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DUBAI DUTY FREE TENNIS CHAMPIONSHIPS


February 16, 2015


Venus Williams


DUBAI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES

V. WILLIAMS/B. Bencic
6‑1, 6‑2


THE MODERATOR:テつ Questions, please.

Q.テつ That was okay, wasn't it?
VENUS WILLIAMS:テつ Yeah, it was solid.テつ She's a really good player.テつ She's in the top 40 or top 30 or something like that, I think.
She's had a great year in the last year.テつ I haven't played her for ‑‑I think I played her at the French.テつ I think she's improved since then, and, yeah, she makes you hit a lot of balls, definitely.

Q.テつ You've been improving, as well?
VENUS WILLIAMS:テつ Yeah, thank God.

Q.テつ Tell us about the improvement.
VENUS WILLIAMS:テつ I just think that I have been able to get in a position to win some matches, and once you're able to win matches it helps you to build momentum.
You know, pretty much every match I lost I was still, you know, almost there.テつ So that's when you know you're doing the right things and just have to continue to the finish line and keep trying.

Q.テつ The way you were hitting tonight, how does that compare to, say, five or six years ago?
VENUS WILLIAMS:テつ Oh, I think my strategy is a lot better than even five or six years ago, and, you know, I think I have added another shot to my game in the last few months with my backhand slice.テつ Actually starting to use it if I'm on defense and sometimes in the middle of the point.テつ It's not a shot I am going to go to, because I like to be aggressive, but I think the strategy is better.テつ And even when you're not even playing better, the strategy is still better even though you might lose sometimes.

Q.テつ She's half your age.テつ Do you just even think about that at all, or like, hey, I just beat this girl?テつ She's 17?テつ And a protテδゥgテδゥ of Martina Hingis?
VENUS WILLIAMS:テつ I know.テつ She's hopefully benefiting from that relationship, because Martina was one of a kind and still is on the doubles court.
Hopefully that will be something that will work out for her, because that will be great for tennis and for Swiss tennis, and she's got a lot of enthusiasm.テつ You can tell she wants to play well.
But, no, you know, I don't think about that out there, because at 34, I mean, I'm hitting a little bit harder than most people and playing, you know, some offense on the run and hitting the ball just as hard.
When I was 17, though, also, I didn't think about what the age was of someone across the net.テつ All you think of is I want to beat them and that kind of thing.テつ A number doesn't ever come in the head.

Q.テつ When a player gets to over 30, they have to make some kind of compromise somewhere usually in the way they practice and prepare.テつ What have you done?
VENUS WILLIAMS:テつ I have never spent a ton of time on the practice court (smiling).テつ Not that I don't get the work in, but I stopped practicing twice a day when I was about 20 or 21.
That could possibly be a part of longevity, as well, because the more hours you put in the body, it's not normal to hit, you know, a thousand forehands a day.
So I think as you start to get older, if you want to have a longer career, then you've got to start thinking about quality over quantity.

Q.テつ But how do you maintain such terrific athleticism?
VENUS WILLIAMS:テつ Genetics.テつ (Laughter.) Thanks, Mom.テつ Thanks, Dad.
And, yeah, I think a lot of that comes natural.テつ I have to work on it.テつ I have different weaknesses than someone who is smaller.テつ As a tall person it's easy for me to get slow if I don't work on it.テつ I don't let that happen, so I'm constantly working on my agility and my movement.

Q.テつ Do you think any of this saving of energy has to do with the fact that you guys didn't play juniors and like, you know, that kind of thing?
VENUS WILLIAMS:テつ Yeah, I think actually it does.テつ The thing is I can't compare playing juniors because I didn't do it.テつ I was talking to Mary Joe at Fed Cup, and she said, yeah, if see didn't play as many juniors, she feels like she could have played a little bit longer.
It's just the mental strain it takes when you have been playing so many matches before you even are professional.テつ So I think the longevity is important to pace yourself.

