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January 13, 2014

Serena Williams


6‑2, 6‑1

THE MODERATOR:  Questions, please.

Q.  Remember when you were 17?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  Yeah, for sure.  For sure.  It was fun times.  Fun times.

Q.  What is it like to go out there and play against someone who is that age?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  It's fun.  You have to be ready.  She had absolutely nothing to lose.  It would have been different playing her at like a French Open, Wimbledon, US Open.  But she's from here, so obviously it's a different atmosphere.

Q.  She might have felt a little pressure just by playing in front of the home crowd.  Could you ever remember that yourself?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  No, I never felt that pressure at the Open at all.  So no.
It's different.  American sports is different.  In Australia they're like crazy for anyone that is local.  So it's just a little different than the United States, which works out great for me.

Q.  You wouldn't like the crazy locals in the US?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  I think now there's definitely more locals in the United States that really root for the Americans.  But back in the '90s, it wasn't so much.  It was more relaxing.  Everyone is a fan of tennis.  That's what it's all about.

Q.  How important is it to feel the ball in that first match of a slam?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  Yeah, for sure, it was a little tricky out there.  It's good to get through that match.  Could be potentially a dangerous opponent.  She's really good.
I'm just happy to finish that one.

Q.  I think you came in 11 times tonight.

Q.  You don't come in that much anymore.  Did you just want to try it out a little bit more?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  No, it's just something I think I need to do.  I've been doing it for a while.  I just haven't been actually coming in.
In my mind I've been at the net, but now I'm physically going there a little more.  No pressure.  My next match I might stay at the baseline the whole time.  It's nothing I'm permanently working on.  I'm just trying to have fun and do what I want to do out there.

Q.  Do you remember the hottest temperature, toughest conditions heat‑wise you've ever played in?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  No.  I just remember some tough matches, but I don't remember the temperature or anything.

Q.  Are you able to not think about the heat?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  No, you got to just go with the flow and pretend it's not there.  But sometimes it can get hot.  I was kind of happy I had the night match.

Q.  You gave a shout out to the Rena Army end of the match.  How do you land on that?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  Well, my name is Serena.  If you say the Se out, you got the Rena.  A lot of people have always called me Rena.

Q.  You were Chantal for a brief while.
SERENA WILLIAMS:  No.  All my friends always know Rena, so I'm kind of opening that up to my fans.

Q.  Back to the heat.  We're expecting maybe triple‑digit weather.  Does that concern you?  Do you prepare for that?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  It's okay.  I have to be ready for it.  I'm happy to be in the second round, so I can't complain about the weather at this point.  Hopefully I can continue on.

Q.  Does anything concern you about the tournament ahead?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  I just don't want to get in my way.  I just have to stay out of my way and I'll be fine.
Like I said, it doesn't matter whether I win or lose, as long as I have fun.  As long as I'm able to stay relaxed, I'll be okay.

Q.  What do you make of Venus' match?  Obviously a very tough draw for her.
SERENA WILLIAMS:  Yeah, it was an extremely tough draw for her.  Makarova plays really, really well down here.  I think this court really suits her game.
It was a good match for her, though.  She's doing better.

Q.  You seem to be very kind when you play.  With her, you talked to her after the match.  What are you trying to pass to her?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  I don't know.  I just think she's so cute.  I like her a lot.  She's so young.  You know, I'd like to see her do really well.
I think she has a game to do really well.  We'll see.

Q.  Michael Schumacher, seven‑times Formula One champion, is fighting for his life.  Seeking adrenaline, would you ski in that way?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  I don't have too many thoughts about it.  I can just pray for him.  I think it's a really sad situation.  I really hope he can pull through obviously.  Can only hope the best for him.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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