Lawn Tennis, US Open, Lawn Tennis Magazine
Serena Williams US Open Interview 2008

By Ken Miller, Lawn Tennis Correspondent, Posted: Saturday, September 13, 2008 3:20pm CST USA
Serena Williams US Open Interview 2008, US Open 2008 NEW YORK--(

Women's Singles - Finals

Serena Williams USA (4) def. Jelena Jankovic SRB (2) 6-4, 7-5

Serena Williams of the USA
Lawn Tennis Magazine, The US Open

 Q. How did you pull out that second set?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I don't know. I just got so positive. I was like, um, I really want to win. All I have to do is break and
 hold, break, and hold, and break.

I figured it seemed so simple, so I thought, Okay, all I have to do is win one point here and one point there, and I was 

Q. Your general feeling?


Q. Give us a sense of how you feel.

SERENA WILLIAMS: I'm so excited. I can't even describe it. Usually after a Grand Slam I feel like I still have another
 match to play, but I don't really feel that way today. I feel like it's done and it's all over, and I'm so excited. I 
just -- I think it showed on the court.

Q. What's most exciting, No. 1 or the title?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Definitely the title. No. 1 is an added bonus. Like I said, I wasn't even trying to be No. 1. I always 
said if I win tournaments -- and then, Ah, I can't believe I'm No. 1. It's been so long. It's kind of weird.

Q. Do you recall or have you ever gone through a major tournament winning every single set throughout the tournament?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I did that at the last US Open I won, so I tried to do the same thing today, or this tournament.
 I didn't try, but it just so happened.

Q. Your father said he thought this title meant more to you than any of the others, perhaps. Is the joy greater when you
 have to wait for something?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I don't know. I mean, everyone is so excited, believe me. I mean, this is cool, because I'm at No. 9,
 I'm pushing the doors closer to double digits, which obviously I want to get to.

This is cool, because I feel like my game has gotten a lot better and I've improved, and, you know -- I don't know. It
 was just -- each one is really special. Each one is so special.

I don't know. The Olympic gold medal, though, still, I love. I can't tell you how excited I was to win the gold medal.

Q. You really put your nose to the grindstone all year, working, working, working, and at times you liked the results 
but I don't know you weren't that thrilled about your results at the majors. It must feel good you finally put the work 
in and can sit back and say, Yeah.

SERENA WILLIAMS: Absolutely. I've been working so hard all year. Sometimes I wake up at like 6:00 in the morning to go
 practice and it was too dark. I would have to wait until it gets light. It's just paying off.

No one really, really knows the work that an athlete puts in. You know, it's worth it. And then I felt like, Gosh, I've
 been working the hardest. I should win.

Q. Having won eight titles before this tournament, I mean, you've had great moments. Now that you've had tonight, can
 you say if you had never had another win, another Grand Slam win, would your career have felt somehow lacking? I mean, 
I guess, can you just frame this title?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Um, I don't think I would have felt lacking, because I've never had that attitude. Like I said the
 other day, I feel like I'm going to be No. 1 again, win lots of Grand Slams. It doesn't stop here.

Like I said before, I feel like I have a new career, like I feel so young and I feel so energized to play every week
 and to play every tournament.

I feel like there's just so much that I can do in my career yet, and I've never felt like I've played my best tennis.

So I can't even answer that question.

Q. Tough loss at Wimbledon. Does this make up for it? And also, talk about the Williams family triple this summer 
between Wimbledon, Beijing and...

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, it definitely makes up for the Wimbledon loss, I guess. Obviously I wanted to win Wimbledon,
 but at the same time I'm excited -- and I was excited that Venus won, as well, because it's like at least we both got
 to the pinnacle of our games and we both at least made the finals and we both won doubles. That was really cool.

This is just exciting, you know, because I knew -- before the year started I knew I was going to have a really busy
 summer, and I kept thinking, How am I going to get through all these tournaments?

But I got through them, and it's awesome.

Q. They were saying on TV just how positive of an influence Common has been on you and kind of telling you, This is
 really your moment. Can you just talk about how he's kind of influenced you.

SERENA WILLIAMS: I don't really talk about that. I mean, if anything, my mom and my dad have been so supportive. I 
mean, so supportive day in and day out. Just other aspects of my family, like my sisters, and, you know, they never 
give up on me. So I'm just really excited to have that support all around.

