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June 23, 2011

Serena Williams


3-6, 6-2, 6-1

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Can you talk to us about Jack Marshall?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I kind of met him on Twitter. His mom wrote Tracy. She wrote me. She's like, Read his story. I read his story, and my heart kind of went out for him. I was like, Oh, my God. That was one thing, I thought if I made it to Wimbledon, I wanted to invite Jack out.
I got to meet him yesterday. We spent some time together. They gave me one of his bands that I can wear and you can help him. It's just been so amazing, his whole story, to be so small to have such courage. He calls me his best bud, so I love it.

Q. What do you make of being put on Court No. 2 today?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, uhm, you know, I don't know. They like to put us on Court 2, me and Venus, for whatever reason. I haven't figured it out yet. Maybe one day we'll figure it out. I don't know.

Q. I remember the last couple years you've said, Okay, it's Court 2, I'll play.
SERENA WILLIAMS: I don't necessarily think I should -- I try to play my match and take that first and foremost, deal with, you know, whatever later. 'Cause today, if I was thinking about that, then that would be a different issue.
But, you know, obviously they're not gonna change, so, you know, it's like...

Q. In the first set, you seemed to have a hard time reading her serve or making any impression on her serve. What was bothering you about it in the first set and what did you figure out about it after that?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Uhm, well, I just thought that she serves well to be her height. Usually players that height don't serve as well. She has so much power on her serve. That's actually really awesome.
So, uhm, that was definitely -- it's always hard to play with such power on grass court maybe.

Q. Was it frustrating to not even get a breakpoint chance in that first set?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I had chances and I kind of blew them. Like 30-15, I probably had a couple times. But she just really served well. Uhm, so, yeah.

Q. Can you just explain what it is about Court No. 2 that makes playing difficult? Is it noise? Is it atmosphere?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Uhm, I don't know. I pretty much won all my matches so far on Court 2, so...

Q. You have to go through the crowds, don't you?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I never have too much time to warm up. I look at that as kind of a warmup, trying to walk out there. I'm like, Okay, well, this gets my legs moving.

Q. This was only your fourth match total since you came back. Are you playing your way into shape, feeling better each match? Or does the first set in each match drive you crazy?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, no, I feel like I'm in shape. But I'm just playing my way into match condition. And, uhm, you know, just doing things that I did before. That's all. That's all I can do right now.

Q. You and Venus almost look at it as an insult that you're not automatically put on Centre, 1, like Djokovic, Nadal.
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, they're never moved across. Actually, Venus and I have won more Wimbledons together than a lot of the players or by ourselves in doubles even. So, you know, at the end of the day, I don't know. Like I said, they're not going to change, doesn't look like. So I don't know.

Q. Do you think in any way it could relate to you and Venus, you're bigger than life, you speak your mind, you're big personalities? Do you think that relates to it at all in any way?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I don't know. Like I said, I don't really think about it. I don't make it a big issue.
I think at some point maybe I should. I don't know. I just really try to focus on not going down on Court 2. At least now they have a review out there, so I do like that. It was much better than the old one that was actually closer. I really hated that court, but...

Q. What is your reaction when you find out the next day's play? Do you say, Oh, no, that you're going to be out there?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I just say, What court am I playing? I just say, What time am I playing? Like 12:00. Oh, I have to wake up early.

Q. This is a unique tournament where a lot of the players, including yourself, stay here in the Village and rent people's homes. What is the advantage and disadvantage of doing that?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Actually, I think it's the advantage of always having kind of like more a homey, comfortable environment. And there's not really any disadvantages. It's probably better than a hotel. You can cook if you want to. It's just easier access, I think.

Q. Some of the houses aren't quite as modern, as we're used to in the States with weird kind of showers or washing machines. Have you had any disasters?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I love Europe, and I have a place in Paris. So I'm kind of used to not having the most modern things. As long as I have recessed lighting, it's like my main thing is recessed lighting. Fortunately enough, our place does, which is very hard to find in Europe sometimes.

Q. A year ago, you just won the Championships, you're about to go to a big exhibition in Belgium, you go to Germany and you have the accident with the glass. You talked about your deepening spiritual experience. What are your thoughts on why that happened?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Oh, I don't know. I don't think about it. I just think I was probably at the wrong place at the wrong time. I wasn't celebrating either.
When I win a Grand Slam now, it's just like, Oh, you know. After the first day, it's almost a relief instead of a celebration. It's like, Oh, it's over, and now I can just kind of relax, more than anything else.
Uhm, I don't know. I do believe that things, you know, could happen to anyone. I mean, you know, who knows. I don't think about it too much.

Q. Do you view it as bad luck or just unfortunate or what?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I don't know. I just view it as, you know, two different like -- who knows. Anything can happen. You just never know. You never know what can happen.

Q. Do you feel like you're starting slowly in your matches and is that a function of not playing a lot? How do you feel your level was by the third set?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I definitely feel like I started slow today. But it was actually really, really trying to start out fast. And, uhm, that obviously didn't happen. But I also think that I got a little tight out there and I just need to relax.

Q. By the third set, how did you feel you were playing?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I felt I was fine. I felt like, Okay, I just wanted to get it over with, just stay focused.

Q. What sort of appreciation do you have, maybe greater than ever, for Roger Federer's streak of playing in about 12 years straight of majors without missing any, based on the struggles that you've had with your health?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, I mean, that's awesome. I never knew that streak. More power to the guy.

Q. Can I ask your impressions of Laura Robson who won her first match at Wimbledon at the age of 17, how you dealt with the pressure at 17 coming on tour.
SERENA WILLIAMS: I see her a lot here. I think she's a good player. An all-around good player. First of all, she's a lefty which automatically puts you a step ahead. I always wanted to be a lefty. Can you imagine?
And she moves well. She hits hard. She has a good serve. She just does everything so well. And to be so young, I can't believe she's only 17.

Q. If you were 17 and you were going in against Maria, what would your approach be?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, uhm, you know, she's young and she just has to feel that she has nothing to lose. Maria's a great player. You know, she's just gonna go out there and do her best.

Q. You have Maria Kirilenko best. What is the key against her?
SERENA WILLIAMS: She just plays well. She moves well. She hits hard. Boy, she runs well. I said that already. She serves -- she does everything good. She's always looking to improve, so it will be a good match.

Q. Back to Laura, how did you cope as a 17-year-old when you first came on tour? You obviously had your family support.
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I had a lot of family support. I don't know. I think I won the US Open that year, I guess. I think I'd been on tour for a year by then.

Q. How big a step is it to come from 250 into the top 50, which is probably Laura's objective for the next year?
SERENA WILLIAMS: More power to her.

Q. You're known for your sense of fight, mental toughness. Aside from Venus, whose mental toughness in tennis has impressed you?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, I think, uhm, there's no one -- I mean, I don't know about no one. I think Nadal's really strong. He's just out there, he wants every point.

Q. As you pointed out, you won a Grand Slam at 17. Now it seems like the players are getting older when they're doing better on the WTA Tour. Any thoughts in your mind why that change?
SERENA WILLIAMS: No, I don't know. I guess -- I don't know. Everyone was young then. Now everyone's just doing better older.

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