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July 1, 2013

Serena Williams


S. LISICKI/S. Williams
6‑2, 1‑6, 6‑4

THE MODERATOR:  Questions, please.

Q.  Could you offer us an explanation into why you think you lost the match.
SERENA WILLIAMS:  Well, I think that I, uhm, didn't play the big points good enough.  I didn't do what I do best.  I think I had a little hesitation, and that explains it.

Q.  You looked a little nervy have at the end.  Towards the end of the match it looked like you were a little tight.  Talk about that.
SERENA WILLIAMS:  Uhm, you know, I just definitely feel like I could have went for it a little more on some of the shots.  Definitely should have made some shots.
Yeah, I think Sabine played really well, as well.  I mean, she always plays really well at Wimbledon, so I knew going in it would be a tough match.
But, you know, there's huge room for improvement for me.

Q.  I know you've always said you come in here you're taking each game as it comes.  Everyone else has been pretty much handing you the trophy almost before the tournament began.  Did that at all get to you?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  No, not at all.  I mean, every time I step out on the court I'm the favorite.  I've grown to be used to that and just play my game.

Q.  Has it been tough not having your dad here for the first time?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  No, it's been okay.  It's been fine.

Q.  He's obviously a massive support for you with coaching.
SERENA WILLIAMS:  Yeah, he's always texting me and writing me notes.  So, yeah.

Q.  Is there something you think might have caused the sort of tightness or hesitation on the big points today?  Definitely uncharacteristic.
SERENA WILLIAMS:  I don't know.  I don't know.  I definitely had my opportunities and I didn't take them.  I definitely feel like I would try at some points, then maybe I backed off a little bit at some points.
You know, just have to know that going forward, if I want to be successful, if I plan on being successful, I'm never going to do it backing off.  I have to play the game I can play.  For me that's being more aggressive.

Q.  Have you heard from Venus yet?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  No, not yet.

Q.  One of the best parts of your serve is the ability to disguise it well.  Lisicki seemed to be able to read it.
SERENA WILLIAMS:  Yeah, I just felt she was on today.  She's always on against big players and big courts.  It was just another one of those moments.
I feel like, you know, she was definitely reading my serve.  I think also maybe I could have mixed it up more.

Q.  You've barely lost in the last 12 months.  How much of a shock is this to you?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  It's not a shock.  Like I said, she plays really good on grass.  She has a massive, massive serve.  So going in there you have to know that it's definitely not going to be an easy match playing her at Wimbledon, especially on Centre Court.
It's definitely not a shock.  I just need to do better.

Q.  How did you feel and what was your mindset in the first set?  She seemed to just go for broke.  Was the result of that set more a function of her high stakes or a slower start by you?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  I think I had opportunities in the first set, as well.  I mean, I had so many opportunities.  I made so many errors.  I hit so many balls in the net.
So I think that, uhm, she definitely played a super aggressive game.  When you're playing and you have absolutely nothing to lose, it's like you can really play with so much freedom and so loose.  That's how she played today.

Q.  What were you saying to yourself at the end of the first set?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  I don't remember.  I just was thinking, Let's get to a third set.  That's what I always say when I lose a first set.

Q.  If you could change anything in the game mentally or physically, what would you go back and want to change?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  Yeah, I can't.  I can't change anything.  If I could, it definitely wouldn't be in this match.

Q.  At the corporate luncheon, Annabel Croft made some unflattering remarks about your physique.  Did that bother you or anything?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  No.  No, I'm fine.  Thanks for asking, though (smiling).

Q.  You were so dominant in the second set, how come you couldn't get that through to the third one?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  I don't know.  I had trouble holding my serve in the third set.  Again, I had opportunities.  I think I may have backed off of a success.  I was playing something successful.  I didn't continue that path.
The result didn't go the way it could have gone had I continued to play the way I did in the second set.

Q.¬† You were saying about getting to the third set that that's what you always want to do.¬† You had gotten up 3‑Love there.¬† What in your mind started happening at that point?¬† What was going through your head?
SERENA WILLIAMS:¬† Well, I felt that I was on the verge of winning.¬† I felt really good and really confident.¬† At that point I just was physically unable to hold serve.¬† My first‑serve percentage was going down.
For me, I have to be able to serve well, especially on this court, and especially going up against such a really, really strong server like Sabine.  You have to be ready and willing to hold your serve.  I wasn't willing or able, probably didn't even want to hold my serve today.

