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January 21, 2012

Serena Williams


6‑1, 6‑1

THE MODERATOR:  Questions, please.

Q.  Greta said it was an honor to play you.  How does it make you feel when people say things like that?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  It makes me feel really good.  I'm like really proud of, you know, the work that I've been doing for so many years, all the hard work.  To play her, who obviously has been playing for a really long time, as well, it really makes me feel really special.

Q.  You said you weren't quite at your best tonight.  Where do you think you need to improve?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  You know, I just can hit a little deeper and better, be more consistent.  You know, hopefully that will come as hopefully I keep playing.

Q.  You missed the smash in the first set.  Can you talk us through that one.
SERENA WILLIAMS:  It was an awkward smash.  Then she missed one and I felt a little better.  I felt like, Am I losing my mind out here?
Everyone always sometimes hits a shot that's a little bit insane and you just got to allow yourself to get over it.

Q.  You've come through this tournament quite easily in your first three matches.  Other Grand Slams you've had battles in the opening rounds.  Do you think you need one of those really tough matches in the early rounds to help you, or are you happy progressing simply?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  I'm okay with how I'm going.  I've had tough practices.  You know, it's okay.  I mean, I'm pretty experienced so I kind of know what the feeling of having tough matches is, having simple matches is.
I think my first match could have been tougher, you know.  She played pretty good.  So it's okay.

Q.¬† You won 6‑1, 6‑1 tonight.¬† Before the match you said you were Jokey Smurf.¬† What would the Serious Smurf's scoreline look like?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  Well, there's no Serious Smurf.  There's Grouchy Smurf, there's Brainy Smurf, there's Papa Smurf.  I'd say he's the most scary Smurf.  Smurfette.  Greedy Smurf.  So, yeah, I don't know (smiling).

Q.  You're the last remaining American in the tournament.  Are you aware of that?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  No, I wasn't.  But I know Mardy had been doing really well, but I lost early here.  That was unfortunate.  I'm definitely going to keep representing the flag and doing the best I can.

Q.  John was eliminated yesterday, mentioned his disappointment how Americans had performed here.  How do you sum it up?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  Well, I think Sloane Stephens played really well.  I think she just played tough players.  Svetlana is a Grand Slam champion.  She almost came through on that.  I think John played really well.  He played marathon matches.  So that was tough.
Andy, unfortunately, had to retire.  It wasn't necessarily his fault.
I don't necessarily agree with that.  I think we are all doing pretty well.  I'm still in the tournament.  We're just all fighting.

Q.  When you say you fly the flag, does that weigh on your mind or do you think about that a little bit, alone representing the States?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  No, not at all.  Not at all.

Q.  You've been in this position before and done well, last American into the second week.  Doesn't seem to bother you whatsoever.

Q.  Do you kind of like the challenge?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  No, I really don't think when I go out there that I'm the last American.  I just think, you know, I'm trying to come in here and win this match, play this girl.  That's all I really think about.

Q.  What were your thoughts on Andy going down and losing your mixed doubles partner?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  I was devastated.  But it was okay.  He got injured.  There's nothing you can to about that.  A lot of people are getting injured in this tournament.
Actually glad he retired because I didn't want him to make it worse, kind of jeopardize future tournaments.

Q.  Have you talked to him since the match?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  Yeah, I talked to him to see if he was okay.  He's okay.  He was bummed.  But it' life.  It happens.

Q.  Are you postponing it till the French?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  The French is a different surface.  It's slower.  You have to be physically fit.  And my doubles partner will be back by then so...

Q.  If you were to play mixed doubles, who would you pick?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  I don't know.  There's so many players.  I'd play with one of the Bryan brothers.  They're really, really great.  Maybe Roger.  He's amazing (smiling).

Q.  Do you offer advice or tips to the younger American players, the girls especially, when you're at tournaments?  Do you ever have anything to say to them?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  Yeah, I talked to Sloane.  I haven't seen Christina.  I don't really hang out so much.  I'm never at the tennis unless I'm on the court.
I saw Sloane in Brisbane.  You know, we actually did not discuss tennis at all.  Maybe I could do that a little bit more.

Q.  You know the younger girls, they say you're the tennis god to them.
SERENA WILLIAMS:  I'm no god, that's for sure.  But it's definitely cool.  It's good that you can have somebody you can really look up to.  When I grew up, I was really excited about my American players.  It was really, really cool.  When I met them, I couldn't talk.  When I met Pete, I was mute.
[I] guess they've kind of gone through the same thing, growing up, watching myself and Venus play.  Doing halfway decent is always pretty good.

