Serena Williams Interview - US Open. Sept 4Posted on September 5, 2009
S. WILLIAMS/M. Jose Martinez Sanchez
6 3, 7 5
An interview with: Serena Williams
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. Tough second set, Serena. You bore through that game. You probably broke her 5 All game there and took care of it.
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, she was serving really well, and I think especially in the second set, and especially in that game she started serving really, really well.
You know, I just kept fighting, and every time I had a breakpoint I felt like I had a chance to win one of them. But other than that, I thought she served well. I couldn't get down about it.
Q. Do you find it interesting someone who is coming into the net that much?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, it's definitely different. You don't really see it that much. I think doubles can definitely help that, because you get to see the people at the net.
It's not often that I play someone that serves and volleys like that.
Q. Does it help that you've been playing more doubles now with a match like that?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I definitely think it helped. I think that if I hadn't have been playing doubles it might have been a much different match than what it already was.
Q. What you said at the French when you played her, some of us were hoping for a knockout brawl down there. Was there any holdover from that match?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Um, no. I just was trying to go out there and do my best. I knew at the French it was three sets. She's a tough player, and I knew that I had to be serious today.
Q. You've also said in your book that you needed a wild streak, a killer instinct, sort of a reckless quality not just for your opponents but for yourself. Could you comment on the importance of that?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, I just even today I got super pumped in the second set when I got down 1 3. Like I felt I needed to do something to charge my battery, so to say, and I just wanted to play harder and do better.
Q. Do you lose respect at all for players who you consider cheated or who aren't honest on the court in their behavior?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, I only can speak for me. I'm very try to be very professional, extremely professional in my job. That's what I'm here to do, and win, I hope.
Q. So many players have struggles in the first week. Can you talk about your own approach, first, say two or three matches, what you're basically trying to do and how to survive to get in the second week?
SERENA WILLIAMS: You can never underestimate anyone. Some people, some days they have great days. I was just happy to keep getting through my match today.
So I just go and look at every opponent as the best player in the world.
Q. Who comes up with the messages on your T shirt?
SERENA WILLIAMS: This is the new Nike "Delicious" campaign that I'm a part of, because I'm delicious. (laughter.)
They came out with these wonderful shirts. My jacket actually has the Delicious font on it, as well, the Serena jacket. It's pretty cool.
I think the Delicious campaign came up with it. I like the sayings. They're fun. They're kind of out there.
Q. Do you think that you've had a dynasty in your career or not?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I may have had a dynasty at one point in my career.
Q. At which point?
SERENA WILLIAMS: In early 2000.
Q. How about now?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I mean, I'm not doing too shabby now either. I'm enjoying every moment.
Q. Did you watch Melanie yesterday? What do you think about her, a young American, 17, what she did?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, I thought I did watch her match a little bit. She played great. She did wonderful, and, you know, she's a real fighter. It's great for the United States and great for women's tennis.
Q. Do you know her much at all? Have you been around her at all?
SERENA WILLIAMS: No, I don't know her well. I see her around the tour more and more. You know, her ranking is getting higher and higher. She's doing great.
Q. What are the early reviews on your book like?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I've been playing this, so I've been working. I haven't had a chance to see the reviews yet. I've been doing the job that I've been doing.
Q. What did you learn from working with Daniel Paisner, the writer of the book?
SERENA WILLIAMS: That definitely helped. I wanted to do it all by myself, but that was impossible. You know, my time was just too limited.
Q. Just time, or other things about writing as well?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Just writing and other things. Could help me with my own writing, too, so...
Q. What's your take on the serving woes that we've been seeing? Your opponent double faulted at a pretty crucial juncture. Azarenka just double faulted on match point.
SERENA WILLIAMS: I don't know. I don't know. I just really try to focus on my serve, which had its own woes earlier this summer. I'm finally glad it is here, and I hope it stays.
Q. Someone was saying that you practice your serve a lot, more than other women. You actually spend 45 minutes or something practicing your serve. Is that true? Do you spend a lot of time practicing your serve?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I can't say that's true. (laughter.)
I think my shoulder would fall off if I hit 45 minutes' worth of serves.
Q. Were you ever tempted to more of a serve and volleyer player?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Every time I play I'm saying I'm going to be a serve and volleyer. I even used to like Martina Navratilova and John McEnroe. I couldn't play more opposite than them, so...
