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July 27, 2016

Venus Williams

Montreal, Quebec, Canada

V. WILLIAMS/B. Strycova

6-3, 6-0

An interview with:


THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Just talk about the match a little bit. Tricky matchup, but you seemed to handle it pretty well.
VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, I don't know how many times we've played. This is probably the third time or so. The last match we had was pretty epic, to say the least. So I definitely expected no less today. But thankfully it was a little less epic.

Q. You had a few problems serving towards the end. Do you know what the problem was?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, I did have some issues. I think that was pretty apparent. Trying to work through them.

Q. Is it anything that concerns you for Rio or the next coming weeks, or just something you have to manage?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Even though Rio is close, it just seems so far. So my mind is definitely here. And then once I get there, it's going to be surreal, yeah.

Q. How difficult is it to keep that tunnel vision? I'm sure you're getting emails from the USOC, the whole buzz around everything. Can you have just focus on the tournament?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Definitely, because I'm an old pro. You can't live in tomorrow; you have to live in today. Today means play a match in Montréal. Besides, this is a big tournament, so it's very easy to figure out how to stay focused.

Q. Definitely a dominant scoreline. Did you feel like you dominated that match from start to finish? Is that a fair word?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, it was definitely more straightforward I think than all of our other matches. I didn't mind that, especially after playing a lot last week, just to be able to come out and hopefully advance to the next round.

Q. You were up 4-2 in the first set. She broke you. You kept your cool and broke her right back. Do you feel maybe that was a turning point? 4-4 would have been a different ballgame.
VENUS WILLIAMS: 4-4 is definitely different than 5-3. But definitely didn't feel like a turning point at that point because there are matches where I've been down and come back and vice versa. You realize that the match isn't over till it's over.

I just felt like I needed to stay focused.

Q. Can we narrow down the serving issues to physical, technical or weather related?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, I had issues. I don't like to really get into, you know, what's going down. But I had some issues. I definitely do like to serve a lot bigger.

You know, I did what I had to do today. I hope to be better for the next match.

Q. Do you expect to be better for the next match or is it something that concerns you for the tournament?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I always expect the best and I'm always positive. So I'm going to do my best to prepare to be, you know, serving amazing.

Q. It definitely looks like you're playing some of your best tennis. A lot of people are saying and thinking that. Do you feel that way?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I feel like I'm figuring it out. I never am happy with my matches. Even an easy scoreline, it's never enough.

But, yeah, I think it's about figuring out how to win instead of are you playing perfect.

Q. Very serious question. NBC posted those photos of you guys with the puppies, Olympic photo shoot with dogs and stuff.

Q. You had raging red hair. Is that a preview of the style for Rio?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I probably will have USA colors. I don't know what I'm going to do yet because my hair changes every week. And also there's been literally no time to do your hair. It's been so busy, I can't even explain to you what it's been like. It's literally been living one day at a time. Hopefully I have time to do something that I'll be happy with.

Q. You had Stanford last week, this week Montréal, then off to Rio. The grind of the tour, going week to week, tournament to tournament, how has it changed throughout your career?
VENUS WILLIAMS: It's been intense. Usually I don't play this much back-to-back. But I knew what I was going to do going into the year, what it was going to take. I still wanted to play the US Open Series as well as the Olympics. I'm not playing any more of the US Open Series after this, so I realize I got to get it in right here.

I never sign up for anything that I don't think I can achieve. I like to be honest. If I sign up for a tournament, I want to show up. If I don't, you know I just really couldn't be there.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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