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June 25, 2011

Serena Williams


S. WILLIAMS/M. Kirilenko
6-3, 6-2

THE MODERATOR: Serena Williams for you.

Q. Best you played here?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yes, best I've played since I came back. So it's good.

Q. Just talk about the match overall, what you thought went well for you.
SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, uhm, I was a little more consistent and I played my game more. Wasn't as tight and nervous and uptight. I was able to relax more today.

Q. Is your serve returning a little bit? Did it pack itself in its luggage and come today?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I saw it a little bit today in the second set. I was like, Where have you been? He was at a party or something. But he's back.

Q. Did you hit a particular ace or was there a particular point?
SERENA WILLIAMS: No. Actually I still haven't like really felt it yet, so I'm still hoping.

Q. You talked after your first couple matches about that tight feeling. Now you say you don't feel that way today. What made the difference?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, I had a discussion with myself, my dad, my friends. I was just like, You know, I can't relax.
It was like, You just got to relax. Doesn't matter what happens. You've done so much. And I just was really able to relax today.

Q. How is your body holding up?
SERENA WILLIAMS: My body's doing really good, really, really good. I trained really hard before coming here, so it's doing good.

Q. So you were tight because you were worried that your game wouldn't come back, or you were worried you could get hurt again?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, you know, you're always thinking, I can get hurt again. You just kind of have to let those thoughts go or anything could happen. I'm thinking, I could slip. I'm not really thinking that. And I wasn't thinking that at all today. It was just a big difference.

Q. You've been in the spotlight for so many years. What are your feelings about the job the media does? Are they fair? Do they take things out of context?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I think everyone does the best at their job. I don't read too much media, so I'm probably not the best person to ask this question to. So, you know, I don't know.

Q. What are the hurdles mentally to competing after you've not been competing for a year? Is it hard to get the mental edge in your head back, too?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I just think, you know, just getting mentally there. I always believe it just takes a second, so... I believe I'm there now - or at least I'd like to believe I'm getting there.

Q. What does Marion provide, challenge-wise?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, she's good and she moves fast. She does everything really good. She's actually a really, really good returner, so I'm really gonna have to make sure that I'm in there serving really well on Monday.

Q. You've been to the second week of so many slams. Looking back to what happened over the past year, going into tomorrow you get the day off, probably nice you made it to this stage, huh?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I'm still alive and it feels good. You know, I'm hoping to be around and planning to be around a lot longer.

Q. Sort of like you fell off your bicycle and you're back on. Talk about that process of getting back in the groove. Is it weird? What is the process like for you?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, I literally fell off the bicycle, actually. And I have a horrible scar on my shoulder from it. So it really hurt it. It just kind of can -- just go about the year. It was painful, but I was able to recover. I got back on that bike and I rode home. So I'm back here and I'm playing again.

Q. Can you compare how you're feeling and how you're playing this year to maybe last year and previous years when you won?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Uhm, you know, I think last year I was just going at it and playing so well, although I didn't play a lot coming into Wimbledon last year either. So I can just kind of go on that, as well.
But obviously I played more than I did this year. You know, I don't know. It was a lot of confidence. I think I'm getting that confidence back.

Q. The local bookmakers still make you a very strong favorite. Do you find that surprising?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Uhm, I wouldn't bet against me (smiling).

Q. Did you say you literally fell off a bicycle sometime in the last year?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I literally fell off a bike. It was a disaster.

Q. Details, please.
SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, it all started, I was riding in my community and I wasn't obeying local traffic laws. I was going too fast. And, uhm, then I just couldn't control the speed and I fell.
It was horrible. It was actually really funny because everyone was laughing at me. I had like this horrible scar.
The ambulance just so happened to be driving by. And I was so embarrassed, because my community is -- elder people live there. I was just like, Oh, my God. I was so embarrassed. They came over, Are you okay?

Q. This is in L.A.?
SERENA WILLIAMS: This is in Florida.

Q. Did you really get cut?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I have a scar on my shoulder that won't go away. I had a scar on my face, but that went away.

Q. That didn't affect the shoulder?
SERENA WILLIAMS: No. You just fall, you get a bruise, that's it.

Q. What kind of bike did you have?
SERENA WILLIAMS: It was a pink Beach Cruiser.

Q. When you're going down, what is going through your head?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I'm thinking, Oh, noooo. All I thought was, Don't fall on my face, don't fall on my face. When I fell on my face, I was like, No.

Q. Have you ridden since then?
SERENA WILLIAMS: No. I only ride stationary bikes (laughter).

Q. When you were in last time you were talking about court placement.
SERENA WILLIAMS: You guys are asking the questions; I was answering them.

Q. You were asking about whether or not there was a reason that you and Venus were placed there. Ever since you've been gone, players have been talking about the idea of women not being placed on the show courts. What further thoughts have you had on it?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I haven't really been thinking about it. I think yesterday we saw three women's matches on the show courts, which was the first time. It's always good to see three women's and three men's matches. You know, it is what it is.

Q. When was your bike accident?
SERENA WILLIAMS: That was in October. It was a disaster month for me.

Q. You were riding the bike with your bad foot in October, like in a cast?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I was deciding whether to get the second surgery or not. The doctor was like, Go home, do activities, see how you feel. I was riding the bike, I was running, I was trying to see how I would feel. Should I get it or should I not get it? I ended up getting it because I thought it would be better. That was just one of the many activities I was doing just to try to feel out my foot.

Q. You're the world's champion of tennis, the glass comes crashing down on you in Germany. What did you think? Oh, my God, what's next?
SERENA WILLIAMS: At that point, at the bike accident, I did. Then I was driving and my car stopped. It was a brand-new car. I thought, You've got to be kidding me.
Then Venus looked at me and she said -- I'll never forget. What did she say? She said I pissed someone off. I don't remember what she said now. It was so funny, though. Or she said, I can't hang out with you. It was so mean but yet so funny.
It was so many bad things that just had happened to me. How does a brand-new car stop in the middle of the road? I was like, Are you kidding me?

Q. So being put on Court 2 doesn't look so bad?

Q. You said an ambulance just happened to be going by. Did you just like hail it?
SERENA WILLIAMS: In my community, there's an ambulance there a lot. I don't know how to say that in a nicer way (laughter). I was embarrassed, like, Get away from me, I don't need it. I got up straightaway. I was like, I'm good, I'm good. I hated that they were there at that moment.

Q. Venus yesterday said she's like a lot more confident than she was a year ago. Do you see that in her?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I definitely do. She seems way more confident and she's playing way more confident. That's obviously in turn inspiring me.

Q. Why do you think that happened?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I don't know. I really don't know. She's just working really hard and doing really well.

Q. You mentioned this very bad month. What's the single best thing that's happened to you since then?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, I'm here and I'm alive and I don't take any moment for granted.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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