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An Interview With: Serena Williams (Round 2)

Wednesday, September 02, 2015

Q. Saw you on the practice court after the match. The serve went a little awry the first set. Talk about what was in your mind when you kept double-faulting.

SERENA WILLIAMS: You know, just trying to get those second serves in. I don't know what was on my mind at that point. I was just, yeah, trying to keep fighting and keep trying.

Q. Is that what you were working on when you went to the practice court?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, Patrick told me some things that he saw that he thought I could work on to improve it and to get better.

Q. How often do you do that in a Grand Slam after a match?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I've done it often enough. I've done it a few times, so... It's nothing new actually - for me at least.

Q. What do you think is the most important aspect of your focus, your belief, that enables you to come back no matter how well or how not well you're playing in the first set?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I don't know. I mean, today, for instance, I just said, One point at a time. Like I said, when I get down, I tend to get really relaxed and I start to play a little better. But, yeah, taking it one moment at a time for me.

Q. How has that evolved, or have you always had that ability?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I've always made some legendary comebacks since 1998 when it first started, '98. So that's kind of just been my MO for my whole career.

Q. You were out there for a good half hour taking serves. How much more confident are you with it going into your next match?

SERENA WILLIAMS: We'll see. I'll see tomorrow how I am in practice, how I am with serving. I'll see how I do tomorrow.

Q. How different did this match feel as a second round with what happened in the first round where you didn't get much of a challenge? Did you feel like you were thrown into this tournament colder than you might be normally?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I definitely feel like I was definitely a little colder. But I played in Cincinnati. I played in Toronto. I've been practicing every day. I mean, that is no excuse. I just felt I should have, and am fine.

Q. Is that part of the reason you said on court you felt a little bit tight today? Is there any ability for you to pinpoint that, or just a feeling you have on court?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I wasn't tight yesterday. I felt a little tight today. You know, I think I'll do things different, just things with myself, and I'll be better for my next match.

Q. Are you at all enjoying the nerve-wracking stuff you're going through?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Until today I was okay with it. You know, I just got a little nervous today. But, you know, I've been doing totally fine. I've been completely relaxed, chill. I've been really, really fine. So I'm going to get back into the place that I was and I'll be fine again.

Q. Since you know Bethanie's game so well, she knows yours, will that relax you?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Knowing that she's capable of having big wins kind of relaxes me because I know she's going to come out and I know what to expect. She's going to give 300%. She's a huge fighter. She has a great game, by the way. I know that will help me, that I have to start out strong if I want to stay in the tournament. If not, I can go on vacation.

Q. Somebody you haven't played before, is that something that's a little anxiety?

SERENA WILLIAMS: No. I play a lot of people that I haven't played before. So, no, that doesn't really... When you go out there you should be able to figure out their game. I should have been able to figure out that game in the first game, the first two games max.

Q. What do you like most about Bethanie's style as a player and person that dresses with flair as you do?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I love her personality. It really shows in her dresses and the clothes and the outfits. I love her spirit. She's had a lot of ups and downs throughout her whole career. She's just incredibly positive, you know. It's so inspiring for someone like me. So I love that about her. And she has a really aggressive game. You know, I just don't think there's anyone on tour that says, I don't like Bethanie Mattek. I don't think that exists.

Q. Why do you say someone is so positive for someone like you?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Because we've both been through things. She's had a lot of ups and downs in her career. I have, too. It's cool to see another person, another woman, be so strong and continue to come back, continue to do really well, to look anyone in their face and play the best that she can.

Q. You're doing a new style of training now, training with a gallon of water on top of your head.

SERENA WILLIAMS: That was a long time ago.

Q. Do you still do it?

SERENA WILLIAMS: God, no.

Q. Do you swim?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Do you swim? (Laughter.)

You know what, I can swim. Do I choose to swim? No, I don't choose to swim.

Q. It's the hair thing.

SERENA WILLIAMS: I can swim. I've been in my pool probably 10 times and I've been living in that house for 12 years.

Q. Do you do anything particularly different when you play a doubles specialist? She's won three slams in doubles this year. Do you expect more of an awkward game and plan for that?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I don't know what to expect. She played someone that kind of plays similar to me today. That's going to help her in our match the next couple of days.

Q. Speaking of doubles, are you planning on playing with Venus before the Olympics?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yes. As soon as this tournament is over, I'm going to play every tournament singles and doubles.

Q. You commented on Sloane's racquet smash. CoCo did one today that was pretty epic.

SERENA WILLIAMS: No, I haven't heard about it. I'll look it up.

Q. At the end of this match you looked maybe a little mad at yourself. Do you come out of it more determined? What is your mood?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I definitely feel more determined to do better than what I did. I know I can play better, so... Yeah, it definitely wasn't my happiest of moments. You know, I don't think you should be happy with just winning. At least I'm not. Maybe other people can. Always looking to do better. You know, if I don't play well, I'm not going to be happy even if I won.

Q. The stadium court after your first-round match you said it felt almost intimate. Any observations about playing in daytime?

SERENA WILLIAMS: It definitely doesn't feel as intimate as the nighttime. It definitely has that dome-like structure that it's half covered nearly.

Q. What about wind?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I didn't feel any wind today. But Gracias a Dios.

Q. Do you remember any time this year where you felt satisfied or close to satisfied?

SERENA WILLIAMS: This year?

Q. Yes.

SERENA WILLIAMS: Let's see. I played so many matches this year. I'm sure there's a couple. I can't think of one right now. I'm sure there's a couple. I played good in my first round here.

Q. Mary Joe mentioned it was like the 50th win this year. That's a high, I'm assuming.

SERENA WILLIAMS: I guess. They said it's the most of the tour so far. Haven't played that many tournaments, though. Yeah, I think I won like 76 before, though. Got to keep going and catch that one.

Q. Have you seen Straight out of Compton?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Not yet. Been on the road, yeah.

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