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March 31, 2008

Serena Williams


THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Can you talk about your match today? You had a lot fewer unforced errors. I know you were talking about that yesterday.
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I definitely had a lot less unforced errors, so I think that was pretty key. It was kind of up and down, though. I mean, she was an interesting player. She didn't give me any kind of rhythm.

Q. Did you feel like you were focused? You also talked about that the whole match.
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I definitely feel like I was focused. Felt like I had to be. It was definitely a good eye opener, the other match, to know I could be focused today.

Q. Your next match is against Justine. Obviously it's a rematch of the last year's final that you won. Can you talk about playing her? She seemed pretty excited, actually.
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I couldn't be happier. I feel like we haven't played in a while, and last -- it's a shame it can't be in the finals, you know, but I definitely look forward to playing her, for sure.

Q. In your opinion, is there a better rivalry right now than you and Justine?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I don't know. I think we have a great rivalry. I mean, we definitely bring out some of the best tennis in each other, and she tends to play really well against me. Probably better against me than other opponents, so it's definitely a good match for me.

Q. You and Venus have played almost on the same days, just different times throughout the tournament. How do your schedules intersect, and how much time do your spend together during tournaments?
SERENA WILLIAMS: We haven't been spending a lot of time together during this tournament. It's been kind of hard. Yeah, we've been playing kind of together at different times. She was able to make it out to a couple of my matches.

Q. If you guys both win when you play next you meet each other in the semifinal. Is that something you like or you'd rather not?
SERENA WILLIAMS: It's definitely easier in semis than the round of 16. That's how I look at it. Do I like playing Venus? Of course not. I think she's the toughest opponent for me out there.

Q. My next question was going to be what's harder, playing the world No. 1 or playing your sister?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Definitely playing V. I mean, she's like playing a mirror of me. She's getting every ball back. She has the hardest serve on the tour. She's a great returner. She runs every ball down.
Yeah, so she's doing nothing bad. It's hard to play people like that.

Q. Is it harder also psychologically, or how would say that affects you?
SERENA WILLIAMS: No, definitely not. Because now it will be we're both trying to win. But, you know, I have a quarterfinal to play first, so...

Q. I was a little late. What about the match with Justine? What are your thoughts about that?
SERENA WILLIAMS: No, I really look forward to playing. I haven't played well against her lately. I feel like, you know, just haven't been playing right.
So I always look forward to playing her. It's always a good match. So it will be good.

Q. What are your memories about the match here against her last year?
SERENA WILLIAMS: You know, I was just really down and out and just trying to make it, so I don't even -- you know, I'm just really focused on this year. I'm sure she is, too.

Q. I know you're not playing Fed Cup. How much of a priority are Olympics for you this summer?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Olympics are definitely a priority this year. I'm just taking it one tournament at a time right now. My priority is Miami.

Q. Compared to all your trophies, where do you keep your Olympic gold medal from Sydney?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I keep it in a case in my closet. It's nice, because it means a lot to me. I love that I have a gold medal, almost seems surreal.

Q. How often do you get it out and show it to somebody?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Whenever I can. Want to see my gold medal? I'm always trying to show it off. I think it's the coolest thing and always bite it. You can see I have little teeth marks from where it's been bitten. It's really cool. It's like my prize piece.

Q. Why did you bite it? Make sure it's real?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Everyone bites it when you get a gold medal. Well, that's what I saw on TV (laughter.)
I figured I have to do it, too.

Q. Is that true with the Wimbledon trophy, too?
SERENA WILLIAMS: No, that's one's -- no, I mean, Wimbledon, it's different. You're like -- I'm excited about the gold medal.

Q. Is it much more fun having your sister on tour with you?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Definitely. She's a great coach, and usually when my dad's not in the tournament I have her listed as my coach to come on the court.

Q. Do you think you guys have learned a lot from each other? And what are some of the things you've learned from her being on tour?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I've definitely learned a lot from V. She's a great player. She's a great strategic player. I don't know if people realize or she gets credit for that, but she's really really really solid when it comes to strategies.

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