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July 2, 2009

Serena Williams


S. WILLIAMS/E. Dementieva
6-7, 7-5, 8-6

THE MODERATOR: Serena Williams for you.

Q. Would that be one of your more dramatic victories?
SERENA WILLIAMS: It's definitely one of my more dramatic victories, for sure, yeah.

Q. How did you feel at the end?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Felt good, because I felt like I was down pretty much the whole match. To come out on top was, you know, a great feeling. To finally win, it's good.

Q. You're not normally lucky to be in major finals, but do you feel lucky to be going into this one?
SERENA WILLIAMS: No, not at all. I felt like I worked hard. I don't think there was too much luck involved today. I think it was a lot of skill more than anything.

Q. We've all had moments when the body makes appointments that the mind can't keep. At stages during the match it looked as though your body or your mind wasn't supporting you. Did you feel that?
SERENA WILLIAMS: No. I just felt like I was pretty much there the whole match mentally. I just wanted to, you know, keep going. I wanted to win really bad.

Q. Can you talk about your serve. It certainly bailed you out of a lot of tight spots today.
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I definitely owe this win to my serve.
You know, I lost serve a couple times. But, you know, when it was key and it was time for me to hold serve, I was able to hold serve. You know, I always had a nice couple aces that was really able to clinch on very key points.
I thought that I served well, so I was very excited about that.

Q. Talk about the challenge she put in front of you. You both pushed each other. It was very high-quality tennis. Has she ever pushed you that hard? Talk about that a bit.
SERENA WILLIAMS: I definitely think she played her best game. I've never seen her serve so well in my life. I think her second serves were in the upper nineties, sometimes hundreds. You know, to keep that up consistently for three sets is not very easy.
I just think that, you know, she definitely played her best, personal best tennis today.

Q. Have you ever seen a player rehabilitate strokes so much as she has her serve?
SERENA WILLIAMS: No. Definitely today I think her serve was definitely a very top serve. It was difficult to break her. You know, she was very consistent with it. As to where it used to be, I knew going into the match her serve was good 'cause I played her a few times and lost to her a few times.
She was serving really well. So I knew she was going to serve well today. It wasn't that surprising.

Q. You seemed to be coming off your forehand the whole first set. You weren't hitting through it.
SERENA WILLIAMS: I think that was for the whole match. My forehand didn't show up today. I think he went to Hawaii. (Laughter).
But I've called him and asked her, I should say, to come back for the final. Hopefully she'll be back.

Q. You did get it back occasionally.
SERENA WILLIAMS: Very occasionally. Maybe once or twice. I didn't hit my best today.
But, you know, it's always good to win when one of your stroke's on vacation.

Q. You had to dig deep a lot down the years. How deep did you need to dig today? What do you say to yourself?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I definitely had to dig deep, because I was playing a player that didn't give me an inch, didn't make too many errors, was playing a hundred percent.
So I felt like I have to, you know, keep it up, keep my level up, and I had to play better, as well.

Q. Would you say, along with Venus, she's the best player for staying with you in baseline rallies?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I think today, you know, she did well. I mean, like I said, my forehand wasn't there. So, you know, I don't know. I think she's definitely always been a great player.
Talk about consistent. She's had such a good year already this year and really improved her game. You have to really appreciate that and like that.

Q. Is it better to come out from a win 6-1, 6-Love, or 8-6 in the third? What gives you more enthusiasm?
SERENA WILLIAMS: You know, either one - as long as you come out with a big W, which can be Wilson, Williams or Wimbledon, I guess that's what matters.

Q. Talk about the match point. You didn't come in much. The volley wasn't working. You charged in, knocked off the backhand volley.
SERENA WILLIAMS: I vaguely remember it. I just remember hitting the backhand net cord winner. I don't remember anything else.
I just thought -- I thought I was gonna hit an ace and I didn't. I thought, Okay, well, you know, just get in the point. That's all I remember.

Q. I believe you said you don't believe in luck. You were on the correct side on a couple of key Hawk-Eye calls. You're associated with the initiation of the Hawk-Eye system. Going back to the US Open five years ago, do you think it was worth going through that, knowing that the system is now in place, that it's changed our game, and that it proved that your shots were in at key moments in this match?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Uhm, I definitely don't think it was worth going through that. I don't think anyone should go through that.
But, you know, I think maybe we would have gotten here eventually anyway. It was just a better way to get fans involved. And it was a better way to make tennis just better and more exciting to watch.

Q. She said she was really upset she didn't hit that match point backhand passing shot down the line. What was your side of the point? Did you have a feeling she was going cross-court?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I don't remember at all. I just thought that -- I thought I was gonna hit an ace. The next thing I know I was at the net. That's all I remember really.

Q. Do you realize it's the longest semifinal in Wimbledon history. What's your reaction to that?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I guess I'm always trying to do something to make history, so here I go again. So yea.

Q. You have a really easy opponent in the final. How are you going to break her down?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, you know, I feel like going into this final I have nothing to lose. I feel like obviously she's playing the best tennis at this tournament.
Start with that, and then just keep positive and go with it. So I think that if I can do that, then it will be good.

