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January 28, 2017

Venus Williams

Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

S. WILLIAMS/V. Williams

6-4, 6-4

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. What is your overriding feeling, emotion, on this whole two weeks, and especially how it ended tonight?
VENUS WILLIAMS: It was great to have an opportunity to play for the title. That's exactly where I want to be standing during these Grand Slams, is on finals day, having an opportunity. That's the highlight of all this, is to be in that moment.

Q. How did it feel being back in a final? Did it feel like riding a bike or did it take adjustment?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I don't know. I don't think I felt at all awkward. I felt ready. I mean, I haven't played in a final for a number of years, but I don't think it's something you forget. I mean, I played a good amount of 'em, so...

Experience was right there for me.

Q. Early on in the match, there seemed to be a lot of errors on both sides of the court. Was it the sense of occasion or because you were playing each other?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I think just in general we go for a lot, so there's going to be some errors. There's no counter-punching. There's no pushing. There's just aggression. You're going to see some great shots and at times you're going to see some errors. But those errors are very close. They're near-misses.

Q. Is it a weird feeling to be so happy for your sister but disappointed that you didn't win?
VENUS WILLIAMS: No, because I guess I've been here before, you know. I really enjoy seeing the name 'Williams' on the trophy. This is a beautiful thing.

Q. Execution-wise out on the court, what do you think would have made the difference for you? It felt like a few points here or there might have swung it back your way.
VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, I feel like I had opportunities, for sure. Just missed some shots. But it's not like I missed shots that I wasn't going for. I went for those shots. It's a matter of inches.

So, you know, some errors here or there can mean the difference between a break of serve or a hold.

Q. You seemed very emotional when you had your speech. Serena did, too. Was this final special in any way if you compare it to the other eight you played each other?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I think so 'cause Serena's been in a lot of finals, but I haven't been able to, you know, be there as much as she has. To have this opportunity to play against each other again, and to be able to rise to that occasion, was quite momentous.

Q. You spoke about it on court, but a comment about Serena reaching 23.
VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, it's a great number. I know she would like to have a little more. Who wouldn't? It was a great moment. I'm very happy that she's been able to, you know, get to number 23 because there's 22 ahead of that that she also earned, and she earned it.

Q. How different is Serena as an opponent now than she was from what you remember when you were playing each other more often? Anything seem different across the net?
VENUS WILLIAMS: It's always changing. But I think more than anything you have to have the confidence to win these matches. At the end of the day, whether it's now or then, she has the confidence to do it.

Q. What's the thing or two that makes your little sister so special both as an athlete and as a person?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I mean, she's a champion. She's a champion on the court. She knows how to take it to that next level. Then off the court, obviously she's an amazing person, an awesome sister. I couldn't ask for much more.

Q. Do you have a lot of fun with her?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, of course. Hello.

Q. Will you have a lot of fun with her tonight as well? Go out and celebrate?
VENUS WILLIAMS: What time is it?

Q. 10.
VENUS WILLIAMS: It's been a long tournament, my God. I don't know what our plan is. Whatever it is, we'll do it together.

Q. What does this fortnight mean to you?
VENUS WILLIAMS: A lot of great performances, you know. I didn't lose a set until the semifinals. Played against a lot of players who were in form. So it's a good thing.

It's a great start to the year. I'm looking forward to the rest of year. This is like tournament number two and it's already a lot of work. I'm looking forward to tournament number three and four. It's going to be awesome.

Q. How are you feeling physically? Are you still confident you're going to have a great year?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, I just totally said that in that last question. Ready to kill it this year. That's my goal. Who goes into the year and says, Oh, my God, it's not going to be a good year? Who says that? Not me.

Q. Is Fed Cup or Indian Wells next for you?
VENUS WILLIAMS: There will be no Fed Cup for me at the moment. It's been a tough week, tough week. I adore playing Fed Cup. It's such an awesome experience to be on a team.

But also at this stage in my career, it's very challenging to add extra weeks. To me it's about an endurance race now, so I have to be very careful about that.

Yeah, you know, there will be other times. Ties that are closer to Florida, yeah.

Q. Does this result fuel the fire? Do you leave feeling even more amped for 2017? Were you already at max amp before you came into the tournament?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Of course I feel motivated to continue, to continue to go out there and hit the ball the way I know I can. There's only things I can improve on, to be honest, and to build on.

I feel I played very well this week, pulled a lot of things out of my pocket. I got more stuff in my pocket. Get it out.

Q. Did you surprise yourself in these two weeks?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I've been playing pretty solid in the slams for the last couple years, so no. Duh.

Q. Did you see the video of your celebration after the last match?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, I tried to contain myself. It was so hard. That was me containing myself (smiling).

I got to be honest, I get really, really, really happy. I'm one of those people that I don't cry, I just start laughing. That's how I live my life.

I didn't want to be in anyone's face with that at all. It's just you have to enjoy your moment when you get it.

Q. In terms of your relationship with Serena, is being a protector an important part of your sister relationship with her?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Oh, we totally protect each other. So it's a part of our relationship, it's symbios [sic]. That's us.

Q. If people say that you and Serena are the greatest story in sports all time, what is your reaction to that?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I don't think we're going for the greatest story in sports. We're just going for some dreams. In the case that we are, what an honor, what an honor.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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