Q. A lot was made of the Olympics about your joyous celebration. Do you think the media made too much about it and we might see some choreography here in Queen’s next two weeks?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I don’t know. I read zero press. That was been my policy since I was 17. I don’t know what was made too much or whether it was too little. I think winning the Olympics was awesome for me and for the USA. I’m still kind of in the Olympic moment. I love the Olympics. You know, I was just so proud of the final tally of gold medals that I contributed to. It was really awesome.
Q. How does one keep their body maintaining it doing something as rigorous as the Olympics and coming right into this? How do you maintain that stamina?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I think you maintain it before you start. Like I knew I was going to have really long summer, so I knew going into it I needed to be fit and I knew what I needed to do. That’s what I tried to do.
Q. US Open is here in New York; one of your bets friends, LaLa Anthony, I spoke to her last night. Did you guys link up or do anything since you have been here?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I have seen her two or three times. We’re supposed to hang out later today. I’m excited. It’s always good to relax with her. She’s just really so easy and so chill.
Q. A lot of Americans came to prominence during this Olympics, some of them names we never heard before. Is there any one fellow American that stood out to you that you met and that you were inspired by or maybe was inspired by you?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I didn’t get to meet many of the Americans. We were at the tennis. Our event began like as soon as the Olympics began. By the time the tennis was over, then, you know, I didn’t get to meet anyone. But obviously I think Michael Phelps was a standout, even though we already know him, and Gabrielle Douglas really was able to stand out and do some fantastic things.
Q. Speaking of your Olympic brethren, Gabby Douglas, a lot of people were upset about her hair and didn’t like the way her hair looked. What’s your opinion on people picking on her hair while she was over there winning a gold medal? Hair was a big thing for you and your sister growing up with the beads. What’s your opinion of people picking on her about that?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I don’t know about that too much. I got asked that question, though. I think I have no comment. I think her hair was great. You know, at the end of the day it isn’t about that. It’s about how you flip and what a great athlete you are and what you’ve achieved and everything you have become. That’s what she’s been able to do: achieve so much and keep an amazing smile on her face.
Q. The youngest player in the tournament said that if she played someone like you she would ask for your autograph after the match. You made your debut 14 years ago. Was there anyone’s autograph you wanted that was on tour at the time?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I’ve always looked up to Pete Sampras when I was younger. I think he was retiring that year, my rookie year. I wanted to meet him. I always loved Monica Seles. I think those are two people that I really looked up to.
Q. You’re pretty much the one to beat here. How much do you enjoy being in this position?
SERENA WILLIAMS: You’ve got to embrace it whether you’re the favorite or the one to beat or whether you are not. And I embrace it. In Wimbledon I wasn’t the favorite; I embraced that. Hopefully I can propel and do my best here.
Q. Coming out of Cincinnati, you talked a little bit about the long summer, a little bit tired. I am wondering, do you feel like you got the rest you needed the last few days? What have you been doing to sort of recharge?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I definitely took a couple of days off after Cincinnati. I think that helped me to like get myself together mentally and get ready for the US Open, biggest tournament in the United States. I also think that what did I do? I kind of came to New York really early and relaxed and karaoked, and that was about it.
Q. Going back to the first question that was asked, you of all people know that the Crip walk is not just a dance. I was wondering, do you have any regrets doing it in front of everyone?
SERENA WILLIAMS: First of all, it was just a dance. I didn’t know that’s what it was called. Second, why are you asking me that? Like that’s so I mean, if anything you should be trying to ask me questions to lift me up not bring such things.
Q. It was just the fact…
SERENA WILLIAMS: I’m done with that question.
Q. You didn’t say the name of it.
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah. THE MODERATOR: Thank you.
Q. About the physical toll of this year, you played an awful lot of tennis. Is there any way to get ready for this possibly two more weeks of tennis of hard court after…
SERENA WILLIAMS: I look forward to it. I feel I haven’t played hard court tennis this year. I played Miami and then I was into clay, so I’m really looking forward to this. That’s not true. I played Brisbane and the Australian Open and I played Fed Cup. Okay. But anyway, it feels like it wasn’t like the normal hard court season for me, because usually I go deeper in Australia or I do more somewhere else. I’m excited about this, to be on hard court. It’s my favorite surface. You know, I have opportunity to play on hard court until March. I’m looking forward to this, almost as like a launching pad for what I want to do for the rest of the hard court season.
Q. Is there something different getting under pressure for you when you play the US Open because it’s your home Open?
SERENA WILLIAMS: No, I don’t feel pressure. My dad said the only pressure you have is the pressure you put on yourself, so I don’t really feel any pressure or anything. I don’t feel any pressure or anything. I don’t put any pressure on myself. If I win, that would be great. If I lose, I realize I’m going to go home and be devastated. But there’s always tomorrow.
Q. Victoria Azarenka was just out here. She won the Australian Open and we were asking her about you because Sam Stosur was also out here earlier and said you’re in good form and you’d be the person to beat. Obviously she beat you last year and you’re probably hoping maybe if you’re not going to get a rematch you want to go to the final and win. Do you look that far ahead in a US Open?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I haven’t even seen the draw. I never like to know who I play. I only like to know when. So I think, you know, thinking about players to beat, you have to put Sam Stosur in there as defending champ. This court kind of suits her game, and I think it suits her style. She plays really well on it. Obviously Victoria is a great player. She went on that unbelievable winning streak. You know, I don’t think anyone can pretty much can forget that. She’s doing well. So, yeah, it’s just some good tennis going on.
Q. You felt so much pride in representing the U.S. in the Olympics. When you do play here, do you feel the love? Do you feel differently?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I just think the Olympics is a totally different thing because you’re playing for your country and you’re rooting on your teammates and stuff like that. So it’s just super, super cool. You know, playing here, it’s like Olympics is almost more fun; whereas you really want to win but if you don’t then you want the USA to win. Now here it’s back to being a self, oneperson sport.
Q. Kim Clijsters said in here earlier, she was asked about you, and she said to you were the best player, especially if you’re fit and strong. What is your reaction to that?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I never think about that. I can’t sit here and say I’m the best ever. I’m not. I’m not worthy of that title. I’m just Serena. I love playing tennis and I’m good at it. Just because I’m good at it doesn’t make me the best. I think Kim, you know, she’s had such a fabulous career, especially here at the Open. She just brings some special tennis. She’s always so bright and has such a positiveness about her that you can’t help but wish her the best.
Q. Who is the best, do you think? Who would you say is the best?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I don’t know. If you’re going by titles, you have to go by that.
Q. Your sister, Venus, mentioned not being able to imagine competing on the tour without you playing, as well. Is that something you have thought about, possibly her retiring?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I would have to go on if she decided to retire tomorrow, but that’s not going to happen. I’d be devastated because she’s like I can’t get a better doubles partner than this. But, no, we’re gonna I don’t know. If it was that soon I would have to go on, but if it was a little later, maybe it will be together.
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