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July 5, 2012

Serena Williams


S. WILLIAMS/V. Azarenka
6‑3, 7‑6

THE MODERATOR:  Questions, please.

Q.  How would you assess your serving?  Is it the best you've ever served?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  Once again, I definitely thought I served well.  Actually during the match I thought I didn't serve well.  I thought, Gosh, I got to get more first serves in.  I don't think my first‑serve percentage was up there.
So, you know, but I think it was pretty close.

Q.  Do you count aces?  Did you know you broke your own record today?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  I had absolutely no idea.  It really didn't feel like I hit 24 aces at all.
So, yeah, during the match I was just thinking‑‑ I had no idea I hit that many aces.

Q.  What did it feel like if it didn't feel like 24?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  I honestly felt like I hit maybe 10.  Like I wasn't going for that much.  I was just going to play well, to serve well, to do the best I could.

Q.  How much better can it be then, do you feel?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  Uhm, I have to look at my first‑serve percentage.  I don't think it was that high.  I ended up getting broken in the match.
So if I can just stay relaxed and stay calm I can‑‑ I'm very proud of getting this far and being able to play that well.  I'm just trying to do the best I can.

Q.  A year ago here when you won in the first round, you had really pronounced emotions.  Can you reflect on the road from that moment to the joy you have today?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  It's been amazing.  You know, I did really well after that and got to the finals of the US Open, you know, basically on nothing.  I have a little more experience now a year into it and just trying to do the best that I can.
You know, a year ago I wasn't playing.  Well, I just started playing.  But it's been good and pretty fruitful.

Q.  Of all the things you've accomplished in your career, what is your appreciation for this stretch?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  I have so much appreciation for every moment on the court.  I really take pride in playing, especially playing such big, amazing tournaments like this.
I just want to do the absolute best that I can at all moments.

Q.  First of all, you were in major attack mode today, I thought more than even usual.  You were just slamming away at everything.  Was that something that you wanted to do?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  I didn't realize I was slamming.  Maybe I didn't play the same match you guys saw.  I really need to watch this film because I didn't even‑‑ I didn't realize that.  I was just out there playing, you know, just trying to do well.

Q.  You were attacking her first serve, just all over it.  Non‑stop attack mode.
SERENA WILLIAMS:  Yeah, no, I just tried‑‑ thank you.  That makes me feel really good.  I was just trying to play my game, and my game is pretty aggressive.  So I think I did pretty well.

Q.  You made more aces in one set than Radwanska in the whole tournament, so that helps probably for the final.  Out of 18 slam finals you won 13 and you lost 4.  You're tied sixth all time with Hart, Goolagong, and King.  That sounds interesting to you or you don't care?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  It's pretty cool to be mentioned with those names, especially King.  She's someone I really look up to.  So that's awesome.

Q.  Have you ever heard of Hart before?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  Dorothy [sic] Hart, right?

Q.  Yes.
SERENA WILLIAMS:  Of course.  I know my history (smiling).

Q.  There's been so many great tennis comeback stories, Kim having a child, Jennifer Capriati, Agassi.  Do you consider your comeback, now that you've made two finals from your illness and injury last year, to be quite special as well?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  Definitely.  Definitely I feel like just getting there and doing so well is pretty cool.  I forgot that out of four, I did pretty well in making the final in two at least.  Hopefully I can do one better tomorrow or the next day.

Q.  One more question about your serve today.  When people talk about athletes being in a zone where everything just works well, does that describe how you felt when you went up to serve today?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  I honestly didn't feel great on my serve today.  I really didn't.  I think yesterday I felt pretty good.  I don't know.  Like I said, I just got to watch the film.
I thought my serve was off, and apparently clearly it wasn't, so...  Maybe I should be off a little more (laughter).

Q.  Winning a doubles title with Venus, what would that mean with what she's gone through?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  It would be so awesome.  We really are in the doubles and we're having so much fun.  You know, we played really well today actually.  We're really enjoying ourselves, so we really hope that we can hope we can win two matches in doubles.

Q.  You had the great win against the defending champion, then beat Victoria, No.1, and now you play Radwanska, who has a great game.  There might be a chance that a player might either come down or come out flat.  At times you've had problems along those lines.  How do you come out firing and intense even though it's a Wimbledon final?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  Well, it's the Wimbledon final.  I don't know any other way to come out except my best.  Radwanska has been playing well.  She won Miami.  She's been consistent this year, more consistent than I have.
That already tells me from the beginning I really need to go out there and be ready to hit a lot of shots and be ready to play hard.
She has great hands and she does everything so well.  If I come out flat, I won't win.

Q.  It seems that even as you've gotten to age 30 you've improved your serve.  How have you done that?  How would you describe your serve as a weapon when you're at your best?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  I don't know.  The older I get, the better I serve, I feel, and the more ‑ not I rely on it ‑ but the more I like to hit aces.  But in my whole career I've hit a lot of aces throughout the tournaments and stuff.
I don't know how it got better.  I really don't know.  It's not like I go home and I work on baskets and baskets of serves.  Maybe it's a natural shot for me.

