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An Interview With: Serena Williams

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Q. How do you do it?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Do?

Q. Singles, doubles, setting the house on fire.

SERENA WILLIAMS: You just got to do it. I'm ready, fit and feeling good.

Q. You and Venus don't play doubles that often. Is it hard to find the rhythm initially?

SERENA WILLIAMS: It is hard sometimes to find the rhythm. But today I felt like we found the rhythm well. They played well. But I think in general we found it pretty good.

Q. In your singles match earlier, do you ever recall double-faulting three times in one game?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I have done that before. But it's not so often that it happens. I really had to adjust my toss today. It was just flying so far. I just should have stopped it instead of hitting it.

Q. There's been TV and whatnot debate about you playing the doubles as well as the singles in terms of saving yourself for the singles. Talk about why you do it. Pursuit of more titles?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, to be honest, doubles helps me in my singles game. If it comes to a point where I don't feel good, then I probably wouldn't play. But it really helps me make better returns, know what to do better. So that's why I've always actually played doubles.

Q. How great is it to play with your sister after all these years?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, it feels good. We really enjoy playing, you know, together. We really embrace being role models. We think it's a great opportunity, and we almost feel honored and pleasured to have that label.

Q. Along those big-picture lines regarding your play, with everything you've accomplished, maybe this is a hard question to ask you, but do you feel you are as appreciated in this game for all these Grand Slam titles or is there a sense of being underappreciated to some degree?

SERENA WILLIAMS: No, I feel really appreciated. I can attest to that, you know. I mean, so much of the fact is if I lose, it's bigger news than if I win. That is a test to how much people believe in my game and my skill and how much they appreciate the sport and how good they think I am. So, yeah, I think it's great.

Q. In a sense, that's a compliment?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yes, for sure.

Q. You've accomplished so much. Are you ever going to make a top with the leather?

SERENA WILLIAMS: We are actually making one. A couple seasons coming up.

Q. And the wigs, I really need a Tina Turner wig.

SERENA WILLIAMS: I don't know about that one. I don't do that.

Q. You can do that.

SERENA WILLIAMS: No, I don't.

Q. When you're playing doubles with your sister, it seems like it's a big bonding experience for you. What is more important to you when you're out there playing doubles, the bonding with your older sister or winning the match?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Uhm, it's a great experience for us because we get to play together and we get to, you know, be together. We just get to talk and spend some time together 'cause we don't get to spend as much time together as we want to because we're always doing our thing. But, yeah, it's good.

Q. How much do you enjoy playing on grandstand?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I love it. It's such a great atmosphere. Also playing on Louis Armstrong, it's such a wonderful atmosphere. The fans are amazing. We love playing there.

Q. It felt like the Olympics tonight.

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, it did. It felt really good. We really enjoyed that.

Q. During the course of a Grand Slam tournament, how much, if at all, do you pay attention to other results, who is winning, who is losing?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, you always hear about who is winning, who is losing. You hear about upsets. But for me, especially lately, I have to worry about my first round, my second round, and my third round. I can't get too far ahead of myself.

Q. There have already been quite a few upsets with seeded players losing, 10 women in the second round. What do you make of that?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I was a casualty before, so I don't know. I can't make anything of it. At this point I'm trying to stay alive.

Q. Stosur and Ivanovic are out of your side. How do you feel about that?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I didn't know that actually. I know they had a wonderful summer, so that's surprising. But, you know, again, I promise you, I'm trying to make it through a few rounds in a Grand Slam this year. I'm really not too much concerned about the later seeds because I haven't made it there this year. So hopefully this year I can do something.

Q. Are you changing your practice regimen to make sure you make it further?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Actually, no, I'm not. I've been working really hard. The results just hadn't been coming in the slams. I started to get some really good results this summer, and that's given me a lot of confidence going into this last Grand Slam of the year.

Q. Do you have a Grand Slam number in mind for when it's all said and done?

SERENA WILLIAMS: No. I never even thought I would have as many as I even have. Who am I? I'm just an average person. I never thought this would be me. So for me it's incredible. I never really had a number. Obviously now that things are reachable, I do think of different things. But in the big picture, it's just all an amazing, amazing ride.

Q. If you get to 18, you're tied with Chris Evert. That's a significant number, significant name. What would that mean to you?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, like I said, I've had three tries to get to 18, and it hasn't happened, so... We'll see, you know. Hopefully I'll get there one day. I'm kind of stuck right now at 17, which to be honest is not a bad number to be stuck at. It's better than 16. I honestly am really proud of everything I've been able to accomplish in my career. I can't really be upset about anything.

Q. I asked Vika is it sweeter to win the big matches against top rivals. Do you feel it's sweeter when you're playing the best to get to that next slam?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I don't know. I really don't know. A win is a win, as people say. Nowadays, everyone's playing tough. You have to be ready from the first to the last round.

Q. Venus is playing tomorrow on Ashe. What do you think about her play?

SERENA WILLIAMS: She's playing great. She's playing great. I think she'll do great. She's going to get some rest and she'll be fine.

Q. Speaking of toughness, how do you keep your mental focus?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I don't know. By the grace of God.

Q. You have a pretty high-profile fan, Gladys Knight. Are you friends with her?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, we're friends. I think she's such a great person. She's a person I admire. Yeah, so it's just really wonderful that I can call her a friend.

Q. Would you recommend younger women that are coming on to play doubles?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I don't know. For us and for me it works. But everyone's different. Everyone's different.

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