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September 10, 2011

Serena Williams


S. WILLIAMS/C. Wozniacki
6-2, 6-4

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. What did it feel like to be back out on that stage, the night stage of the US Open semifinal, and perform the way you did tonight?
SERENA WILLIAMS: It felt really good. You know, it's just been a really good summer for me, and I think it just all around was a great feeling to be out there.

Q. I'm sure that occasionally you get anxiety off court, but on court looks like you're pretty composed all the time. Are you fighting nervous feelings ever on court?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I think so. Sometimes I get nervous or I get tight I think more than anything. I think that's natural for the most part. I think everyone gets a little tight. I just try to deal with it.

Q. You've got to be back here in about 20 hours for the final. Does that call for any special, you know, recovery thing on your part, or do you just handle this turnaround like any other?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I'm definitely gonna handle it like any other turnaround. Definitely won't be going out tonight. (Laughter.)
I've had worse turnarounds. I've gone out until like 6:00 in the morning and have to practice at 8:00. (Laughter.)
I should be fine.

Q. What happened to your toe? Was it your toe, the injury timeout?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, my tendon, I think, was a little tight. I just got a little nervous. I was just like, I can't be in a cast. But it was okay.

Q. You have mentioned that you get nervous. The sense of occasion tomorrow, does that make you more nervous or make you excited?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I'm definitely a little bit excited. You know, I really feel like - I know you guys are like, this can't be possible - but I really feel like I don't have anything to lose. I have beaten all odds. You know, six months ago I was in the hospital and now I'm in the final.
So I feel like regardless of a result, I have just, you know, have been a champion for everyone out there who are fighting against all odds, and, you know, staying positive.
So if I get nervous, I'll be fine.

Q. The turnaround, are you happy with the way this was all scheduled and how it played out?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I think maybe the women could have played before the men seeing we had to play tomorrow. This is also supposed to be a women's match tonight, Saturday at 8:00. So I don't really know. It's kinda hard to say.

Q. Was there any part of the day where you were kinda wishing you could have gone out on Grandstand and just gotten it done, or did you prefer waiting around and getting the primetime?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I honestly don't think about could, what I could do, unless that option is available. Once that option becomes available, then I'll think about it. I was just reading my book. Like I said, I'm great at waiting. I can wait forever.

Q. Where is your form right now compared to when it was at its best? Are you close?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Um, I mean, I hope I'm close getting to the final. I think I was serving really, really well when I was No. 1. It's good to know that I can do better.

Q. Tomorrow being 9/11, is it more special for you, you know, being out there, being an American going for the championship, especially with your sister winning 10 years ago, too?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, definitely more special for me. I definitely wanted to be -- I really wanted to get here and get to the final, and, you know, everything that New York and Americans have been through.
It's hard to believe it's been ten years. But, hey, I have come full circle. Hopefully I can do better 10 years later than I could last year.

Q. She's No. 1 and you haven't played her for a couple years. Did you feel she was getting a grip or her teeth into it or were you in control throughout?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, I think she definitely had opportunities, and she was really -- I felt like she never was far off. I felt like she definitely had a strong hold whenever she like, you know, had a chance.
She never gave up. I'd be up 40-Love in a game and she'd come back. I'd be up 30-Love and she had end up winning the game. So the first set was over 42 minutes, so it was like definitely intense.

Q. The reaction after winning was pretty unusual for a semifinal. Can you just talk about that for a second.
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I mean, like I said, for me it's amazing because I've come a long way. I've come a really long way. Just thinking about being in the hospital and, you know, now I'm beating the No. 1 player, I think it calls for an even bigger reaction, really.

Q. With that said, you've said at times that you still expect to win. Even though everything that's happened to you, you still go out on court and say, Yeah, if I play my best, I can win. So there are sort of two sides to it. So you never really lost that feeling?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, it is. It's unfortunate that I didn't lose that feeling, or maybe it's a good thing. So it didn't go good like I felt like -- you know, it's still a good feeling to know that if I play well, I play my best, and I feel like I should win. We'll see.

Q. What book are you reading?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I'm in School, and one of the requirements was to read this book called, The Iceberg is Melting. I actually finished it. It's like week six I've already done.

Q. I think you said the other day that when 9/11 hit you were in D.C.
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I was in Washington, D.C.

Q. Why were you down there, coming from down there to here?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I was visiting my sister, and I remember landing at the airport and there was no one there. I was like, this is really weird.

Q. So you flew in that morning and just made it in?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Like literally just made it in. I flew like really, really early.

Q. Were you stuck in D.C.?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I couldn't leave. They didn't have any flights for almost a week, I think. So I was stuck there. At least my sister was there, so it was cool.

Q. You tweet about watching Keeping Up With the Kardashians. I'm wondering if you've ever been approached to do your own reality show and if you would have any interest in that?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I don't know if I've ever been approached. Have I been approached? Yeah.
I don't really like -- I mean, it's hard to have cameras around you all the time. You go to a store and then there is a video camera, and then more attention comes. I don't know. I'm more of a don't-forget-the-lyrics kind of show girl. Maybe I should go on one of those shows.

Q. So you wouldn't want a camera following you around when you're coming in at 6:00 and having to go back at court on 9:00 for practice is what you're saying to us?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I mean, I have that, so it's just really hard. It's a hard life. But, hey, you know, maybe one day I will. Who knows? You never really know.

Q. You faced Stosur up in Toronto. She beat you last year at the French, but you faced her recently in Toronto. Talk about that match and if you feel like you have the edge there.
SERENA WILLIAMS: No, I feel like tomorrow going in we both have the same chances of winning. She's playing great. I have been watching her this whole tournament. I'm not surprised that she's in the final.
She's such a great player and a great athlete and a nice girl. You know, it's definitely gonna be tough for me, so we'll see. You know, we'll see.

Q. Do you think both of the women's semis should have been on Ashe? Do you have any concern about the competitive disadvantage to your opponent tomorrow maybe not being familiar with that?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I don't think there is any competitive disadvantage. I definitely think both women's matches should have been on center court. I was really shocked that it wasn't. Especially being on player council, I feel like as women we're doing so well in tennis and we've come such a long way, and Sam is such a fabulous player, top 10, finals of more than one Grand Slam now and she's won several tournaments. And Kerber, you know, is such a wildcard and such a great look, you know, to kind of see an exciting time.
So, you know, I was a little disappointed in that, and I definitely think it will be in our notes for our council meeting.

Q. Players often say they learn more from defeats than from victories. What did you learn from your defeat to Sam in Paris?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Man, I was really upset because I had a match point, and those are always the hardest defeats. But Sam's such a fighter. I think she is underrated as a fighter, because she often comes back when she's down.
So you have to really watch out for that. But I learned a lot. After that I went on to win Wimbledon because of that loss. So, you know, every time I lose it's good to experience. I hate it. I truly hate it, but it's good for me to kinda go back and take some steps back.

Q. Can you just compare the Serena Williams, mature woman who has been through all this now, to the kind of super excitable girl who was here in '99 going into the final.
SERENA WILLIAMS: Wow, I mean, in '99 I was just so excited. I had this feeling I was gonna win the whole time, and, you know, I didn't have -- I really didn't -- playing Martina Hingis. I knew I could beat her because I beat her before. I just felt it.
Now it's just like a little bit of a veteran, 13 Grand Slams under my belt. So, you know, I have a lot more experience, but I'm just excited as I was before.

Q. About a month and a half ago, I saw you in Washington playing with the Kastles, and you have been a huge difference in the last month and a half. Can you talk a little bit about that and how your performance was in terms of today?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, team tennis is different from professional tennis. I personally think team tennis is harder because you have to win pretty much every point, and that's a tremendous amount of pressure.
So, now that I don't have as much pressure on me, it's easier.

Q. Obviously you have this turnaround. Does your health issues that you had months ago have any impact? Do you have to take any special steps for a situation like this, or is it not even an issue?
SERENA WILLIAMS: No, it's still an issue. I feel like I'm always getting a blood test like, or just getting some type of test done every week it seems. After this I have to go back to the doctors and see how everything's going and how all my levels are going.
It's ongoing for me, but I feel like it's good. I mean, it's manageable. I don't have to do too much. I just take injections when I fly. I think like, you know, it could be a lot worse.

Q. But you don't have to do anything special for going through a match tonight to a match tomorrow where you have to take something or test something or anything?
SERENA WILLIAMS: No. I've improved on my everything, so I'm good.

Q. The toe that was bothering you in the match, was it the droopy toe?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yes, but it's not droopy. Thank God. Thank you. (Smiling.)

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