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August 1, 2012

Serena Williams


S. WILLIAMS/V. Zvonareva
6‑1, 6‑0

THE MODERATOR:  Questions, please.

Q.  Are you still at the peak of your game that started to come on when you won Wimbledon?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  I think I played better today and even in my second round than any match I played at Wimbledon.
You know, today I was just playing unbelievable.  I felt good.  I was relaxed.  You know, I felt like, you know what, I'm here to have fun, I have nothing to lose.  No pressure on myself.

Q.  Today did you feel as if it was going to be one of those days where everything was going to click?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  No.  I was nervous going into the match.  I didn't speak to anyone.  I had a bad practice.  I was thinking, Gosh, I'm stressed out.  I had no idea I would play like this.
I was a little surprised.

Q.  Four aces in one game.
SERENA WILLIAMS:  Yeah.  I'm trying to do that at least once a tournament.  So far I've done it.  I don't think I did it in Stanford, but two‑out‑of‑three isn't bad.

Q.  Three matches in, does this feel like a regular Wimbledon to you or can you tell that something is different?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  I feel like I've played nine matches, and oh, God, I'm only in the quarters.  I think it's because I'm playing doubles.  I played here not too long ago.  I think they're all running together.
I'm feeling good.  I'm really excited to be here.

Q.  You play Errani and Vinci.  What do you know about them?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  They're the No. 2 seed.  We have a really tough match.

Q.  On grass, come on.
SERENA WILLIAMS:  You know, it's going to be a little difficult.  So we'll see.  Hopefully we'll win.  We had a tough doubles yesterday.  Gosh, we're playing every day.  At least they have that on their side, rest.  We're going to have to really bring it up.

Q.  Who is better between the two?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  I don't know.

Q.  They said you are better than Venus.
SERENA WILLIAMS:  Oh, really?  Cool.  So maybe they'll hit all the balls to Venus and I'll relax.  That's the mistake.

Q.  In badminton, four teams were expelled for tanking matches.  Have you ever experienced tanking in tennis?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  In tennis, I think it's totally different.  No one wants to lose points.  No one wants to tank.  You do that in practice.  I do it all the time (laughter).  But I never do it in competition.
I think this is great.  The Olympics have really cracked down.  A couple people got kicked out.  Now this.  The Olympic Committee is taking everything serious and I appreciate that because it's an honor to be here at the Olympics every match.  No matter who you play, who you're against, you go out there and do the best you can do.

Q.  Do you ever lose your sense of awe after all the times you've been here?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  I'm more in awe.  This year, I don't know, but I'm just like, Oh, my God, this is the Olympics.  What's going on?  I want to trade pins, go to the village, see other athletes, see other events.  Of course, that never happens.
But I'm excited that I have next week off.  I couldn't stay in Beijing.  I had to leave the next day to go to the US Open.  This is going to be cool.

Q.  Where will you go next week?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  I definitely want to see some athletics.  I've never done that.  By then I think the gymnastics will be done.  Whatever is left over.

Q.  Have you been in the Olympic Village?

Q.  You and your sister play as a team in the doubles.  In the singles you are opponents.  Talk about that.
SERENA WILLIAMS:  It's tough, especially when Venus is playing the way she did yesterday, and hopefully she'll continue to play like that.  I was inspired by her.  I watched her.  I said, Serena, you need to play better or she's getting the gold.
I think as opponents, we totally inspire each other.

Q.  Which would you prefer, a gold in doubles or singles?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  To be completely honest, a gold in doubles.  I would love to have a gold in singles, but if I had to choose one, I would just choose doubles.

Q.  Do you keep your gold medals with your tennis trophies?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  I keep them with my pin collection.  Each Olympics, I have a fantastic pin collection, so...

Q.  How is the pin trade here?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  Going good.  I need to get back to the village, so it's tough.

Q.  You know that a lot of young people admire you, respect you, you inspire them.  What inspires you and who inspires you at the Olympic movement?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  I think the women's gymnastics last night was ridiculously incredible for USA.  Everyone did so amazing.  I had chill bumps, water and tears in my eyes.  I was just so happy.
Seeing Michael Phelps get the 19th medal.  I'm real good friends with Ryan Lochte.  I'm texting him congrats, congrats, every day.  It's just like all that inspires me.
It's like we're here as a team.  Even though we're over here and they're over there, we're all playing for the same country.  It couldn't feel better.

Q.  Any special pride in seeing Gabby, an African American, being the best?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  How amazing was that?  She was the best in the whole world.  I still get chill bumps talking about it.  How many people, how many kids, how many African American kids are going to look up to her?  It's really so emotional for me.  Oh, I love her.  I watched her a little while ago.  So impressed.  Her whole body is so fit.  I absolutely love her.  I'm amazed.

Q.  What means more, winning at all costs or treating your sport with honor?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  You know, winning at all costs means absolutely nothing.  If you win by cheating, you know, for me I would never feel good about that, so...

Q.  How much would you support the Olympics to be played in Africa and where?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  That would be cool.  Of course, I wouldn't make that Olympics, but that would be really cool.

Q.  Do you have any idea why the younger players have such a tough time catching up with you?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  I don't know.  I was thinking about that.  I work hard.  I don't know.  There's one thing I can do, I said earlier:  I might not be good at relationships, good at, you know, whatever, but one thing I'm good at is tennis.  That's my talent.  I can do it.
Yeah, if I didn't have these injuries, it would have been better.  But things happen for a reason.  I'm not even going to complain about it.  I'm just happy to be halfway healthy now.

Q.  Is it different to try to beat Venus one‑on‑one?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  I hate to practice with her.  We were practicing here the other day on Court 4.  She killed me.  I walked off the court.  I told Mary Joe, I can't practice with her.  She was hitting winners left and right.  I was like, Are you serious?  I just left.  It was too much.

Q.  What about the competitive situation?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  It's a little difficult.  But we've been doing it for so long.  I literally don't look at her, I don't think about it.  I think, In 10 years am I really going to care?  We'll still be sisters, so let me just think about 10 years from now.

Q.  There was a time when tennis wasn't part of the Olympics.  What has it added to your career that you have this Olympic experience as well?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  It's cool.  My whole career, I have a chance to play in the Olympics, it's been cool.  I wish other people that came before me had that opportunity.  But, you know, a lot of them didn't.

Q.  You had one 'c'mon' today?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  Just one?  I'm trying to stay really relaxed out there.  I do a little more ballerina stuff that I'm totally not trying to do.  I'm thinking, If I say 'c'mon' too much, I won't be in focus.

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