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December 31, 2013

Serena Williams


S. WILLIAMS/A. Petkovic
6‑4, 6‑4

THE MODERATOR:  Questions, please.

Q.  Pretty solid first match for you of the season, of the tournament?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  Yeah, it was an intense match, which was really good.  She's a good player.  She's been in the top 10 before and she was on her way to being even better.
It was a good match for me.

Q.  Any nerves?  I know you haven't played a match since the Championships.

Q.  You've played a ton of matches in your career, but it's the start of the a new season.  Any jitters at all?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  Actually, no, and I do usually have a lot of nerves.  But when realized who I was playing I felt like, Okay, she's going to be a really good match for me and a really good opportunity for me to have a tough match early on.
I think that kind of made me more calm than anything.

Q.  What does this match tell you, Serena?  That your fitness is where it should be?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  Yeah, my fitness is definitely where it should be.  I felt great out there.  Never actually felt winded.
Yeah, it was fine.

Q.  How much have you seen her play?  How much have you kept track of her?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  I haven't seen her play a lot recently but I've seen her results.  Never really watch the matches.

Q.  You tape both ankles pretty high.  Is that just because we're in Australia, or is that just because you felt like taping both ankles?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  I always tape them pretty high, but I put extra wraps on them today.  I told my physio, Let's do some extra ones.  I don't want anything to happen.  Please.

Q.  So it's mental in a sense?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  I think it is.  But at the same time, definitely wasn't mental when I took those falls and my ankle was like this big.  I just don't want that anymore.

Q.  How long does it take you to get all that preparatory work done, the ankles strapping and all that?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  I have it down to a science, so just like 15, 20 minutes.  It's not that long.

Q.  After a 78 and 4 season this season, what do you hope for?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  You know, I had a similar question in 2012.  I had such a good year winning two slams and a gold and two doubles.  It was a lot.
You know, I just didn't think I could do better.  You know, arguably I may have done better, so I'm just going to be up for that challenge again.  Hopefully I will.  If not, absolutely nothing to complain about.

Q.  Going back to your ankles, that purple thing on the socks, what was that?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  Yeah, no, it's a new Nike shoe, new model.

Q.  It's a part of the shoe?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  Yeah, it's a part of the shoe.  Just a modern shoe that has ankle support, and it's also about‑‑ there is also going to be a model that doesn't have that as well.
Just innovative wonderful light, very super, super light shoe.

Q.  You have Dominika Cibulkova.  How do you see that?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  She's such a tough player.  She's fighting for every point.  She had like a super long match today.
I went out and I practiced and they were already playing.  I came back, sat down, ate, played a game on my iPad, and I looked up and they were still on the court.  I got my ankles taped and then she was just walking off the court.
So that just goes to show you the fight she has to come through just a good win like that.  We have had a lot of tough matches, so it's going to be important for me to just go out there and stay relaxed and have one.

Q.  When you see Date, do you think that it's conceivable that could be you in a decade or so?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  I actually I just thought about that.  In the locker room I passed her, and I thought, She's so awesome really to be out here at her age and to be so ‑‑ she's way more fit than I am.  I mean, she's probably the most fit female on tour.
It's really inspiring.  It's super inspiring.

Q.  So playing into your 40s, slight possibility?  Singles.
SERENA WILLIAMS:  I really hope not.  I pray that I'm not playing.  We'll see.

Q.  You're the‑top‑ranked player in the world and yet there are times out there on the court where you sort of try to remind yourself about some of the basic things in the game.  Is that focus on the minute detail the reason you've become a better player than you were?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  Well, I'm a renowned perfectionist.  I think I wrote the book on being perfect.  I think it definitely helps me in a way.
Also, it definitely holds me back at some moments.  It's just important for me to let part that helps me kind of fill up and then the part that holds me back, just to let that go.

Q.  You're probably not going to party much tonight since you're in the middle of the tournament.  Do you remember your most fun New Year's Ever?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  Well, I don't celebrate New Year's Eve, so usually I'm in bed at midnight.  I plead the fifth.

Q.  How about when you weren't involved in a tournament?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  Well, yeah.  Really, honestly, it's so dangerous.  I'm not going to answer that question.  (Laughter.)

Q.  So you really are going to go out dancing tonight, aren't you?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  Oh, gosh, no.  I always hear the fireworks.  They wake me up at midnight.  Hopefully I can sleep through them tonight.  The past three years I've been in Brisbane for New Year's Eve.
I'm a very serious player.  I never leave my room during a tournament, so I'm definitely not going out.  True story.

Q.  One of your earrings fell out during the match.
SERENA WILLIAMS:  No, I must not have put them in‑‑ Venus bought me those earrings.  She bought me my necklace, too.

Q.  Did you forget it on court?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  No.  The ballkid gave it to me.  He was so sweet.  I'm going to complain to Venus and make her buy me something new.

Q.  Just the missed forehand at the net, how do you see that point?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  Honestly, she barely touched the ball and it went back.  It kind of bounced back.  No chance to get it.  I guess I could have put my racquet out, but it was so much momentum going back.
It was just one of those shots that you hope to hit, but you hope never to be on the receiving end of.

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