Q. What will you tell her tonight before saying good night?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I don't know. I haven't thought about it. Just good night.

Q. Can you comment just two things: A woman who served 20 aces in a match like this, and the No. 1 of the world who loses 6-1, 6-Love. What you can say about that?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I served 20 aces today?

Q. 20.
SERENA WILLIAMS: Awesome. That's way cool. I guess it was three long sets, though.
Uhm, well, I think that Dinara was playing a player as tough as Venus. You know, it's not the easiest opponent on grass. Venus was playing really well.

Q. She's the No. 1 of the world.
SERENA WILLIAMS: She's ranked No. 1 in the world. She's worked really hard to get there. She's been really consistent. I don't think anyone should take that away from her.

Q. Did you get a chance to see on TV any of your sister's semifinal?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I saw a little bit on TV.

Q. What did you think? Did you have a chance yet to speak to her after her match?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I definitely spoke to her. I thought that the points were really fast. Wasn't too many rallies. Then I thought some other things, but probably not appropriate to say (smiling).

Q. What did you say to each other when you saw her after?
SERENA WILLIAMS: No, I said, Good job. You know, I obviously wanted her to win. I was like, Great going. She told me some things that she did out there that worked for her. We were excited to play doubles tomorrow.

Q. Your semifinal was extraordinarily along. Your sister's was very brief. Does that put you at any sort of disadvantage for Saturday? Will you adapt your recovery for the game?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Definitely you have to adapt to things. But I'm fine. I was thinking at, you know, 5-6 how, Okay, I'm not tired, so I just got to keep going. So I wasn't tired at all.
I felt like, you know, my fitness has really come through and all the hard work I've been doing was paying off. I feel good. I feel good going into doubles tomorrow.
I just, uhm, think I'll be fine.

Q. The celebration is always somewhat muted when there's a Williams final. If you win tomorrow, do you think you're going to celebrate really rather characteristically loudly?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, I don't know. I mean, I hope I win. Obviously, if I do, I'll be really, really excited. So we'll see.

Q. Andy Roddick said last night how when he looks at you and Venus, how proud he is having known you for so long. What do you think when you look at him at this tournament?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I've been rooting for Andy so hard. Yesterday when he was playing Lleyton, I was screaming at the TV saying, C'mon. I think I startled people next to me. I really want him to do well here.
And nothing against Andy Murray, but I'm just rooting for the American. I really, really want him to do well.

Q. Do you think the fact that last year maybe you were a little bit the favorite going into the final and this year the roles are reversed, do you think that could work in your favor?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Was I the favorite last year? I don't know.
Well, it doesn't matter. I'm just happy to have gotten this far. You know, hopefully I can do one more.

Q. What do you like best about Andy Roddick?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I like his serve. It's really cool.

Q. What are the keys in the match against Venus? Last year you played okay, but she topped you during the key moments. How do you get yourself in there and make sure she doesn't just roll over you like she's done to so many players at the tournament?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, uhm, just play my game. You know, don't play like I did today, get caught too much near the Royal Box or in the Royal Box, saying hi to the Duchess too much. Maybe that will help me out.

Q. You weren't able to quite tee off on her serve the way you did on Azarenka's. Was that because of her serve, or weren't you as sharp today?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I think a little bit of both. She definitely improved her serves. She was hitting her second serves in the hundreds or upper nineties. She was just serving well, so...

Q. Do you get frustrated moving in those dirt patches around the baseline, or were you just kind of frustrated today with some of the strokes? It looked at times you were not happy with your footwork.
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I definitely wasn't. I didn't have the best footwork today. They might have checked out, too.

Q. Do you have your forehand's cell phone number in Hawaii? Are you going to call? How are you gonna get it back?
SERENA WILLIAMS: She turned it off. You know, she won't answer me. But I might even have to go there. Whatever it takes, I need her back.

Q. When does it start getting weird between you and your sister now?
SERENA WILLIAMS: You know, it doesn't. The more we play, the better it gets. You know, when we play our match on Saturday, you know, it's for everything. This is what we dreamed of when we were growing up in Compton 20 something years ago.
So, you know, this is what we worked for, and this is what we want. Like I wanted her to win today and she wanted me to win today. It's all come down to this.

Q. One of you described it as, At some point we stop saying, You can do it. Maybe that all stops, maybe starting tomorrow night?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I mean, maybe. But I don't know, because we're still in the doubles. We have a tough match in doubles, too. I'll be telling her tomorrow, You can do it; you're the best; your serve, let's hold. I think we'll still have a little bit of that going on.

Q. For your parents, when do they get weirded out?
SERENA WILLIAMS: My dad usually leaves. Hopefully he'll stay for our match tomorrow. That would be nice. I'd love him to stay. I'm gonna ask him. But he usually leaves because his work is done really.

Q. Does your head-to-head record against Venus matter to you?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, I mean, not really. I think -- uhm, no, I don't think so.

Q. You're aware it's 10-10?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah. I think it's like something super intense. It's a great setting. I can see it now.

Q. Would you like it to end even?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Would I like it to end even? Of course not. Then I wouldn't win. I'm sure she feels the same.

End of FastScripts

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