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August 11, 2011

Serena Williams


4-6, 6-3, 6-3

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. What was the reality on the court in the match with Zheng? Can you talk about the reality on the court in the match with Zheng?

Q. Your reality.

Q. What was going on?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Um, you know, it was a tough match going on out there, so it was as real as it gets, and it was fun. You know, I'm glad I was able to win.

Q. In the second set you managed to break the rhythm. How did you do that?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, I decided that I had to like really relax and really calm down and just, you know, try to start playing better. She was really just playing well from the whole match. I just tried to do better.

Q. When you look at the rest of the draw, you see a lot of the seeded players are now out. I mean, you are unseeded, only a few tournaments back from your injury. But when you look at the rest of the draw and the way you're playing, do you feel pretty good about your chances?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I just am happy to be in the quarterfinals. You know, I had a really tough match, so I'll see how I recover tonight. I've been playing a lot, and -- I haven't been playing as much, but also, I've been working out a lot, so I should be okay.
But seeded or not, you know, I'm in. I'm ready to go.

Q. Serena, is it a confidence booster to come through a match like that so shortly into your comeback?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, it's cool, you know. I'm happy and it's good. I was happy to get through it. You know, I never give up. That's one of my things is to keep going.

Q. Did you ever think you'd lose that match? The last three games, you seemed to notch it up a gear.

Q. Well, I thought so.
SERENA WILLIAMS: I hope so. You know, that's what you have to do in order to get to the next level. The thought 'I'm gonna lose' never ever crosses my mind even if I'm down match point.

Q. Some pretty impressive splits out there tonight.
SERENA WILLIAMS: Did you like those? (Laughter.)
I have been working on them. Whenever I can, I try to get to do it. I love doing the splits on and off the court. I absolutely was excited. I was really, really excited to do it.

Q. What was going through your mind after losing the first set and also at 5-3 of the second set?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I just thought, after I lost the first set, I thought, okay, third set. I always think that. Whenever I lose the first set, I'm automatically thinking about the third set. That's what was going through my mind.
And the second set when I was up 5-3, I don't know, I just thought I wanted to close it out.

Q. You said Zheng played a really good match today. Did you ever expect that she was going to play so aggressively from the baseline and also the return of serve before the match?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, yeah, she always plays me like this, so I wasn't surprised at all.
Really, the way she plays me is she always goes, for whatever reason, she goes so hard. So I was ready.

Q. She's now in the same situation like yours, came back from injuries. Do you think her game right now, what kind of level that she's right now, like top 15, top 30, that she could come back to the top 10 as well?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, you know, I don't really know what level, because, you know, I'm 89 in the world, wherever the heck I'm ranked. I don't really know, so I can't even tell you my level, so...

Q. It seemed like any time you showed emotion the crowd really got behind you in this match. When that happens, do you kind of try to feed off of it or block it out?
SERENA WILLIAMS: You know, when I'm showing emotion, I must really be into it and really be trying to get through it.
So I definitely don't want to block the crowd out, because it's so awesome to have their support. It's so cool when I'm out here and I hear them cheering for me. It totally helps, so I like it.

Q. Changing topics slightly, it's going to be the 10th anniversary of September 11 during the US Open this year. Can you just look back on that day and your memories of that?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah. You know, time flies so fast. You know, 10 years since September 11th is time where I think all Americans really kind of reminisce. It's a moment I don't think any American can forget.
You know, I was in New York at the time, and also in DC, so it was just a really horrible, really scary, scary moment for me and my whole family.
So, yeah, it was a disaster.

Q. Do you remember anything that really stands out?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I was in DC, and there were just Army trucks everywhere. And I was really scared, and it was just -- you know, it was almost like, I guess, a war scene, because the whole streets were filled with these huge tanks.
I remember thinking, oh, my gosh, this is crazy.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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