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January 18, 2017

Venus Williams

Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

V. WILLIAMS/S. Voegele

6-3, 6-2

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. How did you feel out there today?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, today was a good day, a little less hot first thing in the morning, so it was good to get it in, you know, and have a win early.

Q. We understand you have withdrawn from the doubles due to an elbow injury? Is that something that's still giving you trouble after New Zealand?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, I'm managing it. I was really disappointed not to be able to play in New Zealand. I was hoping to have the capacity to play both events here, but at this point I just need to be careful and just try to maintain myself.

Q. How bad is it?
VENUS WILLIAMS: You know -- yeah. Thanks.

Q. How are you managing the pain?
VENUS WILLIAMS: You know, I go and see the physios, and they have been doing a great job.

Q. Looks like you're up against Ying-Ying Duan in the third round. Do you know much about her?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I don't know anything about her. I have never seen her play. Zero, like zero. So I'm going to have to, yeah, see how it goes. Like, maybe get a scouting report in the warm-up when we hit the five minutes and kind of see how it feels.

Q. You made a comment out on court on your on-court interview that you can't seem to go through one interview without someone asking you about your age and transcending generations. Do you get a bit sick of it?
VENUS WILLIAMS: No, these interviews are a tiny part of my life. The big part is actually out there playing and winning matches. I don't mind it.

Q. And you don't get sick of that, winning matches, I'm sure?

Q. Speaking of your life. It's been so rich. What gives you more satisfaction, you know? The incredible accomplishments on court, the slams, the tournaments, being No. 1, creating your business, or what you have done in the world as a role model with equal prize money, what you did in the Middle East as a role model?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Most satisfaction? I wouldn't point to one thing, really. I would just say being able to live my dreams on and off the court, and being able to, you know, have enough courage to go for, like, what you believe in.

You just have to go for your dreams. The end result is not as important as the journey.

Q. Doing these other things, in a way, does it give you a balance in your life and has helped you as a person hitting the yellow tennis ball?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I think we're all trying to find balance in our lives. That I'm not always working on as well. I cannot say my life is not interesting.

Q. If you weren't here playing tennis, what would you be doing instead?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I would definitely be in the office. So this has saved me from that. I like to be outside (smiling). I'm still making the transition of being indoors a lot. It's hard on me.

Q. How did you find Rod Laver Arena? Fernando Verdasco made a few comments last night that he found it incredibly fast out there. He described it as like one of the indoor courts from the 1980s. Have you noticed any difference this year?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Well, I have played a while, played on some super-fast courts. It may not be as slow as last year, but I think at the same time when the courts get too slow it creates the same kind of player, people who just never come in.

So I think the courts have to be not too slow, not too fast. It's got to be playable. You don't want every ball to come back. At some point there should be a winner. If you're hitting through the court and the ball just sits, that's not tennis. It should go through the court, sort of, you know.

But our game styles are a little different. He might like a slower court. I might like a faster court. Yeah.

Q. You don't find any problem with it yourself?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I usually just play, and that's usually all I do. So I try to just get out there and play the ball and see what happens.

Q. Your dad was one of the special men in our game, always great to have around. Can you talk a minute and talk about how he's doing?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, he's watching the match. He said I played well.

That's always a good thing. But now he's always happy with any match, win, lose, or draw. But, I mean, he always was. He definitely changed the game of tennis. He deserves full credit for that.

Q. Is he still quiet and shy and hard to get any comment out of him?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Oh, is that my dad? (Smiling.)

I don't know who you're talking about. My dad is not quiet or shy. He's awesome.

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