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June 28, 2012

Serena Williams


6‑1, 6‑4

THE MODERATOR:  Questions, please.

Q.  Ten aces.  Very happy with it?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  Serving‑wise it was definitely better, more consistent.  So it's something to be happy about.

Q.  You're mentioned as one of the favorites.  The Americans keep disappearing the first couple days.  Do you feel a pressure to produce for the country as well as yourself?  What is it like being in that situation?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  I feel no pressure.  I think the only pressure is the pressure you put on yourself, and I'm not putting any pressure on myself.

Q.  How are you feeling physically in this tournament?  It seems like maybe you're not stressed, but there's a lot going into every game, every match, and you're not yet at your loosest.
SERENA WILLIAMS:  Yeah, I always tend not to be relaxed sometimes.  You know, I play really good when I'm relaxed, so I just got to get there.
I feel really though good physically.  I feel really good.  But I'm just always wanting to be so perfect that sometimes I want to do too much.  That's something I'm still working on.

Q.  Sloane and Christina are both in this tournament.  Can you talk about them as players and people.
SERENA WILLIAMS:  They're great people.  They're great kids.  They're going into their adult life.  They're really fun.  I'm able to be a good role model for them and lead them and teach them to have lots of fun and how to laugh.  Sometimes they're a little more mature than I am (smiling).
But nonetheless, we have a blast when we always play together, so it's cool.

Q.  As players, can you talk about their upsides a little bit?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  Christina, I think she's so tough.  She has a great game, very consistent, a little bit like a backboard.  Has a really, really good game.
I think Sloane has a beautiful game.  She's effortless.  She doesn't have to try to hit a winner, she just does it so easy.  She looks so smooth when she plays.  She's such a talented player.
They both I think carry the flag really well.

Q.  Do they look up to you more for tennis advice or life advice?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  Well, hopefully for tennis advice.  You know, my life is a shambles outside the tennis court ‑ a real shambles (smiling).
Yeah, I doubt they look up to me life‑wise, yeah.

Q.  Gilles Simon called for the end of equal prize money.  Maria Sharapova was asked about it.  She said the struggle was a long one that not many people supported.  She added that a lot more people watch her matches than Simon's.  Could you comment on that.
SERENA WILLIAMS:  Oh, my gosh.  Why do you put me ‑‑ you know I can't bite my tongue (laughter).
Yeah, I mean, definitely a lot more people are watching Maria than Simon.  She's way hotter than he is.  Women's tennis I think is really awesome.
It's a great fight.  We fought for years with Billie Jean King, and Venus as well, really set the pattern on what we should do.
You know, I started playing tennis at two years old.  I'm sure he started when he was two years old, as well.  I worked just as hard as he did.  I'm sure he continues to work hard as I work hard, as well as everyone that's on a professional level.  We are all very professional and all work hard.
With that being said, everybody is entitled to his opinion.  If that's his opinion, he's allowed to have one.  I think that's an opinion, so...

Q.  How far are you off your peak?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  I don't know.  I think I can get there if I'm feeling good, if I'm relaxed.  If I just start relaxing I can do better.

Q.  You looked a bit down today.

Q.  I heard you were one of the most romantic players on the tour.  I wondered what someone could do to cheer you up at the moment?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  (Laughing.)  I like these questions.  Well, I haven't gotten any flowers in a really long time from someone of the opposite sex that doesn't have to do with business.  When I did get flowers I didn't appreciate 'em, so...
Yeah, that would cheer me up.

Q.  What do you think about the grunting debate?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  What about it?

Q.  The Women's Tennis Association has said they're trying to phase it out.  What do you think about that approach?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  I'm not thinking about it.

Q.  What flowers do you like?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  I love roses.  I love red roses.  I love white roses.  I love pink roses.  Pink is my favorite color.  Anything with a rose.

Q.  You won't be able to move there will be that many people sending you roses.
SERENA WILLIAMS:  I know.  I hope I didn't start anything (laughter).

Q.  Off the flowers for a second, do you consider serving first in a final set to be an advantage or not?  If so, why?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  I think it's always an advantage 'cause, you know‑‑ at least for me, because I love my serve and I love feeling good when I serve.
Also, if you're not as big a server and you prefer to return, you know, it depends.
For me, I prefer to serve.

Q.  Looking at the men's side of the tour where the three men have dominated the last slams for several years, what have you gained by watching them?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  Yeah, I think they're great players.  All of them, Rafa, Federer, Nole, they're all really unbelievable players.
What's even more, they're great people off the court.  I think a lot of players can benefit from that.  You know what they do on the court and off the court.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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