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January 28, 2010
S. WILLIAMS/N. Li
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. Was it appropriate that you finished the match with an ace, given that your service was your strength?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yes, I think it was appropriate. She was such a fighter, so it was good.
Q. What qualities does she have?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, I think the better question would be: What qualities don't she have? She has everything from really a serve, which you might not think, but she has a really good serve, to both great backhand and forehand.
Q. Justine seems to be returning well.
SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, she's playing really well. She's doing great. It will be good. I hope to serve well. But regardless, I'll have to do other things well, too.
Q. How have you considered her comeback?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, it's just been amazing. I mean, her and Kim, such a great story. Justine hasn't been gone that long, but it's still a good story.
Q. What does it mean to you to be in this position, to be able to have another shot at the title?
SERENA WILLIAMS: It's pretty cool. You know, definitely felt like this whole tournament like I was just still so excited to be in it. I still am, so it's good.
Q. Do you feel the moons are aligning; all things are going very well?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I don't think about it. I just go out and do whatever I can. Whatever happens, it's all I can do at that time.
Q. When do you start thinking about that game, the match?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, you know, when I'm out there.
Q. Anytime before?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, I have a doubles final, so I'm pretty focused on that. And that comes before the semis [sic], so, yeah, I'll think about that.
Q. You played singles and doubles here. Physically are you feeling good? Has it flattened you at all?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I don't think it's flattened me. I think it's helped me. You know, I get a lot of extra practice, so... I think I spent a lot of time on the court.
But, you know, I like being out there.
Q. When you think about some of the great matches you've had with Justine, can you just talk about what comes to your head.
SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, uhm, you know, so many. So I just always meet her in the quarterfinals. I don't know how many times we've played in the finals. I know we played once in Miami in the finals. She was doing everything and beating me really bad. I managed somehow to come back. I don't know how.
I don't really think about one match in particular.
Q. Are the 2007 quarterfinals still in your head, the three in a row?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I clearly don't remember, so...
Q. French, Wimbledon, US Open.
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I mean, I think I lost all three, so...
Q. But that was after winning here.
SERENA WILLIAMS: Winning here?
Q. Not over her, but you won here. What does she do particularly well?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Uhm, well, I think, again, it's a case of: What doesn't she do well?
Q. Do you think of her as a rival or another player you have to beat?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I definitely think of her as a rival. I think we bring out the best game in each other. I think that we both just play our hearts out. I think that's what creates a good rivalry.
Q. I think you have only defended one of your singles titles and one of your doubles titles. Is it important to defend the doubles and singles titles?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Like I said, if I can win next year, I'm okay, you know, with not coming out on top. But if I'm guaranteed that odd year, that would be kind of cool.
Q. It doesn't mean that much to try to defend it?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I don't come into a tournament trying to defend a title. I come into a tournament trying to win a title. That's how I look at it.
Q. What do you think of the chance to defend both of your titles here this weekend?
SERENA WILLIAMS: It's cool. I'm happy to still be alive, and one of the last two standing. So it's good.
Q. You're considered one of the most intense competitors out there. Do you feel Justine's intensity level when you're on the court?
SERENA WILLIAMS: She's a little more calm, but she's also kind of quiet intense. So I think you kind of have to be at the match to see it, how intense she really is. I think it's good. She says 'allez' a lot, so I think it's kind of fun.
Q. Justine has talked about how the freshness she has now and the distance she took has given her the ability to get as far as she has now. You're coming at it with momentum. How does that play into tomorrow's final?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, I don't know. You know, she can look at it as she has an advantage because maybe her legs are fresh. I can look at it as maybe I have an advantage because, I don't know, I've just been going at it.
But I don't think about it. Honestly, to be honest, I'm not even thinking about that right now.
Q. Justine said in her retirement it was important for her to get away from tennis, take a break, get a balance. How important do you think it is for tennis players to have a balanced life and do something different?
SERENA WILLIAMS: It's important because once you get to that point where you hit one forehand too many, it can be detrimental. And I think I'm there.
But that's why I always do design and fashion, because right when I'm there, you know, I take my little break. I make sure I have my schedule where I do have breaks and where I don't play certain tournaments.
You know, I think it's important to just have a normal life because at the end of the day I'm not going to be playing till I'm a hundred. Actually, I probably won't be here till I'm a hundred.
Q. Do you think enough players have that balance?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I think a lot of players are finding that. What works for me might not work for the next player.
Q. You didn't wear diamond earrings, but your sister wore gold earrings. Does it have any meaning for your game?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I just wear it in the singles.
Q. Do you feel you have hit one forehand too many?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Oh, uhm, at times. But then if I don't hit it, I get crazy. I need to be on the tennis court or else I'm not going to be happy.
Q. Have you given yourself a timeline then?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Oh, God, no. Yeah, I say till someone takes me out back and shoots me.
Q. You had a lot of sort of emotions flying in that last tiebreaker in the singles. What was going through your head?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Just, you know, get a lead in case I got nervous.
Q. Were you thinking of what's ahead?
SERENA WILLIAMS: What do you mean, 'think about what's ahead'?
Q. Thinking about the final, starting to get pumped.
SERENA WILLIAMS: Not particularly (laughter). I just wanted to win.
End of FastScripts