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January 28, 2015

Venus Williams


M. KEYS/V. Williams
6-3, 4-6, 6-4
An interview with:

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Probably a tough loss to feel so close in the final set. What are your thoughts about the match?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, you know, I think she played really well. Of course, I have to give credit to her just for playing well, landing a lot of great shots I think is ultimately -- ultimately she played really well.

Q. Tough serving day for you.
VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, I definitely didn't serve as consistently as I wanted to. You know, I felt like just not as aggressive off the ground as I would have liked. So I think in this kind of match you have to be aggressive. Like I said, I give a lot of credit to her because she really set her points up. She was swinging freely. Most of them went in for her. So it was just, you know, great for her.

Q. You obviously know her game well. Within games, does the power of her shot-making still surprise?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, I've played her before. I've played a lot of players with power. Obviously if you can be effective with your power, play them deep, get them in, things like that. I think she played really well. I think I really started to really kind of get into the match in the second set. I just don't think I played as strong of a match as I would have liked today. Sometimes that happens and you still have to get through it. Today I just didn't.

Q. Injury concerns, how did that change your approach?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I still won the second. I felt like I really got off rhythm after that break. It was hard to come back. I still was able to hold. Never really felt like I got back to that rhythm that I was building at 4-1 and really just started to feel good about everything. I think for her, when you're injured, you feel a little tentative at the beginning. After a while you feel okay and so then you start to be more relaxed.

Q. Why is it so hard to get back in a groove when you have a break like that?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I think usually I play pretty well after breaks like that, but this time I didn't. I think it was just a little cold out there as well. Sometimes when it's cold -- and I don't think I was playing that great anyway to that point. I just kind of served to get some momentum and then I lost it a little bit. So there's a lot of reasons, I guess, but ultimately if you don't get it in, you don't win the point, then that's pretty much it.

Q. Does your mind wander in a break like that?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, you have to stay focused no matter what happens out there.

Q. Would you say you were unable to do that?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I don't know. These questions, I already just said what I was going to say...

Q. You're set to get up to No. 11 or 12. With everything you've been through, was that a position you envisaged getting back to?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, I feel like, yeah, I have that potential. When you step out time and time again and you can't reach that, it's definitely challenging and it definitely makes you feel some type of way. That's all I can say about that. I think losses like this, even though they're not fun they're good, because I'll learn a lot more from this. If I didn't play well, and I win this match then... Unfortunately you don't win as much. Like I said, I had a lot of opportunities, but in the end she just played better.

Q. Physically do you feel you're in the best position you've been for some time? Do you feel you can continue this?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah. It already feels like a long season already, so many matches in a row. But it's a great start. Hopefully, you know, I'll be able to keep this level up.

Q. Must be a very good feeling that you inspire a lot of players. When you lose to somebody, do you wish, I hadn't inspired her?
VENUS WILLIAMS: No, I think that's the last thing I think. Is that what you were thinking? No, I don't think things like that. I look within. I try to figure out what I haven't done wrong because in matches you always have an opportunity. Sometimes if you don't take them, you're out of time.

Q. What would you say her future is?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Sky's the limit. There is no limit on what you can achieve. No one can stop you. Sometimes you may not win every match, but there's a lot of them you can win. Really the sky's the limit for her and anyone out there.

Q. Inside you, are you really pleased with this run? Fans think it's just amazing. What are your thoughts?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, it's definitely been a great last like four weeks, I think. A lot of match wins, a lot of momentum, just a lot of great things happening that everybody wants to happen in their career. I think a lot of players would have been happy with this tournament. I'm happy with progress. I'm not happy with a loss, I'll tell you that.

Q. Can you share anything your mom or dad might have said to you recently?
VENUS WILLIAMS: They just always are very encouraging. They don't really coach that hard. They seem to know what to do and when to do it at the right time, when to be a parent, when to be a coach.

Q. You have been a positive role model for so many people. Even in your after-match comments you keep it positive. In this particular match, is it fair in general for players to keep getting injury treatments game after game?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Well, it's within the rules. If you don't feel well, you need an injury timeout. I guess that's what happened with her. I've had them before as well. I don't really have any complaints about that rule. You have to give credit where credit is due. She played really well. This is her moment today. I didn't -- I think it was pretty rare that I was able to string together three or four points without an error. That was unfortunate for me today. But next time I'll be able to play more solid.

Q. What will you take away from this slam experience?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Obviously a lot of momentum is a positive. I think second, I'll learn a lot from this loss. Getting into a quarterfinals, you really want to come out and play your best. Even if you don't, you want to play yourself into the match, take your opportunities. I think I'll just learn from this and come out stronger.
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