Tuesday April 16, 2002
A POST-MATCH INTERVIEW WITH: SERENA WILLIAMS
SECOND ROUND WIN OVER
Q. You gotta be happy with your play today.
SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, I'm a bit more satisfied, yeah. I played pretty
well, I guess, out there.
Q. Do you have any idea how many winners you hit?
SERENA WILLIAMS: No. How many?
Q. I don't know.
SERENA WILLIAMS: Seems like I hit a lot, but...
Q. Is that ??
SERENA WILLIAMS: Normally don't hit winners on clay.
Q. When you are in the top seed, that first?draw match, is that kind
of dominating performance, obviously kind of the way you like things to
SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, whether it's the first round or semifinals or finals,
if any match goes my way, then I'm really happy. So it doesn't matter
if it's the first round or easy match. I wouldn't necessarily say. The
first set I didn't have any trouble, but in the second set she really
started kind of picking up her game.
Q. You were all smiles, but you also have kind of a cold? hearted
stare as well.
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah. I'm a cold?hearted snake. I'm just a competitor.
I'm out there when I'm out there. I've been practicing for years and years,
and I'm out here to compete, and different times there's times to smile,
and when I'm out there, if there's something to smile about, I will, but
most times I just try and stay focused and get out there and be gone.
Q. Do you ever feel sorry for somebody that has to face you?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Never. Come on. No.
Q. I mean after.
SERENA WILLIAMS: After? Well, it's a competition. Really, it is. And it's
not like I have anything against anybody, because I really don't. It's
just that I'm just out here for the win, and that's basically all it is.
Q. This is your first time playing out on this stadium court. What
did you think of the stadium?
SERENA WILLIAMS: It's a nice court. I think the clay is a bit thick, and
maybe it's a little slow, but as for me, I don't mind. I like the clay.
I love to slide. I'm really glad I'm back into sliding form, because you
can be lazy on the clay. You don't have to ?? well, you should, but you
don't have to. It won't get you in as much trouble as you would on grass
if you don't move up or something. So I like it.
Q. How do you feel about today, your first match? Do you feel good?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, obviously I do. I definitely feel pretty good today,
but it's over. It's not the finals. So I have another round to play tomorrow.
So I have to just get ready.
Q. Did you watch Venus's match?
SERENA WILLIAMS: No, I didn't. I was in transit here. So I didn't get
to watch it. I heard it was just an amazing match. It was just ridiculous
far down. I asked her why did she get that far down. She was like, "I
don't know." That's just amazing really.
Q. We asked her if she remembered a time when she had been that far
down before, and she couldn't, but she remembered the time that you did.
SERENA WILLIAMS: There was a time, long, long ago. I was down 2?5 ?? no,
I lost first set 6?2, and I was down 2?5 in the second 15?40 I was down
and somehow I came back to win that match.
Q. Where was that?
SERENA WILLIAMS: That was in Sydney, a long time ago, years and years
and years ago. I was young.
Q. So you don't do that anymore?
SERENA WILLIAMS: No. I don't have time for that anymore. Maybe once in
a while. But I've already had my one career comeback. So that's enough.
I just try and stay in the lead most of the time.
Q. Your thoughts on the field here this week.
SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, definitely it's a good field. We have Jennifer
and myself and Monica. And everybody these days is a competitor whether
you're top name or not. You have to play hard. It doesn't matter who you're
playing. So there's a good show, and everyone gives their full ?? gives
their full support, and everyone tries really hard at every event. So
I'd say it's definitely a good draw.
Q. How do you kind of figure out, like you came here and Venus went
to Amelia, or I mean you kind of ?? I know you guys don't like to ??
SERENA WILLIAMS: I wanted to play Amelia and here, but she wouldn't let
me. She said she wanted to play Amelia. But after Amelia she said that
would be enough for her because she's going to go to Hamburg early and
she didn't want to play here and have to end up going to Hamburg. So I
was like, "okay."
Q. So where do you go from here?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I go to Germany from here. So I'm off to Germany. I'll
get some Weinerschnitzel.
Q. Do you get to choose what kind of play you do or do you guys talk
about that way ahead of time?
