|Browse by Sport
|Find us on
October 23, 2012
S.Â WILLIAMS/A. Kerber
THE MODERATOR:Â Questions, please.
Q.Â It's been a while since you played.Â Just talk about how you felt it went, whether you had rhythm.
SERENA WILLIAMS:Â I felt okay.Â Just kind of getting in my rhythm a little bit.Â Obviously trying to do more, but really just feeling my way around pretty much.
Q.Â Are you okay physically?Â Do you feel you're moving all right?Â Body responding to what you want it to do?
SERENA WILLIAMS:Â Yeah.Â I feel like I'm moving fine, getting a lot of balls back, being really defensive, running down dropshots really easily.
So I feel good.
Q.Â You lost to her last time you played in Cincinnati.Â You seem to have a pretty good record in your career of avenging losses.Â Is that something that can motivate you on court?
SERENA WILLIAMS:Â Honestly, you know, you don't really think about it too much‑ at least I don't.Â Obviously I go into the match‑‑ what I do is go into the match more focused thinking, Okay, she's beaten me before so she's going to be a little confident and feel like she can beat me.Â What can I do to improve?
Q.Â You were not here last year.Â How do you find the grounds, atmosphere, and the supporters?
SERENA WILLIAMS:Â I found it nice.Â I've never been here, but I never knew I had so many Turkish supporters.Â It was really an honor to hear the fans go crazy and be really loud when I walked out.Â It made me have this smile on my face, and even bigger smile inside.
So it felt really good.
Q.Â We saw you quite emotional out there, kind of fist pumping and screaming.Â Was that intensity?Â Nerves?Â What were you going through emotionally on court today?
SERENA WILLIAMS:Â I really wanted to win today obviously.Â When you're playing anyone that's in the top 5 you just are trying to play better.
She won last time we played, so I really just wanted to do well today.
Q.Â How much do you care about finishing No. 1 as opposed to winning majors?
SERENA WILLIAMS:Â Obviously I would rather win majors.Â I've been No. 1 and I would love to be No. 1 again.Â I think maybe one day I will.Â We'll see.
But, you know, for me, I just feel if I keep winning tournaments, majors, tournaments like this, and playing well and consistently, the ranking will come.
Q.Â Obviously you had a great summer, but you haven't played since the US Open final.Â Coming out tonight, were you wondering, How am I going to hold up?Â Am I going to be able to play as well?Â Am I going to be rusty?
SERENA WILLIAMS:Â Not at all.Â I felt like I was ready to play.Â I felt like I practiced too much, and if I hit another practice ball I'm going to go nuts.
So I just really wanted a match.Â I was glad I played first on the first day. Â I was like, if I have another practice day, you know, I don't know if I can handle it.
Q.Â Did you follow the Lance Armstrong stuff at all?
SERENA WILLIAMS:Â No, I've been in Europe so long.Â I just heard that‑‑ I don't know.Â I don't even know what I heard.Â I heard very, very little about it.
Like I guess‑‑ I saw someone tweeted that they striped him of his titles.
SERENA WILLIAMS:Â And I just read that tweet like today or something.Â So obviously I know what's going on, but I'm not really...
Q.Â Not really about the specifics, but you're aware of who he was.
SERENA WILLIAMS:Â Yeah, obviously Lance Armstrong for a lot people in sports has been a legend.
Q.Â So for something like that to happen to a legend where all of his titles are gone and his reputation is trashed, just your reactions to that.
SERENA WILLIAMS:Â You know, I don't know.Â I don't know what happened.Â I wasn't there.Â I don't know if everything is true or if everything is false.Â He's saying one thing apparently, right?
Q.Â He never tested positive but the government found him guilty and striped him of his titles, yeah.
SERENA WILLIAMS:Â Interesting.Â Yeah, I don't know how that works.Â I just know that he's had a lot of cancer; I know he does a lot for charity.Â Â Although that doesn't necessarily mean that he's able to do other things; however I don't know what he did.Â Like I said, I wasn't there.
Q.Â Do you feel testing in tennis ‑ you talked about this before ‑ do you feel it's stringent enough?
