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January 19, 2013
S. WILLIAMS/A. Morita
THE MODERATOR:¬† Questions, please.
Q.¬† I know you just crushed your opponent, but you got behind at the beginning of the second set, so maybe you can say something positive about your opponent.
SERENA WILLIAMS:¬† Actually, I only have positive things to say.
I thought she played really well.¬† She played at a level higher than I expected so it took me off guard.¬† She was just consistent, really consistent.
Q.¬† Can you share what you said at the net?
SERENA WILLIAMS:¬† I just said she did a good job, that's about it, because I thought she did.¬† I thought it was a good match.
Q.¬† Where are you feeling your level is going into the second week?
SERENA WILLIAMS:¬† I feel good.¬† I feel today was actually a really good match for me.¬† I was involved in a lot of longer points, something I definitely wanted.
I feel good.¬† I hope I can keep this level up and go higher.
Q.¬† So your ankle is feeling better every day?
SERENA WILLIAMS:¬† Yeah, it's okay.¬† It's doing a little better every day.
Q.¬† You're able to practice hard?
SERENA WILLIAMS:¬† No, I'm definitely able to practice hard, so...¬† It's definitely doing better.¬† I'm still taking it a day at a time.
Q.¬† What did you say to Venus at the end of last night's match?
SERENA WILLIAMS:¬† She didn't play her greatest.¬† What I said had nothing to do with tennis.¬† Actually I was complaining about someone.¬† I didn't have anyone else to talk to.¬† I said, I'm sorry to bring this up, but I really need to talk to someone (laughter).
Q.¬† So far, especially in this tournament, you turned your ankle, hit yourself in the head with the racquet.¬† What's next?
SERENA WILLIAMS:¬† Nothing.¬† That's it.¬† I'm done.¬† I'm done.¬† That was it.¬† Just wanted to do two things.¬† Now I got it out of the way.
Q.¬† The 207 serve, two matches in a row, do you keep track of things like that?
SERENA WILLIAMS:¬† Definitely.¬† I went for it, but I wasn't going for it that hard.¬† Every time I go for it, to hit it really hard, it goes in the 190s.¬† When I hit the 207, I was like, Okay, the first one wasn't luck, maybe I can hit a 207.¬† So it was pretty cool.
Q.¬† Have you ever gone faster than that?
SERENA WILLIAMS:¬† I've never gone 207, so I've never gone faster than that.
Q.¬† Is the game against Kirilenko to go more than 207?
SERENA WILLIAMS:¬† No.¬† My job is to do the best I can.¬† Maria is playing consistent tennis, especially the past 16, 18 months, she's been so consistent.¬† So my goal is just to be really focused against such a player that's doing so well.
Q.¬† What is your record against her?
SERENA WILLIAMS:¬† I don't know.¬† I have no idea.
Q.¬† You've played her five times and you've never lost.
SERENA WILLIAMS:¬† Well, she beat me at the Open in a doubles.¬† She's probably going to take that into consideration in the match.
Q.¬† Where do you put your doubles titles with Venus compared to your singles titles?
SERENA WILLIAMS:¬† They mean a lot to me.¬† They count at Grand Slams.¬† I'm really excited that I've been able to win so many doubles titles.¬† I mean, people that are winning a lot of singles titles, nowadays, in the past decade or two decades, usually don't win as many in doubles.¬† So I'm almost even with my singles and doubles.
I think it's really cool.¬† It shows that I'm a really all‑around player.
Q.¬† You spoke already about having a new frame of mind this year, how you feel more calm than before.¬† Can you talk us through the evolution a bit.¬† What changed for you?
SERENA WILLIAMS:¬† No, I don't know what changed.¬† I think it all started in April last year.¬† I injured my other ankle, incidentally.¬† I had to rebuild my confidence.
Then in April I just started‑‑ actually, that's not true.¬† I keep getting my years mixed up.
I think it was 2011 when I first came back from everything and I played the summer hard courts.¬† I think I started playing really well.¬† For whatever reason, I just started getting really calm.¬† I didn't grunt as loud, even though I grunt more today, but I wasn't grunting as loud.¬† I wasn't making as much noise.¬† I don't know, I just became really calm.
Q.¬† What did you say at the end of the match to her?
SERENA WILLIAMS:¬† I said that it was a good match.¬† I thought she played really well.
