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March 29, 2017

Venus Williams

Miami, Florida


7-5, 6-3

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. You played with the energy of a 20 year old out there. You're playing the No. 1 player in the world. What was up with that?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I think that's how I'm supposed to play. Yeah.

Q. Did you feel as good as you looked?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Oh, thank you. If that's a compliment.

Q. It is.
VENUS WILLIAMS: It was an interesting match. I was controlling it. I had more errors than I like and lower first serve percentage than I would like. For me, I'm looking at it from a standpoint of how can I get better.

I have to play well against the No. 1 in the world. She's on top of her game and she played well, so I had to find a way to play a little better.

Q. We haven't seen much of your dad at tournaments lately. He was there. Was that inspirational for you?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, a lot of people have asked me that. I think last year Charleston was his last event, so he's kind of sticking to the tournaments in the States now.

I could hear him on the sidelines. He really wanted it for me. So it's a happy moment when you come off the court.

Even if I lose he's still very happy, but to see the joy and the pride and the excitement, I could win the match just for that.

Q. Speaking of your father, he had some fairly famous quotes quite a while back about how he really didn't anticipate you playing tennis much more than maybe into your mid-20s. You ever had a conversation with him about playing tennis in 2017 and how you basically made a liar out of him?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Strong words. I feel that his greatest accomplishment was for Serena and I to be whole people and to not be statistics. He just wanted us to not see tennis as the whole thing in our life.

At this point I think he never wants us to retire, so it's a joy for him to see us out here.

Q. Sometimes when an athlete is playing well they feel like they're hot; other times they feel like this is just where they are from all the hard work. How do you feel right now in those terms? Secondarily, having lived in Dade County, does this feel like a home match for? And you where does this rank in terms of comfort level in tournaments?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, I'm a South Florida girl through and through; California born and Florida by choice.

How do I rank that I'm playing? I don't know. I mean, at the end of the day when you win it's all praise and if you lose it's like, you know, all not praise.

So at the end of the day I have to praise myself like I should inwardly, yeah.

Q. You've been playing tennis since you were 13, 14, pro tennis.
VENUS WILLIAMS: Pro, uh-huh.

Q. And you've been playing through the '90s, early 2000s, until right now. You're doing very well. I want to ask you about the legacy of your family or your name. Have you ever thought what's next the day you call it a career?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Honestly, in my heart all always be a tennis player. I think once I'm done I'll never feel completely whole without the game or playing pro.

I just think that's how it'll be. For now I'm whole so I'm going to go, and then we can talk about legacy or whatever afterwards.

But clearly it's something intense.

Q. Up next is Jo Konta; you've played some tough matches against her in the past. Thoughts on the matchup?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, she played well, served well. Tomorrow is an opportunity for me to come out and play hopefully better than today. There are a few things I would like to work on. Outside of that, just come out fresh eyes, fresh feet, and big shots. That's my plan.

Q. When you see your dad sitting there so close and all he has meant to you in your career and the relationship you have, you ever feel like running over and talking to him, Hi, dad, hugging him?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Totally illegal, but I guess I could do that. After the match is better. Yeah.

Thank you guys, good night.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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