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October 3, 2016
PENG SHUAI/V. Williams
THE MODERATOR: Questions in English.
Q. What was your mindset like going into this match? Did it change at all going into the second set after you won the first close one?
PENG SHUAI: Actually, the beginning of the match when it started, I was nervous. Long time, big center court in my home country. Also I really want to, like, try my best. Too, because she's like a big player, big serve, really powerful for me.
The first set, I was really try to fight because I think she got three set point. I think this time good is I come back, because in US Open I have three or four match point and I didn't take then.
Actually, the first set, after I win, I tell myself to keep going, just try like tell myself I can do it, I can do it. I think second set, the first three games, think it's really important when I get it. I went up with the scoring, gave me more like motivation, I can try more.
So then have really nervous. I was a little bit shaky with my serve. I maked it. But also I learned a lot because she's really a good player. Also with my serve, there's many things I need to improve.
Q. What does this win mean to you?
PENG SHUAI: I guess I can go for one big dinner.
THE MODERATOR: Questions in Chinese.
Q. You have a lot of support of the fans. What do you think of it? Did you think you could beat Venus Williams because you won nine games in a row to beat her?
PENG SHUAI: I just came back from injury. I feel excited to be here to play her. Yesterday when I played doubles, I played at another court. I felt excited.
A middle-aged man was there to cheer me up. So I feel the crowd, the support. Thank you to my fans. Thank you to their support.
Over these years, tennis is growing in China. More and more Chinese people are coming here to watch our games. So I'm very happy to see that crowd and support.
When I played her, I didn't think I would win today. In the past, I never beat her before. The first time I played her, I was 18, in Australian Open. The second time, it was also a lot of years ago when I played her. I never thought that I could win nine games in a row to beat her. When I beat her, I felt very excited.
Q. Since the 2014 US Open, this is the first time for you to beat a top-10 player. This win is very important for you. Over the past few years, you played well in doubles, but not in singles. After this win, do you feel more confident? You've seen improvement, so what is your plan for your future in singles?
PENG SHUAI: I do not believe that my singles are not that good. Lucie, Bethanie, Vinci, some other players, many players, they're good at singles and also they may team up with each other to play good doubles.
As for me, I hope that during the Australian Open I would like to improve my singles. But back then I had a back injury. My injury was so bad, which was a big surprise to my whole team. I had to undergo this operation and surgery. We needed to have this operation to keep healthy and fit.
My whole team went to Germany and the U.S. to see the doctors. The doctors told me I should think twice before taking this operation and surgery. The doctors told me that no one can make sure that the operation could be successful 100%.
The doctors performed this operation on me and told me there was a 50% possibility I could come back to the court. Before the surgery, the question was whether I could come back to the court or not. So maybe after this surgery my performance will not be very good. Before and after the surgery, the difference, the gap, was huge.
After the surgery, I needed to do a lot of training and practicing. Something I could do in the past, maybe I could not do it today after the surgery. Right now I do not think more about breakthroughs in singles, I need to focus on the current matches and play match by match. I need to take gradual steps to improve myself after the surgery.
After this win, I don't know whether I can move up the rankings towards 250 or 200. I think more important for me is to stay healthy and fit, otherwise I cannot continue my professional career.
I think to win or not is not the very most important thing. I feel happy to be back on the court. Of course, I'm happier to play singles than doubles. Right now my singles is not as good as my doubles. I'd like to improve my singles in order to rise up in the rankings. I still need time to improve my singles.
Q. You said when you were 18 you played Venus for the first time. Venus is still great. Have you thought you would like to have a long-term professional career just like Venus?
PENG SHUAI: I know Venus had some sickness or illness in the past, and she came back from injury in the past. So when I played her on court today, actually I still have a lot to learn from her from the technical perspective.
After the surgery, I hope that I can extend my professional career more than one or two years. But, of course, I need to keep healthy and fit after the surgery, otherwise I cannot extend my professional career. What's more important is my health right now.
Q. As for this match, it is your third WTA main draw win after your comeback. You said next year you would like to make it into the Australian Open. If you did not play very well today, you would not have much confidence in next year's Australian Open. Did you feel much pressure today?
PENG SHUAI: I feel pressure, not because of the Australian Open next year. I feel a little bit of pressure because it is my home field, in front of the Chinese fans. Sometimes you can play very well, but when you are on the court, you don't play that well.
Venus is a great player, needless to say. So I felt pressure when I played her. During the match I felt pressure because I had not played in competition for so many months. Sometimes I could not play the ball the way I wanted. Sometimes I played very well, but sometimes I did not play very well.
But today, I believe on the whole my performance is quite consistent. It is attributed to the previous matches that I played. For so many months, I did not play. Sometimes I could not find my rhythm. Right now I feel okay.
Q. Two years ago in New York you made it to the semifinals of the US Open. You felt very confident. Two years later, no one thought you are what it is you are. Your performance and ranking have been declining. Right now you are back. What is your mindset compared to two years ago when you were at your peak? What is the different mentality right now compared to two years ago?
PENG SHUAI: Of course it's quite different. For me, two years ago, I was at a peak level. I could choose whether I would like to play or not. Actually, my friends and family did not agree with my surgery, because it's too risky.
Now I'm near 30 years old. After the surgery, no one could guarantee I could come back to the court. What if I have more injuries if I come back to the court?
I'd like to thank them for their support and care. I am a little bit stubborn to have the surgery. My friends and family supported me to undergo this surgery. It was quite a challenge for me.
Actually, life is full of challenges and uncertainties. This challenge is quite unique for me. I've made efforts in the tennis world for more than two decades. I sacrificed a lot of youth, time and energy. I'd like to take time to see if I can go further or not.
Of course, if I retire, maybe I will live a normal life like others. I may have a family, babies. It's another way of life. But I'm still happy that I made that choice.
In retrospect, everything is on the right way. I don't know whether I can come back to my past glory or peak. I believe I have so many supporters, and my team. I would like to sacrifice more.
My goal is clear: to play more matches, be it singles or doubles. The key is to come back to the court. I feel excited about it. No other thoughts.
When my ranking was high, I felt huge pressure. I still need to take care of other stuff, although right now I'm at the bottom level, my friends and family are still there to support me.
I can look at the results in this cool-headed way.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports