Serena Williams interview after have won the 2010 Australian Open over Justine Henin

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Tuesday February 02, 2010


 Serena Williams interview after have won the 2010 Australian Open over Justine Henin

Serena won in 3 sets 6-4. 3-6, 6-2

Q. How are you feeling at the moment? Could you tell us something about the match?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I feel amazing. I feel like it happened but it hasn't happened, so it's really kind of cool. I really am in the moment right now.

Q. Was it a tough match mentally and physically?

SERENA WILLIAMS: It was definitely a tough match mentally and physically. I felt like we both were out there trying to kind of prove something. I think we both did at the end of the day.

Q. You never lost 15 points in a row and then won at the end.

SERENA WILLIAMS: Really? Well, I lost so many in a row I thought, Gosh, I was up 15-40 at one point and could have broke her. I lost so many points. I thought, Well, at least I won the first set. It was better. I thought, Thank God I won the first set.

Q. What changed, if anything, between the second and third for you?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, I just definitely stayed positive, and I had so many chances in the second. I had so many chances and I didn't capitalize on them.

So in the third, I knew I would have chances again just to capitalize on that one chance in that one moment.

Q. When you look at that trophy now, you defended it, what does it mean to you?

SERENA WILLIAMS: It's cool. I mean, I don't know. I feel kind of weird because I'm okay. I was totally okay with winning every other year. So I don't know if I'm guaranteed to win next year or not. So I don't know how I feel.

It's kind of like a love/hate relationship. I'm just really trying to enjoy the moment, and I feel really special that I was able to tie Billie Jean King. Because in my heart of hearts, I've been going for it and I haven't been able to quite achieve it.

Q. Why is that so significant for you?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Billie Jean is a really big mentor of mine. She was a Fed Cup coach at one time, which was super cool. We had so much fun. She even visited me before the match. She came in, she was like, How you going? She was look at all my strappings. I wasn't finished strapping yet.

She was just seeing all that was going on. She was like, Wow, you have a lot of stuff going on. I was like, Yeah. But it was good.

Q. Was there one moment in this tournament when you thought destiny was on your side and you were going to break the odd-year streak?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I never thought about it. Like I said, I was always okay with winning on the odd years. I was totally okay with losing today or losing in the semis, because it meant that I would win next year.

So now I don't know. I'm a little nervous. I'm like, I don't know if I'm going to win next year or not.

Q. You won that trophy, but who gave you that shining necklace and earrings?

SERENA WILLIAMS: The necklace was a gift from a friend, and I got the earrings myself, unfortunately. But it's okay.

Q. Can you reveal a little bit more about the strapping, what was involved there, what you were protecting?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, I had -- well, where do I start? How much time do we have? I pulled a hamstring in Sydney, so I was devastated by that. However, when I strapped it, it felt a lot better.

And then something happened to the side of my leg in Sydney. And then when I strapped it, it didn't feel better, but it helped a little bit. And, of course, I tape my ankles for prevention.

I think in the third round I twisted my ankle, and I fell against Victoria Azarenka and hurt my wrist. And then somewhere in between there my toes started hurting, so, yeah.

Q. How nervous were you coming in then if you already know you're traveling with an injury?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I was okay with it because I felt like, you know, if I'm healthy, then I have a good chance. I felt like I'm moving well. Even though I had all the strappings on me, I felt like I was moving well. Honestly, I felt like the strappings helped me.

It helped me to be able to move better and do what I can do at a normal level.

Q. Were you playing with pain, though?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I mean, of course. But I don't know any athlete who doesn't at any point play in pain. Even Justine was taped today. Li Na, she was taped. Every athlete, that's the thing about being an athlete, you go and you play -- you don't always play at a hundred percent, and that's what makes it special.

Q. Did you speak specifically to Billie Jean about the 12 Grand Slam titles?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I didn't speak to Billie about it, but after we talked. We took a picture. I was excited. I said, I tied you. But what an honor.

Like I said, it was good to tie her, but what I'm more enthused about is what she did off the court.

Q. Do you think today's victory will help everyone forget the problems you had at the US Open?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I don't really think about that myself. I feel like win, lose, or draw, I'm here. I was here in the final and doing the best that I could.

Q. How far do you think Justine can go now that she's come back to the sport?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, she can go really far. As you saw today, she took me to the umpteenth level. She clearly hasn't like lost a step at all since she's been gone.

So I feel like I played a girl who's been on the tour for the past five years without a break.

Q. You'll probably be traveling, but what are your thoughts on tomorrow night's match with the boys?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I've been really impressed with Andy Murray. I mean, I was thinking out there today, Gosh, play like Andy, play like Roger. Of course, it didn't happen. But I was just thinking how good -- like, I mean, these shots that Andy hit were insane. The guy is so fast.

And Roger, I mean, the guy is incredible. He hits these forehands, I mean, just -- I could never play like that. I just thought, If I could just play halfway like that, then I would do well.

I would love to see the match because I think it's going to be an incredible, incredible test and match.

Q. Who's your winner?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Hmm? I always go for the underdog. But at the same time, I always root for the champion. But I like Andy 'cause he's really sweet. But I like Roger 'cause he's really nice. So I don't know.

Q. Perfectly clear now.

SERENA WILLIAMS: Exactly (laughter).

Q. You seemed so emotional at the end of the night. Did you consider climbing into the box?

SERENA WILLIAMS: You know, I did. If you saw me, I did a pull-up, but my muscles freezed because there's no chance I could lift my weight in a pull-up. There was no chance I would have made it up. I was like, Okay, that's a hopeless cause.

I was thinking about going inside, taking the elevator and then going inside, but there's no way I would have made it.

Thank God the chair was there. I made it that far up.

Q. You saved at least six or seven breakpoints with your serve either with aces or winning serve. Do you think the serve has been the winning key to tonight?


Q. Aces also.

SERENA WILLIAMS: I think so. I don't think I served excellent. But I think when it was necessary, I served really well. And especially even in the first game, I think that first game was like 10 minutes. That game was important. I ended up holding. She had a couple breakpoints. I hit a couple bombs at the right time.

I was thinking maybe in the third set I was down. I don't remember. But I may have hit some aces.

Q. You were down 1-Love and 15-40, and you scored ace, eight, winning serve, another serve, ace nine.

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah. So that definitely helped me out. Honestly, the longer the match goes the better my serve gets. So I felt like when I walked out there in the third set I was like, Okay, I'm going to start serving better.

Q. Did you have any Green Day playing in your head today like you did the other day?

SERENA WILLIAMS: No, I didn't. But I thought that they were going to be at the Grammys. I thought maybe they would have a Grammy party, and, you know, how honored I would be. I don't know, I just love Green Day. Kind of a little bit neurotic, but it's me.

Q. Is Justine's game the same as when she left or has it changed? Is there anything that surprised you?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I think her game is definitely better. I mean, it was excellent before she left. But, you know, I think she's added a lot to it.

Q. Like what in particular?

SERENA WILLIAMS: She's attacking more, which is always good.

Q. Difference between Kim and Justine?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Uhm, hmm. I'm going to keep that to myself.

Q. Have you got any spare Super Bowl tickets?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Oh, I do, but they're for sale. Hello. They're like $10,000. They're nice suite seats.

Q. How are you going to celebrate tonight?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Uhm, you know, I never really celebrate, so...

I haven't thought about it yet. I'm really kind of in the moment. So I don't know. I was thinking about just hanging out with Venus, because she was really supportive out there today. I remember in the third set, I was down, and I heard her say, C'mon, Serena. It's okay, right here, right here.

And, honestly, that really got me pumped up. So maybe we'll watch a movie tonight.




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