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May 12, 2013

Serena Williams


S.  WILLIAMS/M. Sharapova
6‑1, 6‑4

THE MODERATOR:  Questions, please.

Q.  I think you've been reminded a few times this week that it's a while since you won a title on red clay.  Now that you have, how does it feel?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  It's good.  It's not the ultimate title, but it's a good start in the right direction.  I feel good about it.

Q.  Did you have any down during the second set, because now you have a break.  It was a good battle.  Sometimes you have beaten her so easily.
SERENA WILLIAMS:  No.  She definitely started playing better in the second set.  I think she came out with a different game plan.  I had to adjust to that.  I missedI think a very crucial point in that first game.
She hit a winner but I made a bad choice, and after that I had to just get refocused again.

Q.  Last year blue clay.  It's because you're used to Charleston so you don't care about the color?  It's slippery, the court?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  This court is definitely different.  Definitely plays more like Roland Garros, so I think that's a plus.  It's a little slower than it was last year and plays more like a true clay court.
So I think it's great preparation.

Q.  How does it feel to have 50 titles in the bag, and how many more do you think you can win before you retire?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  It feels good.  (Smiling.)
I don't know how many more I can win.  Like I say every day, who knows if I'll ever win another title?  I just want to live the moment and the dream every chance I get.
Hopefully I can just keep it going.

Q.¬† Just checking, what's on your T‑shirt say?¬† Bestest ever?
SERENA WILLIAMS:¬† Just do it.¬† I've actually had it for a year.¬† I ran out of T‑shirts and it was like all I had, so I guess it kind of worked out.
Just do it.

Q.  What can you say about the start of the match?  Did you have the feeling that Maria just wasn't really on the court?  It really looked like she had a shaky start.  Is that your reading?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  Well, I've played her several times.  I don't know.  I just tried to focus really on what I was doing.  I don't know if her start was shaky.  I felt that I played good in the first few games.
But playing such a great athlete and great tennis player like Maria, you have to come out and play good.  So I had no other choice.

Q.  I suppose it's all about continuing to relish the challenge of being out there and playing your best.
SERENA WILLIAMS:  Yeah, absolutely.

Q.  So how much are you relishing what you're doing at the moment, and for how long do you think you can keep on relishing the challenge?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  Tell you what, Neil, every time I play I really relish it more, and every time I get out there.  I feel like, Honestly, Serena, when are you going to get tired?  I don't know.
I feel like every moment that I play ‑ I don't know if it's because of what I went through ‑ I just feel like I'm so fortunate to be out there and healthy and to have an opportunity to play something, a sport, and be really good at it.

Q.  You might have just answered this, but is victory even sweeter now than it was earlier in your career?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  It's totally different.  Like when you first start out everything is so exciting and it's like, Oh, my God.  I won this Grand Slam.  So it's great.
Now it's different.  It's like I expect to win; I want to win.  It's still exciting, but it's just different.  It's hard to compare for me.

Q.  Do you still feel pressure?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  I feel pressure every day.  I think it's a good thing a little bit because it means I'm still really hungry.
If I didn't, then I would be like, Oh, it doesn't matter.

Q.¬† Is there any greater or lesser satisfaction that the victory ‑ in the middle of the week you had that rather unusual set against Medina Garrigues ‑ the fact that you came through that and went on to win the title, does that make it sweeter?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  Absolutely.  I was two points away from losing that match.  Looking back.  I'm really glad I was able to get through it and win.

Q.  You might know that Madrid is competing with Tokyo and Istanbul for the 2020 games.  Which city do you like in seven years?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  That's a tough one.  Love Madrid.  Had some good experiences in Istanbul, too.  Tokyo I don't know as well.
Yeah, I'm still kind of hurt over the fact that we didn't get it in Chicago, so...

Q.  How much are you hoping to win the French Open this year, and is it the ultimate challenge for you?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  It is the ultimate challenge.  Whether I reach it, I don't know.  I'm not going to put that pressure on me.
I wanted to last year and I didn't get it.  So this year I'm just looking forward to Rome, and then after that Roland Garros, and see what happens.

Q.  I know it's a kind of Rome question, but you and Venus may be ganging up on Laura Robson.  I don't know if you have seen the draw, but she plays Venus in the first round and the winner will play you in the second round.  You've seen her play.  What do you think of her as a young player and her progress in the game?
SERENA WILLIAMS:¬† She's been playing well.¬† I know she had really, really good win here.¬† I've never played her.¬† I've always wanted to play her.¬† I think she's a great girl, so it'll be‑‑ obviously nothing against her, but I hope Venus wins.
But regardless, it's an incredibly tough first round for me.

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