mean, we never -- I don't think I've ever had a two-minute argument off the court with him. On the court because I have a bad attitude, but other than that, no.
He's never done anything that I'm unhappy about. If anything, I owe him everything.

Q. When you come to a tournament like this and the draws come out, what are you really looking for, especially if Venus is also in the tournament?
SERENA WILLIAMS: In advance of the tournament, the only thing I look at is to see if she is in the same half as me. I never look at the draw, ever.

Q. If she's not in the same half, you think, this is good?
SERENA WILLIAMS: That's the only thing I care about. I don't care who I play, when I play and where, whatever. Doesn't matter to me.

Q. Can you talk about the decision to play doubles.
SERENA WILLIAMS: We've been planning on playing a while. We've always done well here.

Q. What does it add? Does it help you with singles when you play doubles?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I don't remember, to be honest, if it helps the singles or not. I hope it does.

Q. The other day when you had the pretournament press conference, you spoke about your physical condition and you raved about it. Was it something where the hamstring was not on your mind at all or you just preferred not to talk about it?
SERENA WILLIAMS: No, I'm really physically fit. I'm really physically ready. It hasn't been that big of a deal. It's been getting better every day.

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