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May 9, 2016

Venus Williams

Rome, Italy

V. WILLIAMS/C. Vandeweghe

6-4, 6-3

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Congratulations on the singles win. A little bit different result in doubles. Let's talk about the singles first. How do you think you played out there? How are you finding the clay right now?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, that was my first time playing against Coco. She's had a great year this year and last year and then just a great Fed Cup.

I have hit with her a little bit at Fed Cup but not really sure what to expect. I imagine that on the clay I have a little bit more advantage, just having played more matches on clay. I think that helped a lot.

Q. Do you remember your first time ever playing on that court?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Oh, no. Maybe doubles in '98 or something. Long time.

Oh, wait a minute. On which court?

Q. On Pietrangeli.
VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, it's been a while.

Q. Do you enjoy that environment? It's kind of sunken down and the fans are right on top of everything.
VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, it's interesting. I have no complaints. I had a good time out there.

Q. It's nice seeing you and Serena back in the doubles draw. I'm guessing this has Rio -- it's not a coincidence, that you guys will be doing more of that as the Olympics are coming closer?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, we are definitely gearing up on our doubles. We were so excited. It's great to get back out there.

Q. Serena seemed pretty amused when you broke your racquet.
VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah. I usually don't, but it just went -- I don't know. I didn't think I hit it that hard, and then it broke. Maybe I don't know my own strength.

Q. How did you feel out there physically in general in terms of fitness-wise or playing two matches back to back, basically?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, I haven't done that in a long time. But I knew what was going to happen going into it. Even if you get tired, you have to try to ignore it. I felt okay.

I guess I don't have to worry about it anymore this week. Hopefully I'll have that problem for two weeks in the French. That would be an awesome problem to have.

Q. Can you attribute the doubles loss just to not having played in such a long time, or what wasn't working out there today?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I don't know necessarily it's been a long time. You know, I think -- I just think we just didn't play our best, so I think we didn't play our best at the same time. That's not typical. Usually one of us is playing well. That helps the team a lot. Two of us are playing well, it usually goes our way.

So I don't think it's necessarily that. I think it was kind of just one of those days.

Q. Playing the French now?
VENUS WILLIAMS: The plan is to play the French Open, so we're looking forward to that.

Q. We talked some about this in Charleston, as well, but there have been more comments about equal prize money from Ion Tiriac who is the owner of the Madrid tournament. Just wondering what you think of -- his sort of take on it was just the men are able to contribute more from a revenue standpoint from TV and he thinks from attendance than the women, so that makes equal pay there unsustainable, he thinks.
VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah. I haven't heard about this, actually. I have been off the radar, so I couldn't accurately comment on it.

But, you know, there's always -- there's always something, seems like. I just want a quiet year at this point. Can we just play tennis?

Q. So in general you think having this conversation continuing is not a positive?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Having it continue? Is it a positive or not a positive?

I think that as long as people think that women aren't equal to men, then this is a conversation that needs to be had.

Q. Looking ahead to the Olympics, is there a concern about the Zika virus? Have you guys thought about that?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I don't know much about Zika. I don't know much at all today, I'm sorry. I heard about it, but I don't really know what it is so I should educate myself a little more.

I've got a little time. I'll know more later.

Q. Wondering what your thoughts were on your double partner's cameo in the Beyoncé video.
VENUS WILLIAMS: Oh, she looked amazing. Incidentally, I didn't know about that, either.

Q. That was a surprise to you?
VENUS WILLIAMS: No, we were just sitting on the couch and she says, Hey, you want to watch this thing at 10:00? I'm in it.

She's the cool one. I'm not the cool one. I've got to work on my cool points.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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