I think maybe one day will come. I served and volleyed a little bit at Wimbledon my first round match, but that was a long time ago.
Q. Is it because you can't be successful at it or you don't have the ability?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I'm good at it. I just don't know why I don't do it. It's easier on grass, and I do it sometimes in doubles.
I love groundstrokes, and, you know, I love hitting the ball. I love just rallies, I guess, so...
Q. When you see Rafter, how much it took out of him to do that all the time...
SERENA WILLIAMS: To serve and volley?
Q. Do you think it's tough physically?
SERENA WILLIAMS: No, I think it's easier to do, I think serving and volleying. If you make your serve. I would get tired of missing the serve, running to the net, and then have to start over again. Those sprints can get quite challenging.
Q. What are your observations of the way Venus is playing so far in the tournament and any limitations on her mobility?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I think she's playing great. She's moving well. She played much better than I did yesterday in doubles, so... She's doing great.
Q. On the singles side, what have you noticed about her game so far, more specifically?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Honestly I haven't seen any of her matches, so I don't know.
Q. How come you don't play mixed doubles more often? There are a lot of guys out there that would like to partner with you.
SERENA WILLIAMS: Really? (laughter.)
Um, I I, um...
I can't play all three events. Like when I play I want to win, so I want to win singles and I want to win doubles. I would want to win mixed, but I think three events would be a lot for me.
Q. Physically that's just too taxing?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Physically it's I have to eventually play at least Australian and French, but hopefully one day I'll play those two.
Q. Following up on the T shirt question, do you feel like you ever have to get nasty on the court?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I got nasty today, but to myself. I was just screaming to myself because I wasn't very happy with my performance.
Q. In the Twitter world at least, you and Andy Roddick often have exchanges back and forth, whether it's about pictures or whatever. Are you watching him at all here?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, he's one of my favorite players, and just a great friend of mine. I love Andy. He's such a funny guy, so we just joke a lot.
Q. Are you impressed by the way the American men have been doing so far?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I am. Obviously I want to see them go the whole way, so I have my fingers crossed.
Q. Now that people are talking about your entire career with the book, where would you rank your victory over Andy Roddick?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, honestly my victory with Andy Roddick was awesome, because, you know, indirectly I've beaten Roger, I've beaten Nadal, I've beaten Pete. It's definitely my best win by far, and the way I beat them is unbelievable.
Q. How did you beat them?
SERENA WILLIAMS: 6 0, basically. But we argue about that scoreline. Maybe 6 1.
Q. Have you thought at all about the semifinal, potential semifinal with your sister?
SERENA WILLIAMS: No, I mean, I feel like I have to get there, and I like and that's one thing I don't do. I don't look ahead too far.
I just try to focus on the moment, and continue to do what I can do.
Q. A lot of the women have been battling themselves here. Safina talks about fight me, myself, and I out there. You of course are known as being exceptionally strong mentally. Do you find you battle yourself mentally, or is it the cruise that it looks like?
SERENA WILLIAMS: No, I have my own mental issues, so I try to get them worked out.
I think, you know, everyone has to battle themselves sometimes, and hopefully one of you can win.
Q. Once it starts happening, once you hit one, how do you get through it to where you want to be on the court and playing the way you do? How are you able to shut it down?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I don't know. I'm not going to give away my secrets. I just hit myself across the head. Hopefully I'll feel better. I'll say that.
Q. What are your thoughts on playing Daniela, somebody you've beaten seven out of eight matches between you?
SERENA WILLIAMS: She's been playing so well, so it's not going to be an easy match. I look forward to it. She's that's a player that doesn't do anything bad and does everything good.
And so those kind of players are tricky and tough.
Q. When you went to somewhere like Africa, has there been somewhere you've gone and think, How could people here know me? How can people even here know who I am?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I went to this small town in Italy once. I don't even remember the city. It was way, like two hours in the middle of nowhere, two hours from any major city. Everyone knew me there. I thought, Gee, that was kind of weird.
Q. Concentration level, does it enable you to hear when people are yelling down words of encouragement to you on the court?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I hear it sometimes. I heard a guy in the crowd saying, Stop hitting lobs, so I didn't hit any more lobs after that. My lob was not working today. (laughter.)
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