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June 27, 2011

Serena Williams


M. BARTOLI/S. Williams
6-3, 7-6

THE MODERATOR: Serena Williams for you.

Q. One of the most dominant servers in the game for many years. Bartoli was playing five, six feet inside the baseline. What was going on there? Was it a surprise?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Really? I didn't see her. When I serve, I don't look at my opponent. I always look down. So I was unaware of that actually.

Q. Concerning the circumstances, you've only played two tournaments since last year, does this kind of come as a surprise or you felt like it was always a possibility?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, I never came here thinking I would lose. That's, you know, my attitude. You know, you win some and you lose some. Today just happened to be the one that slipped under me.

Q. With all that you've endured since last year's Wimbledon, how do you look upon what you did do here in your return?
SERENA WILLIAMS: You know, I think I did really well, you know, just being able to come back and play and win some matches, uhm, and just really play tough. Even today I lost, but I was able to kind of hang in there and play tough.
And I can only get better. And that can potentially be really scary, because I can only go up from here and I can just do so much more.

Q. After only being back for two weeks, already playing at such a high level, does it make you excited for the U.S. hard court season?
SERENA WILLIAMS: It does. I haven't played on the hard court in what feels like years. It's clearly my favorite surface. I really look forward to it. Just looking forward to playing out there. It's going to be cool.

Q. She's kind of a quirky player, Bartoli, in the way she prepares for points and everything like that. Does that make it harder to get a rhythm?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I really focus on me out there. I rarely see my opponent. Often I look up and have to wonder, look at the score to see who I'm playing. That's how focused I am on me out there.
So I don't see any of this.

Q. When you hit the backhand return winner to get the break going into the tiebreak, did you feel like finally you seized some momentum and were playing a little better?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I felt at that point that I would be naturally just fighting for the tiebreak. I definitely felt way off today, like I missed so many shots.
But, you know, it was what it was.

Q. She seemed to be zinging balls into the corners pretty well.
SERENA WILLIAMS: She played well. She should always play like this, and she would be in the top five at minimum. It's like, Wow, where is this player throughout the rest of the year?

Q. Venus is struggling out there. Do you think it's tougher for one or the other of you to play after the other has lost, especially the big sister/little sister thing?
SERENA WILLIAMS: No. If Venus loses, I actually get a little angrier and play even better. I was hoping she would be able to do that. Hopefully she will. It's not over yet.

Q. Have the doctors cleared you to play as much as you want when you want, or have they told you you should kind of keep to a certain level of tournaments?
SERENA WILLIAMS: You know, I don't know. I'm going to ask. That's a good question. I didn't ask that question. So I think I should be okay, though. And, uhm, I think I should be fine.
The doctor said that I can train as much as I want to. So maybe that means play, as well.

Q. What do you feel like you were missing today? Rhythm? Feel? Speed?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, a little feel. I felt like I missed a tremendous amount of shots out, which is better than into the net. That's a start.
I thought, Okay, at least it's going out. Sooner or later it will go in. And then I just was a little off today. Usually, uhm, I can come back and do a little bit better.
But, uhm, unfortunately I didn't.

Q. You haven't lost here I think since 2008 in the singles.

Q. What would you say to those who question whether this is the end of an era in terms of the Williams sisters' dominance?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I don't know. Like, I'm still here. I plan on doing better.

Q. In terms of plans, you're going to be heading off in a while to the US Open, where you haven't won in a little while. Do you think Serena Williams will win the US Open?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Uhm, I'm not going to go there thinking I'm going to lose, so...

Q. You came into this tournament with high expectations of yourself but a lot of unknowns. Did you feel extra pressure that you put on yourself coming into the second week? What was the mentality coming in here?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Really, my mentality was just to do the best that I could and just continue that. And today I tried to do well. And I think Marion played really well. Clearly she played really well.
The thing is, I just feel like I can do a lot better, which would really suck if I was here thinking, wow, I played my best and that was the best that I could do.

Q. Did you get more frustrated on the court because you'd gotten to this point and you didn't know what was going to happen at the start of the tournament?
SERENA WILLIAMS: No. If anything, I was more frustrated that I was missing. I wasn't thinking about anything else.

Q. When you saved those match points, how much did that energize you? What sort of feeling does that carry with you going forward?
SERENA WILLIAMS: It definitely energized me a lot. I felt really good. And I just felt like, you know, I could do it at that point.
I felt like I could come back. No matter what, when I lose a first set, I'm automatically planning on what I'm going to do in the third set, not even the second.
So I never doubted myself. I just thought, Okay, I'm just going to win these couple points and pull out the tiebreaker, which didn't quite happen.

Q. Looking back on your singles tournament as a whole, do you think you were ready to come and play at Wimbledon?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I definitely think I was ready. I think that, uhm, I would have been sad being at home watching it on TV, like I'm going to be soon.
But, uhm, regardless, you know, I made an effort to get out here and play a couple tournaments. I just can't sit here and be overall disappointed because, you know, I had no plans of coming here before, so... For the most part, I can just use this as momentum going forward.

Q. Does this fire you up even more for next year when you come back?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, absolutely. Next year I'll have less things to worry about. I didn't do so well this year, so I have no points to defend. It will just be good.

Q. On a scale of 1 to 10 in this year, how would you rank the whole Wimbledon experience?
SERENA WILLIAMS: You know, it's pretty high up there because I really think that I did, considering my condition I was in, considering a lot of things, I really feel I did well as a player. I mean, for myself, I obviously would love to do better.
But, you know, at the end of the day I think I did pretty good.

Q. A month ago when you came back, over the last three weeks, did the doctors and trainers say you could practice as intensely as you did before the injury and the illness?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah. They said I could do whatever I wanted to do, obviously within reason. But, yeah, everything.

Q. When you get back home, the practice routine is going to be as intense as you want it to be; there's no worries that you have to stop after three or four hours?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, it will probably be even more intense because I practiced harder here than I did even coming here.
You know, it will be more intense, which actually is going to give me a better chance in future tournaments.

Q. A lot of people would say if you come here after the best part of the year out of the game and walked away with the title, it wouldn't necessarily have been a good thing for women's tennis. Can you appreciate that? Does this result show it's competitive still?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I'm super happy that I lost. Go, women's tennis.

Q. What is your summer schedule? Do you know where you're going to play next before the Open?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Probably play a few matches in TeamTennis, get a few matches. I'm going to try to play a tournament in California, a few other places. I don't know.

Q. We were told you are going to play an exhibition match in Italy in December, you and your sister, versus Schiavone and Pennetta. Is that true?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Sounds like a delicious idea, and I love Italy and Milano. Could be some truth to that (smiling).

Q. We've seen you here after losses absolutely devastated before. You're not happy now, but you're not the same devastated loser that we would see in the past. Is that because of expectations, because of where you've been this last year?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I'm more devastated than ever. I'm just a really good actress. I'm a much better actress now.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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