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July 5, 2002

Serena Williams

Venus Williams

Wimbledon, England

MODERATOR: First question, please.

Q. That was as gentle a warm-up as you could have wanted the day before a final.

VENUS WILLIAMS: It was a real nice match for us. Fortunately, it ended before the rain.

SERENA WILLIAMS: We were really lucky to get finished out there today.

Q. When did you sense you had it won? The first time they served?


VENUS WILLIAMS: We like to think once we've broken serve, we've won the set.

SERENA WILLIAMS: That's how we like to think when we're out there.

Q. Have they given you any indication of whether they expect you to play your semifinal today?

SERENA WILLIAMS: No, we're not going to play the semifinal. That would be too much to play two matches before the final of a Grand Slam. So we just try to play one, get that one hopefully under our belts, go to the next one.

Q. Are you experiencing any nerves, butterflies? You've done it before. Different feelings for this one?



Q. Does it feel like you're playing a Grand Slam final tomorrow?



VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, this is a Grand Slam.

SERENA WILLIAMS: This is Wimbledon.

VENUS WILLIAMS: Yes (laughter).

Q. Somebody asked John McEnroe where he thought you would be if you played in the men's game. He said somewhere in the 200s. Where do you reckon you'd be in the men's game?

SERENA WILLIAMS: We're not really here to talk about John McEnroe or the men's game.

VENUS WILLIAMS: We reckon that we're not going to play men's tennis.

SERENA WILLIAMS: We're not here to talk about that.

Q. How many butterflies will you have tomorrow before your match?

VENUS WILLIAMS: I think it's normal to be nervous before a Grand Slam final. But we've learned a long time ago not to let it hold us back - learned the hard way.

Q. Do you have more butterflies or fewer when you're playing each other in a final?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I don't know. I really don't experience butterflies. Only time I maybe get nervous is maybe in the first round. Other than that, I never get nervous. I just go out there and play.

VENUS WILLIAMS: I get nervous if I know I'm not playing well.

Q. Are you in the same place right now?


Q. You haven't said anything about it at all?


Q. About tomorrow. Nothing at all?


Q. How different is tomorrow from the French, the day before the French final, for you both? How different is today versus there?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Today is the day before the Wimbledon final.

Q. Serena, I presume if you could get one stroke of Venus' that she has, it would be her serve. I would like to ask you, Venus, if you could have one shot or quality ...

SERENA WILLIAMS: How do you know that would be my choice?

Q. I said it was a presumption. You said the serve was the thing.

SERENA WILLIAMS: Never assume. You know what they say about assumers.

Q. What do they say?

VENUS WILLIAMS: You remember that movie?

Q. Serena, what quality or stroke of Venus' would you most like?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I don't know. She's playing great now. I don't know. Her speed is unbelievable. When you have speed, then you can just about beat anybody. Between the speed, maybe her serve, yeah. She has a devastating backhand. I couldn't pick one.

Q. Venus?


Q. Yes.

VENUS WILLIAMS: You know, I don't know. I think she has a very accurate serve normally.

Q. When does it break down?


SERENA WILLIAMS: Back in 1986, last time?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Was that a Wednesday? No, November.

SERENA WILLIAMS: Wednesday (laughter).

Q. How and with whom would either of you or both of you go about developing any kind of tactics you might have for playing each other tomorrow?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Oh, first of all, obviously, if I was playing a Jennifer Capriati or Martina Hingis, I wouldn't normally be discussing my tactics with my opponent. Obviously, that's what we're going to do. Second of all, you know, we should be answering doubles questions. We would like to go home, too, because we have a big final tomorrow.

Q. How do you guys manage to stay so relaxed and loose no matter what? With everybody focused on you about everything, how you play each other. You guys are sitting there laughing during a press conference. You have fun.

VENUS WILLIAMS: Nothing bothers me nowadays.

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I said that the other day.

VENUS WILLIAMS: I'm immune to all things.

SERENA WILLIAMS: Me, too. I don't know how it happened. Even today on the doubles court, some shots, I was so calm. Normally, I would have pretty much messed it up and gave it away. But I'm so calm now.

Q. You have this Nirvana thing going?


Q. Does it bother you that John McEnroe was today alluding to the fact that he thought your matches or some of them might be arranged?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Again, we're not here to talk about John McEnroe, anything he says or does. We're just not here to talk about that.

Q. You had a problem last night where a car followed you home from Wimbledon?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I didn't know about that.

Q. What do you each consider your biggest differences from the other, both in terms of the game, on the court, and away from the court?


VENUS WILLIAMS: Serena gets a new car almost every year. I've been sticking with my truck. And that's the biggest difference off the court.

