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July 7, 2012

Serena Williams


S. WILLIAMS/A. Radwanska
6‑1, 5‑7, 6‑2

THE MODERATOR:  Questions, please.

Q.  Talk about the stress of dealing with that third set, because certainly the match turned around.  If I would have told you 15 years ago you'd be right here with five Wimbledon titles, what would you have said?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  I would have believed you, for sure.  I'd be like, All right, cool.
So, I don't know.  I tried to stay more calm in the third than I had in the second.  So that was my thing.  I just got too anxious and I shouldn't have been so anxious.

Q.  Why did you get anxious?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  There's no reason in particular.  I just think that I was, you know, playing aggressive a little more than the first set.  Then I have to give credit where credit's due.  She started playing really, really well.
She started playing excellent grass court tennis, getting a lot of balls back, and I panicked a little bit and I shouldn't have.  I usually don't.  So, yeah.

Q.  Why were you so excited if it's something you've been working on?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  No one hits more dropshots than me in practice.  I'm shocked I don't hit more in a match.  Every other shot for me is a dropshot.
Today when I hit it, I didn't even think about it.  I'm going to hit a dropshot.  I thought she was going to run it down, but she didn't and I was so happy.

Q.  You celebrated because you pulled off the dropshot or because you knew you had the match in hand?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  It was definitely for the match, because I knew I need to break then.  And I knew that if I could break then then I would have two breaks, and that way if I got a little nervous I could serve it out twice.
So that's what I thought about.  After that, it was, I can definitely do this.

Q.  When you won here two years ago you had an incredible amount of things happen to you, up and down, up and down.  Can you sort of review the low points, the foot and everything, a month ago at the French, then coming back to this high level.
SERENA WILLIAMS:  Yeah, gosh, definitely had some lows.  Like I said on the court, there was a moment on the couch‑‑ I didn't say that on the court.  That's too much.
There was a moment I just remember I was on the couch and I didn't leave the whole day, for two days.  I was just over it.  I was praying, like I can't take any more.  I've endured enough.  Let me be able to get through this.
I didn't give up.  I was just so tired at that point.  I had a tube in my stomach and it was draining constantly.  Gosh, I mean, right before that I had the blood clot.  I had lung problems.  You know, then I had two foot surgeries.  It was a lot.  It was a lot.  I felt like I didn't do anything to bring on that.  I felt like, uhm, I just felt down, the lowest of lows.
You know, coming here and winning today is amazing because, you know, literally last year I was ranked almost 200.  You know, it's been an unbelievable journey for me.
The French Open was so disappointing because I won Charleston and I won Madrid.  I did extremely well in Rome.  I was undefeated on clay.  I had a lot of confidence.  You know, when I lost that, that really got me down.
But I stayed in Paris and started training with Patrick, and I think I was really excited for that.

Q.  In the middle of the third set you hit four aces to win a game.  That's when the wind dropped.  Was the wind bothering you in the second set?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  No, I don't remember much wind.  So I don't think that was what bothered me.  I just think Agnieszka started playing much better.  She never gave up.  She just decided she was there to win Wimbledon, as well.

Q.  Have you ever hit four aces in a row to win a game?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  I do that all the time now.  I did it in Madrid.  I think I did it earlier in this tournament.  That's my latest and greatest thing to do, is hitting four aces in a game.  It's awesome.

Q.  After the match on court when you thanked your family and mentioned Esther as well and said you couldn't have done it without them.  Can you elaborate on what exactly they did to help you through that emotional time?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  Well, Esther, Val and Isha in particular, and Jill, from the day I got to the hospital until the day I left, they never left the room.  Like they slept there, all three of them.  And they didn't have to do that.  They didn't owe me that.
My sister owed me that.  Isha owed me that, but Esther and Val definitely didn't.  That meant a lot to me.  You know, even though I was trying to keep the spirits up, everyone was making jokes, it's hard to find people in your life that sleep there every night you're there.  They're sleeping on a chair.  I'm not comfortable, but at least I'm on a bed.  They're sleeping huddled on a bed.
Those are memories that, I mean, I'd rather not endure them, but if you have to endure them, it's unbelievable to have those people by your side.

