Serena Williams interview after winning
03/07/10--Serena Williams interview after winning
Wimbledon 2010 in 2 sets, 6-3, 6-2 over Vera Zvonavera in
only 1 hour and 6 minutes.
Q. Where does
this win rate for you in comparison to the others that
SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, it means a lot because, uhm, it is
13. So it's kind of cool because I kind of was able to
pass Billie. That's always nice.
I don't know where it rates. I mean, to have four
Wimbledons is really, really exciting.
Q. Can you describe what goes through your mind when
you're dominating a match the way you did today and the
way you did for most of this tournament.
SERENA WILLIAMS: I just thought, I got to stay focused
and I want to win this game. If I get up a couple breaks,
that way if I get nervous, I have a little space.
That's what I thought about, so... That's what I was
trying to do out there.
Q. Why do you think you have been so able to dominate
during this tournament?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I don't know. 'Cause, like I said, I
honestly didn't think I was playing my best. I felt like
my strokes were off, especially in the first week. And I
just felt in practice - more in practice than in the
match - I just felt like I was connecting late.
I don't know. I'm just really happy to have gotten
Q. It was pretty clear from the start that she was
going to try to meet your power with power. Did that
occur to you, and did it comfort you thinking, I got her
on my turf?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I thought she kind of mixed it up a
little bit. I thought she hit some high balls. I saw her
hit some slice. I felt like she, in the beginning, hit a
little hard, but then I thought she totally mixed it up.
I really thought she served really well.
Q. Do you still get nervous in these occasions?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Absolutely. I mean, I'm not -- I'm
totally human. I feel like it's not easy to go out there
and just be -- especially when everyone's expecting you
to win, it makes it even more difficult.
Q. You talk about you didn't play your best, but 94%
first serve is pretty outstanding.
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I know. I think today I played
well. I had 94 today?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I missed a lot of first serves today.
Q. You made 94 points when you put the first serve in.
SERENA WILLIAMS: Okay, when I got it in, yeah. That's
But I needed to get it in. I didn't get it in as much as
I wanted to today.
Q. She said it was a really big factor today in this
match for her.
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, it was. I think she knew going
into the match that I was serving well, so I thought that
she really returned well. So I didn't hit as many aces as
I did in the beginning of my first few matches.
I think that she did a really good job at just reading
that and just being prepared, so that was really
Q. You said your father taught you to serve. Could you
imagine then you would be the greatest female server in
the history of the game?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Uhm, is that what it's dubbed now? I
have a really consistent serve and I place it really
well. I might not hit it as hard, but I place it very
So, uhm, no, I didn't imagine. Because, like I said, I
always kind of was chatting with Venus while we served.
We were laughing and playing. We didn't really take
Q. You've overtaken Billie. How many Grand Slam titles
do you think you win and how many will you be happy to
win over the course of your career?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, I'm happy to win 13. You never
know what tomorrow brings. I'm happy to have gotten this
far. Uhm, who would have thought. But, you know, it just
takes a dream and a little work effort.
Q. Do you know how much you can bench press?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I don't lift weights. I just do like
Thera-Bands. I haven't touched a weight in years.
Q. In other sports they dream about hitting the game-winning
shot. You don't dream of winning in a blow-out. Is there
part of you that wishes you were tested to do what it was
like to be out there 4-All in the third?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Absolutely not. I mean, I don't know who
would sit here and say, Oh, I wish it were three tough
sets. No chance.
Because for me, if I were to win 0-0 -- and I think
everyone else on tour would agree that's better than, you
know, winning in three sets. I mean, maybe it's better
for the fans.
But at the end of the day, we don't want to be out there
longer than necessary.
Q. How important to you is your place in the history
of the game and where you're considered among the all-time
SERENA WILLIAMS: Uhm, it's definitely important, I guess.
I never thought about it. I guess now that you ask me, I
mean, maybe I think I'll be mentioned regardless whether
I won today or not. So, I mean, yeah, it's cool.
Q. About four years ago you were criticized for a
certain kind of indifference, being more interested in
pet projects and acting than in tennis. Do you think in
the big picture you've turned that around? Do you think
you've gotten the most out of your career and talents?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, uhm, no, I'm still very interested
in doing different things, and I still am very involved
in doing different things. I've never really cared what
people said, how they said whether I should be playing
tennis and hitting balls or whatever. It never really
bothered or mattered to me.
At the end of the day, that person has to go home and be
happy. And so if I was happy winning or losing or
whatever, then that's my life.
Q. You talk about passing Billie Jean. Looking at the
names ahead of you, do you ever take a look at that and
SERENA WILLIAMS: No. I mean, I know Martina and I guess
five other people are ahead of me. I didn't even know I
was six on the list or seven or whatnot. I'm telling you,
I don't think about that kind of stuff.
