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February 17, 2013

Serena Williams


V. AZARENKA/S. Williams
7‑6, 2‑6, 6‑3

THE MODERATOR:  Questions, please.

Q.  Overall impressions?  I mean, it seemed like a fairly good quality match for the fans and everything even though it didn't go your direction.
SERENA WILLIAMS:  It seemed like good quality to you?

Q.  For the fans to watch.
SERENA WILLIAMS:  What about to you?

Q.  To me?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  On my end, it probably wasn't the best quality.  (Smiling.)

Q.  You had a lot of unforced errors.
SERENA WILLIAMS:  I made so many errors.  It was just weird.  I mean...

Q.  48.
SERENA WILLIAMS:  48?  Oh, my gosh.  That's so many.
My serve, oh, my gosh, it was just one of those days.  I'm having too many of those days.  I've got to cut them out.

Q.  I mean, in terms of the unforced errors, it seemed like you cut them way down in the second set, but then they kind of creeped back.

Q.  What was happening out there?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  I don't know.  Like I just ‑‑this whole week I just don't think I played my best tennis, and, you know, I was fighting every match.  Then I was just really excited to make it to the final with the game I was playing all week.
You know, I can't play that quality game against a top player like Victoria.  I have to be able to pick up my game, and I wasn't able to do that today.  I stayed at a 2 out of a 10, and I can't play that low.

Q.  Taking all that out of the picture, was there something she did differently this time?  I mean, obviously you had a 11‑1 and you won the last 9 prior.
SERENA WILLIAMS:  I think, you know, she always plays consistent every time I play her.  I think, you know, she played well.  I think she played really well today.  I think she really moved well.
But it's good.  Honestly I feel great.  I feel like there is so much more I can work on, and there's so much room for improvement for me, so the fact that that's still available is really exciting.

Q.  Did you feel though that the crowd was into it?  I know in the past, I know when you came here in 2009, it wasn't as well attended.  They seemed very enthusiastic.
SERENA WILLIAMS:  Yeah, they were really in it.  There were so many "Serena" signs up, and there were so many people cheering, and, you know, unfortunately I couldn't pull my game together today.
But for the most part, I think it was a great event for the fans.  It was awesome.

Q.  Obviously Sandy said there was obviously a one‑sided rivalry before, but do you sense a rivalry beginning?  It seemed like on court you were having really good rapport.  Is that something you would look forward to, having someone you could battle with all the time, win some, lose some?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  I always respect Victoria.  I think she's a really good player.  Obviously she's so consistent and she plays well.  She's just a ‑‑she's like a solid player.
It's nice to always play someone that you go home and you're like, Okay, I didn't do great, but let me work harder.
I think that, you know, she inspires I think a lot of people to work harder, and definitely me.

Q.  Without taking anything away from a good match and a good performance by Victoria, do you, to some extent, feel you did the main job that you came here to do, which was to...
SERENA WILLIAMS:  Again, I think Victoria played really well today.  I think she did everything she was doing.  I can't say that I'm depressed like I am whenever I lose.  I'm definitely not happy, but I'm No. 1.  (Smiling.)
I never thought ‑‑it was such a long journey, and after winning Wimbledon and the US Open and the Championships, I thought, I just don't think I can win anymore.  I don't know what it takes to be No. 1.
So it was awesome to come here and achieve that goal.  Honestly, the way the week started out, I was really‑‑ I wasn't sure I would get there.  I thought, you know, maybe I won't make it.
But I did, and I feel like ‑‑ I know it sounds a little bit redundant, but never‑give‑up kind of attitude, never give in.
I think that attitude really helped me for this whole journey in the past two years to continue and to just keep fighting even when things looked horrible in the personal life or in the professional life.  You've just got to stay positive and never give up.

Q.  Do you feel your physical condition improved as the week went on?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  Definitely.  In the first round I couldn't breathe.  After one point I was so sick, I was like, I can't breathe.
I remember talking to Patrick.  I'm like, I'm just not able to breathe after two points.
Each match that went on, I got better.  And today I was fine.  I felt like I could run and I was completely fine.  So that was one good positive out of it.

Q.  Obviously with Vika winning today, it extends the battle for No. 1 into next week.  How does that feel, knowing that now you're going to have to defend that No. 1 in Dubai?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  It's fine.  I mean, you know, it's definitely something that I'm looking to do, I guess, if not ‑‑I don't know.  I can't go in every week trying to do it.  I feel like, you know, I'm just gonna really at this point put my focus on the Grand Slams.

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