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August 13, 2008

Serena Williams


3-6, 6-3, 6-4

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. You were angry in the first set. Was that a good thing to get that upset?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I tend to get angry sometimes. I've been really working on my temper. But I was just making so many errors, and I wasn't practicing like that at all. It came to a point, I think I hit a backhand in the net, and I had just had enough. Before I knew it, I just got even angrier (laughter).

Q. After that you seemed to steady your game, solid on your serve. Are you happy with the way you played after the slow start?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I started serving better. I just wasn't getting enough first serves in. I think I started just playing more smart out there, and I think that was able to help me out, keep more balls in play.
The fact that I'm really fit was able to help out, as well.

Q. Do you get to a point in a match like that where you realize she's young, inexperienced, you can kind of take over? Looks like that's what you did.
SERENA WILLIAMS: I felt like she was young, but I don't feel like she really was inexperienced. I mean, she's been playing a lot. Nowadays, they're playing a lot of tournaments at a younger age. She's had some stellar results earlier this year.
So I think I just had to start playing better.

Q. Were you getting concerned at all that the match could actually slip away?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I wasn't focused on that. I was just focused on winning and I was focused on going, first of all, to the third set. I was really trying to win the first. When I didn't, I was like, Okay, well, third set. That was my main goal at that point.

Q. Can you look ahead to the next round.

Q. Yes.
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I'm ready. I haven't played her since last year in Moscow where she actually beat me. She played unbelievable. I mean, I would hit a net cord, it would barely go over the net, she would run it down. Hopefully I won't have to play that Dementieva. But if so, I'll be ready.

Q. After several days of matches, how do you comment on the venue, the quality, the environment, the spectators?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I just made a comment about that to someone on the U.S. team today. I was like, you know, Beijing is doing a fantastic job with the Olympics. I'm really impressed. I'm glad that I'm able to be here and experience it 'cause it makes it that much more better.

Q. What do you think about the crowds? If a rally gets long, they'll start cheering before it's over. Sometimes they get excited when a serve goes into the net. Do you like that kind of atmosphere?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I noticed that today in the long rallies, they were living and dying with each point. I thought it was kind of funny. It's good, because usually I get so angry, like, Be quiet.
Actually, I was playing TeamTennis this year, and the crowds were so loud. I didn't even know it would be a good warmup for this, but it was a great warmup for this. Now it actually makes me get excited they're so into the point. It's actually kind of cool. I like it.

End of FastScripts

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