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November 5, 2015

Venus Williams

Zhuhai, China

4‑6, 6‑1, 6‑1

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. A little bit of a slow start, but looked like everything was back in line the second and the third sets. Can you just talk about how that match played out for you?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, it was a slow start, but also have to give her a lot of credit. She played amazing. Didn't miss much. Painting lines. High first serve percentage.
Clearly came out with a plan and clearly there is a reason why they gave her a wildcard. While I didn't have the quickest start, I definitely give her a lot of credit.
Once we hit 5‑1, when I started my swing, I wish I could've got that swing at 4‑1 or 3‑1, but I was able to convert a lot of games after that, even though the games were closely contested.

Q. You've won the group. You're through to the semifinals. What would it mean for you to go on and win this title? Still a few matches to go, but what would it mean to cap things off here in Zhuhai with a win?
VENUS WILLIAMS: You know, it's a title I've never won before, so be a new experience. Yeah, it's a great way to end the year. To work this hard and get to the end of the year, it would be a great way to end the year.
I think that's what everyone is kind of hoping for who is in contention. I'm not going to be the only one with that hope for sure.

Q. At what point in the second half of the season do you think that you kind of mentally committed to putting the pedal to the metal and tearing through all the way to the end of the season? We have a lot of players who it's a little bit more difficult, especially the Asian swing and all that as part of the schedule. When did you kind of make that decision?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Well, when I'm in tournaments I'm not thinking so much about the next tournament. I'm like in that mode.
I had a couple early losses in the summer, so then I decided to add Wuhan before the entry deadline, in time for the entry deadline.
So it's just really not a ton of thought. Just trying to go. (Laughter.)

Q. Tennis, it's such a new sport in the city. Now you have already played two matches. Do you think the crowd understands the games, or they need a little bit more time?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I think they understand. They know when you won point or didn't win the point. I'm not an expert on the level of understanding of tennis in Zhuhai, but by all means it seems like they're into it. They've got their favorites. They're prepared. They're informed. They're here.
It's like everything that the super fan wants to do, it seems like, is come to the matches.

Q. When you come to a city for the first time and play a tournament in its first year, what factors do you think are most important to make a successful first‑year tournament?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Oh, I guess just the experience for the players. This has been amazing. Of course participation from the fans. Another amazing moment. Obviously engagement of the city. Again, amazing here.
So all these things are happening perfectly. It can only get better, which is awesome.

Q. How did you see your opponent's playing style? Could you give some suggestions to her?

Q. Yeah.
VENUS WILLIAMS: I've never really seen her play before this, so today she was super aggressive and just attacking on every point. So I'm not sure if she plays like this every time she plays or not, but today was for sure excellent tennis from her.

Q. You will stay here at least through the weekend. You really have to learn how to use VPN. Have you got an opportunity to visit your Facebook? Instagram?
VENUS WILLIAMS: No. I need help. I may have to see the IT experts here in Zhuhai.
But, yeah, you're right. I have to stay, and it's a good problem. It's a good problem.

Q. By advancing to the semifinal here means that you are sure to end the season in top 10, which is first time in your last five years. What does it mean to you, and how do you feel it?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Well, this is great news. It's what every player is working for. I've been in the top 10. I've been to the top before. I can't say that I'm like, Oh, my God, I can't believe it happened.
At the same time, I've done it, I also believe that I have the game and the ability to be here. It feels good to work hard and have the results pay off.
But by no means do I want to stop. I would like to continue to improve in rankings and winning events and all of that.

Q. Congratulations on today's match. Just you said that Saisai is worth getting the wildcard. You just said she is very aggressive when still back or something else. Because she won the first set but you win the following two sets, I think you have found her weakness maybe. So what's your opinion about her weakness, and what kind of things should she do to make progress in the future?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I'm not sure that she had too many weaknesses today. I think in the first set she was super, super aggressive, but also I found my game a little more in the second and third sets.
Also, maybe she was not as aggressive in the second and third sets. It's a very difficult level to play because it's such high risk to play like that the whole match.
Of course it's difficult to feel comfortable playing like that. You want to have some management of the risk. I think that gave me an opportunity to control the point a little more.
For her, actually, I mean, today I don't know how much more she could improve on today. She played like a player who belongs in this tournament, who was in the top 20. Just to continue to get more experience and have these moments and to get comfortable in these moments and feel confident about her game.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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