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June 14, 2011

Serena Williams


S. WILLIAMS/T. Pironkova
1-6, 6-3, 6-4

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. How difficult was that first set for you?
SERENA WILLIAMS: How difficult was the first set?

Q. Yeah.
SERENA WILLIAMS: It wasn't too difficult. It wasn't long. It was over really fast, and I thought, wow, hopefully I can get some momentum. I was just a little, I think, a little anxious and missing a tremendous amount of shots.

Q. Were you sort of tentative, particularly with your serve? You seemed to build up the speed as the match went on with the serve.
SERENA WILLIAMS: No, I think I was hitting it; I just wasn't making them. I think I made maybe one serve if I was lucky in the first set. And I knew that wasn't going to get me a victory.

Q. How would you sum up your first match?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, I played a really good player. She's a really good player, especially on grass. She did really well last year at Wimbledon making it to the semis, nearly making it to the final.
You know, is wasn't an easy match, but I think more than anything I wanted to win, and I think mentally I was there. I could have done a lot of things better, but that's okay. I think that's expected, and I think that going forward I will continue to try to do the things that I need to do.

Q. Nothing beats competing, Serena. What's it like to actually be out there in a competitive environment again?
SERENA WILLIAMS: It's definitely good. There's a lot of things mentally that I do in my mind that I'm kind of redoing again. I'm kind of like, Okay, I've gotta do this. Okay, Serena, this is when you want this. It just kind of clicks. It's like, Okay. This is what I need to do.
It wasn't as strong as it was when I left, but I'm hoping it will get better with every day and every match.

Q. Were you nervous?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I definitely think I was nervous. I think I was even more anxious more than anything, but there was no need for me to be anxious.

Q. What's the difference between anxious and nervous?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Anxious is like kind of like when you really want it so much, and nervous is like when you, like -- a little afraid. I wasn't afraid. I was just -- I really wanted it.

Q. When you spoke to the umpire after the time violation, was that because she hadn't given you any indication that she was going to do that?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah. Usually -- well, every time I have gotten one, which is very rare, they usually tell you, Oh, Ms. Williams, or Serena, watch your time. You're taking too much time.
She didn't tell me that, and I didn't know -- because I was in such a zone, you know. I was like, I had no idea I was taking a lot of time.
So it kind of came out of left field, because never once did she say anything. I just asked her if she could, next time, either say something or is that normal procedure or had I been gone so long that they changed it?
I don't know. Hopefully next time, if that happens, I'll get a prewarning like I've gotten 100% of the time before.

Q. What do you remember of 1998 when you first came?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Whew. Was that me? '98? Far too young to have been here in '98. I think you've got me confused. (Laughter.)

Q. You made a remark at the end about how I hope you guys will give me a cheer. Was that because you felt the crowd had been a little bit tricky during the match?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I didn't hear the crowd. I just was really focused. Like I said, I was in a zone kind of. I was really focused just trying to get my feet to move, which was a task on itself.
So that was pretty much -- but I love it when the crowd is behind you, but that was what I was just trying to do, really.

Q. Were you able to enjoy it today?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Definitely. I definitely think I had fun. It's always good to have fun, especially after everything I've been through, like it's all fun to me now. It's all like -- this is really a bonus, like it's all a bonus.

Q. It's likely -- I think you'll be playing a repeat of the Wimbledon final probably rather quickly, more than you thought it might happen. Memories of that day perhaps?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Um, yeah. You know, I don't remember too much from that. I just remember a lot after that, but...

Q. It was over quite quickly.
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah. You know, she's a great player. Again, I have nothing to lose. I'm just going to go in there and do what I can do, and whatever happens happens. Like I said, this is all a bonus for me.

Q. You fell down in the last game. Have you been told that it's safe for you to do that now, or is it something you've been told to avoid?
SERENA WILLIAMS: It's safe to fall down?

Q. Well, the medical opinions, that it might be dangerous for you to fall.
SERENA WILLIAMS: Look, I always try not to fall down. (Laughter.)
It's definitely not cool on my nails if I fall, because I can potentially break one, and that makes me really upset. I have three weeks to get through without breaking a nail. It's definitely not good for me to fall at all. (Laughter.)

Q. How was your fall? Did you feel anything on the injured foot at all? Is it okay now?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I felt a little something. I got a little nervous. I was like, oh. Then I thought, this is grass. You know, you're really moving. You're stopping, you're going. If I can survive this, especially with this long match, I'll be good. And then I felt like, okay, that's something I can look forward to.

Q. Do you think had it not been grass you probably wouldn't have been playing yet? Is it because it's the grass and you can perhaps get a bit more leeway with your movements and if you do fall, it's a little more cushion than falling on cement, for instance?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I don't know. I think if anything, grass could be harder because you're stopping so much and you're going so much, and it's an abrupt-like stop; whereas hard court is not as intense and clay is even softer because you can kind of slide.
So it is what it is. I'm just here and really happy to be here.

Q. Any thoughts about the length of the match and not having played so well and it was quite warm out there?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Is warm? Y'all need to go to Florida. I was thinking, man, this is nice. Because it was so hot in Florida I thought I was gonna melt into a little chocolate bar. (Laughter.)

Q. Did you have any nice messages, good-luck messages from friends in the States yesterday and today?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I had a couple messages. Someone had wrote me, When do you play? But I was angry at him, so I never wrote him back. He was, like, dead to me.
Couple other people wrote me good messages. I should probably stop talking right now. (Laughter.)
But I got a lot of good messages, a lot of people on Twitter were like doing good. They're cool. I love my fans.

Q. Are you slightly disappointed that Andy Murray didn't take you up on your invitation to come and do a little bit of...
SERENA WILLIAMS: I know. I have my machine, my karaoke machine. I have this song that he wants to sing to REM.
We'll do it at Wimbledon. I'll bring it and I'll force him to sing.

Q. I wanted to know whether you designed your tennis dress, or is that part of your...
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, it's a part of my collection this year. It was supposed to be retro. It was all my favorite outfits that I've worn in the past. This one -- no, no, that's next year.
This year was all inspirations from like '50s and glamorous and stuff like that. My Australia dress was kind of like Marilyn Monroe, so gorgeous.
This is my French Open dress, and it was more or less like -- God, I can't remember the French lady. Some famous actress I can't remember right now.
That's what it's about.

Q. What color would you use to describe it?
SERENA WILLIAMS: It's definitely pink with a bit of plum on the bottom.

Q. Brigitte Bardot, perhaps?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Brigitte Bardot. Yes.

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