My thing is I love my dogs; I love my family; I love
going to the movies; I love reading; I love going
shopping. Like it's not on my list to be, you know, this.
At the end of the day, I would love to open more schools
in Africa or in the United States, and I would love to
help people. I would like to be remembered, Okay, yeah,
she was a tennis player, but, wow, she really did a lot
to inspire other people and help other people.
That's what I think about, not about Serena Williams won
X amount of Grand Slams.
Q. Is tennis your way of drawing attention to your
wider interests, as you just mentioned?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Absolutely. And I think the better I can
do, the more I can help other people.
Q. What will be your thoughts when we get to the US
Open after the way things ended last year and you have
this summer in front of you to get ready for it?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, I mean, it was what it was. My
thoughts will be just to try to do better in the
semifinals. That's what I've always been thinking about.
Q. Your dad just said that it actually was good for
you, all that hullabaloo happened, that it taught you
some lessons. Could you reflect on that? Do you think you
learned from that experience?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah. I think it was in a way good. I
said that straightaway. I think people always live life.
When you're like me, you live life in the public. It is
what it is.
You live, you make some mistakes, you make some errors,
and then you make some great things, you make some
winners, so to say.
No one's perfect. I never said I was. And, yeah.
Q. We saw you go out and take the dish out to the fans
and sign autographs in the walkway. When you came back in
the clubhouse, you were dancing around with joy. Can you
express what you were feeling at that moment?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I was really feeling Frank Sinatra-ish,
Come Fly With Me, Fly Me To The moon. This old-style
dance. That's what I felt like at the moment.
Q. Have you thought about any timetable or plan for
your career? Did you still think you would be playing at
SERENA WILLIAMS: I thought I probably still be playing at
28. Timetable? Who knows. I'm always trying to stay
healthy and do the best that I can. I never think about
how long I'm going to play.
Q. Is there a chance you'll still be playing at 38, do
SERENA WILLIAMS: 38?
SERENA WILLIAMS: If I am, I want you to personally take
me off and escort me off the court. There's no way I need
to be out here at 38.
Q. How much Frank Sinatra do you have on your iPod?
SERENA WILLIAMS: It's weird, I do. I have Frank Sinatra
and Mozart on my MP3 player, which is random, along with
some Lil' John and Roscoe Dash. (Laughing.)
Q. What is it about the Williams sisters here at
Wimbledon, you guys winning 9 of the last 11?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I don't know. That's really cool. I'm
just glad that I was able to win, especially that Venus
lost. I really wanted a Williams sisters to go ahead and
win it. 11 years consistent is really cool.
I think I was in the final one year that we lost. I don't
know what happened the other year. I don't remember.
Q. Did you already choose a dress for the Champions'
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I always pack a dress when I come
to Wimbledon. I have a dress that I brought.
Q. Can you describe it?
SERENA WILLIAMS: It's a Max Azria. I might change my
mind; might wear something else.
Q. Going to watch the men's final?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I'll watch it. I'm into watching
tennis, so I'll watch it.
Q. Do you have a favorite or prediction?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Have no predictions, no favorites. I
think it will be a really good match. Really like
interesting, good players.
Q. You talk about inspiring people in projects in
Africa and America. Have you got much of that going on at
the moment? Is there much that you're planning in regards
for the future?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I'm always planning to do more and
what I have going on in Africa already, and just giving
kids an opportunity to go to school in America, because
it's different there.
Q. Similar things to what Andre Agassi has going on in
SERENA WILLIAMS: Uhm, I would love to. I mean, he has
really always gave back. I think that kind of defined him
in his career. So I would love to do that, as well.
Q. What does it mean to you when the greats of women's
tennis bestow you with praise? Martina said today that
your serve was the greatest ever in women's tennis. What
does hearing that sort of thing mean to you?
SERENA WILLIAMS: It's amazing. I mean, I'm living in a
time where the game is faster than it was several years
ago. So this moment, if they say I'm the greatest, I feel
good about that, because in a couple years it will be
Q. Can you see yourself in 10 years' time after Pete
has pulled you off the court sitting out there with him
looking down on the champions of that age?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Hopefully, yeah, if I come. If not,
hopefully I'm somewhere, you know, relaxing. Maybe
spanking some kids, who knows.
Q. How about not losing a set in this whole
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, that was really cool. I did that
in the US Open in, what was it, 2002. But it was a little
disappointing I wasn't down match point this time and
come back to win.
Q. Four Wimbledon titles and 13 Grand Slams must give
you a bit of clout. Is there anything positive you'd like
to change about this championship or about the game of
tennis in general?
