Roland Garros: Serena Williams Interview - Semifinal

After 6-0, 6-1 semi-final win over Italian Sara Errani.

Q.  You have mentioned a couple of great Grand Slam performances in the past, but you had 40 winners of your 52 points. That’s got to be right up there with one of your best, no?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Definitely. Those stats are really good, I think, and very consistent. So, yeah.

Q. Just talk about the match, how you felt. Obviously you must have felt in very good form, no?

SERENA WILLIAMS: For me, I didn’t necessarily go out there and I was feeling great. For me, it was more like let’s just see what happens and try to do the best I could.

Q. I think you won your last 12 matches against Maria in the last 11. She’s only taken two sets off you. Does that put you in a position where you get extra confidence from that, or is it something you don’t take into consideration?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Not really right now, because it’s a different time, a different era, just a different match. It’s a brand new match, so definitely don’t take it. But we have played a lot. Just gotta do the best that I can.

Q. Would you accept it’s soul destroying playing against you at the moment?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Oh, wow. (Smiling.) I would never say that. Ever. But I just go out there and do the best that I can and that’s it. But I would never say that.

Q. Clearly you kept her from playing her game, but she never had a chance to get in the points and that’s what she wants. She only won 16 points. Was there any point out there like she’s a nice girl, you were feeling a little sorry for her, or you can’t even allow yourself?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, I definitely can’t allow myself. She’s a great girl. I really, really like her. I love her fighting spirit. I really like her as a person. But when you go out there, you just have to play and forget about who you’re playing.

Q. You’re not over the final hump yet, but could you just talk about what it would mean to you with your apartment here and your French coach and your practising your language skills, all that, just to finally, you know, succeed here and also because it’s been so long since you’ve won.

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, it would awesome for me. I don’t think there’s anything that can describe how happy I would be. But right now it’s still a dream.  I still have another match to play ? hopefully to

win. So it’s still not ? you know, two people are still fighting for the championship.

Q. From the fundamentals of your game are pretty obvious and well known. We saw you execute a couple of great dropshots, a fabulous volley. How have you been working on those specific areas and how did you feel?

SERENA WILLIAMS: It feels good. I’m not a player that runs to the net, so it feels really good to be able to hit some good volleys. Sometimes I’m surprised. I’m like, Is that me? (Smiling.) But, you know, I used to hit a lot of dropshots when I was younger. Just kind of going back to the young days, I guess.

Q. Do you recognise this girl? What does she think at that moment?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Gosh, that was a long time ago. I don’t know. I think I was really surprised, for sure. I didn’t go into that match expecting to win. I just thought, Hey, I’m in the final and let’s see what happens.

Q. Did you keep the dress?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah. I have all my Grand Slam dresses, yeah.

Q. Who are you looking for? You don’t know?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Gosh, that was a lifetime ago. I have no idea, to be honest.

Q. Normally you play doubles with Venus in Grand Slam. Keeps you training

and practicing. This tournament you don’t. I mean, is preparing for the final different? What are you going to do, for example, tomorrow to prepare for the final?SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, it’s definitely different because usually I’m in doubles. So for tomorrow, I’m just going to do what I have been doing every day: just hit some balls, focus on what I want to work on, and just get ready and get prepared.

Q. As you said, you played Maria a lot the last couple of years, but when you go out there on Saturday it’s the final of Roland Garros, Chatrier. Will it still feel special?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Oh, it will really feel special. I have never played Maria here actually, so it will be our first time playing here. It will be a great match I think for both of us. We both are doing so well and we both just really want to win.  We’re both really excited to be this far. So I think it’s just going to be a great match.

Q. You were speaking the other day about your different personalities when you were younger, all your different names. Is there a French Serena? If so, what’s her name and what’s she like?

SERENA WILLIAMS: No, I haven’t met her.

Q. She’s not hiding in your apartment somewhere?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I hope not. That would be kind of freaky.

