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October 24, 2012
S. WILLIAMS/N. Li
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.
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.
SERENA WILLIAMS:¬† Yeah.
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.
SERENA WILLIAMS:¬† Okay.
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