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September 25, 2016

Venus Williams

Wuhan, Hubei, China

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Last year you were the winner of the Wuhan Open. What are your expectations for this year?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I'm just happy to be here, do the best I can, hope to play just as well as last year, have just as much luck.

So no big expectations.

Q. Obviously this part of the season a lot of the players are looking at Singapore. How big of a target is it for you, or are you just focusing one match at a time?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Really not a target. Just trying to play right now. It's the end of the season, so try to finish strong and then take some time off. That's pretty much my goal.

Q. When you come back to a tournament that you've done well at, does it give you any extra boost? Are you at this point kind of over that, it's just another tournament and you take it as a brand-new slate?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Honestly, I think it does give you an extra boost when you have a lot of positive results at a tournament as opposed to a negative. I definitely feel positive coming into the event.

Everybody is playing well. There won't be an easy match. I mean, there never is an easy match.

Q. Have you had an opportunity to practice on the center court? Is it playing the way it was playing last year?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Not yet because I just got here. We'll see. I don't know if they resurfaced it. I don't know. We'll see.

Q. The facilities here are quite impressive. It came out really quickly. How do you feel about this place? What kind of reaction did you have when you saw it?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Well, it's not my first year here. Definitely impressive. When you go around the place, you're like, This is exactly what tennis needs. It's definitely a proud moment for the players to get here and be celebrated in this kind of way.

Q. A bit of a different angle. I've been talking to players about tennis and whether it has a perception issue globally, women's tennis. How do you feel women's tennis is perceived at the moment? Do you think there are misconceptions, stereotypes that need to be knocked out of people's minds?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Right now women's tennis is one of the biggest sports in the world. I think we're doing all right. We can only grow and get better.

Q. When you started, tennis in Asia was not that big. Now it's an important part of the tour. A lot of appetite for tennis here. Are you surprised to see how the sport has grown through the last decade?
VENUS WILLIAMS: It's really interesting. It's awesome. I think a lot of it had to do with Li Na, obviously, the champion that she is. So credit to her for just growing the game here.

Q. In China, in Asia generally, just the process of playing over here, long flights, time difference, jetlag. What are the biggest kind of opportunities that this swing offers, but also some of the things you over the years have had to adjust to in order to maximize your performance on court?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, the opportunities are really the big events here. When we come over here, we're actually playing for something. As an American, it's a lot harder to get here than if you were a European or Australian for that matter. I'm one of the Americans that comes over. Not a ton of us.

We have to work hard to be here. It's a big commitment. It's where we want to be this time of year.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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