SERENA WILLIAMS: No. I think, you know, this is run
really well. This is the cream of everything. It's so
perfect and so nice here. Uhm, yeah, I'm just here for
Q. How much more difficult is it for you when Venus is
on the other side of the net in a Wimbledon final?
SERENA WILLIAMS: It's way more difficult 'cause, first of
all, she is gonna serve some aces, make my life really,
really hard out there. Just playing-wise it's more
Now, mental-wise for me, again, it's difficult, because I
feel like I'm playing my best opponent that I've ever
played. It just takes it to a whole new level.
Q. How much easier is it when Venus isn't around for
the final to face you?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Uhm, it's not necessarily easier because
then it's a lot of pressure on me. Past years it's been
great because everyone expected Venus to win and I was
kind find like the underdog.
This year when she lost and everyone thought I was going
to win, it became a lot of expectations. I just had to
take it one at a time.
Q. How did you deal with that? What was the challenge
like for you?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I just felt like, no matter what
happens, I should just stay relaxed and do what I can.
Q. Looked like you held up some fingers shortly after
the match, pointing towards your family. What was that?
SERENA WILLIAMS: That was 13. I did 10 and 3. Then I
thought, I hope I got the number right. You know me, I
tend to forget (laughter).
Q. Excluding your talented sister, what have been the
toughest strokes that you have faced in terms of the
serve, return, groundstrokes?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I always thought Lindsay Davenport
proved to be really tough because she was really tall and
intimidating. She hit a really clean shot. She was always
one of my tougher opponents.
I don't know. I don't underestimate anyone. I mean,
everyone I play, from the girl I played in the first
round to the girl I played in the final, I never
underestimate anyone, because on that day they always
bring their toughest game when they play me.
Q. Is there a stroke you wish you could have? If you
sat down and said, If only I could have somebody's
backhand, forehand, volley, especially when you were
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I think if I'd build the perfect
game. I'd have Nadal's speed. I'd have like, I don't
know, Roger's forehand. I would keep my serve so it can
kind of keep it even. Then I don't know. Maybe Venus'
Q. Whose mind would you have?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I'd keep mine.
Q. How do you compare this back-to-back to the Lakers'
SERENA WILLIAMS: Oh, please. The Lakers was much better
Q. Why is that?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, because they went like seven. They
went to the end, like you guys wanted. They went the
Q. Where do you want LeBron to end up?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I think he should stay in Cleveland
because he's from Ohio. He's built such a great franchise
there with the Cavaliers. He's taken that team to just --
so many people watch them. It's such a popular team now.
Obviously, I like Miami, but I think it's cool that he
stays in Cleveland.
Q. You're one of Wimbledon's great champions. Was
there a champion from the past you would have loved to
play on that Centre Court?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I think the no-brainer would probably be
Navratilova. I've actually always wanted to play Gabriela
Sabatini and Chris Evert. I don't know why. I've always
wanted to play those two, so...
Q. The Hawk-Eye is such a big part of tennis now.
There's a big argument in football about whether or not
it should be brought in because of the goals and all
that. Do you have anything to say to the decision makers
in that sport about whether or not it works and whether
or not they should do it?
SERENA WILLIAMS: No, I don't play soccer, so I don't
know. But, like, I just think it's unfair that you can
make a goal, like USA did twice, and England did, and it
cannot be a goal. I just think that's outrageous, so...
Q. You say they probably should bring it in?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I think they should. It's just so
frustrating, especially when you're rooting for a team.
It's just like you see it and then, I don't know, the
crowd, they show replays, who knows.
But I just can't imagine that you could have it right
there and it's just not there. It's just so frustrating.
Q. Speaking about Hawk-Eye, in the third game of the
second set you hit a wide slice serve; she challenged; it
was overturned; you get a second serve; you hit the exact
same serve. Was that going to be like, Let me show you
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I felt like I just wanted to hit
it there again. I don't know why. I knew the serve was
Like I said, I usually know when I'm right or wrong. I
knew it was out. I just knew that I wanted to hit it
Q. Speaking of Hawk-Eye, you could argue because of
the mess in New York with Jennifer that night, the same
umpire in the chair today.
SERENA WILLIAMS: I know. Tell me about it (smiling).
Q. In some way do you take in some pride that not only
the USTA apologized to you, but it really did lead to
Hawk-Eye and your getting messed over that night led to a
huge change in our game?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Could that have been 14? That could have
been 14 today.
Man, yeah. Like, I don't know. I just feel like if it's
yours, if it's your point, if it's your goal, it belongs
to you. It doesn't belong to the other person. Now that
it's 2010, about to be 2011, I guess on other planets
they have way more sophisticated things, so...
The least we can have is Hawk-Eye in sports, so...