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August 3, 2012

Serena Williams


S. WILLIAMS/V. Azarenka
6‑1, 6‑2

THE MODERATOR:  Questions, please.

Q.  Was the waiting hard?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  The only time I'm patient in life is for my tennis matches.  So I was totally fine, totally relaxed, sitting down, not doing much.

Q.  Did you watch it?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  No, I didn't actually because I was waiting to warm up in the hallway.  I didn't want to change my, you know, superstitious‑type thing.

Q.  You've been winning by lopsided scores ever since you got here.  How much does it surprise you to do that against a player ranked No.1 in the world?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  I was really surprised.  I kind of was blind today.  I didn't even know where I was going.
But you're playing the best player in the world, you got to play well.  You can't go out there and not play great.  She's No.1 for a reason.  You know, I felt like I had nothing to lose, just going for it.

Q.  What is your reaction to being in the final with two players who have at a golden slam?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  One of us is definitely going to get it.  That will be great.  I'm excited to have that opportunity.  Roger is in the final, too?  That makes three.  Roger, me and Maria.  The odds are good.  It will be good.

Q.  Can you put that in perspective?  Is a singles gold the only thing you feel like you're missing?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  I don't feel like I'm missing anything.  I feel like if I were to retire last week, I would be fine.
I've had a fabulous career and I'm having so much fun now in my career that I'm not missing anything.  Whether I win or lose, that's not the big deal.  The big deal, for me, USA is guaranteed another medal.  I'm guaranteed to just go out there tomorrow and have fun.  That's all I can do.

Q.  What you were just saying about your career, in one sense do you feel whatever you're doing now is like gravy?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  It's a little extra, definitely extra.  I mean, with me it's never enough.  So this is cool that I have a little more, a little extra.  I'm excited.
But I like a lot of gravy on my chicken.

Q.  Just wondering if you got a chance to check out Gabby Douglas last night, the significance of what she accomplished?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  The all‑around gold.  I have chill bumps.  Oh, my gosh.  I'm obsessed with Gabby Douglas.  She's gorgeous.  She's amazing.  She's so great at what she does, she makes it look so easy.  She just smiles.  She smiles so much.  To be the first black girl to do this, it couldn't happen to a better gymnast.  She's basically the best gymnast in the world.  She proved that.  She did so well.  She just makes it look so easy.  I don't know how old she is, but she can just go leaps and bounds with her career, do so much.
I love her.  I couldn't be more happy for her.  Really, whew, it's amazing.  I want my picture with her.  I might have to hold her because she might be so small.  Tennis players are bigger than gymnasts.

Q.  What about your thoughts about the matchup with Maria?  What do you have to do well?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  Well, Maria does everything really well.  She's improved so much from week‑to‑week.  I mean, the worst thing for her to do is lose because the next time she comes out, she wins and improves, she never looks back.
For me, that's going to be really important, knowing I'm playing a great player, French Open champion.  I have to really do my best.  I don't have anything to lose tomorrow.  She's No.3 in the world.  I just do the best I can.  Whether I win or not, it will be just a great opportunity for me to get this far.

Q.  How similar or different does this feel than when you were here in a similar position just a month ago?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  I'm way more relaxed this time around.  First match I was nervous playing against Jankovic.  I just wanted to really do well for USA.  Now I'm just a little more relaxed, easygoing.  I feel a little better about everything.

Q.  What about the tournament itself?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  I love it.  Usually we do the press in the mixer thing.  I absolutely love that.  It's fun.  It's just a great vibe to have the USA fans, all the other country fans that come out and root really, really hard.  It's an unbelievable experience.

Q.  You say you don't feel like you're missing anything in your career.  Do you feel like you're getting extra chills or different kind of chills playing here for the United States at the Olympics?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  No, I feel that I'm definitely here for the USA, to help 'em out, get more medals.  I'm definitely guaranteed one tomorrow.  For whatever reason, I'm really relaxed, and I'm just enjoying myself.

Q.  Speaking of great Olympians, Michael Phelps just won another race.

Q.  Yes.
SERENA WILLIAMS:  That's outrageous.  It's ridiculous.

Q.  Any reflection on him?  I also wanted to ask, the men obviously played an incredible thriller today.  Is the tournament bringing the best out of you in a different way in terms of domination?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  Maybe it is.  I think so.  I just feel like something about this tournament is just making me play well.  I'm moving better.  I feel just really solid.  You know, just maybe 'cause it's not what I worked for my whole life, to get a Grand Slam.  I'm not like stressed out, this could be it, number 14, number 15 now.  I feel like whether I get a medal or not, I'm happy.  Do this, get this far, I never thought it would be like this, especially such a quick turnaround.
I just think all of it is kind of going together.  The men's final was super crazy.  I think the wind played a big factor.  It was so windy out there today.  I think that kind of made the match even crazier, but it was good.

Q.  On Phelps?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  On Phelps?  I don't know how you can achieve what he's achieved.  It just doesn't seem possible.  Sportsman of the century pretty much sums it up.

Q.  What would you say is going to be the key in the match against Maria?  Is it going to be your serve or something else?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  I don't know.  I'm just going to go out there and do what I can.  If I win, great.  If not, you know, I have a doubles match after.  I have to focus on that.

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