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August 31, 2007

Serena Williams



Q. If the plan here after a long layoff after Wimbledon is to use this first week to find your groove, roll into the second week, do you think you're right on schedule?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I'm getting better, you know. I just -- I'm better than I was in my first round, for sure. So that's all that matters.

Q. Were you frustrated out there?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Not as frustrated as I have been in my other two rounds. Not as much.

Q. So you feel like your game's improving? You're happier now than you were a couple weeks ago?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I don't know if I'm happier. I'm happy I was able to come through. I don't think I played well at all.
But I'm happy I was able to come through.

Q. If you're not playing your best right now, you've been through this process before where you had to come back from an injury, so you know what you have to do in the first week?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, you just got to fight, hope to win. And that's what I did. You know, this girl was a top 10 player before. Wasn't she? I knew it was going to be a tough match, not easy.

Q. Just how mad were you?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Mad? I mean, I was just -- I don't know. I was mad at different points and different shots.
For the most part I tried to stay -- I try not to go as crazy as I normally do.

Q. During your match today it felt that somewhere in the middle of the second set, Vera was about to do something fantastic and take lead in the game. Did you feel that as well?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I felt she definitely picked up the level of her game. I definitely felt like they started playing better and doing different things.

Q. What is your opinion about your next opponent, Bartoli?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I played her before. I saw her play at Wimbledon. It's going to be a good match. She's doing really well. I'll have to be ready.

Q. The umpire at one point told you to put your book away, what was that about? What was the explanation to you?
SERENA WILLIAMS: He told me I couldn't use my notes. I was like, well, it's not like I'm Harry Potter, and my dad can magically give me notes to read; it's something that I write myself. Just little things. What if I were to take a paper on the court and write something, what's the difference?
So I'm not one for coaching - never have been. I just couldn't understand. I've been doing it for years. It's not like something all of a sudden. It's something that I just do.

Q. Is this the first time you've been told to put it away?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, and then he said it was fine. I asked him if that was something they do on the ATP Tour, because I don't play on that tour, nor do I belong over there.
He said, yeah. I was like, no one has ever told me. I've been doing this for my first two matches as well.

Q. Are you going to find out if it's really a rule or something he just made up?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I don't know. I'm over it. I moved on.

Q. What do you feel like you need to improve on in the next round? What part of your game right now are you not happy with?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, I have to just make sure I keep moving up, keep moving forward I think is what I need to do most.

Q. Did you feel a little bit sluggish today?
SERENA WILLIAMS: No, I didn't feel that sluggish. Did I look sluggish?

Q. What's the best and the worst part of playing at home?
SERENA WILLIAMS: The best part is, there's nothing like playing at home. I can't think of the worst part. There is no worst part.

Q. Do you play well in practice?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I don't think I've been practicing the greatest, so...
Hopefully I'm waiting for it to come together.

Q. The book, are these spiritual things you say to yourself or technical things you write down to remind yourself to do?
SERENA WILLIAMS: They're more technical. Maybe I'll publish it (smiling).

Q. They had it in the British papers, the zoom lens?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, that wasn't fair.

Q. Were you surprised to see that?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah. I was like, "errrr." That's the British way. They're very up close and personal. You got to be ready for that when you go over there. I learned after that. I was like, okay, I'm going to hold it up or put my towel over it.

Q. Are you a little down? Are you a little disappointed with your form?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, I was upset after the match. I didn't feel that I played the greatest at all. I actually felt like I didn't play well at all.
But that's said and done. I'm moving on.

Q. Does it feel somehow different to play Russian players?
SERENA WILLIAMS: No, because there's so many of them. You play about six a week.

Q. When did you start bringing the notebook with you on the court?
SERENA WILLIAMS: The summer of 1973. It was a long time ago.

Q. Does Venus also bring a book?
SERENA WILLIAMS: No. That's something she's never done. It's something I just -- I used to take -- I didn't take a book, I just took like a little paper, just something I wrote something on. I kept losing them, and then I was like, maybe, okay, maybe I'll just keep a book.

Q. How many weeks where you able to practice before you got to New York?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, I was training the whole time. Since I left Wimbledon I kept training. I actually was practicing a lot. There were some shots that were limited.

Q. Thumb, couldn't come over the backhand?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Right. I actually have a great slice. I just don't use it that much.

Q. Have you watched much of Venus playing?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I was watching her a little bit when I was cooling down upstairs. She's playing really good. She's encouraging me to do better. She's playing unbelievable.

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