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January 20, 2008

Serena Williams


THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Can we have your thoughts on the match?
SERENA WILLIAMS: My thoughts? I felt like I didn't have a lot of rhythm out there. I felt like lazy, like I wasn't moving the way I wanted to. But overall, I think it boiled down to serves and returns.

Q. A lot of improvement to come?

Q. A lot of improvement to come?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I hope so, and I expect so. Indeed, indeed.

Q. What's it like playing her? You're never quite sure what you're going to get, right?
SERENA WILLIAMS: It's definitely interesting playing her. She's so unpredictable. I think that's really a good thing. Last couple of times I played her, her serve has just been really, really, really good.
Yeah, she's just, you know, really a bright future.

Q. The Police in concert next Saturday at the Melbourne Cricket Grounds.
SERENA WILLIAMS: Get out of here. Really? Next Saturday? This Saturday coming up?

Q. Yeah.
SERENA WILLIAMS: Like after the finals?

Q. 7:30?
SERENA WILLIAMS: That could be fun. I love the Police. Isn't that -- that's Sting, right?

Q. Sting, Andy Sommers and Stuart Copeland.
SERENA WILLIAMS: Oh, oh, you know, I'm -- I don't go back that far. I just do know Sting was in the Police, and I know some of their songs. I would love to go.

Q. Do you know him personally?
SERENA WILLIAMS: No, I don't. I know one time he performed in Paris, and I missed that concert. It was Sting. Maybe I'll make it this time.

Q. A hundred bucks?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Hundred bucks?

Q. Yeah, to pay.
SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, I'm hoping for a celebrity I upgrade (laughter).

Q. How much of last night did you watch?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I didn't watch too much. I didn't watch Venus' match at all. I didn't see the end of Federer's match, either. I saw, like, up into 8 or 7-All, but not too much before that.

Q. You were in bed when Hewitt and Baghdatis?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I was in bed when Venus went out on the court.

Q. Do you agree with Venus' staff threatening to leave the tournament reportedly if her match didn't go ahead?
SERENA WILLIAMS: No. I definitely agree that you put 'reportedly' in there, because I'm 100 percent sure, and as I was there when the conversation was happening, that Venus never threatened to leave the tournament.
But nonetheless, I think it was -- you know, usually at night you have to go on as scheduled. She was first on and then the next match was next on. Sometimes you have really late nights. You always have to roll with the punches, and not everything's going to be perfect. And if it was, then I would be in Hawaii right now, you know, with a glass of lemonade looking at my $20 million home.

Q. You can verify that for us, though, there was absolutely no threat from Venus to leave the tournament?
SERENA WILLIAMS: There was no threat. I don't know where these stories come from. But I find them quite hilarious. Yeah, I'm always looking for the next headline: 'Venus Threatens to Leave the Tournament.'
Honestly, it's so funny.

Q. Did you happen to be in that conversation last night?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I'm definitely not here to talk about or tell what happened in the conversation, because, you know, I was just walking by, and I was just being nosey. So, I definitely -- I'm not here -- you should ask Venus and Sania that, someone else, who else was a part of it.

Q. Do you think there's a chance you'll meet your sister here in the final here in Australia?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I mean, I definitely hope. I definitely hope to play two more matches before I get there. I'm just taking my next opponent, one match at a time.

Q. What do you have to improve from today to get to the final and win?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I just want to move better and just make a few less errors like I did. I think my second round I didn't make that many unforced errors, so I want to do that again.

Q. I know you have to play whoever you get in the draw, but is it a bit of a relief not to have to play Justine in the quarters again because it's a change of pace, basically?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I mean, yeah, sure. At the end of the day, I never really get upset at whoever I play because I'm totally fine. As long as I'm not playing Venus in the quarters, it doesn't matter to me. Eventually you're going to have to play everyone else. If Venus wasn't my sister, then I wouldn't care. Just because she's my sister, I prefer to play her in the later rounds.

Q. Who do you hope to meet in the quarterfinals?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Whoever wins.

Q. Do you feel a lot quicker on the court this year, or is it just our impression?
SERENA WILLIAMS: A bit quicker?

Q. Yeah.
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I definitely feel like I can get every ball. I feel like I'm running almost like Santoro - not quite, though.

Q. He's 33.
SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, he's definitely moving way better than me, and I'm 23 (laughter).

Q. Your sister's opponent next is going to be a Polish player. What do you know about Polish tennis?
SERENA WILLIAMS: You know what, I don't know much about Polish tennis, but I know there's a few girls coming up. Venus said she's played her before, so, yeah.

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