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August 26, 2013

Serena Williams


S. WILLIAMS/F. Schiavone
6‑0, 6‑1

THE MODERATOR:  Questions, please.

Q.  Did you know the weather forecast?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  Yeah, I heard it was going to rain all day.  I didn't know going into it.  I didn't know the weather forecast.  I forget about it pretty much.

Q.  Can you remember the last time you didn't hit an ace in a match?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  No, I definitely can't.  But I hit a couple serve winners.  She returns really well actually.  She just gets them all back.

Q.¬† Did you really want to win 6‑Love, 6‑Love against the poor Schiavone?
SERENA WILLIAMS:¬† No, it wasn't that.¬† I was just out there trying to be focused.¬† When you see you have to go against a former Grand Slam champion, meaning just a year and a half ago, two years ago ‑ she was in the finals of the French, then she won the French ‑ it's not very easy to see your name on the draw like that, so you have to be very serious.

Q.  What makes you happier, Venus' win or yours, or are they equal?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  They're equal.  I definitely was happy to see Venus win.  I really was happy for her.  I know she's been working hard.  I know she had a tough opponent.  For her to come through was just awesome.
Obviously, I want to do well, too, so...

Q.  What would it mean to you to make a run here?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  It would be great.  I think it will be good for her, as well.  I think it will all be really positive.  So that's the only thing I can think of.

Q.  James Blake announced today he's retiring.  When you hear his name and think about his career, what comes to mind immediately for you?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  Well, just pure heart.  I mean, the guy has been really just a great person with a great heart.  He's been through so much.  Being even able to be a professional player with his back, and then doing so well.  We won together at Hopman Cup.  He was such a great partner and a great friend.
It's just sad to see.  Sad to see another good friend of mine that I'm not going to see on a daily basis.

Q.¬† Last week you didn't fare as well against a baseball mascot.¬† Can you talk about the match with Mrs.Met on the ping‑pong table and the dance she tried to teach you?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  It was really fun.  We were there for a fabulous Delta event.  It was really good being out there.  Mrs.Met, I kept saying, I never knew Mrs.Met existed.  I think I was intimidated by her, so...

Q.  Did she try to distract you with that one dance?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  Yeah.  And I definitely couldn't keep up.

Q.  The question may sound rude, but two years ago Schiavone was still on the edge.  Final Roland Garros and then she won it.  Now she's 33 and she's dropping down very much.  Being you 31, do you sometimes feel could suddenly happen something like that?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  You never know.  In this sport you never know what can happen.  Anything can happen.  That's why you have to enjoy every moment, enjoy every win.
I think Schiavone is extremely fit for 33.¬† She doesn't look 33.¬† She definitely doesn't play 33.¬† You know, she just had a couple not‑great results, but she's playing well.
I don't think she's ranked where she should be.  There's nothing in me that doesn't think she'll be ranked higher very soon.

Q.  Off the ground, could you be much better than you were tonight?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  I don't know.  I definitely was good off the ground.  I don't know.

Q.  You talk about winning the Hopman Cup with James.  Did you think about playing mixed here?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  No.  I don't play mixed.  I'm playing doubles.  I don't play mixed in the US Open or Wimbledon, just Australian and French.

Q.  If you look at the score of this game, you wouldn't think Schiavone competed.  Could you feel her competing out there?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  Yeah.  She's a great competitor.  I think she played really well.  I think the scoreline had nothing to do with the match.  I mean, I just was able to win some key points.
But I tell you, it wasn't very easy out there.  We were both grunting and running and fighting.

Q.  What were you thinking in the second game of the second set when she went over to the ball boy and asked for a hug?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  No, I thought, I just got to stay focused and just do what I can.  You know, I just wanted to stay really focused out there.

Q.  Is it ever advantageous when you come in here off a loss in Cincinnati as opposed to coming off a win?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  Yes, it's great.  I'm always happy.  I'm happy because people are spreading the love.  It's still a lot of expectation, but it's a little more spread now.  I feel good about that.

Q.  Sloane had a tough match.  What were your thoughts on that?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  I didn't see it.  I was in traffic on my way here.  I was really happy she pulled it through, though.
It was so good to see so many Americans doing good, mainly Sloane.  She's such an inspiration, I think, to a lot of people.  So it was good.

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