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January 19, 2010

Serena Williams


S. WILLIAMS/U. Radwanska
6-2, 6-1

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. The heavy bandage on your leg, was that just a precaution?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I've been having it strapped all week, all last week as well. So just keep it up and making sure I'm able to keep moving as best as I can.

Q. Is it for a knee problem or a hamstring situation?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, my age, you know, it's several (laughter).
So, no, it's to support my hamstring. You know, just supportive and preventive, just to make sure that it doesn't -- I don't have a Sydney moment.

Q. Were you happy with your match?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I was happy to get through. The scoreline seemed to be easy, but it was a long match out there. Well, not long, but it was tough points. So I was just happy to get it over with.

Q. You played her before at Wimbledon. Had her game come on much since then?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, she plays really well. I can see that on the grass because her balls don't bounce. So it's kind of weird to kind of get in that rhythm.
I think her game has definitely come on. I feel like she's more consistent. You know, it's a different score than Wimbledon, but still I think that she's more consistent and a little better - a lot better.

Q. So many players struggle in first-round matches. You seem to have a formula. What is it?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, I don't know. I played well. You mean in general or this tournament?

Q. In general. At the slams, you've never lost as far as I can remember.
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah. No, I haven't. And so I was a little nervous today because that's always on the back of my mind. Records are meant to be broken (smiling.) So I'm like, God, I hope this record is not to be broken. It's my personal record. I don't know if it's any record. But my personal record, I just don't -- I want to just keep that up.

Q. You were pretty quiet out there. Given it was the first match since the US Open with what happened in that last match, did that sort of make you subdued in terms of outward aggression?
SERENA WILLIAMS: No, I don't think I was quiet at all. I felt like I pumped my fist a little bit. You know, I feel like I was definitely being who I could be. That's all I can do.

Q. You have other records, streaks. Does that one actually mean anything to you?
SERENA WILLIAMS: This one means a lot to me because I love playing in Grand Slams and I love doing the best that I can. Just to have an opportunity to have not lost yet in the first round of a Grand Slam - knock on wood - is really good for me. That's something that I want to keep up just for my career.
I hope that's not too much to ask.

Q. I think you said on ESPN the other night you felt like the fine was harsher on you.
SERENA WILLIAMS: I talk about that a lot. I wrote an article about it. $92,000 is a lot of money to fine someone. I always said what I did wasn't right, but I turned that around and I'm actually raising $92,000 to educate ladies, women, also for my school in Africa.
Also I'm giving some money to Haiti, as well, because just the recent things.
So, you know, I don't know whoever got fined like that. People said worse, done worse. I just thought it was a bit -- I think it was a bit much.
But that was that.

Q. Do you feel like it's a double standard that if some man had had the same reaction, they wouldn't have been fined as much?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, we live in a world that still, you know, men are, you know, just leading a lot of things, as well. In tennis I think we've been able to do really well with having fought so hard to get equal prize money. I think that's really good.
But I think we still sort of, say, live in a man's world. I'm the first to say that I like men to be strong, to be leaders. I think that's absolutely important. But I just think at the same time some incidents can bring you back to life and back into reality.

Q. So strong women can be a little threatening at times?
SERENA WILLIAMS: No, why I say strong women can be threatening. I think I admire strong women. I think I'm a strong woman. I think my mom is. She's someone I admire. I just think that the whole incident was a learning experience. And I actually think it was good that it happened, that I got fined, because at the end of the day I'm raising money to help other people who I probably would have done it but not in that way, and I probably wouldn't have raised it.
You have the auction. You can go to my website to find more about it. I'm auctioning a dress I wore at the Olympics. Venus gave stuff. She was forced to (laughter). We're getting so many cool people to donate stuff. The money is going to a great cause. I don't think it would have happened if I hadn't gotten fined.

Q. How much have you raised so far?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I don't know. The people working on the foundation, they send me emails every day. I have 70 emails I haven't read because I'm focused on the Australian Open. I know we're doing good. I know a lot of people are bidding on that Olympic dress. So it's good.

Q. On the two-year probation, at the slams, do you feel you can go out and be yourself, play naturally?
SERENA WILLIAMS: No, that hasn't crossed my mind at all as if I yell too much, it would be a problem.
I feel like I can always be myself. You know, I just do the best that I can. I'll say, C'mon. I'll get frustrated. I'll still be human. I'll still make mistakes. I'll still learn from them.

Q. They're making a new WTA rule about appearance money, new transparency. What do you think of that?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I'm not aware of that rule, so I can't comment on it.

Q. That you can collect appearance fees now to play.
SERENA WILLIAMS: You can or can't?

Q. You can. You've joined the guys in that way, so you can get appearance money just for showing.
SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, you better get started on that (laughter.) Thanks for telling me. I don't know why I didn't know that sooner.

Q. Are you going to watch your sister's match?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I want to. I don't know yet. I know she has a tough first round. We'll see.

Q. How much do you focus on the doubles this year?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I'm really looking forward to doubles. I've been looking forward to it since November. My whole career, I just love to play doubles now. I really look forward to our match.

Q. Do you focus much on your opponents?
SERENA WILLIAMS: No. I never look at the draw. Before we walk on the court, it's like, who do we play? We just go out there and play our games. That's basically what we focus on, our side of the court. We do that.

Q. Stunning jewelry you wore on court today. Dazzled the photographers in the sunlight. Is that a Celtic design on the necklace, a special present?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, this is my collection, 'cause I have a jewelry line. It's called Serena Signature Statement. I always try to wear my pieces. Actually, I was inspired by this piece. 'Cause a really good friend of mine gave it to me. It has a lot of Ss in it. I thought that was fun. The earrings are part of it, too.

Q. They're real diamonds, are they?

Q. Do you make anything out of the odd number, even number years here with you winning the titles?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I hope I can win it this year and defend my title. But if it means that I can break that streak, that would be kind of weird.
As long as I can keep winning, you know, matches. I'm not really focused on the odd years, although they're kind of cool.

End of FastScripts

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