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DUBAI DUTY FREE TENNIS CHAMPIONSHIPS


February 20, 2014


Serena Williams


DUBAI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES

S. WILLIAMS/J. Jankovic
6‑2, 6‑2


THE MODERATOR:  Questions, please.

Q.  Feel a lot more comfortable than the first match?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  It definitely felt a lot more comfortable.  I think it looked a little more comfortable.
There are some shots today that I missed that I would never have missed a month ago, so I'm still getting a little rust off.
But it feels good.  I'm still trying to make sure I keep going in the right direction.

Q.  There was one point where you pulled right up and there was a scream, and everyone thought, Oh, no.  And then you were all right.  What happened?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  I don't know.  I kind of was running and my shoe slipped and I misfooted and I hyperextended my leg a little bit.  It was weird.
So it was fine, though.

Q.  It didn't hurt?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  For like a half a second.  Then after that it was gone.  It was fine.

Q.  Could you tell us what happened at the finish, a few words with Jelena?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  Oh, I told her at the end, I was like, Look, I didn't mean anything, I'm sorry if I played slow.
She was like, No, it was more like they say she plays too fast and they say she plays too slow.  She said she couldn't get right.  What is it?  I need to know which one I'm doing.   So it was what it was.
Jelena is a great competitor and she leaves everything on the court, and you have to appreciate that, as do I.  That was all that was.
I just wanted to make sure.  I don't like to have a beef with anyone.  I was like, Look, are we cool?  Because I'm cool with you.  I'm sorry if anything didn't go right.

Q.  You leave it on the best terms?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  For me, always.  I'm here to have fun.  I love playing tennis, coming on the tour, seeing everyone week to week.  They become more than just players.  They become almost like a family even if we don't talk.  It's just, you know, it's a respect.
That's what I have for everyone.  I always want to keep it that way, always.

Q.  We have a regular dialogue with Rafa about the 25 seconds, whether it's right or wrong.  What do you think?  Sometimes it seems a little bit quick.
SERENA WILLIAMS:  It definitely seems quick.  I don't know.  I try to play within the 25 seconds, but I think tonight some of those seconds were about three to five seconds.
So it I wasn't quite ready on those seconds.  I tried to go a little faster, but I definitely need at least 10 to 15 seconds to get ready for the next point.

Q.  Can you tell me what you like about this tournament?  Your third time here.
SERENA WILLIAMS:  I like Dubai.  It's a great place to come.  You know, what I like most about it  is just the city.  I go to a restaurant, and I see a guy and he's like, I'm from NewYork.  And another guy, they are all staff, and he's from London.  Another guy is from Nigeria.  Another guy is from Asia.
And it's an incredible mix of people from absolutely everywhere in the world.  It is a beautiful, beautiful thing.  Everyone is just treated the same, so it's just great.  I love it.

Q.  Is it nice to have Venus in the semis with you?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  It is.  It's really great.  She's such an inspiration.  She's the ultimate inspiration.  I think her story is the greatest for me to go through what she's going through.
I probably would have kind of hung up my racquets and maybe played some doubles.  She has so much courage to show up week in and week out and play.  That's what I call courage.

Q.  She said earlier that the family has been so supportive of her.  They even changed their lifestyle in some ways.
SERENA WILLIAMS:  Yeah.

Q.  How is that?  What changes have you made?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  Yeah, she's changed her lifestyle.  She used to eat different things.  Believe it or not, she's thinner.  I never ate as bad as her.  I guess that's my luck.
But she changed her diet.¬† She became‑‑ she calls herself a cheagan, because she used to eat a lot of beef.¬† I never ate beef.¬† So every blue moon I will see her eating a steak, but literally twice a year, maybe once a year.
She calls herself a cheagan.  She changed her lifestyle.  She had to because of her illness.

Q.  She said the family has, as well.
SERENA WILLIAMS:¬† I know.¬† We live together.¬† My mom started, and then I started.¬† I felt like I can't bring bad things in the house.¬† And I love to cook, so I learned how to cook ‑‑ well, raw, and I learned how to cook vegan and stuff like that.¬† So it was a great experience for us all.
It's a great way to live.  It's so healthy.  Forget tennis and everything.  It's just about living a healthy lifestyle and being the best person you can on the inside and healing your body from the inside out.

Q.  How would you feel about playing her in the final here?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  I have to win, so I'm not thinking about that.  I still have another tough match, so I'm not thinking about it.

Q.  You said you might well have retired if it was not for Venus?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  No, no, no.  If I were Venus, I probably would have been like, Well, I might just play doubles or I might just do this.
But her spirit and her, like, it's just amazing because I know what she goes through more than anyone else here, and sometimes she's doing great and sometimes it's different and it's difficult.
She might lose matches that she would normally win 10 times out of 10, but to accept that and keep going is really amazing.

Q.  Have you told her that?  Have you told her, God, if it was me, I think I would have probably hung up a racquet?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  Not that in particular, but we have talked a lot and I have told her a lot of things.

Q.  She seems very healthy this year, this season.  She's been playing well?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  She's doing better.  She doing a little better.  She's doing better every day.  Some days it depends.  But, yeah, she's doing okay.

Q.¬† What do you make of her tennis, generally, from Venus' old, the Grand Slam‑winning Venus?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  She's getting there.  She's taking it one step at a time.  She's not playing her best at all.
But the best thing about it is she can play so much better, and she's moving forward.  She's not moving backwards.
That's always a good thing.  I think she can get there again.

Q.  How about you?  Have you felt bad at all this week?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  No, no, I didn't.  Not at all, actually.  So far so good.  I want to keep it like that.  I feel like I need wood (indicating a knocking motion with knuckles).

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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