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February 18, 2014

Serena Williams


S. WILLIAMS/E. Makarova
7‑6, 6‑0

THE MODERATOR:  Questions, please.

Q.  Well done, Serena.  How did it feel competing again?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  Good.  I felt a little rusty, but it was okay.

Q.  Body all right?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  Body is fine.  Yeah, I just had to get my feet moving, but it was okay.

Q.  Is it kind of tough to get that rust out also when you are playing a lefty and she's kind of jamming balls into your body a little bit?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  Yeah, it's definitely not easy, so it was a little more tough.
Katrina is a good player.  You know, she's had some really good results.

Q.  It kind of seemed in the first set that you were hitting a lot more backhands than forehands.  Was that anything you were doing on purpose, or...
SERENA WILLIAMS:  I mean, she was hitting to my backhands, but eventually I started running around and hitting more forehands.  I prefer my backhand, so sometimes I have to tell myself to hit more forehands than backhands because I love hitting backhands.

Q.  Talk a little bit about the last game.  Once she got into the second set it was 5‑Love, but then she had like three break points and everything.
SERENA WILLIAMS:  Yeah.  Well, she never gives up, and in that last game she started playing even better.
I knew that I wanted to close it out there, because she probably felt comfortable with holding serve and it would have been, you know, a longer match.
So I really wanted to just kind of really hold that and just get through it.

Q.  Not having played for a month now or over a month, how difficult is it to adjust to the conditions, you've got to get going?  How difficult is that?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  Well, today was really difficult to me.  I felt so rusty out there and a little frustrated.  I have been practicing.  I was like, Gosh, this isn't what I practiced.
But I was just really excited to get through that, because it wasn't, you know, it wasn't...

Q.  When you feel rusty, what do you have to tell yourself to do?  Get some rhythm?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  Yeah, I was really telling myself to stay positive, because I was making a lot of errors that I normally don't make, and my serve just wasn't popping the way it normally is.
It was just, you know, all around.  I was just really trying to get in the rhythm.  I was trying to get some sort of rhythm out there.

Q.  In the second set it all changed, right?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  It definitely got better in the second set.  I think the first set helped me.  You know, if it was to play long points and, you know, to hit a lot of balls and do a lot of moving, I think it actually helped me.

Q.  When you go to a tournament you have never won before, does it give you extra motivation?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  I seem not to be able to win the ones I have never won, I think.  What else haven't I won?

Q.  Why might that be?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  I don't know.  I guess I don't play enough (smiling).
There is no extra motivation.  I mean, I couldn't have any more motivation than what I already have.  I mean, I don't think it's humanly possible.
I'm always so motivated every time I play.  I'm a complete perfectionist.  I just want to do better and better.  Yeah.

Q.  In a way, are you glad that you got tested like that in the first set and go through that and just get that kind of confidence going on in the tournament?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  Just happy to have the win.  Yeah, I guess.  I'm happy for the win.  I want to obviously ‑‑I'm going to have to play better if I want to do better here.  I'm happy to get the win.

Q.  Tomorrow you and Venus strangely facing singles opponents.  What do you expect from that match?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  They are actually great doubles players, so we have a tough battle in front of us, but we are playing, having fun, we have nothing to lose.  We are really going to go out there and enjoy ourselves and do the best we can.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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