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March 20, 2014

Serena Williams


S. WILLIAMS/Y. Shvedova
7‑6, 6‑2

THE MODERATOR:  Questions, please.

Q.  Can you talk about what got you going?  I mean, it was really, really tight there, and then you started getting that Serena wave that you get where it's like, Okay, I'm going to start being Serena now.  At what moment did you become Serena in that match?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  Well, she was playing, really, really, well, and I figure it was ‑‑ she was up a break, and I started just really trying to fight to make the shots.
And then when she was serving for the first set I really jut, I don't know, as you said, I guess, tried to be more Serena‑like.

Q.  What was she doing that was throwing you off for a while?  Seemed like she was not intimidated.  What was she doing?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  Well, she was doing a little bit of everything:  she was hitting hard; she was hitting soft; she was doing a little bit of everything.
I was making a little more errors than what I should have been making, what I should've made, and that kind of threw me for a loop, as well.
I just tried to come back and stay into the match.

Q.  She wobbled a little bit serving at 6‑4 in the tiebreaker.  That was a nervous double fault.  What was your reaction when that happened?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  Well, right then I was thinking, Try to win the point.  I don't really think too much about it.  I just tried to stay focused, and just at that point I was happy to still be in the set.

Q.  How are you feeling?  Well?  Almost everybody else played Indian Wells.  Is it an advantage or disadvantage with rest coming into the opening rounds of this tournament?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  I feel good.  I'm really excited.  Physically I feel great.  I don't know if it's an advantage or disadvantage.

Q.  Did you take any vacations during that stretch?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  Yeah, I usually do, but I didn't this time around.  I really needed to hit the practice courts.

Q.  Still Dolphin colors?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  Yeah, they are.  Actually, we're playing ‑‑ Nike and I wanted to pay homage to my team that I co‑own, so it was like, We should totally do the Dolphin colors.  Just have something really fun for Miami.  You know, Dolphins are great, so just, Go Dolphins, go Fins.

Q.  Do you have any advice as a co‑owner for the Dolphins?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  (Smiling).  Well for me it's always staying positive.  There is always ups and downs in one's career.  It's about overcoming those and knowing we have a great roster, we have a great team, and we can do just as well as any other team.
We never want to get down or get negative.  Just stay positive.

Q.  Who is your favorite player?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  We don't have favorite players.  We like everyone (smiling).
It's hard to have a favorite.  Everyone's great.

Q.  How did you analyze your play today just as a whole in the match, first match?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  Well, first match for me in a few weeks, so I definitely ‑‑I was happy to get through it.  I think she played really well.
I'm always really hard on myself.  I always think I can play better.  I had a tremendous amount of unforced errors.  I missed some shots I was not missing before.  I have a lot of room for improvement, which in my mind is a good thing.

Q.  Couple times you went to the baseline and just started shaking your head.  Are you trying to get yourself back into the ‑‑what are you doing that point?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  Yeah, I was just like a little disappointed in myself, because I'm making a lot of those shots in practice.
But, you know, it will come together.  I really believe it will.  Just got to keep going.

Q.  Were you distracted by the fans with the noise in the crowd?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  No, I was not.  No.

Q.  Switching gears just a little bit, I actually wanted to ask you about your faith.  Can you talk about how that's affected your outlook on your career?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  Well, I think, you know, as I'm trying to study and be a Jehovah's Witness, I think it's really important to believe in it.  I feel like it's definitely kept me calm.  Not necessarily on the court, but off the court I don't really ‑‑ you know, when you do so well when you're young and you have so many things and so many opportunities, you know, there is a lot of negative ‑‑there is a lot of positives and there is a lot of negatives that come with it.
It really serves as a protection, I feel.

Q.  Do you ever pray when you're on the court?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  Yeah, all the time.

Q.  How much is that first set going to help you since it was so tough?  Will it make you like take you to the next level knowing when you go to the next round, having that in mind?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  It's definitely going to help, knowing that I was able to pull that through after being down, you know, pretty drastically.  It's definitely going to help me throughout the event.

Q.  How relieved were you at the end of the first set?  I mean, that final point of the tiebreaker, can you take us through that final point, what it feels like to get that set and get it behind you?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  Well, it felt really good.  Like you said, relieved is a good word.  I felt really relieved to finish it and to get on with the second set.  It was a little over an hour, and I was ready to move on.  I was kind of over it.  I was like, win, lose, or draw, let's start the next set.

Q.  No doubles with Venus?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  No, not this time.  We never play doubles here.  One of these days we should.

Q.  What would make this tournament different for you?  It's a home tournament for you.  Are you comfortable here?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  Well, I love playing here.  I live just really close.  I always just drive here, and I feel like, you know, if I need something I can go home and get it.  You know, I just have my whole life here.  I train here, all my friends are here.  We have so many people that come, because, you know, this is where all my friends live.
So it's kind of cool to just come here year after year and play literally at home in your back yard.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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