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September 8, 2009
NEW YORK CITY, NEW YORK
S. WILLIAMS/F. Pennetta
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. You have got to be pretty pleased with your level overall, huh?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, overall I think that it was, you know, a totally different match for me. You know, really consistent player, so, yeah, it was interesting. It was good.
Q. So talk about playing Kim. You haven't played her in six and a half years, but you played her eight times before that. You must have a decent memory of that contest?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, she's a really good player. She plays tough. She plays hard.
Now it's like a totally different level, because she has absolutely nothing to lose. She just kinda is -- I think that's when you can play your ultimate best tennis.
Q. In a sense, the pressure is on you. Because before in some of those clashes there was pressure on her to step up and show she belonged with you guys.
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I have no pressure on me. I don't put pressure on myself. Maybe the pressure is on her, but it's definitely not on me. Maybe it's on you, but it's not on me.
Q. What does, Serving Up Some Hot Damn mean?
SERENA WILLIAMS: It means serving up some hot -- yeah, I guess that's what -- it means what it means, just serving up some hot stuff.
Q. How do you rate your performance tonight with Flavia? Especially beginning, because you made only I think four points on her serve until 5-4. Then finally you won love game at 5-4. Why then?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I was going I think for a little too much on the serve, and I wasn't making any returns. I was a little disappointed, because I had some easy shots to make, and I didn't make it. She served really well and very consistent. I needed to step up to the plate.
Finally, I was able to do that when she was serving to stay in the first set.
Q. What were your observations of Kim's match with Venus? What discussions have you had with Venus, if any, about that match?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, I just saw how well she moved. Seems like she's even faster than what she was before.
I was thinking that maybe I should have a baby and then I'll come back faster. (laughter.) That was my observation, so I'm thinking about it.
Q. You really think she's faster than she was before?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, I thought she's moving really well. I thought she's moving just as good as she was before she left. I don't know if she's faster or not. I mean, she hasn't definitely lost a step.
Q. When you have your baby, what are you going to name it?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Wilson.
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah.
Q. What do you remember about the first time and you Kim played ten years ago?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I just remember no one really knew her, and she gave me a run for my money.
You know, I knew her, because I seen her in the locker room a lot and I seen her play a lot. I just knew her face, and I felt like that was actually a turning point in both our careers.
Q. How would you describe your relationship? We've heard both Kim speak about you and you speak about her. What sort of feeling do you have for her?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, I have nothing but good feelings for her. She's, you know, so nice and just a really good-hearted individual and takes tennis very seriously, but takes life more seriously.
I think that's kind of the type of people -- that's the exact person I am. I think we're pretty similar personality-wise.
Q. Is it harder to play against somebody who is nice as opposed to someone who is maybe a pain in the ass?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Obviously, yeah, but I can -- if I can play against Venus, I can pretty much play against anyone.
Q. She said that you have a certain intensity on your face when she plays you. Are you aware of your intensity out there, especially on your face?
SERENA WILLIAMS: No, I'm not aware of it, but I see it after in photos. I'm pretty horrified sometimes.
Q. What do you think?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I think, oh, my god, who is that?
Q. That's a part of the gift of your game, isn't it, that fire?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Absolutely. And I'm really excited to have that fire. I think that, you know, it's cool that I have a chance to get involved and to be able to lift my game when I need it or in a really intense moment. Hopefully I'll be able to do that.
Q. Aside from Venus, in who else do you see that intensity? In whose other faces do you see it?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Honestly, I think there are a lot of players now that have it. I would just have to name players who don't have it at this rate. So many people have it.
Q. Everyone here wants to talk about Kim. I want to talk about Flavia. How was the match tonight? Did you expect a match like that? After you saw Flavia Venus four times already, were you a bit more worried than usual or not?
SERENA WILLIAMS: No, I'm always taking every opponent super-serious. Flavia is clearly a good player, and I was definitely not underestimating her. I thought it was a really good match. You know, she also has a good spirit.
