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June 26, 2010

Serena Williams


S. WILLIAMS/D. Cibulkova
6-0, 7-5

THE MODERATOR: Questions for Serena.

Q. What does it feel like to be in that type of serving groove?
SERENA WILLIAMS: It feels good. Serving that well feels awesome.

Q. I know you had a talk with your serve the other day, you said. You must be pleased with the response?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I serve well at Wimbledon for some unknown reason. I want to keep doing it. I wish I could serve like this every tournament.
For the most part my serve works when I'm in trouble. At Wimbledon it works the whole match.

Q. Maybe you spent too much time working on your curtsy instead of your serve?
SERENA WILLIAMS: No, I went home and worked on my serve a lot after the French. Hopefully, just knock-on-wood kind of thing.

Q. You whizzed through the first set 6-Love. Then what happened? Did she pick her game up or you slipped a little bit?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, she definitely picked her game up. I mean, she's a good player. I also think I slid a little bit. I mean, it's important for me to, you know, stay level and stay with my game. But I wasn't able to do that.

Q. You've won every single first set here 6-Love. How do you explain that?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I know. I thought about that today. I was like, Oh, gosh. That's not bad. I mean, that's pretty cool.
But obviously in the second, it's almost better not to win 6-Love because then the crowd really gets behind the opponent. You can't blame them. So it's like, Oh, you know.

Q. What do you put it down to? Better preparation, perhaps?
SERENA WILLIAMS: No. I just want to do well. I try to do the same thing in the second, but it just hasn't been able to work out.

Q. Are those two things linked in a way? I've won 6-Love, I'm flying, is that where you lose focus and that is why she gets a chance to come back?
SERENA WILLIAMS: No. I was talking to Billie Jean in the locker room. She said when a player wins 6-Love over your opponent, you've got to expect them to really come out loose, like they have absolutely nothing to lose, just start going for shots.
I think that was really good advice. So if that happens again, I'll be ready.

Q. What is the atmosphere like in the locker room and on the grounds on the Monday when everybody is playing, when there's so many big matches? Is it a great day for players as much as fans?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, everyone is just so intense. It's first round, no one really wants to go out. Everyone is really fighting, just really serious. It's just all business in there.

Q. You may have Maria on Monday. Does it seem early for that matchup? That could be a final.
SERENA WILLIAMS: No, I definitely don't think it's early. I think, you know, it is what it is. You always have to be ready. She's obviously really good, especially on grass, so...

Q. Are you looking for a big challenge at this stage of the tournament so you pick your game up?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I definitely have to pick up and play better, continue to do well.

Q. Which of the players here impressed you the most so far?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Which one of the players?

Q. That you might be meeting later on, which has been most impressive?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I've been really, really impressed with Venus' game. She's been playing unbelievable (laughter).
Especially I've actually played with her in doubles yesterday. We were down a set point. She hit this incredible second serve. So she's very impressive.

Q. What are your memories of the 2004 final? It was sort of a shock to the world at that point.
SERENA WILLIAMS: I just remember I was really nervous. I think I put too much pressure on myself. It didn't work out. That was that.

Q. Did you really even know who she was at that point? She was not a famous player back then.
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I mean, you know, she was on the tour for a few years, so everyone in the locker room obviously knew.

Q. In all the matches you played, do you remember losing a first set yourself 6-Love?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I've lost 6-Love before, for sure. Doesn't come to mind, but I know I have, maybe.

Q. How do you compare your form at the end of the first week to last year when you won?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Uhm, I thought I was playing a little better last year, so hopefully I can pick it up. I'm going to have to, obviously, in the next match or next couple.

Q. What are you unhappy about? At the end you shrugged like you weren't thrilled with today's performance.
SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, I just thought that I could have played better in the second. I don't know. I just kind of came off the gas a little too much. Just can't do that in big Grand Slams like this.

Q. Getting back to the 6-Love thing, for players that do lose 6-Love, 6-Love, 6-1, do you think it's humiliating to get beaten so soundly?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Oh, God, no. It's not humiliating. I think, if anything, it's courageous to be out there fighting. All these players, they keep fighting, like we saw Cibulkova today. She lost 6-Love, but that didn't stop her. I think that's what makes her such a good player.

Q. How intense is it when you play Maria?
SERENA WILLIAMS: It's obviously really intense, yeah.

Q. Do you want to talk a little bit more about that, versus some other players? You're both Grand Slam champions, both hit hard, return well, serve big.
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah. It's a great matchup. You know, it is what it is.

