Thursday, August 8, 2019
S. WILLIAMS/E. Alexandrova
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. Last night I erred in telling you what I thought of your form. What did you think of your form tonight?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, you know what? I think the player I played was just so different. And not a lot of rhythm and it wasn’t really easy to get a good match, like, for that.
But under the circumstances, you know, I’m still in the tournament.
Q. It’s a quick turnaround for you tomorrow in a quarterfinal match, but what areas of your game are you going to be focusing on in the next 24 hours to prepare for quarterfinals tomorrow?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Just everything, I think. You know, just more consistency and just throughout for either returns and, you know, serving as well.
Q. How different does it feel competing at an event, you know, it’s a Premier 5, but typically lately when we’ve seen you it’s been at the big events and maybe there’s a lot more hullabaloo about those. Is it nice to have a lesser kind of heaviness to the event here or do you not feel that way at all?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I definitely feel lesser, for sure, but I haven’t really thought about it. It definitely feels nice, though, just to be at a regular event, because I haven’t played a lot of regular events this year.
And I love supporting the tour and I always want to play, so it’s good to be able to actually make it out.
Q. Any curiosity about your opponent potentially tomorrow at this point of the night?
SERENA WILLIAMS: You know, it will be good. It will be a good match, whoever wins. Both players are playing well in this tournament in particular, so I’ll be ready for her.
Q. Specifically on Osaka, you haven’t had a chance to play her since last year. Whether it happens tomorrow or sometime soon, are you looking forward to an opportunity to play her again?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, absolutely. I’ve been actually looking forward to playing her for a while. You know, she’s had a great year early in the season, and she’s still doing pretty good, actually. So it would be really good to play her again.
Q. There was a lot made at Wimbledon of the business bun. The business bun was bunned, I think, at 3-0 when you were down, with your hair. Do you make anything of it? Is it conscious when you actually do that on court?
SERENA WILLIAMS: No. You know, it was honestly so windy and my hair was just everywhere. So I just was like, I needed it out of my face. So it wasn’t anything.
I like to play with it down, though, so… (Smiling.)
Q. What should we call it down?
SERENA WILLIAMS: A mess. (Laughing.)
Q. So through two matches, especially on the hard courts. Simona was saying your first match on a hard court after a long break, you feel like you’ve been hit by a train. The body doesn’t feel right. So through two matches for you, and how do you feel and what are you pleased with so far?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I definitely feel like it takes a while to get back into the rhythm. Because we’ve had a long season of just clay and then grass, and now we’re on hard courts.
So it definitely feels different, especially for me now. Usually I don’t feel that huge of a difference, but for whatever reason I do this year.
But, yeah, I’m feeling good. Just hopefully just being able to stay in the rhythm and playing this week and next week would be good.
Q. There will be an opportunity later this month to go after number 24. Do you view that as critical for yourself or do you feel as though you’ve done so much in your career, won so many, 23, the actual number at the end of the day won’t matter or is it a meaningful number for you?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I think it’s definitely meaningful. But, you know, at this point in my career, I just try to think of different things and even bigger goals. So it’s just like, you know, 24 is just a thing.
Q. Bigger goals such as non-tennis things?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah. Like, you know, there’s so much more important things in my life. And obviously tennis is super important to me or else I wouldn’t be sitting here right now. But, yeah, there’s always other things in life, I feel, that are really big on my plate too.
Q. One person has been so central in your life and such a person that’s part of the loyal team for you is your agent Jill and how she’s been just right there for you. So if you could just talk about what she just meant to you throughout this whole process.
SERENA WILLIAMS: She is just like my hair: a mess.
SERENA WILLIAMS: Seriously. (Laughing.)
Q. You said she didn’t give you much rhythm tonight, but when you actually reflect on it from a tennis sense with Patrick or look back at a match like this, what do you walk away the most proud of, if you’re not necessarily saying the X’s and O’s worked for you tennis-wise the way that you wanted them to? What are the little things that you are proud of that you did tonight?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, she hit really, really hard and she was hitting a lot of winners. So I was just happy that I was able to just fight through that, and I guess that’s it. I’m just not really happy how I did it. (Smiling.)
All right. I’m going to exit right. (Laughing.)