There were a lot of people shouting out. I know it's not proper tennis etiquette, but this is the first time I've ever played here that the crowd has been behind me like that. Today I felt American, you know, for the first time at the U.S. Open. So I've waited my whole career to have this moment and here it is. ... It was great. It was awesome. It was like winning gold.
I think every single point will be important, .. I think more than anything, I'll just have to be able to compete better. When you're playing Serena Williams, you have to compete better than her. I got a lot of tricks from Serena just watching her. She inspired me so many times. I also got motivated by her in the early part of my career, and even now. I just have to compete better, bottom line.
The outfit is inspired by Alice in Wonderland. It's kind of about a surprise, because when Alice goes down the rabbit hole, she finds all these things that are so surprising. This outfit is about having a surprise in a tennis dress, and showing some skin and then just having a print. Prints don't happen that often in tennis. So it's called the Wonderland dress.
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If Id lived prior to the 1980s, it would have been different, because I would have been playing to prove African Americans are equal. Now, I dont necessarily feel I have to play for black people, because obviously theyre doing everything in all sports. If I can go out there and play for myself and not feel I have to stand for something other than what I want to do, thats good.
I feel a little more tired than usual, ... Ive had to recover from everything, my illnesses and things this summer. Its not perfect circumstances, but Im definitely going to be out there and hopefully have my letdown after the Open ... I think Ill go in mentally a lot better. When it comes down to it I dont think anyone really wants to play me because I have a lot of weapons and not a ton of weaknesses. My main weakness would probably be an occasional self-destruction mode. So Ill try not to touch that red button accidentally.
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I believe I live in a black and white. I think things are like either black or white. I don't really believe that much in the gray. I think that there's gray for a lot of people, but I don't live in the gray. I realize whatever action I have or take, it's going to have a consequence -- either good or bad. So I live my life in a way where I don't have bad consequences. I just notice there's a lot people around me just live in the gray. I don't know, for me, I'm just really straightforward.
I think that Billie (Jean King) and Zina (Garrison), they have a whole lot of experience. Even if I don't quite agree with something or have a different way of doing it this week, whatever they said, I did it right away and I found out that it was correct. I think that's helped a lot...I'm having fun. I had a lot of fun out there. Sometimes I was ready to smile -- but I knew I'd lose focus -- because I was doing things that I'd done in practice and we talked about. I was ready to laugh and give someone a high-five, but it wasn't time for that.
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