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May 9, 2013

Serena Williams


S. WILLIAMS/M. Kirilenko
6‑3, 6‑1

THE MODERATOR:  Questions, please.

Q.  Congratulations.  Very good performance today.  How do you see yourself, what you have done?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  It was better today.  I just felt really relaxed today.  You know, I felt like I was just taking my time.
So hopefully I can keep calm and relaxed.

Q.  Your serve today, the placement was very good but pace was not Serena's pace as usual.  It had to do with your back or something like that?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  No, I've just been missing a little bit of my serve when I was hitting it harder, so I took some pace off and just didn't hit it as hard as I usually do, I guess.
I don't know.

Q.  Your next rival will be Anabel Medina.  She's a Spanish player.  What kind of game do you expect?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  She's definitely going to be really tough for me.  She's a grinder on clay and she's Spanish.  I know a lot fans really like her here, so it will be a really tough match.
I haven't played her often.  I think maybe just once, and that was a tough match.  I look forward to it.  I'll definitely make sure I'm ready and I'm excited to play.

Q.  The Sloane Stephens thing died down pretty quickly.  Did she call you after your comments?  What happened?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  No, she didn't call me after.

Q.  About the match, how do you rate your performance?  You lost four games.  You're a perfectionist, so how do you rate it?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  I think it was okay.  I haven't had a chance to talk about it after with my team, but I will.
Like you said, I am a perfectionist.  I always try to look for things that I know I can do better.
When we get together I will see what I can do better.

Q.  You said the other day that you played really well on clay leading up to the French Open last year.  You're still unbeaten so far on clay this season.  Is there anything you took out of that experience you learned going into the French Open?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  Definitely just not become overconfident.  I think more than anything that's what I learned most.
So I think I'll just take that with me to the French this year.  I think I was a little confident last year and I felt really good; this year I'm going to take every moment like it's my last.

Q.  Last up you were saying about taking pace off.  Is that hard to do naturally?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  It's easy actually, because, you know, when you take pace off you don't hit it as hard and you don't exhaust as much energy.  So especially on the serve I think it's a little easier.
Also, it's really fun just as well to hit a big serve and a big winner, too.  Both of them can be fun.

Q.  Recently you declared you thought only of winning your matches.  Now you enjoy it much more.  What has changed from that time?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  I thought only of what?

Q.  Of winning the matches, and now you enjoy much more.  That's what you declared before.  What has changed from that moment?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  I think a lot of things have changed.  Like I said, I just enjoy every moment.  I step on the court, and if I feel like I'm not enjoying it I don't play that week.
I just have as much fun as I can.  It's a great game for me.

Q.  What qualities do you think you need to be really successful on a clay court?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  Well, I think for one you have to be mentally strong because you're going to play a lot of players that get a lot of balls back and you can't get frustrated.
I think you have to be fit to be able to do pretty good on clay.
I think you have to be able to slide a little bit.

Q.  After last year with your pulmonary problems, how did you train your breathing to be better?  How did you achieve that?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  I did a lot of water work.  Well, when I first started coming back I trained a lot in the water just to expand my lungs from the pulmonary problem.  That could be a tricky word.
So, yeah, that's what's different.  I started out with a lot of water training.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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