S. WILLIAMS/B. Zahlavova 6‑2, 6‑4

 

SERENA WILLIAMS

 

 

Q.  You let out quite a cry at the conclusion of that game.  Was it a question of relief?

SERENA WILLIAMS:  Definitely a little relief, and, you know, I think I was letting out a lot of cries.  I was happy to get through that.

Q.  It was an interesting match to watch because of the way she plays.  You were in the role of counter‑puncher.  Was it enjoyable for you to play?

SERENA WILLIAMS:  It was a different role.  I don’t think I was a counter‑puncher by no means, but she was being real aggressive and hitting lots of dropshots and coming to the net.

It was good.  If I ever play anyone like that in the tournament, it was a great opportunity for me to play her like this.

 

Q.  You said last year maybe one day you would figure out why you’re always being sent to Court No. 2, you and Venus.  Have you figured it out yet?

SERENA WILLIAMS:  No.  I can’t even talk about it.  I’m over it.  So I don’t care to talk about it.

 

Q.  You said one day you would make it an issue.

SERENA WILLIAMS:  If I said that, then I don’t know.  I’m not here to talk about Court No. 2, really.  I just can’t talk about that right now.  I’m not in the mood.

 

Q.  After Venus’ match yesterday, what were you thinking when you had a chance to speak with her following it?

SERENA WILLIAMS:  Just, you know, how she felt.  I don’t think she felt her greatest going into that match yesterday.  What she’s dealing with is just hard to each day know how you’re going to feel.

 

Q.  What might she have said to you that gave you some insight as to what she was going through yesterday specifically?

SERENA WILLIAMS:  I think overall just her positive attitude.  I don’t think I could have what she has and continue to be the way she is and to be so tough and continue everything she’s been doing.

Yeah, I think overall I would have to say that.

 

Q.  What about the Olympics?  Tell me about the development of how important the Olympics nowadays is.

SERENA WILLIAMS:  I think it’s important.  I think it’s more and more important every Olympics for tennis players.  I think it’s really cool to have that opportunity to be able to play.

So overall I think it’s awesome.

 

Q.  And having it here?

SERENA WILLIAMS:  I think it’s cool.  I never played an Olympic event at a Grand Slam, so I think it will be unique.

 

Q.  The other day you said you love competing, you love the challenge, you love the moment.  Could you take a moment and try to describe what that feeling is like to walk out there for a big match.

SERENA WILLIAMS:  Well, it’s a great feeling.  You know, you feel really good.  You feel like, you know, like I said, for that moment in time it’s all about you and your opponent.  For me, I love that feeling.  I don’t quite know why, but I really do.

It’s interesting to go out there and just do your best ‑ and for me do what I do best, which is play tennis.

 

Q.  You feel it’s all on your shoulders?  It’s all in your hands?

SERENA WILLIAMS:  Yeah, I mean, for me, when I’m playing a match, I either win it or lose it.  That’s I think cool.  But for now.

 

Q.  You’re one of the few players who have kind of become famous and transcended the sport.  You’re famous with people who might not even follow tennis.  What do you think it is about yourself that has found 2.7 million Twitter followers and all of that?

SERENA WILLIAMS:  Well, you know, I think just being involved in a sport that’s traditionally white and being a black girl and coming out and doing so awesome in general is gonna open eyes of watchers that don’t normally watch tennis or has never even thought to watch tennis.  So I think that has a lot to do with it.

I also think that ‑‑ I mean, I think I have a pretty outgoing personality.  Maybe not today, but normally I’m pretty upbeat and funny.  I don’t know.  I think I’m really an outgoing individual, and I’m not afraid to wear my emotions on my sleeve or speak my mind on a lot of different things or just be myself, yeah.

 

Q.  You won your first major at 17.  We don’t see a lot of players under 20 or over 30 winning majors anymore.  I’m wondering if you think the window of opportunity is shrinking?

SERENA WILLIAMS:  That’s a good question.  I think someone will be a teenager and win a Grand Slam again for sure.  I don’t know when.  Maybe it’s just a different time right now.

 

Q.  U.S. Olympic team was announced today.  How would you describe the experience of playing with Venus in doubles in 2000 and 2008, and how forward are you looking to it?

