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May 26, 2016

Venus Williams

Paris, France

V. WILLIAMS/L. Chirico

6-2, 6-1

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. How do you feel after this victory?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, this victory, you know, is a lot more straightforward than the first round, but a different player, you know, different day, so you never know what to expect. Feels good to be advancing and playing well.

Q. Your first time in the third round here since 2010, so it's been a little while. How does that feel?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah. It feels like I want to keep going. I don't know. At this stage in my life, in my career, it's like you don't want to lose early, but if it's not the win, it's still a loss. That's kind of where I am right now in my career.

Q. You mentioned this stage of your career. Can you take a moment to appreciate you and Serena going on the same court back to back? Any special moment in that?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I don't know. You tell me (smiling).

We focus more on the match at hand, and we both have a job to do, and that's to try to get to the next round. We focus less on the significance of us playing and more of like, Can you win this match.

Q. Serena said that you guys were able to have a quick moment afterward. Did you just wish her luck or did you even talk about tennis?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Always encouragement. Definitely always encouragement. What our conversations are, are for us only.

Q. You hold the standard for yourself very high. So for this tournament, you know, it hasn't been your most successful overall when you look at all the slams. What do you expect out of yourself when you come here and nitty-gritty-wise, what are you looking to do better each time you get on clay?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I'm just always looking to play better, you know, be consistent, be aggressive, and have that combination. When I step out on the court, it's of course never going to be an easy match for me, but it's never going to be easy for my opponent, as well.

Q. We know you like to stay in the moment, but is there a moment or two in your long, wonderful career that gives you particular satisfaction?
VENUS WILLIAMS: This one right now (smiling).

I definitely stay in the moment. I'm just grateful I think with every year that passes and every moment that I play, I'm grateful for this experience and blessed.

What else could I ask for, really? I'm very happy with what happens, win, lose, or draw. Of course I like to win and I prepare for wins, but it's been beautiful to do what I love for a long time.

Q. What do you like most about the experience; the opportunities it gives you to grow, the competition, the travel, meeting people? What gives you the most satisfaction?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Most satisfaction is having a dream, working towards it, putting the work in and seeing the results. There is nothing like that than, you know, building the blocks and then seeing the house go up. It's an awesome feeling.

Q. You like the house?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I love the house, a big house (smiling).

Q. In your role on the Player Council have you had an opportunity to speak with Steve Simon, and if so, what have you thought of his time so far and the WTA role he's playing now?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, it's hard to be the leader in any position, and he's done wonderful. I think everyone enjoys working with him. I have spoken with him, too, and he takes everything into account.

It's tricky, because there are so many players who -- and they all need attention. Not tennis players, but, you know, the tournaments and different bodies that need -- everybody needs a win. Everybody needs to walk out of the room feeling like that they got something out of it.

So that's not an easy thing to do, and he does well with it.

Q. Do you think things right now are trickier or as tricky as they have ever been in your time in the WTA as far as from a business standpoint?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Tennis is so interesting. That's what makes it tricky to be at the top. I don't think there is ever an easy time because of all the interest and trying to get everyone aligned. So it's interesting in that way.

Q. Does working on your company, EleVen, does that in any way help you as a tennis player and as a person and is it ever a distraction?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Well, you know, the way that EleVen is is really organic, so we are just building and going, so that's interesting. It's kind of like when I first started. You get your wildcard and then you keep growing and you get bigger, and then you get better. So that's what EleVen is.

It's nice to see us grow, and it makes me grateful for being great at something already, but thankfully EleVen is okay, too.

It's not a distraction, because I can't sit still. I'm not the kind of person that can sit still. That is distracting for me, to sit still.

Q. There aren't too many Nikes or adidases, but where are you in the (off microphone)?
VENUS WILLIAMS: My motto has always been, there is room for everyone, and EleVen, we have our own unique point of view, and that's what makes us EleVen. There are all other companies and they have their point of view too, and that's what makes them them.

That's pretty much how I see it. We try to stay true to what our mission is and what we want to do, and that's what gives us leverage.

Q. What, for you, is the appeal of participating in the Olympics?
VENUS WILLIAMS: It's just a dream come true, really. It's a wonderful experience to be part of something so amazing. For me, the Olympics was beyond my dreams to participate and to actually have success there was I had never dreamed of it, and I didn't realize how wonderful it will be. So I always say it was beyond anything I ever dreamed.

Q. In terms of the sort of hierarchy of important events in tennis specifically, where do you place the Olympics?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Always at the top. Yeah.

Q. Above Grand Slam tournaments or at the same level?
VENUS WILLIAMS: For me, personally, yes. The proudest moment for me when they do the on-court announcements, are the Olympic results. For me, that feels legitimate.

Q. Just to follow up on that, are you surprised that some tennis players are choosing not to play in Rio?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Everybody's got priorities. Mine are at the Olympics. Others are, I don't know. It's just life choices. No big deal, you know.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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