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July 4, 2016

Venus Williams

London, England

V. WILLIAMS/C. Suarez Navarro
7‑6, 6‑4

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. You came back from the rain break absolutely storming. Was that sort of wanting to get it over and done with in case of another rain break?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I mean, you always want to get it over and done with no matter whether it's raining or shining, so that never changes.
But when you're up 4‑2 in a tiebreak, you got to try to play aggressive. That's my best game, so that's what I tried.

Q. What are your emotions, your general feeling, about being back in a quarterfinal at Wimbledon for the first time in several years?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, it's been a few years. Missed a year or two. But I've been here before. I'm not, like, a deer in the headlights. So, of course, I want more. That's what anybody would want in a quarterfinal.

Q. What sense of satisfaction does it give you, given the obstacles you've overcome, to be back at this stage?
VENUS WILLIAMS: You know, being in the quarterfinals is better than the first round. Put it like that.
But, like I said, I always want more. I want more out of myself. For sure, I haven't had an easy road, but a lot of people haven't. I try not to think about those sorts of things. I try to think about what I can accomplish.

Q. How nice was it for you to get a couple days off, have things on schedule, have time to relax?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, Sunday I was, Wow, day off. Saturday we had a doubles match. We were still here for quite a few hours, you know, a good nine hours because of the rain on and off, all this stuff. So Saturday was still a long day.
But, you know, it can't hurt to not play one Sunday, so hopefully that helped me today.

Q. You'll be facing somebody who I don't believe you've ever played in the next round in Shvedova. She's had a good run here taking out Lisicki and Safarova. What do you expect from her game?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I've never played her, so we'll see how it goes. First couple rounds were against players I've never played. It's always interesting. You spend the first few games trying to figure out what's working, what's not working. It will definitely be that tomorrow. See how it goes.

Q. Do you find that more challenging than somebody you have played against?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Yes and no, because sometimes knowing what you're up against is sometimes harder than going in like, wow, what's going to happen, you don't know what shots they like, what they're doing best. The unknown sometimes is easier.
But at the end of the day, everybody is good. Whether you played them or didn't play them, it's not going to be an easy match.

Q. Can I take you way back, what age were you when Rick Macci started working with you?
VENUS WILLIAMS: That was like the '90s. Last millennium.

Q. What age were you?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Little kid, little tyke.

Q. Before then, it was just your dad?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Mom and dad. Can't forget mom.

Q. As far as motivation, do you take pleasure in proving people wrong? There are a lot of people that didn't expect you to be here.
VENUS WILLIAMS: I don't really get into, like, what other people think.

Q. You don't hear those voices?
VENUS WILLIAMS: No. I think the toughest critic is always yourself in any case. If anyone's hard on me, I'm harder than anyone out there.
But I don't really care. How about that? I have a job to do on the court. People are paid to talk and write, do all that stuff. There are very few people that can get out here and play at this level.
I'm the one on the court. I'm the one that deserves to be there. I get that chance to go to the next round, so...
As long as I keep putting myself in that position, good things can happen.

Q. Serena a few minutes ago spoke about her passion and intensity, that she's had it since she was three years old, and in essence it defines her. How would you describe the passion and intensity of Serena and your own for this job?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, we're very different 'cause she wears it on her sleeve and I don't. That pretty much describes it.
But to play at this level, you have to be passionate. You have to want it. Every point is tough. You have to find that inner whatever it is to figure out how to get to this level.

Q. How about the joy each of you gets from achieving? How would you compare that?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, I talked about this the other day a little bit. The biggest, you know, wonderful part of my career has been working so hard and then actually being able to do what you love and actually achieve your dreams. That is so, so wonderful. Every human needs that, that sense of accomplishment and that sense of, I've worked for something and I've got it. That's kind of what we're here for in some ways.

Q. Shvedova is a pretty tricky player. She won a golden set here a few years ago. Not many players have done that. How do you deal with an opponent that can run hot and cold?
VENUS WILLIAMS: You know, I played it all, and it's usually always hot. At least I know that I can deal with my opponent playing their best and still figure out how to stay in those games and win those games.
I've got to go into the match thinking that she's going to be playing well. She, of course, is going to be thinking the same thing. That's the mentality you go into these matches with.

Q. Great players in sport keep on going out, great players keep on coming. Who are the stars of the future of the sport? Are you looking at them?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, I've played some young players in the first few rounds. They were amazing.
It's interesting. You never know who's going to be the best star. You can't always pick them. There's a lot of young people coming through. There's a lot of young people in the top 100 right now, people I don't even know who they are. See their name, I'm playing them, never seen them before, they're really good.
That's wonderful for women's tennis in the last 20 years. You see so many upsets in the last five years than you would ever see in the last, let's say, 20 years ago.

Q. You were last in the final here in 2009. I wonder how your game right now at 36 compares to that run to the final?
VENUS WILLIAMS: If I was in the final, I was playing pretty good.

Q. How does your game compare now?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Let's hope I can get to that level I was in '09. That means, hey, finals time.
I don't really remember, it's been so long ago. I don't know. I mean, you got to think I was playing amazing.

Q. By comparison, how do you feel your game is now?
VENUS WILLIAMS: It's wonderful when everything is working. But that's not a reality. I don't focus so much on, Oh, my gosh, everything feels good, or, Oh, shoot, it feels bad. It's about, Can I make this play right now? If I don't feel great, can I still make this play? That's the mentality I go into my matches with now.
In 2009, I probably didn't think that way.

Q. Back to the topic of Serena's intensity and the difference between you two. That is so much her brand, what we know and love about her. Does her intensity ever amaze you? Does it give you pride? Do you ever say, Hold on, sister, maybe not so far?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Well, she's No.1 in the world. She's got more majors than you can count. She's pretty much figured it out. So if that's working for her, don't change anything is probably what I'd say. Stay with what you were doing.
How many people are in a position to give her advice? Even myself. I think we all watch and learn from her. It's not easy to do what she's doing. It's amazing. We're all learning.

Q. If it's not broke, don't fix it?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Doesn't look broke.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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