On the court, maybe I like to play a little slower than what she does.

SERENA WILLIAMS: Like as in bouncing the ball more?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah. I think I walk a little slower. Nothing really speeds me up anymore.


VENUS WILLIAMS: I have this level playing nowadays.

SERENA WILLIAMS: I thought you played pretty fast. Especially at The Open, you were going really fast. Had to really speed it up.

Q. When you two play singles, you seem much more businesslike than when you're together playing doubles. There's an expressiveness, sort of a joyfulness to your game in doubles. Why is that?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, when we're both on the court, we're just having so much fun out there. We just laugh and giggle. It's different. It's maybe not as serious. As Venus said yesterday on her resume, she put, "Singles player, not doubles player." So we try to take singles more seriously. We're taking doubles seriously as of late. We've really been taking it more seriously than we have in the past. It's just a more relaxing environment because you're out there with, you know, your best friend. You just talk about other things besides tennis. You're able to relax. I think it actually helps us to play better.

Q. What do you talk about?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Just about maybe our singles match, how we did, what we think we would like to improve on. Just whatever.

VENUS WILLIAMS: Many things.

SERENA WILLIAMS: Playing guitar.

Q. Is that because you're winning so easily in doubles? Or would you just not take it that seriously?

VENUS WILLIAMS: We have a lot of strongholds in doubles. We go for the immediate break, which is natural normally.

SERENA WILLIAMS: But we take it seriously. Even if we're down, we just stay calm. It's not the end of the world. We just try to stay pretty calm out there.

Q. Serena, what is the toughest time you've ever been through with Venus in your life, you two pulling through something together? What was the toughest time?

SERENA WILLIAMS: That's kind of an out-of-the-blue question. I honestly can't think of anything right now. Not right now. I'd have to think about it for a second.

Q. When you guys are playing doubles, one of you is serving, you both go back to confer before the serve, do you ever find yourself not talking about tennis but something else?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, normally I've noticed on Venus' serve, she talks more about tennis, whereas on my serve, I talk more about something that happened in the past. I don't know why. Because normally when she serves, she says, "Okay, we're going to serve up the T, out wide," wherever the case may be. Sometimes we often maybe say, "Yeah, about this." Whatever. Normally on my serve, we talk about other things.

Q. Who gets the final say in those conferences where you talk about where you're going to serve the ball on the next point?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Normally the server decides.

SERENA WILLIAMS: But sometimes the net man will see that the opponent is moving either left or right more.

VENUS WILLIAMS: Or sometimes you ask for a suggestion, "What do you think?" Other times, "I'm just going to get it in."

Q. Amelie Mauresmo and Justine Henin were saying that although they appreciate how good you both are, that perhaps fans may become disenchanted with the idea of two sisters playing the finals all the time. She used the word "may be sad for women's tennis." What's your reaction to that?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Perhaps. Perhaps. I haven't spoken to really any fans about it.

Q. Sorry?

VENUS WILLIAMS: I said I haven't really spoken to any fans about it.

Q. Do you think that it's good for women's tennis? What's your view on that?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Most certainly it gives so much attention to the game, it's unreal.

Q. Serena?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I mean, we make the covers of more magazines. More people are seeing it. More people are paying attention to tennis. You guys are in here writing about it. I mean, it's a huge story. I think it definitely gives more attention to women's tennis.

Q. Before a big match, a big final, which one of you two is normally more nervous, because you know each other, been through many times? Is one of you two a little more anxious or not?

SERENA WILLIAMS: As I say, I just don't get nervous anymore. Maybe at the very, very beginning round of a match maybe. Normally, I don't have nerves.

Q. What would you say is the toughest time that you and Serena have been through together?

VENUS WILLIAMS: I just haven't had a tough time in my life. Sorry.

Q. On the doubles front, you won the title here two years ago. How appropriate would you both regard it to follow a singles final with a doubles final here?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Very nice, I think. Especially at this point it's become very important for us to win the doubles, being in the semifinals. It really was just a struggle to get -- is it the semifinals or the quarterfinals?


VENUS WILLIAMS: Yes. (Laughter). It was just so hard to get through those rain delays.


VENUS WILLIAMS: Now it's just kind of put a real fight into us.

SERENA WILLIAMS: We would love to play three more matches in this championships, more than anything, and win three more matches. We'll see.

Q. Given up on mixed? You would have a family Grand Slam.

VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, but just not enough energy for it all.

SERENA WILLIAMS: No, it's too much.

Q. Have you two considered having a television show?

SERENA WILLIAMS: We should. We might.

End of FastScriptsâ?¦.

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