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August 13, 2011

Serena Williams


S. WILLIAMS/V. Azarenka
6-3, 6-3

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Was there a moment today when you mentally won the match before even walking on the court to play the match?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Was there a moment when I mentally won?

Q. When you prepared mentally for the match and you actually kind of won it before the match, prior to the match?
SERENA WILLIAMS: That's a good question. I don't know. I just kind of knew I was playing a really, really good player today and I basically had to step up my game or go to Cincinnati.

Q. So much has been made recently about parity in the women's game. Do you feel with you coming back like this and now on the cusp of winning a second title in a very short period of time that that's ending?
SERENA WILLIAMS: No. I guess I'm happy to be back. Maybe it is ending. I don't know.

Q. After the year that you've had in the past year and the health concerns that you had to go through, how do you feel to be back in this position for the second time at a tournament going to the finals the way you are?
SERENA WILLIAMS: You know, it's pretty cool. I definitely like going in with -- not necessarily low expectations but just expectations just to play my game. And, you know, a humble, right now, 80 is kinda, you know, where I am, and just taking it a day at a time.

Q. How do you feel about your game right now and where it is compared to where it's been in the past?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I feel it's better today than it has been my past couple of rounds, but I feel it's coming along. I feel like, you know, I still can do a little better, but overall, I'm almost maybe where I was almost, but I want to exceed that level.

Q. How do you like your chances against Stosur tomorrow?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, the last time we played, she got the best of me. It was an intense hatch, and she played really well.
So being ranked 10 in the world, is it, I think that, you know, she definitely has an opportunity to take it all. She's been playing well. I think this court really kind of suits her game.
We'll see. I have nothing to lose, and I'm happy to have gotten this far. Hopefully if I take another title, that would be great. If not, you know, hey, there's next week.

Q. First of all, you seem to have great interaction with the crowd here. Was there anything special today? Because we felt like a different energy.
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, the crowd is really amazing here. I don't know what it is. I love the crowd here in Toronto, and I feel like every time I come here I have fun. I have missed it a few years, which wasn't really great, but I enjoy it.

Q. How much do you let your ranking get into your head? I mean, you are No. 80, but do you feel like you're a top 10 player just disguised in a No. 80 ranking, given your layoff?
SERENA WILLIAMS: You think? Maybe I'm like a changeling, and like maybe I am really top 10 and like I am disguised.
I don't know. That's a good theory. I'm gonna look into that.

Q. Since the year that you have had with the health issues, how have your tennis goals, have they changed at all or is your outlook on the game the same?
SERENA WILLIAMS: My goals have been, you know, just to give it my all at every match and every tournament. Not that it wasn't like that before, but I definitely had a tremendous, tremendous amount of focus in the Grand Slams.
I think I still will, but every now and then I just -- you never know. Tomorrow is not promised. I want to give it my all every opportunity I have.

Q. The way you talk about this, that you just want to have fun and you don't take anything for granted. How fatalistic do you feel now about your career in the sense that you're just gonna have it now, and it could go at any time?
SERENA WILLIAMS: What do you mean by "fatalistic"?

Q. Well, in the sense that you're not setting long-term goals. You're talking about one day after the other. After a layoff like that, how do you feel that it could just all end?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, I'm definitely not thinking about like it could all end. I mean, obviously it's on my mind that tomorrow is not promised, but, you know, I just think that also I'm not going in with a negative thought like, okay, this could happen and that could happen.
Because then that can totally affect your game and it can affect your play and it can affect your mental psyche. That's not something I want to do, either.
So it's important to have a good balance and to try to get a nice, you know, balance in between both.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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