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September 3, 2012

Serena Williams


S. WILLIAMS/A. Hlavackova
6‑0, 6‑0

THE MODERATOR:  Questions, please.

Q.  Losing 12 games in the first few rounds total, what does that say about the way you're playing and the state of your game?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  I don't think it says anything.  I just think it just says I'm focused.  I take that back.  It says I'm focused, but it just says that I'm just trying like everyone else to be consistent at to do the best that I can.

Q.  What's your evaluation of what you've done so far?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  I honestly don't think I started out strong in the tournament.  I feel like today I'm getting more comfortable with the court and comfortable with the conditions.
I'm getting back to more my game, which is good.  You know, I like to play better during the second week.  Hopefully I can do that.

Q.  You still have four‑and‑a‑half hours between your singles match and doubles, so about three and a half left.  What are you going to do in that time?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  I'm going to go hang out with my mom and Chip and I'm going to see my sister and probably get something to eat.
Then I'll get ready, start getting taped to get ready for the doubles.

Q.  What do you think about the scheduling?  Would you have preferred to play back‑to‑back singles and doubles?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  Yeah, definitely prefer to play back‑to‑back, but I'm not one to complain about scheduling.  At least I have a match as opposed to not having a match.  That's how I try to look at it.

Q.  What are your thoughts on Ana Ivanovic, where she is and as she tries to get back to that top level that she was at a while ago?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  She's playing well.  Every time I play her in particular she plays really well.  She goes for a lot of shots.  She's such a big hitter.  Even though she's really fit, she's hitting so hard.
She's always playing so well.  Obviously being No. 1, having that Grand Slam under your belt, she knows what it's like to win.

Q.  What do you remember most about your last match with her?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  Was it here?

Q.  A year ago.
SERENA WILLIAMS:  Okay.  Yeah, I remember clearly not a lot, but I will be looking at the film.  (Laughing.)

Q.  How would you rate how you feel now, how you're playing right now?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  I feel good.  I feel like I'm playing better.  I felt like I hit better today than I had in my other matches.
I wanted to do better.  As each match goes on I want to try to get better.

Q.  You spoke on the court about balancing and intensity.  How are you doing that?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  I'm just telling myself to stay calm, stay relaxed.  That's the main thing I tell myself.  Everyone tells me to stay relaxed.  My whole theory is everyone can't be wrong.  Okay, Serena, maybe you need to stay relaxed out here.

Q.  Sisters get annoyed with each other and so do doubles partners, but I don't think I've ever seen you and Venus disagree with each other on court.  Do you ever recall disagreeing?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  We try to be very professional out there.  We disagree on‑court then maybe other people would be more excited.  In general I can't ask for a better partner in doubles ever, so I don't see anything I should be upset about or disappointed with.

Q.  Who's in charge there?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  Venus is the leader.  She's definitely the leader.
I think she was the leader because when we first started she was older and obviously so much better than I was.  She always took the lead position.
So she's definitely the leader, but we are both such A‑players and such A‑type personalities that we both can be leaders if one of us is down.
I can easily take over that position, and I welcome it.  So it's great.  It's the best chemistry.

Q.  You have had a long great career, but if you could go back before you started playing and face a player in a match, whether it be Billie Jean or Chrissie Evert, Althea Gibson, what legend would you enjoy playing in a match?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  For probably for sure would choose Althea out of those names because being the first African‑American tennis player and having to do what she did sleeping in cars and just everything.  I think it would be really cool to just hit with her.

Q.  She brought a real athleticism and ferocity to the game.
SERENA WILLIAMS:  I think she brought more than athleticism.  She was thinking on the court.  She clearly had to because there wasn't a lot of pace back then.  Had to be pretty precise and hit your shots.  I think she did all that really well.

Q.  You're an elite tennis player, really competitive.  Still when you go up 6‑0, 5‑0, is it hard not to feel a little sympathy?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  No, in this particular case she was fighting really hard.  You give people any type of chance, especially in tennis, the match is never over until you shake hands.  There is always a comeback available.
So I didn't want to give her that opportunity ‑ or anyone that opportunity ‑ to try to come back, especially her in particular.  She was getting so pumped up and she never gave up.  I thought that was really incredibly positive.

Q.  If somebody just looked at your scores to get to this point, especially today, they would think you've had an easy road.  Is there any misconception to that, do you think?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  I think my road has been a journey.  I don't think anything's easy.  I don't think anything is easy.
I never play a person and say, Oh, that was an easy opponent.  No, I have never done that.  Everything takes some type of match and mental toughness.

Q.  Could you just talk about comparing runs at tournaments?  You have had a relatively clear, easy time here.  Wimbledon was really tough.  There were a couple of huge scares there.  You were on the precipice.  What's the difference?  Is there any advantage at all of getting that so close to being knocked out?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  There's definitely an advantage.  I think my last round, my third‑round match, I was pushed a little bit.  That really helped me to prepare for today.
So I think I've gotten that push that I needed.  No need for me to go 9‑7 or 7‑6 in the third or 8‑7 or whatever.  I clearly am not‑‑ whatever.
Yeah, so it's definitely something that I think is sometimes good.  When I have had enough match play and I'm really match fit and I'm really physically fit, so I feel like it's not going to make a difference whether I'm winning 7‑6 in the third or 6‑Love in the second.

Q.  On Thursday you were frustrated with your performance, it seemed, even though you won.  After that match you said here that maybe you woke up on the wrong side of the bed.  Today you played even better, played dominant.  How are you feeling these days?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  I feel better.  Thursday I was a little disappointed in the way I played; Saturday I played a little better in the second; so today was better.
That's how it should be in my game.  I try to improve every day.

Q.  What sense do you have of the havoc that your serve creates with opponents?  How would you describe what your serve does?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  I don't know what it does because I have never faced it.  (Laughter.)
Q.What do you think it does
SERENA WILLIAMS:  And I don't want to.
I don't think about that.  Like I'm not one to sit there and say, It's so good, it's so good, I want it to keep being better.  I want to do more with my serve.
I honestly don't think about it.  I just think, Okay, hold serve, hold serve.

Q.  Where is it now compared with the best serves you have hit...
SERENA WILLIAMS:  I think I hit unbelievable serves at Wimbledon and the Olympics.  I'm not in that level yet, but I always try to play better in my last matches of a Grand Slam.

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