SERENA WILLIAMS: No. We just enter tournaments at random. I necessarily
don't want to play Hamburg because I don't want to go over there that
early. We both play the Rome. We both play the Ericsson. So it's just
?? I'm sorry. The NASDAQ 100. Scratch that.
Q. You also said your puppy bites like her mother.
SERENA WILLIAMS: I was just kidding. I was just kidding. No. I don't bite.
Q. You being the mom, though?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah. I'm the mom. I miss her.
Q. How did you feel Sunday when all those kids were waiting for you?
SERENA WILLIAMS: You know, it was just ?? it was just ?? I mean it was
just almost breathtaking how everybody was there, and just the welcome
they gave me, and everybody was so happy, and there's a couple kids that
were crying, and it's just ?? that doesn't happen to me every day. It
actually never happens like that, and so to see that I've had an impact
on some people, even if it's just one, I'm really happy, but it was more
than one. It was a lot of people out there. And so I was just, you know,
it really touched me in a very special way.
Q. Little man's a little small for that.
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah. Little man. I have a pit bull. Next year I'm bringing
him, so he can keep the peace.
Q. Having the puppy park, does a little puppy place help?
SERENA WILLIAMS: It really does. It really does because Jackie, my dog,
she has separation anxiety very bad, and whenever I leave, she just doesn't
?? all she does is look for me to come back.
Q. And while you're on the court practicing or playing, who's watching
Jackie then for this tournament?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, normally she stays in the hotel. So it's really
hard on her. But she loves to come, and if I don't come, she just gets
really upset with me, and she yells at me and she gets really very, very
angry, and so we talk about it. So I said, if you're going to come, you
have to stay in the room. She said it was okay with her. We have long
conversations all the time.
Q. You're going to take her to the tournament in Europe?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah. She's going to Europe. She can't go to England
and Australia and stuff. But I'll take pictures.
Q. She can go to England.
SERENA WILLIAMS: She can go to England now?
Q. You get the certificate from your veterinarian that she's had the
shots, you can bring your dogs.
SERENA WILLIAMS: Oh, wow. Yeah, she'll probably be in England. She'll
like it there.
Q. Did you know about this doggie park?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah. Really I would have brought my son. He's a big
Q. Your son? What's his name?
SERENA WILLIAMS: His name is Bambi.
Q. Bambi is your son? You just want him to be a tough guy with that
SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, his real name is Dutch, but he's ?? but his middle
name is Bambi and I call him Bambi. I don't think he even knows Dutch,
so I never call him Dutch. It's basically Bambi.
Q. Serena, with the Confederate Flag thing still kind of swirling
around here, did you have any second thoughts about coming to the tournament
SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, I wouldn't have came if I felt that it was still
a major issue, as in the past I haven't come, and I'm definitely not for
anything like that. So if I felt it was still a major issue, and as such
and if I feel in the future it is a major issue, I wouldn't want to give
my support to anything like that, just because of who I am and just of
how far we've come, and not just me, but other people before me just to
pave the way for me.
Q. So you feel pretty comfortable?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I feel very comfortable, and I feel that a lot of things
?? I know the flag has been taken down, and I mean it's still on the Capitol,
Q. It's on the State House grounds.
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yes. So, I mean I guess that is a problem, but...
Q. Who are some of the people that came before you that you really
SERENA WILLIAMS: Mostly I would say Zina Garrison, because that was more
or less my generation. I got to watch her. I'd never really watched much
Althea Gibson, but I did watch Zina and Lori McNeil, and those two mostly.
Q. So you've had long discussions with Jackie. Have you discussed
the doggie park with them? Have you had a long discussion with Jackie
about the doggie park? Is she happy with it?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I haven't talked to her about it. She doesn't really
like it. She just mentioned the other day that she doesn't like it. We
haven't gotten into detail about it.
Q. Too many other dogs?
SERENA WILLIAMS: She doesn't get along with dogs. She always wants to
fight and beat everybody up. I don't understand where she gets it from.
Q. That's what they told me.
SERENA WILLIAMS: That's what they told you?
Q. They said she was a little bit going wild. You said a couple weeks
ago that you always watch the radar gun to see about your serve. What
was your fastest serve tonight?
SERENA WILLIAMS: 118. That was like the second or third serve I had. I'm
good with stats on myself.
END OF INTERVIEW