Q.  And as a weapon, how would you describe it?

Q.  Early in the match the crowd appeared to be laughing at some of Victoria's soprano noises.  Did you notice it or think it was disrespectful at all?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  Yeah, I didn't know what was going on.  I was just out there for a semifinal match doing the best I could.

Q.  The Centre Court crowd have a reputation of being fair and appreciative of good tennis.  Would you be surprised if they dissolved into laughter of that nature?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  Well, I didn't hear too much laughter.  I think people were there to see a great semifinal, and I think they got one.

Q.  Last year you had a great hard court run.  The comeback was just getting started.  You fell short in the US Open.  This year you had the clay court run.  A lot of people thought you were the favorite for the French; that fell short.  Is there something about your experience here that feels different, that gives you confidence to think you can go all the way this time?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  No.  I've just fallen short those few times.  I think, if anything, it helped me.  It helped me realize you can't be perfect; you can't win 'em all; you can go and definitely try.
That's all I'm doing, is just trying.

Q.  I'm curious about a statement you made after the last match you were in here.  Djokovic said the exact same thing.  I wonder why athletes say this.  'I had nothing to lose.'  You're a multi‑Grand Slam champ.  What do you mean when you say that?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  In particular, going against Victoria I think she had a better year so far than I have.  She's ranked higher than I am.  I felt like it was her match, you know, to show up and to do, and I was in a position where I really just didn't have anything to lose.
Win, lose, or draw, I'm doing the best that I can.  Uhm, yeah, so that's kind of how I felt.

Q.  For somebody who is watching this from afar, not a tennis fan, they see you lose in the first round in the French Open and now you're in the final of Wimbledon; how did you get from there to here?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  It wasn't easy.  I'm still getting there, you know.  I didn't play well at the French.  I played an opponent that actually played really well.
You know, I'm still working on just trying to stay focused for this event.

Q.  When you get this deep in a tournament here, how much does the playing surface change?  Have you noticed since the beginning of the tournament till now it's bouncing differently, especially by the worn patch of grass by the baseline?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  Yeah, it changes.  I think it's maybe a better bounce when it's more green.  But this is still a good bounce.  It's not so bad.  It's kind of worn in, almost a little more hardcourt‑y, which is always good for me, so...

Q.  Radwanska will become No.1 in the world if she beats you.  Azarenka will be No.1 in the world if you win.  Do you think Azarenka will be the No.1 just for the computer and not for the public opinion if you win?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  No.  I mean, I think she's proven herself.  She's been doing really well.  She's more than proven herself to be the No.1 player.

Q.  What about you?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  I'm still getting there, you know.  I'll be there.

Q.  What gives you more satisfaction in a game other than match point?  Is it hitting a big passing shot?  Cracking a big ace?  What is the most fun and why?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  For me probably an ace.  It's the most reliable like, okay, yes, you don't have to think, don't have to do anything, just hit an ace.  It's like a lazy shot (smiling).

Q.  Did she start playing a lot better in the second set?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  Yeah, I guess she definitely played better.  I think I lost a little speed‑‑ not speed, but intensity.  That's the word.  I lost a little intensity, and I can't believe I did that.
But, yeah, overall I think she got better, as well.

Q.  What would a 14th major mean to you, especially a fifth here?  That would tie you with Venus.
SERENA WILLIAMS:  That would be cool.  That would be really cool.  That's obviously what I want.
You know, I'd be tied with my Aussie Open thing.  That would be really cool.  I really, really want it.  I really hope I can get it.  You know, I'll try the best I can.

Q.  With which man will you be dancing after the finals here?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  Oh, that's the biggest myth.  There is no dance.  It's just a dinner, that's it.

Q.  Who do you think it will be?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  I think Djokovic has been playing great.  He's gone a little bit under the radar in this tournament.  I think you can never count Roger out.  He's the greatest that played tennis.
Then you have Murray and Tsonga.  Gosh, so I don't know.  I don't know.  I have no idea.

Q.  What is the biggest challenge in the finals?  Is this an opportunity for you to really use your overpowering skills in this particular matchup?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  I think if I try to do too much overpowering I can be led to a lot of errors, so I don't know about that.
I think my biggest challenge is Agnieszka is really, really good at everything.  She has unbelievable hands.  She's running every ball down ‑ every ball down.
It's going to be challenging.  It's not easy at all.  She's already ranked ahead of me, so I think it will be a really good match.

Q.  You spoke a little while ago about the road from last year.  When you think though even before that about the lows that you experienced with your health, what is your enjoyment of this experience and being back in a final after all that you've been through?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  Well, I'm just happy.  I'm so happy to be playing.  I'm so happy to be on the court.  I feel like this is where I belong.  I mean, maybe I don't belong in a relationship.  Maybe I don't belong somewhere else.  But I know for a fact I do belong on this tennis court.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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