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January 3, 2014

Serena Williams


S. WILLIAMS/M. Sharapova
6‑2, 7‑6

THE MODERATOR:  Questions, please.

Q.  How satisfying was that win?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  It was pretty satisfying, I guess.  I think the quality of the match was very high, especially on Maria's end.
So was it good for me to come up with a win on that match.

Q.  When you get into the tight scenarios tiebreaks, does the streak against her come into play?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  I never thought about it once until now, so no.
For me, every match is a new match.  Obviously for her it's the same thing because she played like it.
Yeah, that doesn't come into play at all.

Q.  The court is pretty fast.  Both of you had problems holding in the second set.  Was it humidity?  Just on the day?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  Yeah, we both I think are very strong returners, and personally I couldn't get a first serve in today.  My first serve percentage was extremely low.  I didn't serve nearly as well as I served my first two matches.
So that obviously played a little bit of a factor.  You know, a little disappointed because that's what I've been working on, being consistent with my serve.  But, hey, at least I was able to come through.

Q.  The two double faults in the tiebreaker, would have been a fair while since you've done that.
SERENA WILLIAMS:  Yeah, been a really long time, if ever, to be honest.  I think I was going too fast.  I felt like I hit those double faults all in 20 seconds.
So definitely next time I'm going to for sure slow down and not go as fast and then go from there.

Q.  Did you enjoy the intensity level of some of the really good points, or were you just focused on playing well or not playing well, perfectionist, that type of thing?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  I think it was fun.  Some of those points were really long and the intensity level was so high.  Maria was hitting the ball extremely hard and I was retrieving a lot of balls.  So was she.  My gosh, she was getting so many balls back.
So, yeah, few times I smiled out there because I was really enjoying myself.

Q.  How do you feel about going up against Victoria?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  I feel good.  She's had some tough matches; I've had a few tough matches.  To be honest, I think we both feel really good going into the Australian Open.  We're excited to be playing Brisbane, but we're ready for Melbourne now.
I think it'll be a really good match to see where we both stand as the two most consistent players of the last year and a half.

Q.  14 straight wins over a player of her caliber, for anyone to do that to a player that has won Grand Slams doesn't happen a whole lot.  How do you explain the streak?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  Don't know.  I don't know.  I don't know.  She's such a good player, so it's kind of hard to explain.  I don't know.

Q.  Do you feel it's like a mental thing or Xs and Os and the match just comes out your way?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  I just don't know.  I just have to be ready.  It's not against her or anyone else.  I just try to be ready against everyone I play.  Doesn't matter what their name is, I just try to play my best.
If I win, that's what I'm trying to do.  I never go out there to lose, so...

Q.  Can you imagine ever losing to her again?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  Of course.  I think anything can happen.  She's playing so well.  She's doing well.  She's moving great.  You know, anything can happen.
You can't write anything off, but I'm always going to work super hard to prevent, not only her, but anyone else from winning.

Q.  Some really good shots in that match, but one you went out of the court and hit a forehand crosscourt.  Do you remember some of those shots?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  Yeah, I remember one shot, a forehand.  Maybe it was two.  I didn't particularly practice that shot, but glad I hit it.  It was a nice winner.

Q.  You tried a dropshot on match point again.
SERENA WILLIAMS:  Yeah, I thought it was actually a really good one.  She was able to run it down, though.  She has a super long reach and was able to get another good shot.
Nothing I could do about it.  Maybe I could have placed it somewhere else, but she did a really good job running it down.

Q.  You've had rivalries with a lot of great players over the years.  Talk about the rivalry now with Azarenka.
SERENA WILLIAMS:  It's a good one.  She's so intense on the court, and then off the court she's so cool.  So I think that's what makes the rivalry the best, is because when you step on the court I don't know her and she doesn't know me and we fight like crazy.
When it's over it's over.  There is a lot of mutual respect there.

Q.  For you to play two of your biggest rivals the first week of the season, does it feel like you have to get going 0 to 60 pretty fast here?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  Yeah, feel like I'm being pushed into the deep end straightaway.  I also think it's a good thing.  In Melbourne if I have to face Maria again I'll know a little bit more what to expect.  I really didn't know what to expect today.
Same thing with Victoria tomorrow.  We'll see how she's playing, and then if I happen to play her in Melbourne, I'll know what to do and what to expect.

Q.  Did Maria bring anything different tonight that you haven't seen before?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  I think every time I play her she brings something different.  You can't just bring the same thing every time.
So, yeah.

Q.  Did it feel like a Grand Slam intensity there?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  I don't know.  I'm not at a Grand Slam right now, so I don't know.

Q.  So you had Jeremy in your box.  I know you practiced with him before and you know each other through Patrick.  Have you practiced with him recently?  Haven't seen him in your box a lot.
SERENA WILLIAMS:  I'm not sure if I ever hit with Jeremy.  I'm fairly intimidated by his forehand.  I don't think I've hit with him.  We're just really good friends.  Me and his girlfriend, we all kind of hang out a lot.
He's super funny, and I think he wanted to get a few pointers for his match tomorrow.  (Laughter.)

Q.  Any pointers for how to beat Federer?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  How to beat roger?

Q.  Yeah.
SERENA WILLIAMS:  No, I don't have any pointers.

Q.  You're a big music person.  Do you listen to Red Foo's music?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  I think everyone does.  He's had some hits that go a cross all borders.

Q.  Do you do him on karaoke?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  Never done him on karaoke.  I'll put him on my list though now that I think about it for sure.  I don't think I have.

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