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October 24, 2012

Serena Williams


7‑6, 6‑3

THE MODERATOR:  Questions, please.

Q.  Strange match, because normally you win a lot of points on your serve, you lose sometimes the point on your return.  Today the opposite.  I never seen you losing twice a love game when you were serving for the set.  How do you explain it?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  My serve was a little off.  That's the only way to explain it.  I think the good news is I can serve better and I can play a lot better than what I did today.
That's what I have to focus on.

Q.  Do you think she has a very good return also?  It's only your serve?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  I think she has a good return, but I don't know how she can return a ball that's in the net or out.  I think most of my serves were either in the net or out.
I lost serve today more than in all of Wimbledon.  You know, it just wasn't a good serving day for me.

Q.  Do you have any explanation for these troubles today?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  I was just thinking about it too much.  Felt like I didn't serve well yesterday, and then I thought about it.  I just need to not think and just play.

Q.  Serena, in some ways, though, it's not such a bad thing winning a match against a very good player when you're not serving well.
SERENA WILLIAMS:  Exactly, yeah.  It is, because I know I can serve a lot better and hold easier and maybe the score could be different.  I was returning okay.
But knowing I was able to win still with, for me, zero serve compared to how I normally serve, I think it's something good I can take out of the match.

Q.  So the early frustration with the racquet, you don't break too many in matches.
SERENA WILLIAMS:  No, I don't break racquets in matches.  Although I didn't hit it hard and it kind of broke.  Maybe I don't know my own strength.

Q.  You sort of knew early on things weren't going well.  Did you anticipate you would be fighting yourself the whole night?
SERENA WILLIAMS:¬† Yeah, it didn't go as well as I planned, and I just tried to‑‑ I guess I got angry, but try not to get so angry like that and I wasn't able to control myself.
But sometimes I play better after I get really angry.

Q.  Why do you think Li Na knew is always a tough player it play?  You guys play a couple of tiebreaks almost every match you apply against her.
SERENA WILLIAMS:¬† Oh, because, you know, we both usually serve really well and consistent‑ usually.¬† I guess today we both returned well.
You know, I just think that was probably the main thing.

Q.  Can you talk about the difference you feel about her as a player before her winning the Grand Slam last year?  At that time you were not playing at all, so you are the perfect player to talk about how different is she before her winning and right now.
SERENA WILLIAMS:  I think before winning a Grand Slam she was really hungry and wanted to do well but she hadn't been able to cross the border, so to say.
But I think now she has a lot of confidence because she has that Grand Slam; she's in history for the rest of her life; she's made so many people proud; she's just playing with no fear.
I think that makes a big difference.

Q.  You seemed quite emotional on the court the last few days; is that a fair comment?  Is there any particular reason for it?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  I've been emotional probably 28 years of my career, so...
I think I haven't been as emotional the past few months.  If you look at most of my matches, I'm really, really emotional.
I'm going to try to go back to being more calm.

Q.  You said you've been in Europe a long time the other day.  How long?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  Good question.

Q.  Weeks?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  Was I here for my birthday?

Q.  Happy birthday, by the way.
SERENA WILLIAMS:  I think I was here since before my birthday.

Q.  That's a while.

Q.  Because why?  You wanted to work out with Patrick?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  Yeah, I was training in Paris.  I love Paris; I love the city.  I don't love the new tax rules, so I make sure I'm not there too much.
Yeah, just working out and getting ready for indoor.  Maybe I was better off relaxing, though.

Q.  It's sort of a change of pace for you to come over to Europe in the fall and practice.  First time really, no?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  It is the first time.  But when you've been playing professional for 15 years you need a change sometimes.  I feel like I welcomes if.  Usually I'm in the States and I'm doing this and that and that.
For me it was nice to do and try something different.  You know, it keeps me excited and it keeps me motivated.  It's almost like I'm starting over.  When you first come out on tour you have so much excitement and you're so hungry because everything is kind of new.
I feel like it's all coming back like that for me.

Q.  Your mom is here and Patrick is here and Sasha is here, and they all have roles in your life.  Who is coaching what percentage and how does that work out?  Do you get overwhelmed sometimes with the three of them all talking to you at the same time?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  It can definitely be overwhelming.  I think Patrick is doing most of it.  I talk to my dad a lot still.  My mom was out there today telling me some things and I was just thinking how helpful it was.
I was thinking, Wow, she's right.¬† You know, she says things that are so calming sometimes‑ not all the time ‑ but she says things that are so calming for me and makes me remember what got me to this stage.
So I like having that balance, but definitely, yeah, mostly Patrick.

Q.  You're next match here is against Victoria, which is the match that everybody started talking about when the groups were made here for this tournament.  The stakes are a little different in this sort of situation, because you both could be already qualified for the semis before that match even starts.  How does that sort of make this match different?  How important is it for you to do well and win that match?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  It's important for me to do well and win every match I play.  You know, she's playing well.  She's had a stellar year.
Yeah, I don't want lose whether it's against her or whether it's against anybody else.

Q.  Why do you think the matchup has been good for you against her in the past?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  I think she hits a good ball for me and I like it.  I know her game really well; she knows mine really well, too.  We've played each other a lot.
So, yeah, I think that's it.

Q.  You mentioned the word "change" and how coming to Europe was a bit of a change.  Seems like this year there are a lot of changes that you made.  You've played a fuller schedule; you stayed in Paris to train after the French.  Talk about that a little bit, the motivation to shake things up, I guess.
SERENA WILLIAMS:¬† You know, it was kind of all by chance.¬† You know, I didn't want to change.¬† I have a place in Paris, and so I figured I would stay a little longer and then ‑‑ I did not plan on staying longer, but it just so happened.
I don't remember the first part of your question.  I played a fuller schedule.  I have played a full schedule this year, so it's good.  It was really good for me to play a lot, which goes to show you that I'm still really, really motivated to do well and do a very similar schedule next year.

Q.  Can I just try to understand a little bit more about the match of today.  Again on the serve you hit 51% of serves in, okay?  You made the same sort of points with the second serve than with the first.  You served 51% on first serve and 51% of second serve.  You made exactly the same sort of points.  How do you explain it?  Whether you served first or second, she returns the same or doesn't make any difference?  Should have made a difference.
SERENA WILLIAMS:¬† No, my serve didn't go in today.¬† How does that equal ‑‑ 51 and 51, isn't that 102?

Q.  You made 20 points out of 39 on first and 21 out of 41 on the second.
SERENA WILLIAMS:  Oh, okay.  I see what you're saying.

Q.  So it's same percentage.

Q.  It's strange, because normally if you put the first serve in you should make many more points.
SERENA WILLIAMS:  Well, let me tell you, every time I got my first serve in tonight I was surprised, so I wasn't ready for the ball to come back.  That's what happened.  (Laughter.)

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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