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September 5, 2011

Serena Williams


S. WILLIAMS/A. Ivanovic
6-3, 6-4

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. How would you describe the challenge that you had out there today playing?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I thought she played really well. I think we could have both played a little bit better 'cause of the conditions. But I think we were just both trying to do our best.

Q. After the success you had this summer, how has your play here so far matched your expectations coming in?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Okay. You know, I'm still here in the tournament, so that's pretty good. You know, I just came in here, you know, just trying to do my best.
I definitely don't want to peak too soon.

Q. What have you been most satisfied with?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I think my movement has been pretty good, but other than that, I can improve a lot of the different things.

Q. How funky was it out there?
SERENA WILLIAMS: It was crazy. I didn't even go for winners at any point. I just tried to get it over because it was so windy. It was like, Wow. It was definitely tough.

Q. Unlike any other stadium?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah. Just kind of swirls down there. But, you know, you just have to win in all kinds of situations.

Q. A lot of players talk about rankings. Do you worry about that, that this is the US Open?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I don't think about it too much. I haven't played in a year, so I think it's quite impressive that I'm 28 after about five tournaments, so... If anything, I look at it as kind of cool.

Q. Still, a few years ago during the European circuit when another player was No. 1, you said, Hey, we all know who the No. 1 player in the world is. Do you think we have the situation like that where you are the best player in the world now?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I don't know. I don't know. Like I don't know if I'm the best or not. I believe I am and I think a lot of other girls, women in the locker room, believe they are, too, as they should. I don't think anyone should go out and say that they're not.
If you're talking about self-belief, then yeah.

Q. How well do you know Spike Lee?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I know Spike really, really well. We're really good friends. We always hang out in Florida. We always try to do lunch or dinner sometimes. His parents actually live in Palm Beach, literally down the street. I've been there a few times. He and his wife are great.

Q. Does he play at all?
SERENA WILLIAMS: He does. We hit together once or twice before. He's good.

Q. Being No. 1, was that a specific goal of yours or was it win all the tournaments and the ranking will follow?
SERENA WILLIAMS: My goal is always just to win the tournaments and the ranking will come, you know, 'cause for me it's about titles and stuff like that. You know, the ranking will be there. I'll get there. You can't take the ranking with you when you retire, but you can definitely take the titles and the trophies.

Q. Favorite Spike Lee movie?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I don't know. I don't want to say. I think he would be angry.

Q. The first point of the match you won with an ace. The second point she ripped that service return for a winner. Did that kind of wake you up?
SERENA WILLIAMS: No. Actually last time I played her was in Dubai. It was years ago. She played a similar game, so I was kind of expecting that.

Q. Did the loss to Bartoli at Wimbledon, has that served as a special kind of motivation?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, definitely. I mean, Bartoli's a really good player. I thought she played really well in that match. But I also thought I could have done better, prepared better, and do a lot of things better. So, yeah.

Q. You talked about titles. There's still two players that have more singles titles than you. Does that motivate you?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Is it Venus and Kim?

Q. Yes.
SERENA WILLIAMS: I guess. I don't have any more space. I mean, I have a new house in L.A. I created a karaoke room, so I can't put trophies in there.
The other area, the gentleman's lounge, is kinda packed with vintage things I got at a flea market, which is really cool. In Florida, forget it. Venus and I, there's just no more space.
I would love to keep winning them. But we're like, Oh, what are we going to do with this one?

Q. It doesn't appear that there's any facet of your game that needs work at the moment. You don't seem to have a weakness right now. In your mind, is there anything in particular you want to see improve?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I think there's so much I can do better. I think, to be honest, the last two matches I wasn't completely satisfied with the way I played. I felt like I could have played a lot better, so there's a lot I can improve on.

Q. Is it you felt like you could hit a particular stroke a lot better or competed generically better?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Definitely a couple strokes and definitely could compete better, yeah.

Q. Back to Spike Lee, what is he like on court when he's hitting a tennis ball?
SERENA WILLIAMS: He's crazy. He wants to win more than I do. He's like, Hit to me really hard. I'm like, I can't hit to you really hard. I'm going to break your racquet if I do. He's like, No, go your hardest. I'm like, Really?
He's actually really good. He's like really, really intense. I'm a little intimidated. Calm down, calm down.

Q. Can he be as funny in person as he is on the screen?
SERENA WILLIAMS: He loves debates. Whenever we're at dinner, he's looking for a debate. You have to join in and pick a side. I always try to pick an opposite side so it can just be a debate. It's fun though. I love it.

Q. Ana said you were intimidating. Do you try to be intimidating out there?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah. I walk out there, do the Crip walk and try to intimidate them (laughter).
No, I don't try. I just am. I am who I am. I don't know whether that's intimidating or not. I am just me.

Q. What happens in that karaoke room? Do you go in and sing yourself?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Man, good question. We sing our hearts out. We've sung till 8:00 in the morning. I was like, Oh, my God, the sun's coming out. I look out and see the sun. We keep singing and singing and singing and singing. It's magical.

Q. New stuff, old stuff?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Everything. I'm big into the '80s and '90s. Sometimes I'll start raping some of the latest songs.
Just depends what's out. My favorite thing to karaoke is definitely Rihanna. She is my favorite artist to karaoke.

Q. Is there video of you doing this?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Is there video (laughter)? I'm going to start posting some on my website. I mean, I'm a little nervous because my voice isn't the best. My performances are probably the best. I do a full routine. It's amazing.

Q. You keep saying you're happy to be here. At what point in the second week do you only get happy if you win?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I think I've surpassed that point. I think I've always kind of been there. Subconsciously, in the back of my head, I'm a person that really hates to lose. I put a lot of work into this. A loss would be disappointing. However, I can't get too upset. It's really important for me just to look at the mountain and keep climbing it, not get discouraged.

Q. You talked a moment ago about your movement. When did you feel that was starting to kick in for you since you came back in June?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Uhm, I don't know. When I was in Toronto, I felt like I was moving well. That court was really slow, so it enabled me to move pretty well, too. So probably then.

Q. Do you feel like you're moving as well as you were a year ago at this point?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Probably, yeah, yeah.

Q. What are the keys to your serve and how would you describe it as a weapon in your game?
SERENA WILLIAMS: My serve, I think I just have confidence in it. It's a weapon. Like I'm just like, Okay, I'm going to hit an ace here. I hit an ace. Okay, ace up the T. That's how I serve.

Q. How do you do it?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I honestly don't know. I don't know. Now, it doesn't always happen. Like in the last game today, I thought, Man, I wish I could hit four aces, and it didn't happen. But, uhm, yeah, I don't know. That's I guess confidence.

Q. When you see footage of your own serve, what goes through your mind as you watch it?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I feel kind of like lazy. I feel like it's like, you know, I don't do much and I kind of go slow, and then all of a sudden I hit it.
I look at Venus' serve, I think it's so drastically different. I just think about all the times we served together, when did we go separate ways. It's kind of weird.

Q. What makes yours so effective, do you think?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Consistency. I don't hit it 120s all the time. I mean, I can, but I don't.

Q. So you say you just keeping on climbing the mountain. Is the mountain closer to Mt. Everest or more like Henman Hill?
SERENA WILLIAMS: No, I think I'd like to say it's a bigger mountain like Everest. It's something you can always reach and achieve whether I'm playing tennis or doing something else.
I don't ever want to get to the top of the mountain. I want to keep being able to reach something, so... I like it.

Q. Are you going to go to any games with Spike?
SERENA WILLIAMS: That's another thing we argue about. I'm a Miami Heat fan and Dolphins fan. I support the Heat. He supports the Knicks. We always argue about that one.

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