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March 26, 2017

Venus Williams

Miami, Florida


6-3, 6-0

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. The start was a little bit shaky, and then went well. You seemed to take a pill or something at 2-1. What was going on there? What were you feeling? What kind of medicine was it.
VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, if I could -- I don't have an answer. Like I said at the end of the match, I felt like my level was continuing to rise, which is exactly what I want. It was just one break of serve in the beginning.

I've never played her, so you got to get used to patterns or rhythm and things like that.

So I thought she played well. She's got a great game. Every game was competitive. Definitely a lot of credit to her.

Q. As a veteran of the game, I know a lot of the young stars turn to you for inspiration and advice. My question for you is: Is there someone outside of tennis that you still turn to for that same inspiration, whether it's an athlete or a celebrity or someone of the sort?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, I mean, I've been really blessed to have this sister called Serena Williams. She's so cool. She's super inspiring, so I don't really need to look much further.

Inspiration comes from within as well.

Q. You've been finishing so strongly in a lot of these matches. Going back to the beginning, and maybe there being a little bit of struggle getting used to the opponent, does knowing that in the back of your head that once you warmup you're able to be so effective on the court, does that help you at the beginning?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, I know that no matter what I'm going to leave everything on the court: all my guts, blood, sweat, tears. Obviously you don't want to wait until you're a set down to find your best game. Today I was quite happy to acclimate quicker.

Q. Since you're seen as one of the leaders of the game, what's your take on on-court coaching? There has been a fair amount of criticism, and many people believe it takes away from the one-on-one problem solving aspect of tennis. Thoughts?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I hadn't thought a ton about it. From my understanding, on-court coaching was supposed to be a selling point to build the game and get more interest. You know, people watching people can enjoy it. If it's doing that, then it's a plus. We want the game to grow and people to watch because it's exciting.

I don't necessarily have an opinion. If it's helping the game, I'm like down. I'm good.

Q. So this probably is not a news flash, but you're the oldest player in the draw. Is that something inspiring for you? You don't think about it? What's your take on it?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, 2020, here I come.

Q. What are your thoughts about whether this tournament has a future on Key Biscayne given the state of the facilities and the obstacles that we know the tournament is against as far as making upgrades?
VENUS WILLIAMS: It hasn't been easy. I'm very biased. I would love it to stay here because it's been a staple of my life just as a child coming here and being from South Florida. I would love it to happen, and hopefully it's in the cards.

Q. The Dolphins owner reportedly is interested, if things don't work out on the island, in buying the tournament or helping with the purchase of the tournament and moving it the to the football stadium. As a co-owner of the Dolphins, what are your thoughts about that idea?
VENUS WILLIAMS: He loves tennis, I love tennis, so, mmm, let's keep it in South Florida. Yeah. If it works, I would love that.

Q. Question on the No. 1 ranking in the world. You've done it in the past. If you've done it once, does it really matter if you do it again? Is it the end all be all or something you can just live out?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I definitely focus more on the majors and tournament wins. In the past I never played enough to like be contentious for No. 1 for a while there, even when I was -- you know, back in the day.

But I will like to be No. 1. Nobody is out there saying, Cool, No. 11. Actually 11 is better than 1. Nobody is saying, Cool, No. 2 or No. 19. (Laughter.) Everybody is thinking, Well, 1 is a little better.

So, yes, I would like to do that again.

Q. What do you think about Patricia's style of gym? What do you think about her game generally?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, he's impressive. Honestly I had never seen her play. I had no idea what to think. She has a lot of courage. I think she has a bright future.

At the end of the day it's about being able to put it together a lot of times, a lot of times in the year. She has the talent and just needs the experience.

Thank you. Am I done? Oh.

Q. But you like the No. 11. You said it's better than 10.
VENUS WILLIAMS: I was like so upset that I picked 11 out of all the numbers. I meant 12 or something. But it is the best number because it's two ones, double representation.

Q. Kuznetsova next. Thoughts than that match.
VENUS WILLIAMS: We've had a lot of great matches. I played her in the very beginning of her career and now we both have had great careers that are continuing to be amazing.

I know her game. I don't think there will be any surprises. She knows mine. I just want to continue to control the court. That's what I'll try to do.

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