Q. Going this deep in the tournament for all of the players, including yourself, does the conditioning become a major factor?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I think it does. I think you have to be pretty fit to play, pretty much.
Q. Early in the tournament, especially at the very beginning, there was a little bit of talk about No. 1 and Safina and things like that. Well, today, as you probably know, the WTA recalculated their ranking system, the ranking points, and realized that if you win here, although you will still be No. 2 when the tournament ends, a week later you would be No. 1 because points will fall off of her rolling total. So a week after the US Open, even though both of you guys will not be playing, if you win here you could be No. 1. So what are your thoughts about that?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I have to win. I have a tough semifinal. I don't think about that, being No. 1. I'm going for bigger and better things.
Q. There's been a lot of talk in the last couple of days about Melanie Oudin's slogan, "believe." You've had that determination since you came out on the scene. What word would you use to sum up your determination?
SERENA WILLIAMS: To sum up my determination? I never give up in anything I do, whether I'm playing tennis or whether I'm writing or whether I'm -- well, I do give up if I'm running, because I don't like to run.
But other than that, I usually try never to give up. Or if I'm in the gym I give up, too, because I don't like to work out.
Q. Did you give up about visiting Brazil and speaking Portuguese? I remember ten years ago you wanted to.
SERENA WILLIAMS: Okay, maybe I should get a new slogan, but I definitely want to visit Brazil. I've never been. I've actually never been to South America. That's definitely a place on my list of to-do. I'm looking forward to a chance to go to Brazil. It's on my priority. I haven't give up on that.
Q. If you played a great classic match against Kim that was talked about for the next couple of years but you lost, could you walk away from the tournament satisfied?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Um, you know, I'm just really excited to be in the semifinals, especially after the summer I had. It was looking quite kind of bleak.
So regardless, I'm really excited to just have gotten this far, and I hope obviously -- I'm never the one to be happy to lose or, you know, I've had classic matches before, and I can't say that I'm excited about them. But, you know, just hopefully I'll keep going forward.
Q. When there is a draw at the beginning of a match, do you prefer if you choose to serve or to return, and why?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Doesn't matter. I like to serve, because, you know...
Q. You like to be behind or forward?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I don't mind serving. If I return I'm going to break, so that's how I look at it.
Q. What are your observations on Melanie Oudin's run here and how she's dealt with everything?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I think she's doing great. I think on paper she's -- she can even win her next match, seeing all the players she's beaten. I think she actually should win. I mean, I look forward -- it's been my joy watching her play. It's been exciting, especially for American tennis.
Q. Why is it your joy? If you could elaborate, why has it been your joy?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Because now I don't have to have so much pressure on Fed Cup all the time.
Q. Have you made a decision as to whether you'll play Fed Cup?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I plan on playing as of now. You never know what happens at the end of the year, but I've always planned on playing once -- you know, whenever I can.
Q. You said you like the US Open because of the paycheck and you like the US Open Series because...
SERENA WILLIAMS: But I never win the US Open Series. I always try.
Q. Most fans would think, hey, Serena, she's got millions, Nike and Gatorade and all that. Is money still important to you? Could you talk about that a little bit?
SERENA WILLIAMS: You know, when I first started playing tennis, I never ever thought of a paycheck. I play to win; I play to be happy; I play because I enjoy what I do.
To this day, I never pick up my checks at any tournament. I don't even know if I got my Wimbledon check. I have to ask my agent. So I really play for the joy, and I think that, you know, maybe that's why I can do what I do.
Because, you know, I'm always joking about, you know, the money, but -- you know, it's obviously really cool, but never have I ever played, you know, for the cash.
Q. Doesn't sound at all like, you know, you carry any grudge, you know, You beat my sister so I want to beat her, at all. I'm wondering, in the past, has that ever been a factor? Has that ever happened? Is there ever a time someone beat your sister and you said, I really want to beat her because she did that?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I'm a really good actress. Thank you.
End of FastScripts