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August 15, 2013

Serena Williams


S. WILLIAMS/M. Barthel
6‑4, 6‑1

THE MODERATOR:  Questions, please.

Q.  Serena, not an easy opponent, but you seemed to get yourself figured out by the second set pretty well.
SERENA WILLIAMS:  Yeah, definitely not easy.  She's an interesting player.  Actually, it's really hard, and she seemed so light and so smooth.  So you don't expect a ball to come that hard.  So that was a little surprising.
But once I got used to it, it was a little better, but I had to get used to that.

Q.  Did you know much about her going in or not really?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  Actually, I've always wanted to play her.  She does well.  I've seen her have some good results.
No, I didn't know much about her, though, but I knew her name.

Q.  She take that backhand down the line.

Q.  Was it the pace, the flatness, or just the disguise?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  It was really well disguised.  You think she's going crosscourt and it goes down the line.  She's actually a tall girl, so she was able to use her height well.  She handled it well.  It was kind of impressive.

Q.  Obviously, big news of the day, or yesterday night, is Marion Bartoli retiring.  I was wondering how you found out about it and what your first thoughts and reactions were.
SERENA WILLIAMS:  Well, yeah, I think I was‑‑ I don't know.  Someone told me about it.  Marion Bartoli is such a great fighter and she has a great attitude.
I remember the first time I saw her, I was actually in Paris for the Paris Indoor Championships.  It was long, long, long time ago, probably in like the early 2000s, and I just remember her being so young and working so hard, and that was her whole career.
It just shows you how much and how far you can go by working so hard.  She's had a great career by winning Wimbledon as well.  It doesn't get better than that.

Q.  What do you think of the timing of her retirement, just doing it like just like a month after winning Wimbledon?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  Well, I don't know.  A lot of greats have retired after Wimbledon, you know.  Steffi Graf, I remember that.  I think Lindsay.  I'm not sure.  Maybe not.  (Laughing.)  Okay, well, Steffi.  I don't think much about the timing.

Q.  Do you ever think that whatever the goals are or dreams or whatever is in your mind, that once you get them, that's it, racquet stays in the bag, you're done?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  For me, I don't know.  I just know, whenever I feel‑‑ I don't know if it's a goal because I never had really big goals playing.  My goal was just to play tennis and to win tournaments, but I never had numbers in front of me.
The older I get, or the more I started playing, the more numbers started to come.  But still, it's not a number thing really.  I think it's just how you feel.
And if you don't enjoy it or if you don't wake up every morning and say, Let's go to practice, that's when it becomes time.

Q.  Yeah, she cited the physicality of kind of the game and that she was picking up injuries and things.  I was wondering, like when you all have your physical illness struggles, did it ever cross your mind?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  Well, it wasn't more about retiring.  For me, it was more about will I be able to play again?  Because I wasn't sure I'd be able to compete competitively on a professional level.
So it's a different situation.

Q.  Now, I mean, given the year or two years really that you had, can you even put yourself back into the mindset of where you were then and think that you'd be here playing at the level that you are now?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  No, never.  I never would have thought that I would have been here, and I think that's what makes my game better is that I'm a little more relaxed.  Believe it or not, I'm a little bit more relaxed, and everything is a bonus.
I felt like there was a time I never would sit here, let alone be in Cincinnati, and definitely not win a gold medal, win all these Grand Slams.  I just didn't think it would happen.
So it's just really exciting that I'm still here and I'm just living for every moment.

Q.  You have Halep next.  She's won three titles this year.  Had a match against her in Rome.  I was wondering what your thoughts are on her.
SERENA WILLIAMS:  She's a really good player.  She gets so many balls back.  I think she'll be tough for me on this surface.
She had a really good win today.  She plays so well.  She's really fast, and she doesn't do anything bad.  Those are opponents that sometimes can be the toughest to play.
Thank you.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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