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October 24, 2013

Serena Williams


S. WILLIAMS/P. Kvitova
6‑2, 6‑3

THE MODERATOR:  Questions, please.

Q.  When you go out on court these days, do you even imagine you can lose?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  Every time I step out on the court, yeah, it's possible.

Q.  So that helps you maintain focus?  Because your level basically all year except for a few matches have been pretty focused.
SERENA WILLIAMS:  I think in those ‑‑yeah, I think I played as best as I could at that time in those four matches.  All of them were three sets.  I definitely had opportunities in all those four matches.
But, yeah, everybody can lose.  I can lose my next match.  I don't know.  I'm just here to do the best I can, and then if I win or if I lose, then it is what it is.

Q.  But when you come into here, eight of the best players in the world, Sharapova aside, you know you're going to be challenged and you go out there today and you know she's dangerous, does it help you focus more?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  Yeah, for sure.  You know, when I play top players or a Grand Slam winner, such as Kvitova who has such a dangerous game, you've got to go in there knowing that anything can happen and I have to be really focused.  That was just what I did.

Q.  She had three chances in the first game.  Did you really kind of think this start, you wanted to get off to a good start and that could be really important?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  Yeah, something told me to hold serve in that game, and I'm glad I did.  Could have definitely changed things.  I could still be out there.
I really just dug deep and tried to hold.

Q.  Seems like with Petra, in a lot of her matches because she hits so hard when she hits a clean, blazing winner up the line, a lot of players can get sort of rattled by it sometimes.  You seemed to shake it off pretty well tonight especially.  Is that easy to do when there is a point that goes by that you couldn't do anything about, to shake it off?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  Yeah, when you play someone that's capable of hitting winners, you know that they're going to be able to do that.
So I'm not going to stress out about it and ‑‑yeah, so especially playing her, you know she's capable of hitting a winner from anywhere on the court, especially the last time we played.  She was just hitting winners left and right.
So I just didn't think too much about them.

Q.  What's most pleasing to you about the way you're playing right now?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  Just my focus.  You know, I think, you know, not anything tangible.  I would just say my focus is what's pleasing me most of all.

Q.  Particularly good serving performance tonight, both aces and also what you were doing in the clutch.  When you take on a player like Petra, is that particularly just a tactic, like you walk out there knowing you have to serve big, or it was clicking tonight and you were just serving big?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  It was definitely clicking tonight.  I just knew that‑‑ you know, I think her serve is really big, so I knew I wanted to hold.  I served well.  Ironically I served well against both lefties.  I don't know.

Q.  There was an announcement today that Patrick was involved in about the use of stats, and there's going to be more and more of it as years go by and coaches are going to have more information to deal with.  Are you actually someone who pays much attention to statistical evidence of your own game or the opposition?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  No, in the past I have not paid a lot of attention to stats, but I think stats are very important.  Recently, since the WTA has been able to merge with the new partner, I have been looking more into stats.
I really believe in change, and I think technology can really help a player.  And having that opportunity to have different types of stats on different players, it can only help you, so I'm a big fan of it.

Q.  You've got a day off tomorrow now.  Will you watch any of the matches, or what will you do?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  I'm definitely going to watch the matches.  I enjoy watching the tennis, so I'll do that.  And then just lollygag around.  Nothing serious.

Q.  At what point do you start focusing before you get on the court, an hour, hour and a half, half hour, when you tell people, Okay, I've got to lock in, think about it, stop talking to me?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  That's an interesting question.  I think I'm always focused.  I think even though I'm talking or I might laugh, I think, you know, always in the back of my mind I can't, simply can't relax unless I'm not at a tournament, and even then I still can't relax.
I think actually I talk more than usual.  I used to like not speak, not do anything, not even look at people in my team, but now I can actually say hello.

Q.  Boxers, before a fight, they sit down for 10 minutes and say, Everyone get out of the room.  I want to lock in.  Would you rather talk now and not get distracted?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  After 15 years, if you can't do it, then it's never going to happen.  That's how I feel.  So I have to be able to at least relax.  I don't need those ten minutes.

Q.  Aga was in here talking about how when vacation starts for her in the off‑season she will try not to think about tennis at all.  Is that something...

Q.  Radwanska.  When she was in here earlier, she was saying she was not going to think about it for the next two weeks or try not to.  Can you do that at this point in your life, have an hour where you don't think about tennis?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  Yeah, of course I can.  I think there's a lot of times I don't think about tennis, and I think that is one of the reasons I'm able to be able to enjoy it now so much more, because I can completely detach myself, and then I can completely reattach myself at the same time.  Works well for me.

Q.  Do you have tennis dreams or nightmares, like vivid ones?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  I have a reoccurring nightmare that's always during Grand Slam finals.  Not every time, but a lot of the times.  I dream that I leave, I'm in Australia and I leave the country to go do something in the States, and I don't make it back in time.

Q.  And you get defaulted?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  Yes.  And Venus has this nightmare, too.

Q.  The same one?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  Yeah, the same one.

Q.  Australia?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  Well, Wimbledon I had it a few times.  It's very disturbing.

Q.  You're just full of anxiety when you get up?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  I think so.  It's just the worst dream ever (rolling eyes), the worse way to lose a match.  I was like, I didn't know what I have to get and I have to fly all the way back to get it.

Q.  Matt's not in the dream, is he?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  He's in there asking me lots and lots of questions.

Q.  And she's tired of it?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  Yes.  I'm like, Matt, leave me alone, and I miss my match because of Matt.

Q.  So it's all my fault?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  It's all your fault.
Thanks, Neil.  I forgot about that part.  Thank you.

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