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WESTERN & SOUTHERN OPEN


August 17, 2012


Serena Williams


CINCINNATI, OHIO

A. KERBER/S. Williams
6‑4, 6‑4


THE MODERATOR:  Questions, please.

Q.  In the match today, how did you feel going out there like right before the match?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  I felt really good going out there today, much better than my other two matches.  False alarm.

Q.  Was there anything that Kerber did that threw you off?  I know this was your first time playing her.
SERENA WILLIAMS:  Apparently I played her before, I guess.  No, she didn't do too much that threw me off.  Her game is pretty straightforward.  You know what to expect.  She's getting a lot of balls back.  She played really well today.  I think she served more up the T than I expected.
I really hope to play her again in New York and be ready for that one.

Q.  Before your match ended, Venus was in here and she said that she thought that after all the matches you have won and played so successfully the last month, main thing you needed was rest at this point.  Would you agree with that?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  Definitely.  It was probably for the best that I didn't win today, even though I wanted to win.  But maybe my body was like telling me the not to.  I don't know.

Q.  How many days will it be until you get back on the practice court?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  See, me, I would go out tomorrow, but I don't think my father would want me to.  We'll see.  I don't know.  I really want to go out there tomorrow, though.

Q.  What would you work on?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  Well, probably first need to work on my attitude.  Second, I don't know, just movement and I don't know.
Probably just need a break.  So I definitely won't be going out tomorrow.

Q.  What do you mean about your attitude?  Did you not feel like you had a good attitude out there today?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  No, I felt really positive.  I was just joking.

Q.  Are you headed straight to New York or going home first?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  I haven't decided yet.  The plan was to win and then go to New York, so now I'm kinda like, What do I do?

Q.  Planning on staying and watching Venus' semifinal tomorrow?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  Absolutely.  I'm a great cheerleader.  I will be happy to watch her and cheer for her.  She's doing really good.

Q.  This was the second longest win streak of your career.  I mean, you're playing some pretty good ball.  Does it feel like that to you?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  I don't feel like I played well at all in this tournament particularly, but I felt like I played well at the Olympics and before that, you know, in the clay court season.

Q.  Was there any problem this week about adjusting to the courts?  Andy Murray said that it was difficult for him to, you know, get the feel after being on grass for so long.
SERENA WILLIAMS:  Yeah, I don't like to make excuses, but I really definitely was not adjusting the way I hoped.
But that's no excuse.  I think Angelique played really well today and she wanted to do really well in this tournament.

Q.  How much does momentum carry from one tournament to another, whether it's positive or negative?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  It definitely carries a lot.  You know, when I lose I play better.  I get more determined.  I get dangerous.
For me, that's momentum to do better and to come out with a more solid plan.

Q.  You obviously had a lot of practice winning big titles and then having to move on right away and refocus on something else.  Was it different with the Olympic gold?  Has there been any sort of emotional letdown or trying to move on after that?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  Yeah, I'm still pin trading, actually, so that's kind of been really tough to let go every time I play the Olympics I trade pins like crazy.  I'm still wearing the USA tops and everything.
You know, I really enjoy playing the Olympics.  It's one of my favorite events to play.  I really look forward to it.  I'm sad it's over.

Q.  Are you saying you have been trading pins in Cincinnati?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  Yeah.  It's pretty sad.  I might need help.  (Laughter.)
Q.What are your goals for the US Open?  Are you planning to take seven tennis dresses?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  I always do, so I will have my seven lined up.  Hopefully I'll get through them.  That's my goal.  I got seven last year, so...  (Rolling eyes.)
That's not necessarily the goal this year is to get and win seven, but honestly just playing and competing and being healthy is my main goal.  I think I'm pretty much there.
I'm playing doubles, so I'm excited about that.  I haven't played doubles there in a long time.

