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January 19, 2012

Serena Williams


S. WILLIAMS/B. Zahlavova Strycova
6‑0, 6‑4

THE MODERATOR:  Questions, please.

Q.  Tougher in the second set.  How did you see it?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  Yeah, she just started playing better and doing different things, which is always expected when you win the first set 6‑Love.

Q.  The ankle is okay after the tumble?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  Yeah, it's fine.  Totally fine.

Q.  Did you twist the ankle to go down or were you just off balance?  Any extra pain?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  There was no extra pain.  It was fine.  I twisted it.  But it's all taped up, so the tape really, really helped.

Q.  It wasn't any great concern?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  No.  It's totally fine.  It was my good ankle, so I'm good.

Q.  You still got a good ankle?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  Yes.  I have two good ankles.

Q.  There's been a lot made of your physical well‑being.  Do you feel that's your biggest opponent at the moment?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  I don't know.  I'm physically fine.  Hopefully I'll just be able to do well and keep it up.  I haven't really been paying attention to a lot of things.

Q.  Have you seen your mixed doubles draw?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  I heard about it.  It's a tough draw in the first round.  We're always up for a challenge.

Q.  You two been talking strategy at all yet?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  A little bit.  Like yesterday I texted Andy and he said, What side do you want to play?  I was like, Oh, yeah, we forgot to discuss that.

Q.  Have you picked?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  I always play the forehand side.  He didn't care what side he plays, so it's good.
We're looking forward to it.  It's going to be fun.  Why not start out with the best?

Q.  Do you feel your forehand is stronger than his?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  Than Andy's?  Well, I've beat him, so obviously my forehand must be stronger (laughter).

Q.  Where did you beat him?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  Time isn't of essence, but I did beat him (smiling).

Q.  He going to serve first?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  I'll let him.  I was thinking I should, but I'll let him feel like, you know, macho man and let him start first.

Q.  Plan any celebrations when you win a match?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  No.  We barely are talking what side to play let alone celebration.  We hope to win.  We play the No.1 seeds.  So we'll see how it goes.

Q.  500 wins, that's a huge number.  Does it feel that way to you?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  It's great.  I haven't even thought about it.  It's like the ultimate.  It's really, really cool.  The first thing I asked, of course, Is there anyone that achieved a thousand?  I guess not.  I never will get there either.
But it's really cool.  500 is a lot of matches to play, let alone to win, so it's pretty cool.

Q.  Do you remember the first win?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  I found out my first win the other day.  It was in L.A.  I was really young.  It was pretty cool.

Q.  Do you remember your first win here in '98?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  Yeah, I played Spirlea, I believe, yeah.  Wow, that was a good win.  She was like seeded.

Q.  Was that a bit of a revenge match for the family?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  Oh, this is 50 years later.  If it was, we've definitely let it go.

Q.  You said you like to emulate Venus, getting to 500 after she got to 500.  She has a lot more than that now.  Is that the next target for you?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  Yeah, my target is just to keep going.  I never even thought about 500 till I got to Australia and realized after Brisbane I was at 498.  So then I was like, Oh, I definitely want to get to 500.  I knew I was going to get to 500 sooner or later.
Now I don't know what the next milestone is.  I don't know.

Q.  Would Venus have been awake watching?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  No, she watches every match.  She and my dad are my biggest fans.

Q.  Have you texted her or been in touch with her since then?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  Yeah.  She was telling me some things.  So, yeah, we talk.  We text a lot.

Q.  Did you have a WTA mentor when you came on tour?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  Yeah, I did.  I was with Zina Garrison.  That was good.  It was really cool.

Q.  Do you ever think you would want to have more of a role in nurturing the young Americans?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  Wow, I don't know.  I don't know.  Hopefully I could be something positive for the young Americans.  There's so many young Americans playing today.  They're actually doing really, really well.  There's a lot of young girls coming up.  So that could be kind of cool, you know, as long as we keep things really professional on the court.
I'm really someone that always is like, Be the best, do the best.  Actually really cool.

Q.  Is there anything you miss about being 16?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  No, no.  16 is great.  But, you know, you're only that for a year and you have to move on.

Q.  There's a YouTube video of you attempting the Roger Federer trick shot.  The guy has the bottle on his head.  You went quite low.  What happened there?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  I don't have the same aim Roger Federer has.  He's like the greatest player ever.  I thought that I was at least somewhat close.  But clearly I am not even close, so...
The video kind of explains it all, like how far away I am.  I tried.  I really tried.  It doesn't look like I did, but I did try, yeah.

Q.  Any thoughts about players breaking their racquets on the court?  Do you think that helps out?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  That's an interesting question, and different.  Thank you.
I actually used to break a lot of racquets on the court.  I sometimes break them in practice, just not in a match anymore.
I think when you're young it kind of maybe lets out a little frustration.  It just is a way to express yourself.  I think those players are super, super intense.  So I can't necessarily go and say you shouldn't do that when I was actually someone that did it a lot.
I got to a place where I could see how many places I could crack in a racquet.  I got five.  This is great.
But it's definitely not the best way to release your anger.  I think the older you get, you realize there's more different ways.

Q.  Baghdatis broke four racquets in one minute last night.
SERENA WILLIAMS:  I've never done that.  That's impressive, wow.

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