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August 17, 2015

Venus Williams


7‑6, 6‑4

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Congratulations. How are you feeling after only one match? How are you feeling about your form for this weekend and longer term?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I don't know. I don't think that much about form anymore. I just try to play the match that's in front of me and try not to think too much about how I've played before.
Obviously if you're playing well, it obviously helps the momentum.

Q. Is there anything you do differently now during a long delay that you might have not done before?
VENUS WILLIAMS: No, I found I am‑‑ I was always so patient during delays, but now I'm impatient. This is the second first round in a row I've had delays. It's like, Let's just play already.

Q. Talk about some of the self‑talk. Say you have a massive lead in the first set and you start to lose it. What do you say to yourself to get back on track?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Really it's a lot of pressure on the other player to keep racking up games. Even though I wasn't winning games, I still felt like I was in control. She hit some good shots and had some lucky shots and started playing well.
That can happen, so you have to be ready for anything.

Q. You mentioned that you don't worry about form so much anymore. I assume because of the condition you've had to deal with, but yet you still show tremendous athleticism. First game in the second set, you got to an awful lot in that game. What allows you to overcome those physical problems to maintain that at this age?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, you just have to be mentally strong and train. There is no way around it.

Q. I know your goal is obviously to win in New York, but what are your, I guess, expectations going into the slam?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I like to win just like everyone else. I want to win all my matches. There is no match that I plan on losing.
That's pretty much it. You don't go into the match saying, I'll lose this one and win the next one. You prepare your best to win every single time.

Q. Do you have any more confidence there since New York has been good to you historically?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah. You know, the Open is still not here yet so my mind really isn't there. Of course, preparations are underway, but still doesn't feel that close.
When it happens, it happens. I'm still in the moment.

Q. Does this tournament serve as a good precursor to the Open for you?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, the courts feel nice. The balls are different though, so that's not really‑‑ it's not the same conditions as the Open. The ball is different.

Q. Second serve seems a little different. Have you been tinkering with it to get more impact, I guess?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Not really. I think overall my second serve is more consistent. I don't know. Sometimes you miss some but you don't let it bother you.

Q. I have a question about your legacy. So there is the movement cohort of the original nine in women's tennis, and then the bridge cohort of Evert/Navratilova and that group, and then you're in the professional cohort. Are you a throwback to the previous generations where you're doing activism as well as being an athlete.
VENUS WILLIAMS: I don't know. I don't think about it really. Just try to do my best at whatever I am trying. That's about it.

Q. Pam Shriver told me you were a throwback. I thought, Interesting. I'm going to have to ask. Or maybe you're moving it forward like a new cohort that's going to be an activist and athletic.

Q. I have a friend who found an old copy she had of The Tennis Monthly Recap. I'm wondering what you remember about that and your first thoughts looking back on that now?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Hey, you have an idea, move on it. Yeah, only three copies or so. I think we hated writing so that's why we didn't continue. That's pretty much it. Never liked writing.

Q. Do you remember what sort of software you used or something like that?
VENUS WILLIAMS: This is the '90s, so who knows what we used. It was some sort of template.

Q. I'm here from New York writing a story prior to the Open. I was wondering, within your family, what's the sense of anticipation at the circumstances of Serena having a shot to make the Grand Slam? How important is that?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I think‑‑ I don't think anyone‑‑ I don't know how Serena feels. It's probably a different feeling. But I think our family isn't focused on what we achieve on the court. I think we're focused on what we achieve as people.
So I don't think we're focused on that necessarily. Obviously I want her to win; I want me to win, too. So I definitely want her to win.

Q. And as people though, one of the hallmarks of what the two of you have achieved has a lot to do with mental toughness, and you referred to that earlier. How critical do you feel that's been to get this level of success?
VENUS WILLIAMS: It doesn't come easy. That's an understatement. You earn it. Definitely. Serena doesn't get easy matches ever. Ever.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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