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BRISBANE INTERNATIONAL PRESENTED BY SUNCORP


January 2, 2014


Serena Williams


BRISBANE, QUEENSLAND

S. WILLIAMS/D. Cibulkova
6‑3, 6‑3


THE MODERATOR:  Questions, please.

Q.  You said on court you hadn't played a set without losing a point since juniors.  That must have felt really good.
SERENA WILLIAMS:  Yeah, felt really good.  She was returning really well.  She stays so low to the ground and does so many good things, especially off the ground.  She's just so powerful.
So of all the opponents, I definitely wouldn't expect it against her.
But I was able to serve really well today.

Q.  Was it something you particularly worked on or wanted to focus on to this match, or just something that clicked?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  Yeah, I have been working on my serve with my dad.  Normally don't serve, so this time I served like every other day, so that was really big for me.
I don't want to wear my arm out so I don't think it's good for me to serve every day.  That was a lot of work for me.
Hopefully it'll be consistent, more consistent throughout the year instead of kind of up and down.  We'll see.

Q.¬† Seems like you've had zero drops in your confidence level since the off‑season; yes?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  Really?  Honestly, I told you I'm going be more relaxed.  I don't care about going out there and winning.  Its just about playing relaxed and staying completely focused but realizing that things could be different.
So if I play relaxed, I just feel a lot better.  I'm really going to try to incorporate that mainly in the Grand Slams.

Q.  You were talking about and tweeted about watching yourself on Tennis Channel at the French Open.
SERENA WILLIAMS:  Yeah.  My God, who was that girl?  I don't recognize her at all.  I so was intense.  I mean, it's a good thing, it's a good thing, but just watching my matches is just like a complete outer body experience.
I really am just a completely different person off the court.

Q.  You watched every one or just the final?
SERENA WILLIAMS:¬† No, I didn't even get to the final.¬† I saw the second ‑‑ I saw all the rounds except for the final.¬† I didn't see the first round either, but then I saw all of them except for the final.

Q.  Why not the final?  You were raising the trophy.
SERENA WILLIAMS:  I was probably getting my nails done that day because it came on on like Saturday.  Yeah, Saturdays I wasn't at home.

Q.  When you're watching yourself, are you being critical in your own head if you're not playing well?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  Yeah.

Q.  Or are you just saying, There you go Serena; hit a good shot?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  I'm for sure being critical.  I'm very critical of myself.  Obviously I'm watching it not for pleasure but to see what I did, what I can do.
And also it's fun watch as well.  But definitely all those things.

Q.¬† Is it hard to change your on‑court demeanor after so many years on tour?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  Well, no, like today I was really pumped out there but I was relaxed even though I was really pumped.  So when I say that, I just mean not to get overly stressed about missing certain shots that I should make.  Just relax and just move on kind of thing.

Q.  We love the story about the racquets being around the corner.  That shows you were obviously thinking about the match.
SERENA WILLIAMS:  Yeah.

Q.  Can you talk about the thought process.
SERENA WILLIAMS:  Yeah, I was just ready to get on this court, ready to play.  I was just ready to get it started.  I don't know.  I just forget 'em.  Maybe I wasn't so ready as I thought.

Q.  Why have you been able to dominate Maria so much?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  I don't know.  We have some good matches, so I'm not quite sure.

Q.  Playing a top 5 player, do you treat it any differently?  You always say you respect your opponents, but do you have to make sure your skills are at the top?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  Absolutely.  When you're playing anyone in the top 5 or top 10, for me, I approach that match different because they know what that takes to win.  Some of them have won Grand Slams so they know what it takes to go even further.
You definitely can't underestimate those players, because they're ranked at that level for a reason.

Q.¬† Do you remember 2005 Aussie Open final against Maria that you won 8‑6 in the third?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  I remember a forehand inside out.  That's all I remember.

Q.  You hitting the winner?
SERENA WILLIAMS:¬† Yeah.¬† I was down match point and I hit this winner and I didn't even blink.¬† I hit the a winner and walked right to the other side and was ready for the next return as if it was just a 30‑15 point.
It was pretty amazing.

Q.  Do you think that match, as simple as that match, changed everything?  You haven't lost to her since then.
SERENA WILLIAMS:  Well, I don't want to be jinxed, but, yeah, I just work hard.  She works hard obviously, too.
We just both do the best that we can.  Obviously I've been able to get the better out of some situations and she's gotten the better of m twice, so...

Q.  Did you read Chris' piece in the New York Times?  She said she has the utmost respect for you on court, but off court you're relationship is different.  Two big athletes like you guys, is it impossible for you to be friends?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  Well, it's very difficult I think for anyone to be best buddies when you're so competitive.
But I don't have a problem with anyone.  I get along with everyone.  I have respect for people not only on the court but as well as off the court.  I don't have any problem when it comes to anything like that.
I don't take jabs or anything.  I am who I am and I don't hide anything.  I think you guys have been able to see that.
So, yeah, I'm totally fine.

Q.  Do you regret how things went at Wimbledon?  There were some comments that were a little more personal.
SERENA WILLIAMS:¬† I think that's definitely a question for her.¬† I spoke with her.¬† I had a great talk with her.¬† For me, I don't have anything against her or anything.¬† I think that's‑‑ I don't know.¬† I think that question isn't necessarily for me.

Q.  I am asking if you regretted that things took that turn on your side.
SERENA WILLIAMS:  I don't think that question is for me.  I didn't go anywhere like that, so...

Q.  Going into the new year, have you set yourself some resolutions?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  Yeah, I never set resolutions.  I don't do that, get involved in that, so haven't set anything.

Q.  Specific goals for...
SERENA WILLIAMS:¬† I always have goals tennis‑wise as to what I want to do.
I am moving out of house with my sister, so my goal is to start at least by the summer.  That's a serious goal.

Q.  The Florida house?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  Yeah.

Q.¬† You have the house in L.A., so what are you going to do Florida‑wise?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  Right now I'm going to move in with her because my house won't be ready.  I'll still be knocking on her door.  Can I come in?  Can I eat?

Q.  Is she helping design it inside?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  Yeah, for sure she will.  I haven't started though.  I haven't been serious about it.  I better get serious.
But my major goal is to is it right by the summer.

Q.  How far is it from your old hood?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  Ten minutes.  Us Florida girls stay local.  We never move too far.

Q.  A tennis court?  A pool?  What, music room?
SERENA WILLIAMS:¬† Well, Venus‑‑

Q.  Interview room?
SERENA WILLIAMS:¬† Venus is constantly‑‑ she doesn't take me serious, I don't think, but she's constantly pinning pictures she thinks I would like the.¬† Latest pin is a staircase that has a slide that goes down.¬† (Laughter.)
Of course I fell in love with it, so I'm convinced I'm going to have a slide.  (Laughing.)  Of course I'll never be able to resell the house, but, you know.

Q.  Could be a pool at the bottom of the slide.
SERENA WILLIAMS:  I could, I could.  Just looks fun.  I just want to slide, so we'll see.  (Laughter.)

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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