Q.  We've seen your mentally tough side.  I think we saw your vulnerable side a little bit more this Wimbledon.  Can you talk about that.
SERENA WILLIAMS:  Uhm, I don't know.  What do you mean vulnerable?

Q.  Emotionally vulnerable, letting it out a little bit on court; we don't see tears that much.
SERENA WILLIAMS:  I think when you go through a lot of tough things you just kind of let down your guard a little bit and just be yourself.
I love being me.  I'm a normal person.  I like it when people get to see that side of me.  I'm always crying in movies.  I was actually crying the other day watching Desperate Housewives.  So maybe I should stop (smiling).

Q.  What made you get off that couch?  How can you top this, what you've done today?  What more do you want from life?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  I remember Esther, she came up to me and she was like, God is really going to help you through this.  He never gives you more than you can handle.  I think she saw that I was really, really, really down.  So that really helped me, or else I would still be there.

Q.  What could top this now?  What more do you want from life?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  Are you kidding?  The US Open, the Australian Open, the French Open, Wimbledon 2013, The Championships.

Q.  After the couple of bad years that you fought through, I guess this has to be the beginning of a new good phase rather than the culmination of it.
SERENA WILLIAMS:  It's the beginning of a great phase.  Nice to have great people around you.
You know, I feel amazing out there.  This whole tournament I felt really great physically.  So I think it's definitely the beginning of something great.  I hope it is.

Q.  Martina was in the box, Steffi too.  Are they real targets now?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  I don't see why not.  I don't see why not.
My target is the next tournament, followed by the next slam.  You know what I mean?  I don't think that far in advance.  Just let me do a little bit at a time.

Q.  People going on about the 30 business, you still have plenty enough years in you?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  I have never felt better.  This whole tournament I have pretty much been injury‑free.  I played so much.  Normally I play two events, but this one was different because I played every day, two matches a day for a while.  I haven't done that in a long time, and I felt great, so...

Q.  Roger was in here yesterday talking about the fact when he was playing Novak, he was flashing back to the US Open, the match point that he lost.  Today when you're playing, do you have any flashbacks to what happened in Paris?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  No.  You got to let that go.  I let Paris go, you know.  He clearly let it go, too.
I'm not thinking about the last time I lost.  I'm thinking about, This is the time I can win.
But I have never played Novak, so...  I promise you, if I did, I definitely would be thinking about the same thing that Roger's thinking about, for sure, hands down.

Q.  A moment ago you described the journey to this moment.  How has that journey affected your appreciation of this title in different ways than all of your others?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  Well, each title is definitely special.  This one is super special.  It's Wimbledon.  I've wanted to win here so bad.  Oh, my gosh, I still can't believe that I was able to come through and win my seven matches, yes.
So each one's different.  This one obviously is special to me because it's a huge comeback for me.  You know, I couldn't ask for anything else.  I really couldn't.

Q.  How would you describe the way you dominated in this tournament with your serve?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  Yeah, my serve really helped me throughout this tournament, I think.  I don't know.  I can't describe why it was so good or how it was so good.  Like I said, it's not like I practice it that much.  I just had the rhythm, you know, kind of felt it.

Q.  Roger often talks about Pete Sampras being one of his idols growing up.  Does it mean anything to you that you have 14 slams like Pete Sampras out of 18 finals like Pete Sampras?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  Oh, wow.  I didn't really know that.  Ill really loved Pete when I was younger.  My dog's name is Jacquie (indiscernible) Pete after Pete Sampras, so obviously I'm a little bit obsessed.
So, yeah, I mean, I didn't realize it was the same stats.  Clearly my career is not over, so I definitely want to do a few more.

Q.  With this campaign out of the way, with all the trophies you have, how important is the Olympics gold medal singles to you?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  I haven't even thought about that yet.  I was just trying to get through Wimbledon.  You know, it would be awesome.  For me a gold medal's a gold medal.  I've got one, so I'm really happy with it.  I've got two actually.

