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July 6, 2012

Serena Williams


THE MODERATOR:  Questions, please.

Q.  You had your left ankle heavily strapped a couple days ago.  Doesn't seem to be giving you any problems since?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  I strap it every day, every match, every practice.

Q.  That was during the match.
SERENA WILLIAMS:  It was too tight so I had redo it.  It was nothing.

Q.  Aga was too sick to talk today and you were out winning a doubles match with your sister.  Do you think that's a good sign for tomorrow?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  No.  She's definitely resting up for tomorrow.  She's looking good and getting ready.  This is a big thing.

Q.  Do you wish you were resting up today or would you rather be out there playing?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  Yeah, it would be good to have a day off, but also it's good to practice in doubles because I get a lot of match play, practice some returns, some serves.
It was fine.

Q.  Your dad said yesterday there was a time a couple years ago when you thought you would never play again.  At that time were you frustrated, angry, scared?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  Yeah, I was definitely I think frustrated.  Not scared, because ‑‑ actually I don't think even 'frustrated' is a good word.  I think it was more or less like wasn't even thinking about tennis.  I just wanted to make it through everything that I was going through and become a survivor.  I've been able to do that.
I've been through so much in the past year or two years it's been unbelievable.  So, you know, if you just keep keeping on, you can do it.

Q.  Going back to your opponents, when you know that your opponent has been struggling with illness or injury, is that something you allow to get into your mind, or can allowing that to get into your mind affect the way you play?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  No.  I just, you know‑‑ I really like Aga.  She's a great girl.  I hope her the best and have a great match on Saturday.

Q.  You've had, shall we say, a pretty unusual life.  What is the best part of being Serena Williams?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  I never thought about it.  You know, I have a great job.  I get to do what I love and have a lot of fun with it.  I don't know.
So maybe that's it.  Not every day you get to do things you really love.

Q.  Are you proud of the survival piece of your life?  Is that something that gives you a lot of pride?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  Yeah, definitely proud to have been able to be able to come back as opposed to not.  So it's always good.

Q.  What would it mean to you to get your Wimbledon title back?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  Oh, my gosh, it would mean a lot to me.  But, you know, I have to get there, get that, so hopefully I'll do it.  That would be awesome.  But, I mean, I have two chances to get one title, and hopefully I'll be able to do something.

Q.  Did you think that might not come again at one point?

Q.  You always believed?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  I don't play unless I feel like I can win.  That's why I play tennis.  I'm not playing to come in last place.

Q.  The other day Andy Murray compared his quest for a championship to LeBron James, a long time coming, a difficult road.  What is your perspective on what Andy Murray has gone through with the attention here in England and the possible matchup with Roger Federer?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  It's great for him.  I'm a big Andy Murray fan.  I love watching him play.  I think he's really exciting.
So, you know, he's doing well right now.  I think he'll obviously have the crowd behind him, which also could be a little nerve‑wracking.  Could be a little nervous playing at home.  It will be so amazing for him to do well.

Q.  What kind of pressure do you sense there's been all these years on him?  Can you see that comparison with LeBron James?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  Yeah, I mean, definitely with the tennis press.  They always talk about the top four, the big four.  He's obviously a part of it.  You know, obviously LeBron, ultimate talent but hadn't won a championship until now.
But it was bound to come, and I think Andy's day is bound to come, whether it's this weekend or some other weekend.

Q.  Virginia Wade recently called Andy Murray a drama queen.  Wondering how you would compare your own drama to his.
SERENA WILLIAMS:  I don't know.  I mean, I love watching him play because I think it's so exciting.  You never know what he's going to do.  He's running every ball down.  He looks tired and then he comes back.  I think it's awesome.  He's really one of my favorite people to watch for years now, so...
If that's being a drama queen, it's really exciting.

Q.  How would you compare your game now to when you last won here two years ago?  Are you better, worse, different?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  I don't know.  I'm not living so much in the past.  I haven't even thought about that, I think.  About two years ago I was playing excellent.  Hopefully I can just play excellent again.

Q.  Is your serve better now?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  I hope so for tomorrow it will be better, so hopefully.

Q.  You'll have a chance to become the first 30‑something Grand Slam champion on the women's side since Martina back in 1990.  What is your reaction to that notion?  Do you feel like an old‑timer?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  No.  I feel really good and healthy and great.  Like I said the other day, mentally I'm 12.  Hopefully I can grow up.

Q.  You were saying earlier in the tournament you had to improve and get better.  I think you said you've got no chance if you played like you did in one of your earlier games.  Are you feeling happier now with your game?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  Yeah, obviously.  Definitely I'm feeling much better.  Whew, thank goodness, because I wasn't looking so good in the first round.

Q.  Yeah.
SERENA WILLIAMS:  You're not supposed to agree (laughter).  But it got better.

Q.  Early on here you talked about being a glass half empty kind of girl; you've also talked about now trying to stay positive.  Where is your mindset now?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  You know, just positive, live for the moment.  You know, the past is the past.  Any match I've won in the past is in the past.  For me, because I tend to dwell on, Oh, I didn't do that so good; I didn't do this so good.
But I have another chance to try.

Q.  I spoke to your dad yesterday, and he was in absolutely no doubt.  Serena will win he said.  A lot of people are making you the overwhelming favorite to win.  Is it difficult for you to shut that out?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  No.  I have to go out there and win.  Agnieszka has had a better year than I have.  She's been way more consistent than me.  She's done really well, so she's ranked higher than me.  She deserves to be.
You know, I have to go out there and fight for this.  This is by no means going to be easy.  Never, ever do I underestimate any opponent.  She's out there to try to do her best.

Q.  Are you still going to play Palo Alto?  Sloane Stephens earlier in the tournament was saying she was having lots of fun with you and you are a complete goof ball.  Do you take that as a compliment?  Talk about that.
SERENA WILLIAMS:  Yeah, I mean, I'm still entered in it and I have a flight on Monday to go there, so I plan on being on that flight.
Sloane is great.  I'm always teasing her.  We have a lot of fun.  I absolutely love hanging out with her.  She's funny.

Q.  Did you learn anything about yourself or preparing after losing to Sam the way you did at the Open last year when you were such an overwhelming favorite, or is it a one‑night thing and you put it away?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  Well, uhm, that was tough for me.  I played a lot of matches.  Not more than I did here, but I was really tired.  I really tried.  Also had just came back from a year off, so I think ultimately it was a really great effort for me.  I don't know why I was such a heavy favorite.  Maybe because I had such a great summer.
But, you know, for me, I was just happy to have made it that far.  I mean, if you look at where I'd came from, after Wimbledon I was ranked almost close to 200.  I fought back.
So that's the one loss that I didn't beat myself up over because I felt like, Serena, look how far you've come and look how far you will continue to go.

Q.  Are you making a point with your water bottle with its logo?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  I love Gatorade.  I drink it all the time.  You should try it.

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