SERENA WILLIAMS:Â Stringent enough is putting it mildly.Â People show up at my house at 5:00 in the morning trying to test me.Â You never know when they come.
I mean, I think, yeah, I get tested a lot.Â I don't know about the other players, but for me it's a pretty intense system, and I know a lot of the players feel the same way.
Q.Â Â Kerber's coach said it was very high level for first match, and he said for Kerber it was new experience and she was really excited and felt it at the end.Â Do you remember yourself for your first experience for your first master?Â How did you feel during your first master, and were you as excited as she was?
SERENA WILLIAMS:Â Yeah, I could feel that she was really excited all week long.Â She's really happy to be here and feels honored to be here.Â She deserves to be here because she worked hard and has been one of the most consistent players constantly on the tour. I think ten semifinals is really pretty impressive, and winning titles as well.
I think she definitely was excited, and she will have a lot more chances to play at this event.
Q.Â And about your first experience in a masters, do you remember it?
SERENA WILLIAMS:Â No, I don't.Â I think it was back in the 1800s.
Q.Â You told us that it's your first time here.Â How will you spend your free time in Istanbul, and what are going to be the souvenirs you will take home?
SERENA WILLIAMS:Â Free time, I haven't had too much.Â Hopefully I'll have a day off soon.
Q.Â After the tournament.
SERENA WILLIAMS:Â After the tournament I'll go see the Old City and the New City, is that right?Â The Old City and then there are some only other things to see, so we'll see. I'll see, that is.
Q.Â Talk a little bit about what the WTA was like for you in terms scheduling and commitments and tournaments before 2009 and the Roadmap and how it differs from how it is now?
SERENA WILLIAMS:Â It's always been difficult.Â It's always been a disaster and a nightmare in the past, and I think the Roadmap really helped.Â I know a lot of players were really, really unhappy before the Roadmap commenced, and I think that addition ‑‑ and I think in general Stacey Allaster has been a great leader for the WTA.Â Completely for the tour and completely unselfish.
I think above all, that has been a great model for our female tennis players.Â I think that's the reason why it's been so successful.
Q.Â Some of the younger players have been a bit more vocal about wanting more flexibility sometimes with the tournaments.Â They I feel like it's a little bit constricting in what tournaments they can or can't play.Â What's your response to that, or do you feel the same way?
SERENA WILLIAMS:Â Being on both sides I feel like this is pretty cool, because there are some events that you know you're going to be able to play week in and week out.Â You have your big events and your other events.
So I have nothing to complain about, because I think this is much better than the other system.
Q.Â On a very small organizational point, the in the men's championships they play on alternate days.Â You've had to play today and tomorrow.Â Do you think it would be more sensible if you played it group by group so you're all playing on the same day?
SERENA WILLIAMS:Â I think so.Â I really think it would be more sensible like that.Â I'm also prepared to play on any day, any time, anywhere, any surface.Â Â Doesn't really matter to me.Â I have no complaints.
Q.Â I think after this you go to Africa; is that right?
SERENA WILLIAMS:Â Uh‑huh.
Q.Â Talk about your plans for your off‑season schedule and how rest for next season works into that?
SERENA WILLIAMS:Â Seeing it's been 20 years since I've had a vacation, I decided not to take one again this year.Â I'm going to go Africa and do a lot of things, play where they've never seen us play, Nigeria and South Africa.
It'll be fun.Â I've never been to those‑‑ I've been to South Africa but not Nigeria.Â I think it'll be cool and a positive experience not only for me, but for the people and the kids there just getting knowledge of not only tennis but also other positive things and the Serena Williams Foundation as well.
Ultimately if it means I won't be going on a long vacations I'm not upset, because, I mean, for me, I love going Africa and I love that experience.Â It'll be amazing.
Q.Â You going to play against Li Na tomorrow.Â What would you like to say about this game?
SERENA WILLIAMS:Â It'll be interesting, and definitely a tough match.Â She's been playing really well.Â Obviously to make it here you have to be playing well.
So I look forward to it.Â It will not be easy, but I don't think any match in this tournament is easy.
So you have to be ready.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports