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March 30, 2013

Serena Williams


S. WILLIAMS/M. Sharapova
4‑6, 6‑3, 6‑0

THE MODERATOR:  Questions, please.

Q.  What would you say is the turning point in the match?  Was it the second set after you broke her back after she broke you?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  I honestly can't say right now.  I don't even know.  I just feel like everything was going so fast, so I don't really know right now.  I'm obviously going to watch and see what went wrong and then go from there.

Q.  How does it feel to stand alone now with six of these championships?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  You know, it feels really good.  In the beginning of the week or start of the tournament, I definitely didn't feel like I would be here, not with the way I was playing.
But, you know, it definitely feels good to go through everything.

Q.  You weren't very animated for a good portion of the match.  You seemed really to be within yourself, almost like your mind was somewhere else.  What was the state of your mind in that first set and a half?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  Well, I feel like I was just making so many errors, and I just was like, Serena, are you really going to get to the final and not play up to your potential?
I don't think I was as energized as I could be.  I don't think I had enough energy.  I think I may have done too much work yesterday, may have hit too long, done too much gym.
I was just‑‑ at one point, I was just like, Conserve your energy and try and relax and play better.

Q.  It was obviously not your best serving day.  The conditions?  What was going on?  At one point your first serves were going at 85 miles per hour.  That wasn't typically you.
SERENA WILLIAMS:  I don't know.  I don't remember hitting any at 85.  I just don't remember hitting too many in today.
I honestly have not served great this whole tournament, to be honest.¬† Just looking ‑‑if you look at the numbers and just stats, statistically, it hasn't been my best week serving‑wise, and so usually in the later rounds I'm able to pick it up and able to do a little better.¬† Unfortunately, I wasn't able to do that today, so I had to rely on other parts of my game.

Q.  At the end of a day like this, after a match like this where you turn it around completely and win, do you get home and think, how on earth did I win this?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  Yeah, today wasn't my day, I don't think.  Maria played really the best I have seen her play, and I think she was moving unbelievable and she was hitting winners from everywhere.
You know, I think after the first set I had over 20 unforced errors.  I just thought, why am I playing like this?  Yeah, it definitely is a way to be like, How did I end up winning when I actually wasn't on top of my game?
Also, you know, one of the first things I said is I need that tape so I can go home and study it and train and try to get better.

Q.¬† If somebody pulled you aside at 2‑4 in the second set and said, Serena, you're about to win 10 games in a row, what would you have thought?
SERENA WILLIAMS:¬† Was I up 2‑4?

Q.  No, she was.  You won the last 10 games in a row.
SERENA WILLIAMS:¬† I don't even remember that.¬† (Laughter.)¬† I was down 2‑4?

Q.¬† 2‑3.
SERENA WILLIAMS:¬† 2‑3.¬† I don't know.¬† I just ‑‑I just thought, I've just gotta get some energy out here.¬† It wasn't my level.¬† My energy was low, and I just wouldn't have thought that I would have won that many games in a row, because she was playing really well.

Q.  How much do you think the crowd energized you?  It's a home crowd for you.  They certainly seemed to get behind you.
SERENA WILLIAMS:  The crowd is always great here.  Winning a few times here helps.  I think the crowd was good, though.
A lot of them were rooting for Maria, too.¬† It was pretty even.¬† It's good to see, because it's hard to have one crowd just one‑sided.¬† So it's good.

Q.  You have talked about that you love to play Maria.  Why is that?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  Well, I like to play anyone that's a top player.  As you can see today, I feel like she lifted her level, and any player makes me have to lift my level and be like, Okay, what can I do to win this?  What can I do to get better?  Can I get better?
For me that answer is always yes and figuring out how to do it.  It's not just her.  It's anyone that's a top player.  I just feel like I want to do the best that I can.

Q.  You consistently get yourself in very tight situations.  US Open last year against Azarenka.  Seems as if, when your back is against the wall, you come around.  How do you do that?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  Well, I don't consistently do that.  (Laughter.)  I definitely don't try to do it.
I just have, for me‑‑ I don't know.¬† I feel like I'm mentally really tough, and ever since I was a kid, I have always been tough mentally.¬† I knew what I wanted to do.
I don't stop.  So whatever it takes to get there, usually I know I can always lift my level.  At the Open I knew I could play better.  I knew it.  And today I knew I could play better.  It's just a fact of being able to do it.

Q.  Did you get any advice from your dad today before the match?
SERENA WILLIAMS:¬† Actually, no, not too much.¬† He was really ‑‑he just was really happy and really calm.

Q.¬† When you retire and everything ‑‑obviously that's a ways from now, but do you think that ‑‑you have six titles here; Venus has three.¬† Do you think they might name the stadium after you or both like, you know, Arthur Ashe Stadium and Williams Stadium?¬† That would be kind of cool, right?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  Yeah.  I actually don't like to think about that.  I'm still here, and I still want to do well.  I don't want this to be my last title.  I want to keep doing the best that I can.

Q.  You mentioned you were really tired in the match and didn't have the energy.  How did you bring your reserves back to get the energy and then just win the last set by such a huge margin?
SERENA WILLIAMS:¬† I don't know.¬† I just started drinking Gatorade, and I was just like‑‑ you know, it gives you a little energy.¬† No joke, seriously.¬† It's not product placement.¬† I'm being really honest. ¬†(Laughter.)
It seems like it, but it really does help me out.¬† It keeps you ‑‑for me, it just helps.¬† I just try to really keep my energy down, like, during the points, and then get up, get the sugar rush, too.

Q.  Now you have broken more records and won another title.  Change to clay.  What are your thoughts as you approach the clay season now starting with Charleston where you dominated last year, then Madrid where you dominated, and then the French Open where it's a little not so good.
SERENA WILLIAMS:  Yeah.  Hopefully I can just keep winning matches on clay.  I love the clay.  I'll probably hit just a few tomorrow just to get sliding a little bit, because I have a match so soon.
My goal is to win a match at Roland Garros this year.

Q.  How tough is it to adjust, you know, from one surface to the next?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  These surfaces nowadays are really slow, like the hard court is a lot slower than what it used to be.  I think the adjustment is a little easier.

Q.  Is clay your favorite surface?  What's your favorite surface?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  I love the clay.  I love sliding.  I feel like, you know, it's just such an easy game to play.
I love ‑‑I think I'm going to say grass.¬† I serve better on grass for some reason.

Q.  Maria was asked what her favorite surface would be to play you.  She said grass.  So I want to turn the question around.  Not just Maria but any of the top women.  What is your favorite surface?  If you could face any of the top women, what would you like to play on?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  Anywhere.  It could be ice, grass, clay.  (Laughter.)
It could be ‑‑I don't care.¬† Just give me a racquet and a ball.¬† I'm ready.

Q.  Like the McDonald's commercial with Venus.
SERENA WILLIAMS:  Exactly, yeah.

Q.  Your thoughts on this whole big picture of this whole tournament for the last week and a half or however long, your thoughts on the tournament and how you did overall.
SERENA WILLIAMS:  I'm happy to be here, you know, holding the championship.  It's definitely not my best tournament.  I think everyone here can agree.
But those are the moments that count is when you can go and do the best you can and still come out on top and always try to improve.  Yeah.

Q.  How much if anything does the record mean to you, sixth title?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  I finally have some record.  Like it's really cool.  I can't seem to catch up with Margaret Court or Steffi or anything.  I'm really happy to have something going right now, so it's exciting.

Q.  (Question about the renovation.)
SERENA WILLIAMS:  I think they are having the renovation, regardless.

Q.  The French Open is the only one of the majors of which you have one of.  So do you feel like that's the most challenging surface for you?  And in hiring Mr.Mouratoglou, was that playing in your mind in terms of winning another one?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  No, not at all.  I think it's only as hard as you say it is.  If I were to sit here and say it's hard, then, yeah, it would be hard.
But I happen to love Roland Garros, and  happy to play there.  Hopefully I can just take it one match at a time.  That's in the future.  I'm just going to do it one step at a time.

Q.  The third game in the first set was that really long one, and I think you had eight deuces.  What was going through your mind then, like this is going to be a forever match?  What were you thinking?
SERENA WILLIAMS:¬† I thought ‑‑I think it was almost 20 minutes before the game was over, and I thought, that's sometimes a first set for me.¬† But I thought, I need to win this game.¬† I like to win those games or at least try.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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