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December 29, 2013

Serena Williams


THE MODERATOR:  Questions, please.

Q.  How was your break?  Where have you been and what have you been doing?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  I was in Florida the whole time.  Doing the same thing every year:  just training and getting ready.  That's about it.  So nothing super special.

Q.  It's Brisbane.  You've been in Thailand.  Has the head stopped spinning yet?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  Yeah, you know, it's not spinning too much.  It's kind of just going.  I feel pretty good.  I don't feel super jet lagged yet or super different.  I think going to Thailand may have helped because I had to jump\in straightaway.
So I think that actually helped.

Q.  What kind of preparation do you think Brisbane will give you leading up to the Australian Open?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  I think it'll give me really good preparation.  It's a great tournament to play.  Obviously the same surface.  Hopefully it'll stay hot like this, because I think the heat is good preparation for the main event, so to say.
But this is such a great tournament.

Q.  Last year your trip to Australia didn't end so well.  How much is that motivation for you to come back?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  Always really motivated to do well in Australia.  Always want to do well.  It's been a good tournament for me in the past.
I never seem to want to leave the city.  I love just coming to this country.  I love Brisbane.  I love coming to Melbourne.  Hopefully I can last a little longer than last year.

Q.  Once you won the title, you ever thought you might change it up a bit and play Hopman again?  Did you think about when you won the title you might not come back?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  I definitely thought about going somewhere else, but it just didn't feel right.  Cameron does such a good job running the event.  This event is really just a great place to come to.
So the thought didn't last long, and I ended up here again.

Q.  Obviously this year has been such a great one for you.  Is it hard to think about repeating that success in the future?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  No, I actually had a similar dilemma a last year.  Does it get better than two slams and an Olympic gold, and I think I even won a couple doubles titles in there somewhere.
I obviously looked forward to the challenge, and hopefully I can just meet that challenge en.

Q.  Do you feel like your competition is getting tougher or do you feel like you still got good control over your game and pretty much every opponent you play against?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  Well, I actually never underestimate anyone.  Every time I go out to play I think, This is the match that anything can happen.  Everyone, when they play me, they play pretty much amazing, really unbelievable.
For me, I kind of have to be ready.  Doesn't matter from the first to the last round, I always have to be ready.

Q.  I know you love the game, but you've won so much.  Do you feel like you have to pinch yourself in the morning, or never had a problem?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  Well, I definitely feel motivated.  I don't know why.  Why am I training so hard in Florida with my dad?  Why am I like doing this so many years later?
I can't stop.  I love it.  I love being out here.  I love competing.  It gives me something to do, and I just love the competition.  So for me, it's just about motivating myself and trying to reach new goals.

Q.¬† Physically do you feel like you're in top shape?¬† Have you done anything different training‑wise to try to do different things?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  I always try to do different things when it comes to training; namely, so I don't get too bored.
But, yeah, I've done a few different things and a few old things I reincorporated into my training.¬† So I think that was‑‑ I hope it was good.

Q.  So you're training in Florida instead of Mauritius.  You worked with your dad and Sascha.  Was that commercial stuff you had to do or did you miss working with your dad some?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  Well, obviously I love working with my father.  For me, he's the most unbelievable coach in the world.
Working so hard with my companies and relaunching Aneras and starting that.  I can't do that in Mauritius, so we're trying find a CEO to run it.  Then I have to run another company.
Just can't really work out of the country at that point.  I was interviewing so many people.  Corporate Serena was taking over.  I'm happy to be here right now.

Q.  How was that for you?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  Yeah, I actually always conduct interviews, so it was a lot.  We did at least ten interviews.  It was interesting.

Q.  Are you tough on people or kind of easygoing?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  You know, I definitely am not easy.  For me, it's all about business and removing a lot of emotion and just seeing black and white.  I just want to get to the point and I want to know the whys and the ins and outs and what can you do and what can't you do and reasons for that.
I definitely think I'm a tough interviewer, but I also think I'm just a real person, and everyone can see that.  Ultimately, someone that's really fun and super, super motivated to take my business to the next level.

Q.  In December you talked about how empty your fuel tank was at the end of the year.
SERENA WILLIAMS:  Oh, my gosh, yeah, I was really tired.

Q.  How long did it take you to sort of refuel?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  Not long, actually.  I took a couple weeks off, but I was already like kind of itching to get back on the court.
I didn't want to lose any rhythm or anything.  Didn't want to lose momentum is the word I was looking for.  Definitely wanted to move forward with that.

Q.  How do you relax a way from the court when you have the business, too?  When do you get to switch off?  Do you like to do nothing?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  I don't sleep, so...
I do every now and then.  Actually, I'm happy to be here because now I can turn everything else off and let everyone else do their thing.  Now I can do what I do best, which is play tennis.
I was so happy to leave because I was like, Okay, I'm done and I won't be back to this for a few months.

Q.  Do you remember how you felt coming in here last year and maybe compare that to this year?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  Yeah, I'm always feeling nervous.  I always feel nervous in the beginning of the year for every single match, but I think that also is a way of showing that I really appreciate the game.
There is not one match that I don't feel like a little jittery.  Last year I was definitely jittery; this year I feel more calm but still a little nerves.

Q.  Is there paranoia in the back of your mind about an ankle injury?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  I thought about it because I have steps in my room.  I thought, Gosh, I'm going to tip over these steps.  I'm going to tape my ankles extra tight for the next four weeks.
If I can get a year without twisting my ankle I think I'll be good to go.

Q.¬† When you come on tour, do you turn off the business e‑mails or calls, or do you use that as an escape between matches?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  Well, it goes from like 80% to like 20%.  That's the best way to describe it.  I do a lot more reading on strategy and leadership and things of that nature, but I don't necessarily conduct actual interviews.
I do have one this week, and then I'm done.

Q.  Where did you end up eating on Christmas day?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  I don't celebrate Christmas.

Q.  I know, but you were asking for restaurants.
SERENA WILLIAMS:  Everything was closed.  I ended up going to the movie theaters.  It was a cheat day, so I had nachos and chicken fingers and stuff.  It was the only place I could find to eat, so...

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