Serena Williams 29-01-16

Serena Williams pre-final press conference

Serena Williams speaks to the media ahead of the 2016 Australian Open, 16 January 2016.

Q. When you were growing up, I'm sure there was a stage where you thought making one Grand Slam final would be great. Do you still get that innocent excitement about it at all, or have you done so much, it starts to become a bit routine?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, it hasn't been routine because every match for me is hard, and every match is not easy. So I always get really excited.

Q. In 1999 when you played Steffi, you were really respectful of her. You called her Miss Graf. I'm wondering if some of the younger players have ever called you Miss Williams and what it's like to be on the other side of the equation now?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, gosh, that is true. I don't know. That's an interesting question. I don't know.

Q. Never been called Miss Williams?

Q. Obviously it's Angelique's first final, but can you remember what it was like for your first final, what your feelings were as you were about to walk out onto the court?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I felt really good my first final. I just had this feeling before the tournament started that I was going to do really well there.

She might have the same feeling, I don't know. But it felt good.

Q. Do you think there's a difference because you were quite a bit younger than Angie; innocence and exuberance of youth?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I definitely think that could make a difference. When you're young, you're pretty fearless. But, you know, Angie I think has been really proving herself throughout the years, that she can play well.

Q. The days before big finals, do you always spend them in the same way?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, pretty much. I do a lot of the same stuff. I don't really do much. I just stay at my place. I just watch TV.

Q. Any special thing on TV?
SERENA WILLIAMS: No, I mean, usually I watch some of the matches. That's about it.

Q. The world has lost a great composer David Bowie. What is your favorite song?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I mean, I can't think offhand what my favorite song is. But, yeah, that was a sad loss for everyone.

Q. Last year in the Grand Slams you dropped some sets every tournament. Of course, in New York you lost the match. This year you are going straight to the final with a clean run. Do you feel you're playing somehow better?
SERENA WILLIAMS: That's a really good question. I think I'm playing better. I know my practices are better. Hopefully I'm playing better. So I definitely can play more consistent and more mentally stable, so to say.

Q. The final is still to be played, but we can stay till now this is your best slam in a year?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, for sure, I would say this is probably the best slam I've played in a year, and I've won a lot in a year. Again, I haven't won this one. But even if I don't win, I really can take away that I've been really consistent, and I want to continue that.

Q. When it comes to experience over time and playing all the majors, what is the one thing that I guess resonates with you more now in terms of what you've gone through in your experience preparing for major finals that maybe 10 years ago you didn't know or you didn't realize, take to heart as much?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I don't know. I kind of relish every win and every final and every match now. I think maybe in the past I didn't as much. I was just like going through the motions. Even though I was super excited, I just feel like now it's even more exciting.

Q. Did you watch the Djokovic-Federer match last night? Did you feel for Roger? You're the same age. He's been No. 1. He's not anymore. Did you feel sorry for Roger going down in that way?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I really didn't have a chance to watch it. I was working on some things. But I think it went four sets. I didn't have time to watch it.

Q. Two years ago you played in Charleston against Angie Kerber. She won. Of course she remembers that match. Do you remember any of it still?

Q. Cincinnati, I'm sorry.
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I thought she played unbelievable in that match. That's something that I'll never forget. I just remember her serving really well, her moving well, her being determined to win that.

I think from then on out I've been really focused that she's someone that I really, you know, and everyone, has to take very serious.

Q. What athlete in another sport do you just admire for the person's brilliance, passion? Who would you go out of your way to watch?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, I mean, I really admire Roger and Novak. I love watching them play, both respectively. I mean, they're in my sport.

I don't watch a tremendous amount of sport, outside of football, American football. I like Messi a lot. I think he's a pretty amazing player, footballer.

Q. Obviously you were under huge pressure in New York. Do you feel any less pressure here or is the same with the chance to match Steffi's record?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, everyone has expectations. I'm the favorite. I was the favorite in New York. I feel like I could have done better in New York. But that was a learning experience. So I'm going to hopefully take that to the court for not only this tournament but for the rest of these slams.

Q. When you come out to play, something that's really noticeable about you is your intense focus. You seem really within yourself. That's something that maybe a lot of young players struggle with. How did you teach yourself to focus in that way?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I think in general just watching people that played before me. Every coach, every person, my dad always saying, Just focus on this, focus on this point. I feel like everyone says that. I kind of just take that to heart.

Q. Can you remember the first time you ever fist pumped? People always say that Lleyton Hewitt is the one who started the c'mons. I imagine you did it before him.
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I have no idea. Maybe in a junior tournament in 10 divisions back in Compton.

Q. You say you spend much of the time at the hotel not doing much. Is that the price of fame, of being such a recognizable figure? It's hard for you to get out and wander the streets of Melbourne kind of thing. Is that part of it?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, definitely. I don't really leave my house so much, even in Florida or L.A. or Paris. I kind of just stay at home a lot.

It will go away soon. But for now, you know, I'd rather have this than something else because it means I'm doing well.