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TEB BNP PARIBAS WTA CHAMPIONSHIPS


October 22, 2012


Serena Williams


ISTANBUL, TURKEY

THE MODERATOR:  Questions, please.

Q.  You're coming from where tennis is important and popular.  In Istanbul tennis is just developing.  According to you and your experience, to improve the importance of tennis and tennis education, what will the Federation or parents do?  What will they do to train for it?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  I think having an event like this, the Championships, with the eight players that did the best in the world this year, having them here is a great way to improve knowledge of tennis in Turkey.
I think it's a great start.  Hopefully we can continue to have this relationship by having a tournament here and having players participate like we have this week.

Q.  After the US Open, your coach, Patrick, said something about how tired you were from all the tennis you played this summer and all the winning you had to do, and what you needed the most at that point was rest.  Have you been able to get enough rest, do you think, coming back into this very intense tournament?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  Yeah, I definitely needed to rest.  After that it was a really, really intense summer for me, and I think my body was really feeling it at the Open towards the end of the second week and even before that.
I've gotten some rest.  Hopefully I'll be able to do somewhat decent here at the last tournament of the year.

Q.  When did you get back on court after taking time off?  How long have you been practicing?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  I started a while ago, like before Beijing.  Obviously I wasn't training every day.  I got sick in between there.  Yeah, I started before Beijing.

Q.  Can you just talk and compare this year, 2012, to 2002 when you won three slams and probably had more titles?  Is there a bigger sense of accomplishment this year than then?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  Yeah, I think 2012 is a little bit more of a sense of accomplishment, seeing that in 2002 it was great and I had no injuries and no comebacks and I had no serious issues.
So I feel like back then I was really just cruising and on the rise.  Now it's a different scenario because I've been through so much in my life.  I've had triumphs, disasters, happy moments, and I've had sad moments.
I think when your career comes complete circle like that you can really appreciate every win more and more.

Q.  There have been some remarkable images of you on tennis courts this year.  As you say, some triumphs, some disasters.  Is there one moment, do you think, that really encapsulates the Serena Williams of 2012?
SERENA WILLIAMS:¬† That's a tough one.¬† I think winning Wimbledon was really awesome because I hadn't won a Grand Slam in a year or two.¬† I had been through so much at that point, so having a chance to win another Grand Slam ‑‑¬† after I won,¬† I kept saying, I won.¬† I won Wimbledon.¬† I couldn't believe it, because I didn't go in as a favorite but I came out the champion.
Who would have known if I would have ever won another Grand Slam before that happened.  It was a pretty awesome moment.

Q.  I believe you said that you were a little bit surprised at all the success you've had in the last three months.  Does that mean after the real hard time you've been through that your attitude towards tennis has changed a little bit?
SERENA WILLIAMS:¬† I think I love the moment being on court.¬† I love walking out and seeing‑‑ I love winning, just to be honest.
My attitude probably has changed a little bit.  For the most part, I love being out there.  It's definitely work, but it's a great moment to do something that you love so much, and to be able to do it, like I always say, halfway decent.

Q.  You won lots of tournaments and trophies this year.  You've had a great season.  And also prize money as well.  If I my ask, how are you going to spend it?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  How am I going to spend it?

Q.  Yeah.
SERENA WILLIAMS:  That's a good question.  I don't know.  Maybe I should do more with charity.  I have my big charities that I'm doing stuff with now.  We'll see.
I'm not a big spender.  I'm not a big spender, so...

Q.  Can you talk about Li Na a little bit?  You haven't played her for a while.
SERENA WILLIAMS:  Yeah.

Q.  At least two years since Wimbledon in 2010.  She's now a Grand Slam champion.
SERENA WILLIAMS:  Well, Li Na is obviously a great player.  It's been a while since I've played her, but she hasn't been off my mind whatsoever.
She's been playing excellent and qualified for this event, so she's clearly one of the top eight players of the year.
Winning a Grand Slams is always a pinnacle of everyone's career.  Being the first Chinese individual to do it is, I think, spectacular.  I was so excited for her.
Yeah, I just think she's going to be a tough opponent.  Everyone in this competition is going to be tough from the first to the last match.

Q.¬† You tweeted a couple hours ago that you had a what‑was‑I‑thinking moment.
SERENA WILLIAMS:  Yeah.

Q.  Can you share?
SERENA WILLIAMS:¬† No, I absolutely cannot share.¬† It was definitely a what‑was‑I‑thinking moment.¬† I'm glad I'm not in that moment anymore.

Q.  You shared a little bit last night about how much Venus winning a title last week meant to you.  Talk about your parallel comebacks and winning a gold medal together.
SERENA WILLIAMS:  It's going great.  I am so excited that Venus was able to win last week.  Yeah, last week now.  But it's really great.  She's been through so much, and to still be able to play top tennis and win tournaments is amazing.  Also shows her desire, that she's not done.
Of course I knew it, but now other people can see that she has no plans on stopping and only just improving.

Q.  Can you tell me what was the first thing you will do if you win the tournament?  Anything in your mind?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  Oh, that's a long ways away.  I would love to win this tournament.  Believe me, I would.  So we'll see.
I don't think about it, because‑‑ no, I don't know.¬† I don't know.

Q.  So much of what happens in women's tennis in a sense over the last ten years comes back to how you're playing and how you're doing.  Is that something you're aware of, and does that bring extra responsibility?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  Yeah, it's cool.  I just feel honored that I'm even considered like that.  First of all, I've been in the game so long and it's just been a great journey.
I always felt like if I'm playing well, feeling well, if I'm healthy, then I'm definitely one of the competitors, whether I was playing Lindsay or Venus or, you know, any of the new players now.
It's amazing that I'm still considered like one of the top players to beat.  So for me it's the ultimate honor and the ultimate compliment.

Q.  What would be your objective criteria for player of the year, and how do you think you fit in in the discussion?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  Well, there are a lot of players that won Grand Slams:  myself, Maria, and Victoria.  I think that's one of the criteria.
There are also other players who have been consistent, like Agnieszka, who has won some big tournaments.  You know, so I don't know.  I don't know what the criteria is.

Q.  But for you, do you think this week should play a big role in determining who that is?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  I think qualifying is definitely a really big obstacle.  You know the answer to that.  (Laughter.)

Q.  You're drawn in the same group as Victoria, so we'll get a rematch of the US Open final.  Talk about that match, about that matchup.
SERENA WILLIAMS:  It's going to be a great matchup.  She has not stopped since January.  She's been so consistent this whole year.  It's good to see someone playing so consistently throughout the whole year.
It'll be interesting to see our matchup.  It'll be fun.  Regardless of what happens, I'm going to have a good time.  I know she's going to give 200%, and I am going to go out there and do the same.  So it will be a nice match.

Q.  You have been the younger sister in your family your whole life.  As the eldest player in this tournament, to be your younger sister who would you like to pick and why?
SERENA WILLIAMS:¬† I really like Victoria's‑‑ I like all the players here.¬† I get along with everyone.¬† I love Victoria's attitude.¬† I have a lot of respect for her.¬† So she could be my younger sister for the week.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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