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October 23, 2013

Serena Williams


S. WILLIAMS/A. Radwanska
6‑2, 6‑4

THE MODERATOR:  Questions, please.

Q.  Looked like it was a pretty good match from Radwanska tonight, but you were able to get through.  Were you happy with your level of play and how you were out there?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  Yeah, she definitely played pretty well.  Yeah, so am I happy?  I guess.  I'm happy to still be alive in the tournament, I guess.
But, you know, I can always look to improve on some things.

Q.  What in particular were you less than happy with?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  My serve wasn't as good today as it was yesterday, but, you know, you can't expect it to be great every day.

Q.  How do you keep motivated against someone you have beaten seven times coming into this match and eight tonight?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  Yeah, each time is the first time.  Each time is a different meaning.  You know, tonight was just a new meaning.
Obviously you have to keep motivated.  You don't want to lose unless ‑‑you know, if your opponent is playing well, it is what it is, but you always want to have a really good attitude to try to win.

Q.  Azarenka was saying that she's mentally tired, end of the year, she's had to kind of push through things.  Have you been at that stage in your career at the end of the year, it's tough to get motivated?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  Yeah, I feel like that every year at the end of the year.  I think it's natural, normal, so yeah.  I'm always feeling like that towards the end.
You know, just like the last tournament, and then you just know in a couple of days you can be somewhere else, on a beach or, you know, in China, where you choose to go.

Q.  How do you keep your mind on the matches, then?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  I don't know.  I really don't know.  I'm barely hanging on, but I don't know.

Q.  So does that help or hurt, knowing that, you know, it's the last of a push and you can push it to the limit here because you're going to get a break, or are you sort of thinking, wow, that break is tantalizingly close, and it's hard to keep it together?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  Yeah, it's similar to, you know, having match point.  It's so close, but yet it's so far away.  You have to kind of stay focused throughout the whole ordeal.  It hasn't gotten easier any year, any year that I have played.
But you've just got to, whatever, decide if you want to or not.

Q.  A lot of self‑exhortations there at the end of that second set.  You still look like you're pretty hungry and pretty motivated.
SERENA WILLIAMS:  Yeah, I'm definitely motivated.  I don't want to come all this way to not do well, and, you know, I have a tough draw, so I just have to do the best I can.

Q.  Talk about the schedule and how tough it is to stay focused now.  Next week is the Fed Cup final, which a lot of players from the Russian side decided they don't want to play, they are too tired this time of year or something.  Do you think the schedule, in regards to that, should be changed to make that a more accessible event for players?  I know you're obviously not playing this year.
SERENA WILLIAMS:  Yeah, wow, I would not want to play Fed Cup after this.  Who is in the final?

Q.  Russia and Italy.
SERENA WILLIAMS:  Oh, I would not want to play.
With that being said, I really want to bring Fed Cup back to the United States, so next year, oh, my gosh.  Oh, that's going to be tough.

Q.  Is it something where Fed Cup is an issue the players council has talked about?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  No.  It is an issue sometimes, but look at the men.  They have like seven more weeks before their Davis Cup final, so it could be worse.

Q.  I guess all this begs the question, do you like the more compact schedule now when you guys are ending October 20‑something, or would you rather have a little bit more of a break after the US Open and push the season back into November?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  No, I think it's fine.  I think ending the year, I have always ‑‑I have always traditionally ended my year after the Open.  You guys are lucky that I was able to make it out two tournaments.  That's like a record for me.
I love that the season is getting, you know, getting shorter and shorter.

Q.  Just a quick question about tomorrow's match against Petra.  It's kind of a highly anticipated one between the both of you.  When you go into a match against a player who hits as big as she does, mentally is there an adjustment that needs to be made, or are you still just, like, I'll just play my game and I'm good?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  Definitely play my game and do the best I can.  She plays such a good game.  She does everything well.  She's just such a great player.  Grand Slam winner.
Definitely not an easy match for me.  Not an easy match for her, either.  But, you know, what happens happens.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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