Q. How would you say that Patrick has helped you with your game, particularly your balance and your movement?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Just being more focused, I think, with every match, and taking everything really serious. Yeah, just working on a lot of things off court just to improve my ? like you said ? balance, movement, everything else on court.

Q. So is it true that Laquanda is taking French lessons?

SERENA WILLIAMS:  No.  I’m not taking French lessons.  I need to study it.

Q. It’s the 40th anniversary of the founding of the WTA, and they had a ceremony. Could you talk about the effect of women’s tennis in America? Do you think it’s just another nice sport, or do you think it empowers women?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I think tennis empowers women. I think that’s the perfect way to say it. I think it’s a great sport. Honestly it’s the best sport for a female to play and to be a part of. It’s a worldwide sport. Hopefully has a great impact in America, and hopefully I have a lot to do with that. I think 40 years of the WTA, you just look at all the great champions that it’s produced and the great personalities and the great champions that are still in tennis. I think it’s just really ? I’m honored to be part of the WTA.

Q. Why is it the best sport for women to play?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, you get to travel the world; you play in so many countries; you play a great sport. You know, if you’re into monetary, you get ? it’s the most sport where you get equal pay as the men. So it’s just I think the frontrunner for women’s sports.

Q. Obviously 2002 you said is a lifetime ago. Has it been playing on your mind a lot more in recent days or a lot less as you’ve been getting closer to the final?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Not at all. I honestly don’t remember anything about that match, to be honest. I don’t think about it. I just think about just the task and the match at hand.

Q. Not the match itself but the fact that it’s such a long time ago, has that been playing on your mind?

SERENA WILLIAMS: No. It doesn’t seem like that long ago, even though it was. It’s fine.

Q. You’re not taking French lessons, but everybody noticed your impressive improvements in French. Would you give us your thoughts in French before the final?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Oh, no. Can I not, please? No. I will after the match. Next time. You see, now I’ve got to get prepared. You can’t put me on the spot.

Q. Maria just said she wouldn’t just satisfy with putting the ball back in the court, even on clay. She just trying to be aggressive. That’s her philosophy. Do you share the same philosophy with her?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I don’t know. I mean, I don’t know about ? I mean, I can’t sit here and say I’m not trying to be aggressive after today’s match. That would be kind of weird. I just do me. If that’s aggressive, that’s me. If it’s running balls down, I’m going to do that. I don’t really think about it. I’m just ? I just do it, you know.

Q. That’s your philosophy, too, be aggressive?

SERENA WILLIAMS: No, I didn’t say that. I said I just do whatever ? I just play. I just play tennis. I don’t think too much about it.

Q. Do you feel completely comfortable on the Roland Garros courts now?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah. Incidentally, I have always felt really comfortable. I just haven’t done great. But I have always felt really good here.

Q. So what’s changed here?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I didn’t lose in the first round.  (Laughter.)

Q. This is the first year for a long time you have been even past the semifinals.

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, it is. I’m just really ready and really focused to be here and it’s good. I don’t know. Like these questions are just so redundant right now.  Do we have anything else we want to ask?

Q. Speaking of redundancy, seems like you’re totally locked in, no? You’re in your zone? Don’t want to talk much. Is it because what? The goal is in sight and you just don’t want to get distracted?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah. I’m just really focused right now. It’s late. But I’m just really, you know ? I want to do the best I can. I want to give myself every opportunity to do that. That’s all I want. If that means I lose, at least I know I have done the best I can. It’s okay. I’m able to accept that. I feel like it’s okay. But as long as I give that effort, it feels better.

Q. But do you feel like you’re walking a tightrope between winning and losing right now? You are still feeling so well. Do you feel like there is still a risk something might happen and something might go off and all of a sudden it won’t be Serena on court anymore?

SERENA WILLIAMS: That can happen on any day. That can happen on anyone on any day. That’s why I really just ? every day that I’m doing well I try to do the best I can. And when I’m not, I just try to fight through it, because my forehand, my backhand, my serve, anything could happen.

(Source: rolandgarros.com)

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