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September 29, 2013

Serena Williams


S. WILLIAMS/E. Vesnina
6‑4, 6‑2

THE MODERATOR:  Questions, please.

Q.  Before this tournament you were calling all your Rena Army on Twitter to support and cheer for you.  Did you feel their passion and support today?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  Yeah, felt really good.  Rena's Army is all about it, you know.  Hopefully I have some Chinese here that are in Rena's Army.  I sure hope so, because it's definitely worldwide.

Q.  I'm curious, where did the name come from?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  Well, my nickname is Rena for Serena.  Rena, you know.  So I just kind of shortened it.  A lot of people call me Rena, so I figured it sounded more cool than Serena's Army.  It's more intimate so my fans can feel closer to me.  They can call me what my closest friends call me.  That's what I wanted for my fans.

Q.  I saw a little bit in the first set, and especially with her serve she was kind of moving the ball around a lot.  How were you able to overcome that?  Talk about those challenges.
SERENA WILLIAMS:  She served really well.  She's always had such a good serve.  I just had to be ready for everything.  I knew going into the match that she mixes up her serve well, hits big ones, so I just was ready for everything.

Q.  About the GOAT debate, you always said you go by the numbers and Steffi is still the greatest player of all‑time.  Did you set this as a goal in your mind that you wanted to achieve someday, get to like 22 or 24 with Margaret Court?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  Yikes.  You know, once my career started I never thought that I would be even in the conversation of the greatest.  Now I don't think of a number too much.
Obviously I would like if get to a certain number, but I don't think about it too much because I don't want to be‑‑ I just want to enjoy every moment that I have.
You know, every time I win Grand Slams, if I continue ‑ and I will try my best to win more ‑ I just want to have fun with it, s0...
I think what enables me to win more is the fact that I don't put that pressure on myself.

Q.  But Steffi made a comment several days ago like she believes I can beat the record by Margaret Court with 24.  The reason behind that is there is no competition from other players to play against you.  So what is your thoughts on this?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  Um, well, you know, I've never heard Steffi make a comment really, so that is extremely moving and shocking and exciting.  She was someone I looked up to tremendously.
However, I do think there is a lot of competition out there.   I think there are so many young girls that have the desire to dethrone me and be No. 1 and win Grand Slams as well.
So I still take it one day at a time.  I can only do my best.  Believe me, I will try.

Q.  Being No. 1 and playing a lower‑ranked opponent, do you feel like you have a target on your back and do you take a different approach to that?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  Well, yeah, I definitely feel like I have a target.  But I always have a target.  Whether I'm No. 1 or No. 10, I feel like people realize or they, for whatever reason, lift their game against me.
I think it's good.  I think that's one of the reasons it helped me to be able to develop as well.

Q.  Hi, Rena.

Q.  First, congratulations for the first win.

Q.  My question is:  who do you think is the most terrifying and dangerous opponent in this China Open?  I know Li Na has a lot of fans here, so who do you think?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  Well, you know, I don't look that far.  I don't look advance.  I take every match one at a time.
So whoever my next match is, I look that as my next danger, because I could win or I could lose.
For me, that's how I look at it.

Q.  When you walked in you were staring at those pictures.  Do you like them?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  Yeah, I do.  I didn't see them before.  They're really, really cute.

Q.  Can you pick one as your favorite?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  Oh, gosh.  I like the one with the‑‑ I think that's Venus.  Is that Venus on the right?
Yeah, I like that one.  It's really cute.  I mean, I really like mine, too, but I like the other one.  It's just so clean and pristine.  I like them both, though.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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