Q.¬† What's your favorite thing to do in New York off the court?¬† Venus said private‑room karaoke.
SERENA WILLIAMS:  It's so funny she said that, because I was just talking to my physio today about how the first thing I do when I get to New York is I'm going to karaoke.  I hadn't karaoked in, gosh, since like February or January.  I'm a karaokier; normally I karaoke every day.  I haven't been able to karaoke since February.
Now I'm just overwhelmed.  I have so many songs I want to sing.  Venus is excellent, though.  She walked in someone else's room session and started karaoking with them.  They must have been so excited.

Q.  What's your favorite song to sing?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  It depends.  Right now I'm in this really '90s moment, so I'm in this whole Air Supply kind of thing, bit of Irene Cara.  Right now I'm really into Making Love Out of Nothing At All by Air Supply.  I don't know why.  It's really random.
Yeah, so I honestly can't ‑‑might miss Venus' match and go directly to karaoke.

Q.  You sound a little hoarse.  Does your voice need some rest?
SERENA WILLIAMS:¬† That's another thing.¬† I have had ‑‑I call it the Adele syndrome.¬† Not that I have an Adele voice.¬† (Laughter.)
My voice is so terrible, but for whatever reason, you know, it gets hoarse a lot.  I don't think I could have been a rock star because my voice would never have lasted more than an hour.

Q.  For the second year you're probably going to go into the US Open as "the" favorite, or at least one of the favorites.  Is that a burden?
SERENA WILLIAMS:¬† No, it's not.¬† You know, I embrace being that.¬† I also embrace ‑‑ like at Wimbledon I wasn't the favorite and I was shocked.¬† I actually got angry.
So, you know, I don't know if it's better not to be a favorite or better for me to be a favorite.

Q.  The last couple of matches you have had here you have had to change your hairstyle very early in the match with the wind and stuff.  Are you planning on preparing differently for the US Open?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  I'm going to cut it.  It's too long.  It grew.  It grew too much, and I'm going to have to cut like two inches so I can have my fun hair.  It's like ridiculous right now.
Because I like to wear it crazy, and with all the wind I can't do it.  It keeps getting in my eyes.  Then I put it in a bun and it's not as cute, so...  (Demonstrating scissors.)
Q.How do you and Venus decide which tournaments you're going to play doubles together?
SERENA WILLIAMS:¬† We stopped playing ‑‑we both got injured in 2010, and at Wimbledon‑‑ at the French Open we didn't play doubles.¬† I wanted to play mixed and we didn't win.
I looked at Venus and I said, I don't care how you feel, we're going to pull through this.  I know you're going through a tough time, but it's going to help your singles and we're going to play doubles at Wimbledon and we're going to make it to the Olympics and we're going to do it.
I think ever since then we have been wanting to play doubles.  We'll probably play at New York.  We wanted to play here but I just didn't have the energy.  But she did.  She probably should have sat me down and told me the same thing, but she didn't.
So we hope to play maybe in Beijing.  I really want to play in Beijing.  So, yeah.

Q.  Did you get a chance to watch Venus' match at all?  What do you think about her form lately?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  She's playing much better than I am.  Why are you nodding your head?  (Laughter.)  You're not supposed to agree.  Was I that bad this week?  I'll be better, I'll be better.  I'll be better in New York, I promise.
Yeah, but she is.  She is playing a lot better than I am.  Moving better.  Everything she's doing is great.  Serving well, moving up to short balls, she's hitting well.
I thought I was inspired, but I couldn't transfer it over to my game.

Q.¬† You got Sloane Stephens and Taylor Townsend coming up behind the two of you.¬† What would you say not just to them but to the eight or nine year old African‑American girls who are inspired by you two right now?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  Well, there is also Madison Keys and Asia Muhammad doing really well.  I would say, Keep it up.  We work hard to be in the position that we are in, Venus and myself, and we never forget where we come from.  We never forget our color and we embrace it and we love it.  We wouldn't have it any other way.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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