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November 5, 2008

Serena Williams


6-4, 6-1

THE MODERATOR: Questions for Serena, please.

Q. Well done. Can you talk about the match and how you found the conditions?
SERENA WILLIAMS: The match was definitely, I think, a very fast-paced match. Lots of winners, not too many long rallies. The conditions were fine. They were kind of easy, light conditions. Perfect tennis weather I believe.

Q. You got well on top in the second set, Serena. Is that going to help you considering you've got so many matches in just a few days?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, it's definitely going to help me. I think having to get through this match, you know, get it over with and also just, you know, being able to get the break and being able to play a player that's so hard. So, hopefully, it will help me with my next match.

Q. Can you talk a bit about your next match? Playing her yet again?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, it's going to be good and exciting, I guess. I don't know. So we'll see. I look forward to it, because I think she's pretty much already in the semis. And I've got to get there or I want to get there. So I know it's not going to be easy.
She obviously, wants to go to win every match. So I'll just have to do what I can do.

Q. Venus spoke quite a bit about Obama and the amazing result last night and your dad. Do you feel able to do the same thing?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I woke up this morning and, you know, my friend called me and my sister called me and said he was president. He got elected officially, and I was really excited because, you know, I got a little choked up.
It's just everything that I think African-Americans have been through, I mean even 40 years ago, even 30 years ago, and even today still. You read some stories of ridiculous things that happen in America.
It's just an unbelievable opportunity to be an American and see that people see the importance of change and the importance of supporting someone that believes in change. It's definitely a tough road ahead for the government, but hopefully, we can just make a couple of steps to doing the right thing.
I just feel really excited that, you know, that he won. I, obviously, I wanted him to win. I just feel really excited that he had an opportunity to win.

Q. Has your dad spoken much about what's happened to him in the past?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, he tells us lots of stories. Growing up in the south, obviously, he was born in '42. So lots and lots and lots of things happened during that period of time. Nothing that I don't think really too many people, too many Americans are proud of.
So, you know, it's just really seeing him, Obama, with his wife and his kids and just seeing the African-American and the black and just how they're going to be the first family is really -- it really takes words away.
Like I said, I got choked up. You know, I was just thinking about everything and all -- thinking about Martin Luther King and Malcolm X and all the pioneers that let me, and Althea Gibson, why I'm playing tennis today. All of these people - Arthur Ashe who led the way for us, it's amazing.

Q. You watched it on television, did you? Because Venus said she hadn't, but you did?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, because I couldn't sleep, so I watched it on TV, and I watched his speech. I watched Senator McCain's speech as well. Thought he was really gracious. I've always liked the way McCain spoke anyways, so it was gracious to see him in defeat say that Obama is our President, and we should support him. America has made the decision.

Q. In some ways might it help you with your tennis, do you think, possibly?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I did feel a little proud out there tonight. I was like, you know, it's just a great time to be black right now in the United States. Everyone's proud.
I did feel like my shoulders were a little -- my chest stuck out a little bit. It was just a great -- in the back of my mind it feels like this is obviously a huge tournament, but right now so many big things are going on in my home country, it's like, wow. Obviously, I would love to be there, but work beckons.

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