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September 27, 2016

Venus Williams

Wuhan, Hubei, China

V. WILLIAMS/Y. Putintseva

6-2, 6-3

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Now the Olympics are over. Are you going to play with your sister in doubles? You are playing less in doubles.
VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, less matches in general, with no doubles. I don't know when we're going to play again, Serena and I. We'll see.

Q. You have a very good record here. Today seemed like a straightforward match for you. How were you feeling on court?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Well, I felt good because I was controlling the points. I felt like I was able to play the match I wanted to play most of the time. Kind of where I want to be pretty much.

Q. A lot of players talk about how the first match at any tournament is the trickiest one, maybe more so than the final. Do you still feel that way?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Definitely the first match, and I haven't played in three weeks so...

When you have a lot of experience, the first match, you never feel like guns ready to go as you might feel in the finals. At least you know what you've been doing well, what you haven't. You're ready to do it.

Q. How would you rate how you played today?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Definitely really aggressive. So that was great. I still want to improve, but I felt like I got out there, and it was straightforward. Want to just close those matches out like that.

Q. It's been a while since you've played Svetlana Kuznetsova. Do you remember the last time you played?

Q. 2009 Championships. Can you talk about the matchup a little bit.
VENUS WILLIAMS: It's been a long time. I don't remember that match.

Q. You won it.
VENUS WILLIAMS: I don't even remember what happened, so... It's been a long time.

I think she's playing well nowadays. Honestly, whenever she played, she was always playing well. I don't know how her game has changed, so I'm going to just see what happens when I get out there, see what she's doing, what she's not. We'll see.

Q. Will there be preparation?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, just go with the flow. Even now I don't remember any of her patterns because it's been ages, seven years, so...

Q. You were able to dominate at a young age. Do you think that time in the women's game is over when you have teenagers winning Grand Slams and becoming No. 1?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I think I became No. 1 when I was 21 or something. I was still pretty young. I really never played for the ranking, I just played for me, so...

Whatever that ranking is, it's not like I'm going to play more or less for any ranking. I don't know if that was a hit or miss on my career, but it was something I was comfortable with.

Q. Could you talk a bit about the challenges that some of the players face at this point of the season. You mentioned not a lot of Americans come here. It is a struggle for even some of the European players to play in China. What are the challenges you face? Do players feel more tired at the end of the season? How significant is this tournament to you?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Well, the real challenge is just keeping your focus and motivation and your physical right this time of year. By this time, you know, you're getting into nine months of playing. Focus and training, it's a challenge.

But everyone who is here wants to be here. What else can we do except do our best?

Q. Your serve, forehand and backhand are still on a very high level, very aggressive. How is that?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Why am I still strong? Is that the question?

Q. Will you do a lot of exercise under [sic] the court to prepare for the match?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I go to the gym, I go to the tennis court. I think everybody plays their game. My game is a power game, so that's what I'm good at. That's why I hit like that. There's no real secret to the gym or anything. That's just how I go.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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