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June 30, 2008

Serena Williams


6-3, 6-3

THE MODERATOR: Serena Williams for you.

Q. Can you imagine the defending champion here at Wimbledon, Roger Federer, playing on Court 2?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, I haven't seen him on Court 2 in, like, six years. So, no, I couldn't imagine.

Q. What are your thoughts on all three Williams matches today neither being on Centre or Court 1?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Initially I thought, for sure Court 2. You know, I'm here to play the tournament and just focus on winning my match more than anything, just trying to do well here. So that's really my main focus.

Q. Was there an explanation? Did they explain why they were putting you on Court 2? Was it a scheduling thing with you playing doubles also?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, I haven't gotten an explanation. Granted, I do think it's weird, especially having a female champ who has won this tournament four times. I've only won twice. But, hey, that's not so bad (laughter).
For the most part I think that's a question that will be best asked to the All England Tennis Club because I think they could address that better than what I would be able to answer that question.

Q. Is it a matter of just sort of implied disrespect being on Court 2? How familiar are you with the Graveyard Court thing, big players who have lost there?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I didn't think about that at all today. Again, I didn't do the schedule, so I don't know what the thought process was.
Again, I thought it was -- granted, I thought it wasn't what I would have liked to see. But at the end of the day, I'm going to have to focus on winning my match. I don't want to go out there and lose because I'm angry that I'm on Court 2. I want to go out there and perform my best and be able to win.

Q. Did you care you're on Court 2?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Of course I cared.

Q. Did it bother you you were put on Court 2?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Initially I thought, Okay, is this the right schedule? I thought maybe there was a mistake. But, you know, I can't dwell on that. I have to really focus on winning. I have to focus on just doing the best that I can do whether I'm on Court 2 or Court 20.

Q. Does that give you extra motivation to win on that court?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I think it definitely does give me extra motivation to win and to play well.

Q. What is the challenge of playing on Court 2?
SERENA WILLIAMS: The challenges of playing on Court 2? I don't think I've ever played a fourth-round match on a court like that in my career. But I think as the tournament goes on, it gets a little slippery out there. But that's the only challenge I've had.

Q. The noise from other courts, the clatter from the dining room?
SERENA WILLIAMS: That doesn't bother me. I've done with a lot more. I've dealt with a lot more stuff. I didn't even hear any clattering or other noise at all.

Q. Does it feel more hemmed in? Do you feel you have the latitude to run and reach as you would on the show courts?
SERENA WILLIAMS: There's obviously more room on the show courts. But I think that I had a lot of room today to run and to spread out. And hopefully I'm not doing that much running.

Q. What point do you and Venus begin to sort of wink at each other, like We're getting pretty close to the final against each other?
SERENA WILLIAMS: No, not until we're there. We're just really trying to stay focused. We both have some tough opponents coming into the quarterfinals. You know, I'm just trying to keep winning, to be honest.

Q. What do you remember most about the last time you did play Venus in a final here?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I told you that was a long time ago. I don't have a good memory. I need to get another memory. I'm desperate to get another memory (smiling).

Q. When you do play, what is the feeling of both of you being the only people on the court competing for a championship versus the difficulties?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, I feel good. I mean, first of all, I feel good that I'm in the finals. Then I don't feel so good because I'm playing probably, for me, the toughest player in the draw for me to play. I mean, she's serving well, moving well, returning well. So this is always difficult.

Q. When you and Venus play, there are many similarities in the styles. On the other side, if it's a Federer/Nadal final, there are pronounced differences. When you look at them, what do you see is the biggest similarities and differences?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Between who? Me and Venus?

Q. Federer and Nadal.
SERENA WILLIAMS: I watch women's tennis (smiling).

Q. This is the first time in the Open era that none of the top three women seeds in a slam got to the quarterfinals. We're told it's the first time since 1927, if that's true, at Wimbledon. What do you make of all that?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I never thought about that until now. I feel like I should be one of the top seeds. So I feel like, you know, I'm living up to it, so...

Q. You don't think it's more depth in women's tennis; you think the seedings were a little bit off?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I think there's a lot of depth. I actually never said that. I think there's a lot of depth in women's tennis. I mean, everyone, I've been saying for a while, is playing so well. You can't underestimate anyone, no matter who you're playing, wether it's the first round or you're in the finals. You have to play everyone with that same tenacity.

Q. Do you still feel you can become an exponentially better player?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Absolutely. I never felt like I reached my peak. And I feel like I can still get there.

Q. What sort of things do you work on?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I work on a lot of things. Most of all now I'm just working on, uhm, just being confident and staying relaxed.

Q. What are those differences and similarities between you and Venus when you play each other?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I think Venus hits harder serves than I do.
You don't have to nod your head that vigorously (laughter). I've tied her record. We have a tied record for the hardest serve, just so you know, which I'm really excited about (smiling).
What else? We both run fast. I think the differences, I play more trick shots and dropshots and stuff like that. I don't hit as hard as V. Sometimes I'm watching her practice, I start thinking, Okay, I can play that game. But I feel like my game is really totally different than hers.

Q. Are you scouting each other when you play doubles?
SERENA WILLIAMS: No. I mean, like yesterday when we were practicing next to each other, I kept looking a little bit at her to see.

Q. You said you thought you should be seeded higher. Do you think they should do the seeding in a way more relating to performance on surface?
SERENA WILLIAMS: No. I meant by that I should be seeded higher, meaning I feel like my ability is better than what I'm ranked right now. I'm just trying to play the tournaments, just trying to do well consistently to get me where I think I should be.

Q. What memories do you have of Court No. 2 through the years? Do you remember any of the big upsets that occurred there, watching when you were a little kid? Is the mythology in your head at all?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Hmm. Again, I really don't have a good memory. But I've been -- I mean, I remember I played Jill Craybas on Court 2. I think I was destined to lose. It wasn't for me to win that year. That's pretty much all I remember about Court 2 (laughter).

Q. Do you feel sympathy for Jankovic, on Court 18 today, the No. 2 seed? Did you think that was strange?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I don't know. I didn't -- I really didn't even know. I'm really here to play my game. I had to play a tough opponent today, who was trying to win the match. So I really had to try to focus on that.

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