Q.  A lot of players go out there with nothing to lose against you.  When is the last time you felt like you had nothing to lose on court?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  It's been a long time.  Actually, no.  In 2011 there were some matches that I felt like I really had nothing to lose because I was just starting to come back.  And I know the feeling.  It was such an amazing feeling.
When you're going on a big court and playing the No.1 player, you're just not expected to win, it makes you play that much better.

Q.  Any views on how you see who is going to get your title now, and what do you plan to do the rest of the week?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  Uhm, no.  I think Sloane has a really good chance of winning.  She has a great draw.  I think she can take it.  It would be really nice to see her win.

Q.  Obviously you know in the tennis world this is going to be big news, it's Titanic.  In your world, is it as big a deal?  Is it going to be tough to get over or have you learned how to handle a loss like this?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  For me any loss is extremely tough to overcome.  So, again, I don't think it's a huge shock.  She is a great player.  Her ranking has no effect on what she should be.  She should be ranked higher.  Especially on grass she just has, you know, a super, super game to play well on grass.
So, yeah, I'll just have to go back to the drawing boards and figure out a way how to win this match the next time.

Q.  Lisicki has had a lot more success here than any of the other Grand Slam tournaments.  Do you mind explaining a little bit about why she has success, why her game works on this surface.
SERENA WILLIAMS:  Well, I feel like she, uhm, has one of the biggest serves on tour.  I mean, I'm not sure if maybe mine was faster, I'm not sure, but hers is always in the 120s.  She's hitting huge serves, constantly, constantly, back to back to back.  With the surface being a lot faster, it's going to be a little difficult to break her.
She's actually super fast.  She gets every ball back.  She plays good defense, as well.

Q.  You've lost at Wimbledon before.  Given the shape of the draw, the opportunity that was there this year, is this your most disappointing exit to date?
SERENA WILLIAMS:¬† No.¬† I feel like I had an extremely tough draw today.¬† I feel like of all the Round of 16s, I probably had the toughest one.¬† I mean, I've said this, I don't know if you've heard, but she's a great grass court player.¬† You know, c'mon, guys, let's get with it.¬† She's excellent.¬† She's not a push‑over.¬† She's a great player.
To play this match in any Wimbledon on the fourth round, it's not an easy draw.  So it's definitely difficult.

Q.  But you said that you weren't willing or able to hold your serve and probably didn't want to hold it.
SERENA WILLIAMS:  I was being sarcastic, yeah.

Q.¬† You've been in Europe for a while.¬† What is your general take‑away after the French Open, the lead‑up to the clay, now this?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  Uhm, I probably couldn't be more disappointed.

Q.  With the Annabel Croft comments, do you feel you were targeted in that way because you are a woman?  Are women more judged about the way they look than men are?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  To be honest, I didn't hear the comments.  I don't know exactly what she said.  Someone in my camp told me I might be asked a question.  That was on Saturday.  I don't care to know what she said.
I'm here to talk about tennis.  If you guys want to ask me about today's match or anything that relates to tennis and how I hit the ball, how I didn't hit the ball, I'm more than willing to answer those questions.

Q.  All of us have a bad day at the office.  What is it like for a tennis player to have to come in to a tournament seven times, day after day, to be at their peak, never to have an off day?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  It's an honor, I feel, to be able to do that.  As a tennis player, you grow up and you practice every day so you can get to the point where you can play seven matches really well, you can do it consistently.
That's one of the things of being a tennis player, is you have to be able to do it and you have to be able to succeed at that.

Q.  But this was an off day for you?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  Uhm, I think it was, but I think I made it off by not doing what I should have done out there.

Q.  I can't be sure, but I think it's been one of the first times you've been at a Grand Slam without your mom, dad, Venus being here.  Is it different, strange, or no effect?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  No.  I'm 31, you know.  I really have to go back to the drawing boards if I can't compete with one of them here.  I really need to reevaluate my life.
Thank you.

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