Q.テつ Can you compare the enjoyment levels of 17‑year‑old Venus Williams beating big‑time players and 34‑year‑old Venus Williams beating younger players?
VENUS WILLIAMS:テつ I don't think the enjoyment level ever goes down, but I think at a young age I expected that for myself.テつ I always had a positive outlook, especially back in the day you got quality points depending on the player you beat.テつ So for me it was exciting to beat a higher‑ranked player because your ranking went up.
Nowadays it's different.テつ If you get an easier draw, there's nothing wrong with that.テつ But it always feels good getting good wins, because also now everyone is playing so well.テつ The quality that players come out against me is completely different than what they might play against someone lower ranked.テつ So I have to constantly be ready no matter if it's a top player or not, because their level is automatically coming higher.

Q.テつ You must feel that you have been something of a trailblazer in raising the level of the game for youngsters.
VENUS WILLIAMS:テつ Yeah, I guess I made it harder for myself.テつ I have played so well.テつ But definitely because if you're a player and you see someone doing something well, you realize if I want to do better, I have to keep up.テつ The whole level of the bar goes up.
I like to think and hope I'm still part of the reason that the bar is going higher.テつ Once I'm at home and watching it on TV one day and hopefully not commentating I will be like, Man, I can't keep up with these girls.テつ They're too good (smiling).

Q.テつ Are you aware of Daniela Hantuchova's story in the last 24 hours?
VENUS WILLIAMS:テつ Yeah, I think she had to play ‑‑she just won.

Q.テつ She played a final in Pattaya yesterday.
VENUS WILLIAMS:テつ Yeah.

Q.テつ Traveled straight here overnight, maybe got an hour of sleep everywhere until walking on court tonight and won.
VENUS WILLIAMS:テつ Uh‑huh.

Q.テつ You have had quite a sort of hectic travel schedule.
VENUS WILLIAMS:テつ Yeah.

Q.テつ How do you guys do it, seriously?
VENUS WILLIAMS:テつ I don't know.テつ At some point you don't know what day it is.テつ Like I keep thinking every day is Sunday.テつ It's not typical.テつ I usually don't play that heavy because it's too much, it really is, but, you know, I played some Fed Cup and have to qualify for the Olympics.テつ I absolutely love Fed Cup.テつ It's so fun and exciting, but what you have to do to play it is so hard.テつ I wish that it could be a little bit easier logistically for everyone.

Q.テつ Would you like to see it the way it used to be?
VENUS WILLIAMS:テつ I guess it's the merits, because if the home team wins, wherever it's held is happy.テつ If they don't, I think there is a level of disinterest at times, so it's difficult.
You know, it's something that all the players love to play, but when you start to be realistic about what you can actually achieve, it becomes really difficult.

Q.テつ Other players come here first round and they struggle with the change in temperature, courts, ball, everything.テつ You, in the first set today, were hitting the ball so clean.テつ How do you explain that and how did you manage to be so ready for this tournament?
VENUS WILLIAMS:テつ I think playing Fed Cup actually helped me.テつ As challenging as it was to get through all the time zones and travel everywhere and hit three continents, actually four continents, I think it helped me to continue the ball, you know, work with Mary Joe a little bit, hearing something a little bit different than what you hear every day.
I think that helps me, and I have been working on trying to hit clean and penetrate in the last couple of weeks.
So I think that helped.テつ Whether I win or lose in matches, I really want to improve my game, because I have been improving steadily, and I know I can get better and more consistent.
So I'm also trying to work on my game out there and do the right thing.

Q.テつ You hit with Omar Behroozian, he's a local guy from here, for a few days.テつ Can you talk about that?テつ It's not every day someone from here gets this kind of experience.
VENUS WILLIAMS:テつ Yeah, I know. テつHe's like all over the place on the court.テつ He never gets tired.テつ He's in awesome shape, very competitive.テつ We have had some really good trainings.テつ Hopefully he's enjoyed it, too.テつ I think so.

Q.テつ I know you are a World TeamTennis person.テつ I know you're not playing Indian Wells, but they will have the 40th Anniversary party for that.テつ Will you go out for that?
VENUS WILLIAMS:テつ I've got to stay home.テつ I deserve to go home.テつ I have to go home.

Q.テつ Have you told Billie?
VENUS WILLIAMS:テつ No.テつ I think I just got an e‑mail about it, and I need to catch up on my e‑mails.テつ I think they will understand.テつ I've gotta go home, and, you know, there is only a little bit of time and then you have to start training.テつ So I'm going to go ahead and take care of myself and rest.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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