Q. How much motivation do you take from people, including Chris Evert, saying that you had spread your energies too
 thin and that you were never going to be the greatest player you could be if you didn't have a single-minded focus
 on tennis? How motivating was that for you to prove these people wrong?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, you know, I just like to win tournaments, and win Grand Slams especially. But I don't really 
focus on what people say about me. I just have to focus on what I can do, and I still do a lot of things.

You know, I'm on the phone at night talking to different people about designs within ANERAS, and then I wake up and 
I have a match.

It can be done. You just have to be able to do it. Not everyone can do it.

Q. In '99 you win your first title; you're hitting people off the court. Probably not as conscious of what was 
happening as you are now. Do you enjoy these things? Do they mean more as an adult, because you've been through a 
lot more than you were nine years ago?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, it just means a lot, each one. '99 was so special because I knew I was going to win it 
before. I just felt it. And then, God, I felt that coming into this tournament, too. I felt I was going to win.

Then also I wanted it so bad in '99. It was my first Grand Slam, so you can't really take that away. It's like your
 first one is so special, and, you know I won doubles that year, too.

It would have been cool if I had played doubles here, too.

Q. People are really excited hearing that there's a possibility that you and Venus might be coming back to New York 
to play in the Billie Jean King Cup in Madison Square Garden in March.

SERENA WILLIAMS: Oh. So much has been going on for me on and off the court, I really have been just focusing on the 
court. I have to get and talk about what's going on about off the court. I just know about forehands right now, 
and designs.

Q. That might have been your best match point celebration.


Q. What fed it, do you think?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I really wanted to win. Last time I played Jelena I got up and then I kind of had a lot of match
 points. She's a player that you have to win the match. She's not going to give it to you.

And I knew going into it that she was playing so well. I just knew that I had to take it. So when -- I don't even 
remember match point. I just remember I won and I was so excited, I just knew that I had to go for it.

Q. You're No. 1 now, Serena. If you have to keep this, you probably have to contend with Venus. I mean, going by 
performance this year, the one who is most likely to challenge you for No. 1. Will you be looking forward to that 

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I mean, we have to get back to 1 and 2. You know, I want to be 1 and I'm pretty sure she 
wants to be 1. She's playing great. She has a great opportunity. I just think I was so lucky to get through that 
match. It was good. So I think that really propelled me.

Q. Do you still enjoy the battle on court, because obviously you were out there against her and she's pushing 
everything back and it seems like a war. Is there enjoyment in that?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, you have to enjoy the battle. Like I always enjoy winning easy. Obviously you can't win 
every match easy, so you have to be ready to win them all.

Q. This is such an incredible win tonight, but Beijing was pretty special, too. Can you possibly talk about the two 
victories and just the different nuances and different feelings?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I mean, the best part of Beijing is I got to share it with my sister. I want her to do the
 best always, and so it's like -- and like here it's like only me, but I obviously would like Venus to do the best 
that she can, as well.

That's what makes Beijing so special, is we both were able to win. You know, it's different when you're playing 
doubles with someone because it's like we talk so much throughout the point, and we live literally every moment 
together. Plus she's serving big and I just stay at the net and look like an all-American. That really helps a lot,

It's just a great -- it's just been a great summer thus far, and I'm glad -- I can't believe I won. Still, like -- it's

Q. What is the biggest factor behind your resurgence?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, it's been consistent. I've been playing a lot, even last year, and I worked my way back into 
the top 5 very briefly. Then unfortunately I lost that, but I was always in the top 10.

And this year I started out again top 10 and just working my way up, so it's just been consistent. It hasn't
 happened all of a sudden. It's been, you know, me playing a while.

Q. What's next for you tennis-wise, business-wise, fun-wise?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, I have a lot of plans, you know, just always working on ANERAS to do well. But most of all, 
you know, trying to play in a couple tournaments in the fall in Europe, so that's next.

Q. Since this was the 40th anniversary, was there some weight of expectation to do something? They talked about the 
men not doing so well.

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, there was no expectations with me. I don't put pressure on myself. I try not to.

Q. And the men?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I can really only answer for me.

Q. If you had to wrap the whole two-week experience coming to New York, emerging, triumph, in one or two words or 
a phrase, what would it be?


Q. Because?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Because it was. It was just magical. It was everything coming together, like magic.

Q. Is nine enough for you?

SERENA WILLIAMS: No, no. I want to get double digits. I like that I'm at nine because I'm pushing for ten, and I 
feel like I can do it. I obviously play well all the time in Australia, so that's coming up soon.

I have to win another French Open and I love Wimbledon. I definitely had the game to do it. I love winning Grand 
Slams, so I look forward to it. 

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