SERENA WILLIAMS:  I don’t know.  I was on the court.  I didn’t even know it was announced.  I think it’s great.  I really look forward to playing doubles with her.

At the end of the day we’re defending doubles champs, even though it’s been four years.  So that will be kind of cool to get out there regardless and see what happens, and more than anything, enjoy ourselves.

 

Q.  Why do you enjoying playing with her?

SERENA WILLIAMS:  I don’t know.  I love playing doubles with her normally, but especially at the Olympics.  It’s a whole ‘nother level.  I really enjoy the opportunity to play with her, so is real cool.

 

Q.  What special emotions might there be playing with Venus at this Olympics knowing how advanced she is in her career, as you are in your career?

SERENA WILLIAMS:  Just as advanced as you are in your career.  If you can be there, we can share that moment (laughter).

 

Q.  You had a rough day at the office in Paris.  You said the other day, If you don’t learn from it, it will keep on happening.  What did you learn from it?

SERENA WILLIAMS:  I learned that you got to go.  You got to keep going.  I was playing excellent before Paris.  I have felt that good, but I hadn’t felt that good in a long time ‑  well, since US Open ‑  going into a Grand Slam.

I was really disappointed.  Obviously I was extremely disappointed.  But you know, as Kelly Clarkson says, What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.  (Laughing.)

 

Q.  To then keep going, to bring it, to close the deal?

SERENA WILLIAMS:  Yeah.  You appreciate more moments.  It’s not easy.  You just got to keep going and not lose confidence more than anything.

 

Q.  Everybody wants to play mixed with you.  Andy said if you don’t play with him ‑ he asked you first ‑ he’s not going to invite you to Austin House anymore.  Bob or Mike?  Have you made a decision?  How are you going to deal with that?

SERENA WILLIAMS:  I love going to Austin.  I have so much fun with Andy and his wife.  Oh, my gosh.  We have a blast.  So that’s a tough one.

I think honestly, for me I have to talk to the captain, even both captains, the male and female.  We should just see medal‑wise who it would be best to play with.

Honestly, I wouldn’t leave it in my hands because I would make an emotional decision as opposed to a good decision.  I don’t know.

 

Q.  Did Venus’ defeat yesterday have any affect on you today, the way you played?

SERENA WILLIAMS:  It always has some sort of an effect.  I always want to play even better if she’s out of the tournament.  For the most part I don’t think it had a tremendous, huge effect.

 

Q.  Sharapova is one of your sharpest opponents here.  Can you comment on her development back to this position from her problems.

SERENA WILLIAMS:  Yeah.  She had a lot of issues.  It took her about five years to get back.  Like I said a couple weeks ago, I was really happy and proud for her.  I looked up to that because I’ve had some issues myself.  I’m a year back and I’m already in the top 10.  I’m trying to do like she does and just keep going.

 

Q.  At this point in your career do you expect issues to pop up every couple months, or do you think you’ll get a couple years with no health issues whatsoever?

SERENA WILLIAMS:  No, I never expect anything to pop up.  Like, I don’t think like that.  I always try to think positive.  I mean, I’ll be like, Okay, I’m not going to go here because I don’t want a glass to fall on me.

So I am more or less looking out for bad luck kind of things as opposed to other things.  Body‑wise, I feel really good.

 

Q.  What role do you think luck plays in our sport?

SERENA WILLIAMS:  I don’t know.  I feel like luck is what you make it.  I’ve always said for me the definition of luck is when preparation meets opportunity.  I’ve prepared my whole life for this.  You know, I’m not very lucky, but yet I have a few slams.  So, you know…

 

Q.  What have you learned from how Venus is handling what she’s been going through?

SERENA WILLIAMS:  What I’ve learned is that she’s the ultimate ‑‑ like, I don’t know.  I don’t even know how she can do what she does and still runs her business and still play, and play pretty darn good tennis and still be so positive.

What I’ve learned for the most part is whatever I’m going through, I can learn from her and always to stay positive and stay upbeat.

 

Q.  Do you have to force yourself to be positive sometimes or now is it natural?

SERENA WILLIAMS:  I’m naturally negative.  The glass is always half empty for me kind of girl.  Yeah, I’m always forcing myself to be positive.

Any more questions?  Thank you, guys.

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