Q.  What are you doing during your off days?  Maria is napping and reading.
SERENA WILLIAMS:  I am doing treatment, a lot of treatment.  I'm not reading.  School starts on the 23rd, so I kind of texted one of my professors to tell him I was in Australia, and I don't know if I can make the first assignment in time.  He was like, It's fine.  I was wondering if it was really you (laughter).
I was like, okay, just really nervous about school starting.  He's like, Don't worry about it.

Q.  What course is this?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  I'm taking a kinesiology course.  I'm also taking a management course.

Q.  Two?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  Yes.  I haven't been able to reach my kinesiology teacher.  Hopefully she will understand that I am going to get those assignments in.  But I'm a wee bit busy, so we'll see.

Q.  What sparked your interest in kinesiology?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  All my injuries, to be honest.  Like every time I go to the doctor, I can pinpoint and tell him exactly what's wrong with me.  I know more about my injury than they do at the time.
The communication that I have is really great.  I've always thought if I could just learn about my body and keep learning about physiology, sciences, stuff like that, just for the future I thought it would be really cool.  You never stop learning about your body.

Q.  Have you just started the course?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  It starts on Monday the 23rd.  But I had to write a paper, an introduction for my management class.  So I kind of did that already.  I was like, I'm going to get that over with.  Trying not to send a picture of me that was so obvious.

Q.  Do you use a lot of holistic kind of therapies?
SERENA WILLIAMS:¬† I do.¬† I've really gotten into a lot of holistic lately.¬† I hate medicines.¬† I hate having to take, you know ‑ what's the word ‑ medicine that's manmade and stuff like that.¬† So I like the holistic.
It's better on your system.  It takes longer.  But overall the effects of synthetic things are longer term and not really so good for you.  I'm looking forward to those courses.

Q.  Do you use acupuncture?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  I do.  I use that.  I think it's really cool.  I actually wanted to take an acupuncture class.  Hopefully I can do that.  But I have to be there.  I can't do that one online.  I would never get any clients (laughter).

Q.  You had acupuncture on your feet, knees?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  I've had it before.  I think there's a lot of results.  I just like it.  I think it's pretty cool.  You just have to be patient.  I think it's important to find a good one, though, because a lot of people do it.  To do it really the Eastern way I think is right now the best way to do it, so...  I have to learn by like a Japanese master, which is where one guy learned.  Hopefully I can do that one day.  But that would have to be after my career.

Q.  As people become more aware of these types of treatment, is it becoming more common in the locker room?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  Uhm, I don't know actually.  I don't think it's really common really in sport yet, you know.  I mean, I'm on synthetic medication now for my leg.  When it's an acute injury, you have to take something that can take away the pain.

Q.  Have you tried meditation or Yoga?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  Yeah, I actually really like Yoga.  I don't like it for the spiritual reasons.  I don't like all that stuff.  I like it to stretch and to be flexible, but I don't like to get involved into all the other stuff that's involved with it.
Meditation, I've heard is really good for you.  I haven't been able to do that yet.  I have always wanted to take 10 or 15 minutes out of a day and clear your mind.  Hopefully I will do that one day.

Q.  It sounds like it's important to you to keep your mind active.  Talk about that.
SERENA WILLIAMS:  If I'm thinking too much, I'm thinking too much about my job, which is tennis.  Then I can start thinking about too much what to do.  I try to keep my mind as far away from that.
When I'm here, I keep my mind so on it that I'm like crazy.  But then when I'm away from it, I just try to relax.

Q.  How do you put all those outside interests together?  In your next career, a nail salon and acupuncture as well?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  That's a good idea.  I hope you won't want a royalty on that (laughter).
Yeah, the whole object is to get a business degree.  I'm working towards that.  That way I can just kind of fit everything in.  Maybe I'll be my own agent one day.

Q.  Are you done with acting?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  No, not at all.  I actually have a gig in a week or two.  I'm excited about it.

Q.  TV, movie?

Q.  Can you tell us about it?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  I haven't read the script or anything.  It's a pretty big show in the United States, so I look forward to it.  It's fun.

Q.  You don't want to say the same?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  No, not yet.  No.  But it's cool.  I'm excited.

Q.  You're not going to punch anyone like you did in the Showtime one?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  No, no.  I wasn't good at that, so...  But I actually am, so I'm excited about that.  Hopefully I can build on that, too.  It would be cool.

Q.  How about your interests in fashion?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  Yeah, I was just emailing new inspirations, gosh, just yesterday about what I'm going to do next, confirming some different designs, colors and stuff.  That's fun.  I'm educated in that.
So I'm kind of easier doing that for me as opposed to like the school.  It's kind of new.  But the fashion, I've been educated in that, so it's cool.

Q.  In TVs and movies, who would you like to act with most?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  I don't know.  I would start out with someone that's like maybe more into action, you know, try to see.  I don't know, I've never thought about that actually.  So I don't know.

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