Q. We had an incident last night where a player lost his cool with the crowd. Generally speaking, for a player, how hard is it to keep cool if the match is going badly and the crowd is on your back?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I didn't hear about that, so I don't know. You know, sometimes you lose your cool. I have experience with that (laughter).

Q. Is it good for the tour that Maria has come back, that she seems to be regaining her form after the shoulder surgery and her struggles last year?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, it's really good. I mean, it's always good to see someone that's a champion out on the court, you know, returning and do well, winning tournaments already. So it's good.

Q. How hard is it to come back from an injury? You've done it. When you're a champion, do you think, What's the point? How hard is it to do the work and come back?
SERENA WILLIAMS: You know, it definitely isn't easy. But it's something that if you want to do it, it's easy to do.

Q. You haven't played Maria in a couple years, haven't played her on grass since 2004. Do you have to feel each other out in the beginning of a match or do you know what you're going to get?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, I think she really knows my game. I think she really studies it. I pretty much know her game. So I don't think much has changed. We know each other, so...

Q. What is the key to the match, getting ahead in the points, dictating?
SERENA WILLIAMS: For me relaxing. Whatever happens, it happens.

Q. You briefly referred to losing your cool. What has been the follow-up on that foundation or the fundraising, $92,000, whatever it was? When you look back, do you have any regrets?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I don't live with too many regrets. I mean, my regret is -- like I have other regrets outside of tennis, like silly things, like not going to concerts or something like that.
Other than that, uhm, no. Everything went well. The charity raised a lot of money. It spawned a lot of Africa stuff that I'm doing as well. It's good.

Q. What concert do you regret?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Uhm, so many concerts I haven't been able to go. I always wanted to go to Lollapalooza one year. Didn't go. I don't know why I didn't go.

Q. Speaking of music, rapper and pop star Sean Kingston, he's just 20. He called you absolutely stunning and said he wants an older woman and you're that woman. Are you a fan of Sean Kingston? Maybe that's the concert you'll be going to next.
SERENA WILLIAMS: Oh, my gosh (laughter).
I mean, I think everyone in America is a fan. He always comes up with a really catchy song that you find your hips moving and swinging to. Next thing you know, you're into it.
Yeah, I'll have to go to a concert. I think he's obviously a really good act.

Q. Do you like a toy boy, a younger man?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Oh, my gosh. Well, at my age, you know, I have to have a younger guy, so...

Q. Do you plan on cheering on America in the World Cup tonight?
SERENA WILLIAMS: As soon as I'm done with you guys, I'm going to the locker room. Aren't they on at 3:30?

Q. 7:30.
SERENA WILLIAMS: I got all hyped up. Oh, man.

Q. You will be watching?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I guess I will. I just thought I was going to be watching now, but I guess I won't be watching now.

Q. Why do you seem to be so critical of your own form at the majors early on? You're almost never satisfied with your matches.
SERENA WILLIAMS: Really? I don't know. I just honestly don't think I played that great in the second. I think I played well in the first. You can't play one set and expect to win the tournament.

Q. Do you feel if you're not critical of yourself early on, you won't peak when you need to later on?
SERENA WILLIAMS: No. I've always been insatiable. I've always had a desire to be really good. You know, if you become too satisfied, then I don't know how you can reach that.

Q. How is the writing going?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I think I have writer's block again. I don't think I can be a good writer because I keep writer's block about 360 days out of the year.

Q. Maria Sharapova was very hard-hitting when she came up. Is she still among the three best hard-hitting women or which are those?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Oh, I don't know. Everyone hits really hard. Even the girl I played today, I was surprised at how hard she hit. And she's so small. She really packed a punch.
I think honestly everyone is hitting really, really hard. You know, I don't think it's about hitting hard. You look at someone like Henin and Clijsters. Oh, my God, I was about to say, Who is No. 1?
So, anyway, I don't think I hit that hard either. But, I mean, I've been told that I do.

Q. Back to the incident at the US Open, do you think there's any chance that the same thing could happen to you here, that you might have had a better chance of keeping your cool given the atmosphere of the tournament?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, I don't know. I think that was maybe like a one-time thing, I hope. You never know. Maybe I'll be inspired to do it again (laughter). Who knows?

Q. Strawberries and cream outfit, Serena?

Q. Where did that come from?
SERENA WILLIAMS: We design things a year in advance. I think a year and a half ago we decided to do something different. I always wear gold, and I was kind of over gold. Plus I like the strawberries and cream here.

End of FastScripts

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