Tennis' leading expert? Data. Let's build a Smarter Planet.Find Tickets Online at ticketmaster

An Interview With: Serena Williams

Monday, September 1, 2014

Q. What are your thoughts on reaching a Grand Slam quarterfinal this year?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I never thought it would be so exciting (smiling). Yeah! It feels good. Obviously I don't want this to end. But I'm just happy that I'm able to be performing a little better at the end of the year.

Q. What do you think is different about you and your game at this point?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I'm playing a little better I think than I was in the beginning of the year. I'm also a little more relaxed. I think I played really well in Brisbane. I didn't play well again until I think maybe Cincinnati. So just being more consistent.

Q. What do you think is the reason for that, for not being relaxed during the first part of the year?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, you know, I'm a perfectionist, I always want to be the best, do the best. I think I put a lot of pressure on myself to do well, particularly in the slams, to do really well. Had a couple nagging injuries that definitely didn't help. But other than that it was just that. Now I'm more relaxed. I feel like I don't have to win any more. I've had a wonderful career. Tennis has given me so much, things I would have never expected in my life. I feel honored to even be a part of such a wonderful sport. So I think ultimately that really helps me to be able to be more relaxed.

Q. Did anything happen that gave you a different perspective?

SERENA WILLIAMS: No. I just, you know, have been trying to see bigger picture kind of thing.

Q. What do you like best about this wonderful sport?

SERENA WILLIAMS: So many opportunities of traveling. I probably never would have ever traveled like this. I get to go to China and Europe and Australia and all these other places. I've been to India and Africa. I probably never would have been to those places before, so it's really, really awesome.

Q. What was your thought with the swinging volley?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I didn't want to hit it. I was like, These are the shots Venus usually takes in doubles. Where is Venus when you need her? You could tell I didn't want to hit it. I was like, Should I let it bounce? I was like, Let it bounce, let it bounce. Pride got the best of me. I was like, Take it out of the air. I don't think I even hit it, so...

Q. Was it something that stayed with you?

SERENA WILLIAMS: No, it didn't throw me off. I was just wishing Venus took that shot.

Q. The draw has opened up here quite a lot on the women's side. Is that something that surprises you at all or it's just sort of you always expect the unexpected?

SERENA WILLIAMS: No, you never expect -- you don't expect anything. I don't have any expectations. I just am here to focus on my match and hopefully do what I can do, and that's it.

Q. Other than both going for an 18th major, what similarities are there, if any, between you and Roger Federer, and what are the biggest differences that you see?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Wow. Roger and I, we both have such a passion for the game. We've been playing for a really long time. We both just love the sport. You can tell when he plays that he loves the sport. I think that's something that we both have in common.

Q. How about in style of play, what are the biggest differences?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, I don't have a one-hander backhand, and he does.

Q. Anything else?

SERENA WILLIAMS: There's obviously so many different things. I think you're better off to answer that one.

Q. I know you work hard and run a lot on the court. I've seen some stats that say you actually run less per point than a lot of other top players. What do you think about that?

SERENA WILLIAMS: That's great. I'm not at an age where I want to be running a lot. It's wonderful to hear. Yeah, no, I don't need to be running 20 miles. I can and I have and I'm able to run really fast, as we all know. I can run down any ball on the court. But, hey, if I don't have to move as much, that's fine with me, too.

Q. Flavia is for the fifth time in the quarterfinals of the US Open.

SERENA WILLIAMS: Wow.

Q. When she plays you, she never wins. She has won only one set in five matches. Why? Okay, you're stronger, but other reasons why you beat her so easily all the time?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, I don't think I have easy matches against her. I think she plays really well. I think the older she gets the better she plays, to be honest. It is not an easy matchup for me. We played in Cincinnati. I won. But she played well.

Q. 6-2, 6-2.

SERENA WILLIAMS: But she played well. This is a new week. She obviously learned a lot from that experience and she's going to come out ready to fire and to play again.

Q. She will beat you when she will be 34?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Is she 34?

Q. No, 32.
SERENA WILLIAMS: Okay, so...

Q. You spoke about Milos Raonic's sleeve. Can you tell us your thoughts about it.

SERENA WILLIAMS: I told him a long time ago I would like to say that I was the first to tell him, because I told him in Miami, that I loved his sleeve. Anyone else that's saying it is officially copying me.

Q. A lot of celebrity fans. One of them is Spike Lee. I asked him what is the first thing he thinks about when I say tennis, and he said, Serena Williams.

SERENA WILLIAMS: I've known Spike for many years. We always have dinner. He has a house down the street from mine in Palm Beach. I sometimes go over there and we eat dinner. We play tennis together. He's super intense. He wants me to play as hard as I can. I'm like, Spike, are you sure? I mean, C'mon. He's such a great person. I love his kids. We all just get along.

Q. Your friendship with Caroline Wozniacki, has it grown more since the last few months or maybe we just didn't see it as much earlier?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I think a little bit of both. It's definitely grown. We always have been friends, but it's definitely grown a lot. You know, we love each other, but at the same time we want to win. It's an interesting friendship and unique. I think it will last way past tennis, which I think is great.

Q. What is the story with the woman you handed over the ball to today?

SERENA WILLIAMS: She had on my outfit. I was like, She should definitely get a ball.

Q. Did you spot her right after?

SERENA WILLIAMS: After the match I did. During the match, I didn't. I saw a couple people with my outfit on. But she was the one who got it.

Q. Wondering whether you saw any of the Sharapova/Wozniacki match yesterday.

SERENA WILLIAMS: I was playing doubles. I was nervous. I told Caroline that I couldn't watch. Then when I came after the doubles, they were still playing. I was like, I got to shower. Yeah, so I didn't really see much.

Q. You're close with her. What are your thoughts on her getting sort of back to this level?

SERENA WILLIAMS: It's good for her. I know she's been working really hard. I know she's been doing a lot. It's paying off. I think it's great. We've all worked very hard. Sometimes it takes a little longer for the results to come. I think the results this summer have finally been coming for her.

Q. Errani/Wozniacki, how do you see it?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Do you ever ask a question that doesn't involve an Italian player (smiling)?

Q. I'm Italian.

SERENA WILLIAMS: Okay. Well, they're both really good fighters and they both play well and they both run fast. I actually think it will be an extremely interesting match to watch. I think Caroline has a good opportunity to win the match. But I think Errani surprised us all. She beat Venus, who has been playing really well. We'll see. It will be interesting.

Q. Talking about Venus, you hang out together at home. Is there anything in particular that you enjoy doing with her, the sister thing?

SERENA WILLIAMS: No. I think our best thing we like to do is just talk. Not gossip talk, just talk.

Q. You talked about traveling. Whether it's traveling at a tournament or here in New York, what does it mean to have Chip supporting you?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Actually we need a little time apart. He's been annoying lately. He cries. I think he's talking to me and I don't quite understand him. It's really stressing me out a little bit. I had to send him to his auntie's room yesterday to give me a little break. Hopefully he'll be better.

Q. Belinda Bencic is into the quarters, the youngest player in 20 years to do so. Do you think it's good to have a teenager back in the mix?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I think it's great. I think she can go all the way. But, yeah, it's really good to see her doing well. She's an amazingly nice, beautiful person both inside and out. I really like her. I just think it's good for tennis. She's extremely exciting to watch. I love watching her play.

Q. Does Chip step up his game during slams?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Chip and I need to take some time apart. He might have a sleep-over tonight with his auntie. His mommy needs a break.

Comments