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January 24, 2009

Serena Williams


6-1, 6-4

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Could you give us your assessment of your game today.
SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, uhm, it was definitely a lot better than my second round. But, you know, I'm still trying to work on some things and hoping they'll come together.

Q. Could you give us an idea what you were thinking yesterday when that streaker came on court.
SERENA WILLIAMS: Okay, I was thinking -- well, first I saw him jump over and then I noticed he didn't have underwear on. I thought, Okay, I must be seeing things. Then he disappeared, and I was like, Okay, so he's not coming.
And then, uhm, I saw him, and he recovered I guess. He ran out on the court. I was thinking, I hope he doesn't come, because he was pretty close to me and V. I was like, I hope he doesn't come, he's too close.
Then I thought, This is crazy. Doesn't really happen too much. Then I just thought, my eyes, my innocent eyes (smiling).

Q. Were you concerned with the amount of time he was on the court that it took security to do something about it?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, I thought he kind of ran off to the sunset on his-self. So I thought, Wow, maybe he ran to another court, because he kind of left on his own. So it was interesting.

Q. He was on for 30, 45 seconds.
SERENA WILLIAMS: I don't know exactly how long. It seemed like a long time. In those type of moments, it seems, you know, really long. But it was weird. It was just like, you know, funny.
And everyone was laughing. I kept thinking, Okay, I got to stay focused. I was really focused on the doubles. Got to get that attitude in singles.

Q. You breezed through the first set today, but second set was more of a struggle. Outgrowth of her playing better, your maybe dropping your game a little bit, a little of both?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I definitely think it was a little of both. I started making more errors and then I lost my serve a couple times. Then I think I put too much pressure on myself. Then, next thing I know, I was down.
So I just got to try not to do that so much.

Q. Would you say it was your forehand more that was maybe disappointing?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Uhm, no. I think I hit some wild shots on my backhand. So that was kind of crazy, so... It was a little of both.

Q. When your sister loses, does that make you increase your motivation to win a tournament, to bring one home for the family, or does it not change things for you?
SERENA WILLIAMS: It obviously increases my motivation and my desire to win, you know, hopefully to do better.

Q. Falling behind in the second set, you never want to play badly, but once you've had to fight back like that, is that a good experience for you to have had a bit of a tough battle going into the next round?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I guess. I seem to play well when I get down, for whatever reason. So once I got down, I was a little frustrated. I was like, You know, Serena, sometimes you just play better when you're down. I started playing better.

Q. How are you feeling compared to the other years you've won here?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I'm feeling a little rusty, for whatever reason. I'm hoping my next round I'll be a little better.

Q. Did you head out to the practice courts again after this one, or you're satisfied enough?
SERENA WILLIAMS: No, I haven't headed out to the practice courts.

Q. Your next opponent, Mauresmo, you know her well. What do you know about Azarenka?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I think I played her here before, same round, same stage, I think. I saw her play a lot in Brisbane a couple weeks ago. I've been watching her. She's been around for a while.
Obviously she's young and desperate to win and hungry, all the qualities that it takes to be pretty good.

Q. An up-and-comer, you've been around. Do you get any satisfaction out of sort of squashing them, putting them in their place?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I just get that satisfaction on whoever I play, you know. Obviously when you play younger players you want to do well. At the same time, some of these girls are twice my size in height, so it doesn't matter.

Q. You've been on the every-other-year plan here for some reason or another. Is that happenstance, or do you feel it's something how you approach this tournament every other year?
SERENA WILLIAMS: No, I just think that it was the way it happened. One year I couldn't play, and then it just got on to be like that.
I would like to do well every year I play here.

Q. What do you think about Peng Shuai's performance today?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I thought she played a lot better than she has in the past. I think her game has improved immensely.

Q. You've been a player who has been out of the game but been able to come back a few times in your career. What do you make of Jelena Dokic's performance?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Oh, my, I've just been so happy for her. You know, I've been really rooting for her to do so well. I just think her attitude is great. I think her game is just amazing now. Just looks like, you know, the way she looked a while ago when she was able to reach No. 4 in the world.
I know what it's like to be down and to come back. I'm really proud and happy for her.

Q. Can you talk about your Millionaire Password experience.
SERENA WILLIAMS: Oh, my. It didn't go so well. I couldn't give the right clues, the people the right clues. It was fun to be on prime time. It was really exciting. So many people saw it. I was excited, though, 'cause I think you have a chance to play again in the second part of the game.
I was excited I lost because I was thinking, I don't want to take another person down with me, 'cause I wasn't doing that great.

Q. Did it go faster than you anticipated?
SERENA WILLIAMS: It was definitely a lot harder than I thought. I had a lot of practice. You know, I love to play games. I should do it again because I had a lot of fun.

Q. Brandy, did you not see the N in there? She gave the clue the Bunch, like Brady Bunch?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, that was my one blonde moment. I just told everyone, Don't watch. They kept advertising it. Like on the football playoffs, they kept advertising Million Dollar Password. I'm like, Do not watch (laughter). Sometimes I think I'm dyslexic. Oh, my goodness, it just didn't work out, so...

Q. Tennis is more your thing than Password?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Tennis is definitely more my thing.

End of FastScripts

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