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January 20, 2017

Venus Williams

Melbourne, Victoria, Australia


6-1, 6-0

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. In '94 when you debuted, your dad said that you and Serena were going to revolutionize the game. Clearly over the years you have. But also in this period there's been one criticism or dust-up after another on match fixing, the commitment of you or Serena, the comments by the Fed Cup coach from Russia, and now more recently the ESPN situation. How do these feel for you? What would you say to the American public really about one after another of these controversies coming up relating to you and Serena?
VENUS WILLIAMS: So what was the question again?

Q. The question is, you've changed the game, but there's been a long series of criticisms. How does it affect you personally and what would you say?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I think I understand the question.

First of all, all I can say is it's been a wonderful, wonderful career for me full of positives. That's what I focus on. I mean, what else can I do? It's a beautiful life. That's how I feel about every single thing. It's just that simple, honestly.

Q. So you just don't pay attention to these situations and just go on?
VENUS WILLIAMS: You know, I pay attention and address situations that are noteworthy. That's been my past record, clearly.

Q. About the match today, since now you have played her, obviously, and you know pretty much how she played, can you tell us what do you make of her game and how the match went today?
VENUS WILLIAMS: We had a lot of deuce games, honestly. She is very competitive. You can see that she wants to win. We had some really long games that I think were pivotal, very important for the match. 2-Love in the first set. 1-Love in the second set. We were just fighting back and forth.

This is her first time in the third round. It's a lot of pressure. Having the opportunity to play this third round, play against a player of my experience, is going to be a huge steppingstone for her. She's got talent. She's in the top 100. It's perfect for women's tennis.

Q. How do you feel to be in the fourth round for the 10th time here?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Oh, yay! It's good. It's never enough. I've been in the fourth round before. I've tasted it before and it's always a great feeling because it means, hey, I have an opportunity for the quarterfinals. That's what I'm going to go for.

Q. You say it's a beautiful life that tennis has given you. Can you pinpoint certain things that you never thought you would be doing? Do you and Serena ever sit around and think about, look at where we are?
VENUS WILLIAMS: No, we don't necessarily sit around and do that because we definitely worked to the bone to be here. It's not necessarily by chance. But, boy, is it a blessing.

In terms of things I wouldn't be doing, I definitely wouldn't be sitting here talking to you guys. That's just one thing I'd list.

Q. You have a company you might not have been able to start.
VENUS WILLIAMS: These are the questions that we don't know. I don't know where my life would have been. I know the person I am would still be the same, but in different circumstances.

Q. I was talking with Mike Bryan a little bit before. He said he thinks part of the reason they've been in the game so long is because he enjoys hanging out with his brother, playing with his brother, that's why he comes back all the time. Would that resonate for you?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I guess so, in a way. I haven't had an opportunity to play as much with Serena as I would have liked. But I'm here because I love it. Just plain and simple.

Q. He said in terms of playing and hanging out with his brother, sometimes he felt the highs were higher and the lows were lower. If he sees his brother is not in his best form, he feels like a part of himself isn't. Do you grapple with these things in your head, as well?
VENUS WILLIAMS: We don't really lose that often (laughter).

There weren't a lot of lows. I don't think we ever lost a major final, so... We didn't play that often, but we didn't lose that often. It's a little bit different experience. If we would have played more, then yeah, it would be like, Oh.

I don't know. Brothers, sisters, different experiences.

Q. I noticed you're barely wrong when it comes to challenges over your career. What's the difference between you and other players, that you seem to know when the ball was in? Can you reflect on that?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I believe the challenge system is strategic: you should use it when you need it. I need every point. But if I don't necessarily need the point, save it for a time when you need it.

If I feel like the ball is in, I've hit a million balls, I know what it feels like when it's in, so that's when I go for the challenge.

Q. Are you still pursuing a master's degree?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I am. I have a year left.

Q. That's through?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I never said.

Q. Not the Indian --
VENUS WILLIAMS: No, something different. I never said. I'm not saying.

Q. Is it more interesting than accounting?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I loved accounting, I have to be honest. If I would have known I loved it that much, I would have majored in accounting.

Q. You said that you focus on the things that are important to you. Aside from your occupation, what is important to you that you like to focus on?
VENUS WILLIAMS: God, my family. Those are the most important things to me, yeah.

Q. What do you love about accounting?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I mean, it's just the language of business. I don't know. I liked it. I liked it. It's balanced. It's reliable.

Q. You do the books for your companies?
VENUS WILLIAMS: No. I'm not an accountant.

Q. Of those ventures you have off the court, is there one or the other that really you prefer or like?
VENUS WILLIAMS: No, I love them both. I have two amazing teams. They both give me joy. I work hard at both.

Q. When you go to the office to work, are you wearing workout clothes or dressed like a businesswoman?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Typically workout clothes.

Q. And the rest of the staff?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Business (laughter). Depends. If we have a meeting, then I front, and I show up looking like a professional. Sometimes I show up between workouts. Depends on my day.

Q. I don't recall you wearing eye makeup and stuff before. Have I just missed that or is this a new Venus?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I have in the past sometimes. Update, don't be late.

Q. Since we're going so deep here, you said you liked accounting because it was balanced and reliable. Aside from Serena, who is the tennis player who would probably be the best accountant in terms of being balanced and reliable?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I don't know. That's a good question. Accounting, it's a lot of work to learn it. So anybody that doesn't mind a few numbers here and there, ratios, equations.

Q. Can you look ahead to the fourth round a bit.
VENUS WILLIAMS: Whatever happens, I'm looking forward to executing my game. That's all that matters at this point, is to continue to elevate myself. As the rounds continue, I need to raise my level. This is my primary focus, and nothing else.

Q. Do you enjoy playing the hometown hero potentially?
VENUS WILLIAMS: That would be awesome. I think it would be great. I would like to win. I'm sure she will, too. So we'll see what happens. She's so talented. It's wonderful to see.

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