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February 11, 2013

Serena Williams


THE MODERATOR:  Questions, please.

Q.¬† I would like to know how you're feeling.¬† Are you feeling 100%?¬† Injury‑free?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  I'm feeling a little better.  You know, just taking it one day at a time, basically.
So I will see how I feel after my first match.

Q.  What is hurting the most?  The back or the ankle?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  Right now, neither.  So it's a good sign.

Q.¬† Welcome back to Doha.¬† Just my first question is how important is it for you ‑‑I mean, we know that the No. 1 ranking is up for grabs this week.¬† How important is it for you to get back on top of the game after two‑and‑a‑half years?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  It will be great.  I think it will be a great feeling.  I obviously want it, but it's not the only thing I want, you know, so if it happens, great.  If not, I won't miss anything, I don't think.

Q.  What do you think about the draw?  You could face Maria Sharapova in the semifinals.
SERENA WILLIAMS:  That's great.  I didn't see the draw, but I'm okay with that.

Q.  You had a fantastic second half to last year, winning two Grand Slams and two other big titles.  Are you likely to be able to repeat that during the coming weeks and months, or is it too early to say whether you'll have the fitness and the mentality for it?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  For me it's always too early to say.  I just always try to do the best I can each tournament I enter.

Q.  Was there a risk that you might not be here?  Was your recovery quick?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  Yeah.  It was just two weeks or just a few days, so not too much time to recover.  But I'm here and I will just play and see how it goes.

Q.  Did you have the occasion of watching Fed Cup, Italy against United States?  It was pretty close.
SERENA WILLIAMS:  Yeah, it was really close.  I saw the results, but I didn't get to watch.

Q.  Were you surprised by the results of Lepchenko?  She fought a lot, and she had a great win against Errani.
SERENA WILLIAMS:  Yeah, she's a good player.  Lepchenko played well on the clay last year.  I'm not really surprised.

Q.  I have seen that you watched the Super Bowl, the Beyoncé show.  What did you think about it?  You wrote on Twitter that you wanted the same outfit for Wimbledon.  Are you serious?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  I was serious, of course.  But I think she's a great performer.  I think she's a great person.
I think, you know, she's just really awesome.  I think she's the ultimate performer.

Q.  I just want to get a question on Rafael Nadal making his comeback.  How pleased are you making his comeback in Chile?  How big of boost would his impact have on the sport?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  It's good.  I think he was really missed in tennis.  He has such great energy.  He's just really awesome to watch, so I think he was missed a lot.

Q.  You have been in this situation of coming off an incredible year before.  Obviously the same thing last year.  The second half of the year was like incredible for you.  How do you go about approaching this year?  Do you make the same goals, or you just see how it plays out?  What's in your mind?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  I just see how it plays out.  Just really do the best that I can.
If that's winning a tournament or five, that's great.  If that's winning zero, you know, at least I tried.  So just give 100%.

Q.  Where is home for you these days?  Are you spending more time in France, LA, Florida?  What's going on?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  Florida.  Florida for me is my home.

Q.  Are you disappointed about having your sister Venus pull out of this tournament?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  Yeah.  We were definitely supposed to be on the same flight.  I obviously knew before you guys that she wasn't going to play, so it was fine.

Q.  How is her recovery going right now?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  I don't know, to be honest.

Q.  In light of the Lance Armstrong scandal, some of the top tennis players in the men's have come out saying that tennis should step up for the fight against drugs.  Do you feel like tennis is clean?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  I don't know.  I don't know.  You think every sport is clean, but I don't know the answer to that.
I just know that I get drug‑tested all the time, and that's the best answer I can say.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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