Q.¬† Did you see any of the Lance Armstrong program?
SERENA WILLIAMS:¬† I was glued to the TV.
Q.¬† What is your reaction to what you saw?
SERENA WILLIAMS:¬† Well, I think a lot of people have said a lot of things about how they feel.¬† I think as an athlete, as someone that works really, really hard since I was four or three, you know, I think it's a sad day for all athletes in general.
But I think overall it's even more disappointing for the people that were adversely affected through everything.¬† You can only just hope for the best for them.
Q.¬† Do you worry about the sport of tennis?
SERENA WILLIAMS:¬† Well, I think as a fan of tennis, if anyone was a fan, I think everyone‑‑ like I said, it's sad for all athletes.¬† Unfortunately, I think a lot of people now look and are like, Okay, if somebody that great, what about everyone else in every other sport?
Q.¬† Can you talk a little bit about Jamie Hampton?¬† She nearly beat Victoria today.¬† What did you see about her game when she was your practice partner in Kharkiv?
SERENA WILLIAMS:¬† I thought she was great in Kharkiv, Kharkov, I don't know (laughter).¬† I'm blank.
I loved hitting with her.¬† I thought she was just an open gem.¬† It looks like she finally cracked open and she's showing her true colors.
But I wasn't surprised because I only wanted to hit with her because she was hitting so well.¬† She's doing a great, great, great job.¬† I thought, Wow!¬† I think she's taken that, with the talent she already has, she's manifesting it.
Q.¬† To bring it back to Armstrong, did you know him or meet him?
SERENA WILLIAMS:¬† You know, the only thing I knew about him was that he dated Sheryl Crow.¬† I met him once very briefly, and that's it.
Q.¬† When was that?
SERENA WILLIAMS:¬† Incidentally, I think it was last year, late last year.¬† All these years run together for me.¬† It was somewhere around the US Open.¬† It was definitely the US Open 2011, I think.¬† Maybe.
Q.¬† Some kind of awards thing?
SERENA WILLIAMS:¬† No (laughter).¬† Actually, we were giving a speech, and I think he was one of the speakers.¬† I guess that was an issue now with a lot of the stuff.
Q.¬† Was it an ESPY thing?
SERENA WILLIAMS:¬† No.¬† I was giving a motivational speech, and he was one of the speakers.¬† It was around the time of the US Open. ¬†It was late August, early September, so...
I ran in because I was running late.¬† I didn't prepare.¬† But it worked out.¬† I think he was on before me or after me.¬† It was just really fast.
Q.¬† Did you listen to him and are you now more disappointed because you were possibly inspired by what he said?
SERENA WILLIAMS:¬† I definitely didn't listen to him.¬† I didn't hear his speech.¬† It wasn't on purpose, you know.¬† So it was just by chance.
Q.¬† Did you read his book, the first one?
SERENA WILLIAMS:¬† I didn't know he wrote a book.¬† I know Sheryl Crow wrote a song about him, but I don't know which one it was.
Q.¬† Getting back to tennis, you watched the match last night.¬† If you make the final this year, you're going to most likely face Maria Sharapova.¬† How do you think you'll go about beating Sharapova in the final?¬† She was very good last night.
SERENA WILLIAMS:¬† She's playing great.¬† I think she's doing everything well.¬† I have to get there.¬† I have three more matches to win.¬† One, two, three matches before I get to the final.¬† I don't know.¬† I'm not doing well today.¬† I hope I can get there.¬† I can't worry about that right now.¬† I just have to take everything a step at a time.
Q.¬† On another note, the former tennis player Gussie Moran passed away this week.¬† She was famous in the 1940s and '50s for becoming the first woman to wear short tennis skirts, scandalized Wimbledon.¬† She was ahead of her time.¬† Can you imagine a time...
SERENA WILLIAMS:¬† When I'm dead (laughter)?
When you look at the history of tennis, especially at Wimbledon, you see these women wear these long gowns.¬† I don't know how they could have possibly played in that.
I know the name Gussie.¬† I know the name, but it didn't ring a bell.¬† So I guess someone always has to be first.¬† I think that, you know, obviously she made a way for not only tennis players but just women in general in sport.¬† Like you don't have to wear a dress to your ankles to be a female athlete playing sports.
I think being a trailblazer is honorable.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports