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January 22, 2008

Serena Williams


THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. What are your comments on the singles?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, I had time to think about it. I think that I went crazy, maybe, and I made a lot of mistakes. I didn't really play the game I wanted to play, yeah.

Q. You were quite listless in the first set there. Wasn't an injury or a problem with movement?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I was having some issues, but I don't like to make excuses. We won't discuss those.

Q. Any comments on the way she played?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, she played really solid.

Q. Did those issues extend to the doubles? Was there a bit of a problem all through the day?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, definitely all through the day. But it was -- it's, you know, nothing life threatening, so I'll be -- it's fine.

Q. How much do you think it restricted you in your singles match?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I wasn't moving the way I wanted to and the way I was in the previous rounds, but I was -- and I wasn't able to serve the way I wanted to, so I think maybe that could have affected my serve, at least. But I think Jelena played some good tennis and she hung in there.

Q. It seemed like even when you were trying hard in the second set to get things going you just couldn't find your rhythm.
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I definitely couldn't find any rhythm out there. I felt like my shots were spraying and everything like that.
It just -- I was just kind of all over the place, and out there for sure.

Q. Was playing doubles therapeutic after that, or would you just rather just have gone back and rested?
SERENA WILLIAMS: No, I definitely enjoyed playing doubles, because, you know, believe it or not, I got to work on some things that I didn't feel that I did well in my singles.
So I actually did a little better in my doubles. That's definitely taken a positive.

Q. Looked like during the doubles you were sort of grabbing your leg up here. Is it the knee again?
SERENA WILLIAMS: No, my knee is fine. My knee is great, thank God.

Q. She went into it saying she wanted you to move from side to side. Did that make it difficult for you? Was that a good tactic of hers?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I think everyone wants to move anyone they play. I think that's a good tactic against anybody. If I were playing anyone that would be a pretty much be my tactic.

Q. You've been in some tough physical situations before, tough mental situations before. She failed hold to serve out the match. You come out and it looked like you had a good opportunity to get back to 5-5. You couldn't get it together. What wasn't really happening today?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I definitely didn't have the right shot selection. I felt like some shots I made weren't the correct selection, and I didn't go after some shots I thought I should have went after. Then I just made some errors that I shouldn't make, and I have no reason to make those errors.
So I think that's what it boiled down to. I feel like I had plenty of opportunities, and I didn't -- I just made too many errors.

Q. You were treated for a blister during the match, right?

Q. Was that a factor during the match or not?
SERENA WILLIAMS: No, it wasn't a factor.

Q. What about the sun, Serena? We don't see you in a cap too often down here. Was that a problem?
SERENA WILLIAMS: On the one side the sun was -- it was hard to serve on that side, but there's no -- that's not a reason to lose at all.

Q. Last year people didn't expect too much of you. When you came here this year everybody expected a lot of you. Did that make a difference? You've been in a lot of pressure situations, but was it a lot different walking in here with those expectations this year than last?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Actually, no, I didn't feel any pressure myself. Only pressure traditionally I feel is the pressure I put on myself. I didn't really put any pressure on me. I felt like I was going to do better than this, but I guess, you know, I was wrong. Can't always be right.

Q. Given that you felt that way, what are your feelings now? How disappointed are you?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, I'm obviously extremely disappointed. I'm one that enjoys the battles, and I enjoy the victories as well. But I'm definitely, you know, not really happy right now, especially not with my performance.
If I had a different performance and I gave it -- I felt like I did better, then I would feel a little better about it.

Q. Whatever was affecting you physically, did you start to feel that more after the first couple days of the first set? Because it seemed like you lost some energy there after those first couple of games.
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, definitely. You know, I was definitely feeling it, I would say throughout the whole match from the first game.

Q. When did it come up for you as an issue, the injury?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I mean, it's not really an issue. I just think I'm not going to sit here and make excuses. I lost because Jelena played better than me and I made too many errors. I think regardless, the match was on my racquet, and I gave it away.

Q. That's still no real clear explanation. You played pretty well against Vaidisova, but it didn't seem like you were trusting any of your shots today.
SERENA WILLIAMS: No, no, no, I just think that I made a lot of errors today. I mean, I didn't -- like my shots just weren't right. I didn't move the way I traditionally want to move, and I wasn't feeling 100 percent. But as an athlete you know not every day you're going to feel 100 percent, and some days you have to win feeling 30 percent.

Q. You mentioned before that you felt you had done a bit better in the doubles. What exactly did you feel you had done better in the doubles?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I felt like my returns were better in doubles, and I felt like in my singles I didn't return the way I wanted to. That's probably it.

Q. You recently said you're a happy person with a smile on your face. How easy is it to put that smile back on your face after a day like today?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, it's hard, I guess. I mean, me being the person I am, I'm pretty much a perfectionist. If things don't go right then I have problems with that. It's not the end of the world.
That's a tournament I'm going to be in in a couple of weeks. I'm just going to go home and keep working out and staying fit.

Q. You're not staying for the Police concert?
SERENA WILLIAMS: No, I don't deserve it. I didn't -- no, I didn't -- and I definitely don't deserve the celebrity upgrade. If so, I'll pay for the tickets.

Q. It's been like six, seven years since you were in four Slams and failed to pass the quarterfinal. What do you think about the year moving forward? Just talk about your general state of mind.
SERENA WILLIAMS: You know, I think there's good things coming forward. You know, just taking it one day at a time and trying and let this go behind me and just go back and keep training.
You know, it's just -- I definitely see -- I've come a long way from last year, and I just keep going forward.

Q. Did that injury get you out of a lot of tournaments last year? Can we expect to see you on the tour a bit more this year?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I definitely expect to be on the tour. I look forward to it and to being in a lot of events.

Q. Can you talk about Venus' chances? She's been playing pretty well, and she's never won here. She's in a good side of the draw and looks like she has a good opportunity moving forward too.
SERENA WILLIAMS: I definitely hope the best for her and I want her to go all the way. I think she's the best player, toughest competition for me. Whenever I play her, she's playing so solid. I think she'll do really well.

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