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January 2, 2014
S. WILLIAMS/D. Cibulkova
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