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Serena Williams first round

Tuesday 24 June 2014

Serena Williams speaks to the media following her victory over Anna Tatishvili 6-1, 6-2

Q.  Long first game, but after that you seemed to get your feet under you pretty well.  How important was that first game?  Did it settle you down any?

SERENA WILLIAMS:  It was very important.  I think she played well.  In the first game I think I made an error or two, but it wasn't like I played terrible in the first game.

But she hit some great shots.

Q.  With Venus having played really well, as well, what would it be like for the two of you to advance here into the second week, as in years past?

SERENA WILLIAMS:  Well, I can't think of that now.  I just have to focus on this week.

Q.  What are your observations of the way Venus is playing right now?

SERENA WILLIAMS:  She's been practicing really well.  I know she's been really working hard.  She's putting a lot of effort in both on and off the court, so it's good to see.

Q.  You play another American in the next round potentially.  Christina McHale, what do you know about her game?

SERENA WILLIAMS:  She's a really, really good player actually.  She's feisty and she's quick.  She's a dynamic player.  She does everything well.

So players like that, it's interesting to try to figure out what their weakness is because they don't really have anything overwhelming as a weakness because they do everything really well all around.  It will be really interesting.

Q.  The USA plays Germany tomorrow.  What is your thought on the game and the World Cup right now?

SERENA WILLIAMS:  Yeah, you know, we were so close to getting that win.  I was really sad.  We could have been in first place, which really would have been awesome.

Could have, should have, would have, doesn't matter.  We're still tied for first technically.  We're still trying to go on.  I think U.S. soccer is coming a long way.

I love watching the U.S. men soccer players play.  I'm supporting the whole way.

Q.  A couple of slips out there for both players.  Concerning for you at this stage of the tournament?

SERENA WILLIAMS:  I felt like as the tournament goes on, it usually gets better.  So hopefully I'll get my bearings a little bit and get better.

Q.  Motivation is such a curious thing.  Could you talk about what motivates you?  Is it the history books, the big picture, something within you?  What really motivates you?

SERENA WILLIAMS:  To just do the best that I can.  Wherever I slip, I try to get up.  That really, really motivates me.

Q.  Having setbacks is something that really advances you in the long run?

SERENA WILLIAMS:  I think so, for sure.  For me, absolutely.

Q.  With all the success you and your sister have had here, all the titles you have won, obviously what you do is working.  I'm curious why you've never played grass court warmup tournaments.  Did it ever occur to you?

SERENA WILLIAMS:  I've played a couple in my career.

Q.  But it's not something you do regularly the way a lot of other players do.  I'm wondering why that came about.

SERENA WILLIAMS:  I just don't know.  I never usually play.  I played a couple times.  It didn't work out for me.

I think getting here, getting here early on the grass and practicing here is a better option.

Q.  When did you get here this time?

SERENA WILLIAMS:  I arrived Sunday.

Q.  When you're moving on to the grass, getting ready for this surface, what for you is the most difficult part of getting used to the grass?

SERENA WILLIAMS:  Just in the match, you know, just getting used to running and stopping.  Like usually it's a dynamic move for me so I have to get used to getting back in the frame of that, mind frame of being more dynamic on the court.

Q.  When you're sitting there watching the Heat struggle so much against the Spurs, do you reflect on that?  Do you relate it to your athleticism, times when you have trouble kicking into gear?

SERENA WILLIAMS:  No, not at all.  Everyone does well.  I think the Spurs played great.  I mean, they were I think angry that they lost last year so they have something to prove.

Q.  You might be able to relate to that?

SERENA WILLIAMS:  Absolutely.

Q.  After Paris, how long did it take you to regroup and get refocused and remotivated?

SERENA WILLIAMS:  Yeah, it didn't take too long.  I just took a couple of days off.

The day I stepped on the court, it was a lot of focus and intent.

Q.  You were just asked about the Miami Heat.  What are your thoughts about LeBron James opting out and keeping his options open?  What would you like to see happen?

SERENA WILLIAMS:  Obviously, we'd like to see him stay in Miami.  But, hey, you got to keep your options open I guess.

I don't know.  It will be really sad to lose him.  He's such a wonderful, great player.  He's brought so many championships to Miami.  Hopefully he'll opt to stay.

Q.  What message would you like to send to him?

SERENA WILLIAMS:  Who am I to tell him what to do?  I can't send any messages to him.

Q.  What do you like best about this tournament and about London?

SERENA WILLIAMS:  I like the grass.  It's so unique.  There's so much history here.  I love how everyone's wearing white.  I just love how it's really kind of traditional, which is different.  I really like it.

Q.  And about London?

SERENA WILLIAMS:  London, I don't make it out to London too much.  I wish I could.  But I'm always here in Wimbledon, so...

Q.  Let's milk this NBA thing.  What about Shaq?  He was here.  A huge guy, playful and fun.  Have you ever talked with him?

SERENA WILLIAMS:  Yeah, I know him really well.  I saw him also in Miami at the Heat game.  We've known each other for years.  I had no idea he was coming to London.  I'm surprised.

But it was nice.  It was good to see him around.

Q.  You said a little while ago it's too early to talk about week two.  How about reflecting back, when you and Venus are both in the second week playing at your best in the tournament late, what is the feeling you get because Venus is there with you?

SERENA WILLIAMS:  It's a great feeling.  You know, we motivate each other.  We want to do well.  When she does one, I want to do one.  We just always keep each other motivated.

Q.  Assume you've seen the recent Beats video you make an appearance in.

SERENA WILLIAMS:  Yeah.

Q.  Talk about making that.

SERENA WILLIAMS:  It was really fast.  It's easy to work with Beats.  They shoot everything fast and fun.  To be part of a World Cup campaign, it was really cool, especially to support the USA, let them know there's so many athletes out there, people that are really supporting and getting behind you guys.  There's always negative press in U.S. men's soccer.  It's like, We know you guys can do it, so it's great.

Q.  Tennis, as a free agent, you kind of get to do what you want?

SERENA WILLIAMS:  That's a myth.  We have to play a certain amount of tournaments.  We don't have to; we can just accept a fine.

Depends if you want to pay a fine or not.

Q.  How often do you decide to do that?

SERENA WILLIAMS:  Sometimes you can't help it if you're injured.  It comes with the sport.  It comes with life, so...

Q.  It was so cool when you played Stanford after working so hard here.  Your heart set on playing it again?

SERENA WILLIAMS:  I'm into it, so I definitely will be there.  God willing, I'll be there.  So, yeah.

Q.  Are you playing Montréal?

SERENA WILLIAMS:  It's been a really long time.  Yeah, I have plans on being there, too.  I always play Toronto and somehow skip Montréal, which is weird.

I really want to be there this year.

 


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