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January 16, 2008

Serena Williams


THE MODERATOR: First question?

Q. You must be satisfied with that.
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, it was a satisfying win.

Q. Talk about the match a little bit.
SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, I felt like I got a lot of groundstrokes in, and I was able to get a lot of balls in play. I was able to practice my groundstroke game a lot. I felt like a played better groundstroke-wise than I did in my first match.

Q. What were the conditions like out there? It seemed like it was pretty breezy.
SERENA WILLIAMS: Some points I could definitely feel it was breezy. I could definitely feel that other points, you know, the wind slowed down a lot. So it was a little bit on and off wind-wise.

Q. You also play doubles in the tournament. Do you take it as the preparation for the big game? And also, do you feel you are a favorite to win the doubles in Olympics no matter how low you're ranked in the doubles?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Right now Venus and I are focused on the Australian Open. We would of love to go to the Beijing Olympics and play doubles. We had a good record in the Olympics thus far, and we just look forward to continuing that hopefully.
We're mainly playing because we enjoy it and we have a lot of fun.

Q. Another question about doubles. I'm wondering, because you two are very strong in the singles and know so well each other, do you actually play as a team for doubles, or do you go to the court to play doubles?
SERENA WILLIAMS: No, no, we definitely play as a team. When I'm out there on the doubles court I definitely do focus on my singles, but at the same time we do play, you know, a solid doubles game.

Q. When you look back at least year at the Grand Slams, obviously you were great here, you performed well, you did well in Miami. But at the French Open would it be fair to say you played a poor match against Justine, and then at Wimbledon you had the thumb? Was the knee bothering you in the US Open? Was it sort of disappointing the way it sort of went after a promising start of the year?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, it was definitely very disappointing. I think Justine played really well in Paris, and I think I just maybe got negative and I couldn't quite recover from that. Then everything just kind of went downhill a little bit. With my thumb, I mean, I took seven weeks where I didn't hit a single backhand.
Just kind of went to New York and played, and that was definitely not easy. So it took me a while to get over that.

Q. How did you get over it? End of the year was a struggle too in Madrid.
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, but that was then and this is now, and I live for the moment.

Q. Do you think that your game was particularly suited for playing someone like Yuan? She didn't have a whole lot of offense, but she hit the ball hard and sort of played right into your strengths.
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I mean, my game was definitely a good game to play someone like her. I enjoyed that a lot.

Q. Have you looked ahead to your next matchup?
SERENA WILLIAMS: You know, I never look ahead. I mean, I just play it every day, go every day.

Q. Have you thought about sort of how much tougher it's going to get from here on?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I always say I take every match really tough. Everyone I'm playing is fighting to win as well as I am, so I'm really serious and focused on every match.

Q. You had some pretty good support out there. Does that really get you psyched up during the match?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, it's so cool. It's why I love Australia. I have a lot of support here for whatever reason. I just love that, and so it's really cool.

Q. How much of a difference does it make, just the whole feeling of the tournament, when Venus is on the other half?
SERENA WILLIAMS: It definitely makes a big difference, you know, knowing that, first of all, I don't have to play her in my half. Knowing that, you know, only time I'll see her is in the final if we both make it there.
Obviously we both want that goal, but it's good, you know. I learn a lot from her game and we motivate each other. She does well I want to do well; if I do well, she wants to do well. So it's definitely a positive.

Q. How much do you coach each other in practice? Do you say things to her and she says things to you that will help you?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Every now and then I'll say something to her. I'll just be, you know, not too much in practice. Not too much.

Q. Are you looking forward to getting back on the court with Venus? You haven't played together for quite a while.
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I am. We played at Wimbledon and our Wimbledon career was cut short this year, or last year. I definitely look forward -- I love playing doubles.

Q. Given me your relationship with your sister, have you got any comment about the behavior of an Australian TV tennis commentator last night who slow-mo'd action of Venus' posterior on television and told a national viewing audience that he thought it looked pretty good?

Q. Her butt.
SERENA WILLIAMS: Oh, yeah, we say booty (laughter.) I'm not quite sure about posterior. I'll try to keep that in the back of my mind. What are you doing? I'm shaking my posterior.
Venus definitely has a great posterior. I'm sure it looked nice.

Q. Do you feel at all like last year here?
SERENA WILLIAMS: No, not at all. It feels nothing like last year. It's so different. I'm still enjoying every moment like I was last year.

Q. How many doubts would you have had at this stage in the event last year as compared to this year?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, I mean, I was going in No. 3 seed this time last year, so that was definitely tough. I don't think I had doubts. I just wanted to win. I just wanted to fight. That's how I always am.

Q. Giants or Packers?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Go Giants, because I like Eli Manning. He's a younger brother. Younger brothers rock.

Q. What about Patriots/Chargers?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Patriots. Patriots/Giants.

Q. And then?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I have to go with Eli. I have to go for the younger sibling. I am always rooting for the younger sinling. Although I love Brett Favre.

Q. Are you going to be watching the games?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Of course. Thank you guys.

End of FastScripts
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