Q.  We're used to seeing you bounce back quickly from whatever trials and tribulations you're going through.  Why was this one a longer road and tougher?

Q.  Your knee injury, and you came back...
SERENA WILLIAMS:  Oh my God, are you kidding me?  Last year I just played Wimbledon and I got to the finals of the Open.  That's not bad, Doug.  That's a pretty fast bounce‑back to me.

Q.  Your support team said that God was with you.  What else went through your mind?  What did you do to turn it around and get through it all?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  You know, I got up.  I didn't just stay there.  I got up.  You know, that's what you got to do sometimes.  You pray and pray.  I'm a pretty spiritual individual so I'm always praying.  I rely on Jehovah to give me strength.  I definitely couldn't have done it without my faith.
I got up and I started.

Q.  Can you describe the appreciation you have deep inside being different now winning this tournament than years ago because of what you went through also, but just everything?  Is it a different feeling now?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  I don't know.  I still haven't believed that I was able to win here.  Maybe that's a little different.  It hasn't sunk in.  Usually it sinks in fast.
I don't know.  I'm also thinking about my doubles match because I want to be able to do well and hold up a trophy there, too.  Regardless, we're excited to be in the final.
But I don't think it's sunk in yet.  I feel like I have another match or something.  Do I have another match?

Q.  Did you model any of your serve on Pete?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  I used to when I was younger.  I used to want to serve just like Pete.  But I think my motion changed.  It doesn't look anything like his.  But I definitely wanted to.  That was the intention.

Q.  How did it change?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  I don't know.  I don't know.  I didn't want it to change.  It just kind of became my own.  It became Serena Williams'.

Q.  When you put your achievement alongside Venus' here at Wimbledon ‑ obviously that's 10 of the last 13 Wimbledon championships that you two have won ‑ what in your mind is the single kind of defining explanation for what makes the two of you so well‑suited to this tournament?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  Well, we have great serves on grass.  We're both moving really fast.  I don't love grass, to be honest.  I always say that every year.  I'm like, Gosh, the grass.  I'm not the biggest grass court player because I always get bad bounces and I'm always complaining, and I hate it when I get a bad bounce.
But for whatever reason I do really well here, so I don't know.

Q.  Now that you've won the singles, do you feel a kind of pressure to want to win the doubles for Venus' or your sake?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  I'm out there, too.  I don't want to lose, so I definitely want to do the best I can in doubles.  I don't feel any pressure because, I mean, regardless, I won Wimbledon (laughter).

Q.  How will you feel going into this doubles match?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  No, I feel good.  I'm ready to play.  I got my match outfit on.  Usually I come in with something different, but I'm ready to go.

Q.  So no pressure from Venus?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  No, no pressure, please.

Q.  We talked for a long time over the years about the difficulty of your position of you and Venus having to play each other.  Can you talk about how maybe you've lifted each other up.  Would you have as many if Venus didn't exist?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  I don't know what I would have if Venus didn't exist.  I don't even know if I would own a Grand Slam title or if I would play tennis, because we do everything together.  Growing up I copied Venus, everything she did.  She was a real big influence for me.
So when she started winning, I wanted it so bad.  When she became No.1, I had to be No.1.  I had to work harder.  I had to do everything in my power to get there.
I have no idea what would happen if she wasn't around.

Q.  Venus has talked about this, and you have, too.  She's the older sister and picks you up when you're down.  She's been through some tough times recently, too.  Has the relationship changed where you've come into more of a supportive role now?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  I definitely do.  I have to be more supportive.  She's so strong.  I can't imagine what she lives through every day.  So she's an incredibly strong individual.  Not only do I feel like I have to be more supportive, I've always been pretty supportive, but I also feel like I have to be really understanding even more so and just‑‑ you know, I don't know.  I just am so influenced and amazed by her playing and doing so well.  It's just amazing.

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