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May 18, 2017

Venus Williams

Rome, Italy


6-1, 3-6, 6-1

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. You have been competing at such a high level now for well over 20 years. I guess a victory like today must really motivate you to keep going. Can you talk about what motivates you to keep going?
VENUS WILLIAMS: The motivation starts long before you get to the tournament. There is a lot of work that goes into a good performance or even a bad performance at times (smiling).

I'm here as I still have a lot to give. That just wraps it up.

Q. Half of your life here in Rome. Which your feelings? So a long time for your first appearance here. I read that Serena in this period is watching a lot of tennis. She say not women matches.
VENUS WILLIAMS: I love this tournament, and I love Rome. It's one of my favorite places on earth, so that's one of the reasons why I have always come here.

You know, I have had a good amount of success here. Probably sometimes that it wasn't that great. I'd never leave Rome early; let's put it that way. I always stay.

And I don't know. Serena and I haven't talked about how much tennis she's watching. That, I don't have an answer for.

Q. Very good start to the match, and then she played very good level in the second set and you finished it very strong. How pleased were you just like in the last two matches to just build up on that and come out firing and finish the match on a really good note?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I mean, in the first set I was happy to have been able to close it out with a double break. In the second set, it was like sometimes I felt like there were moments where I had a chance and she would have a strong hold and it was just one break. And in the second, I just kind of felt like I want to do the right things out here. It was really a moment of that.

Playing the big points well, and she gave me a few errors, which is always helpful.

Q. Jo is one of the players that used to wear EleVen, your line. I'm wondering, seeing other matches, a couple today and this week, two players wearing identical outfits playing against each other, how much do you enjoy having a look that's always your own? What do you think when you see those matches between the two Nike players or two adidas players wearing the exact same thing and they don't get to have any individuality in that moment?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, I mean, it's kind of like when a company makes a kit, that's what you wear. You would think it would actually happen more often but doesn't happen as often as you would think it would happen, especially when you see how many people are wearing the same outfits.

I have fun wearing what I wear. There is a lot of work that goes into it behind the scenes, obviously an untold amount of work between myself and the team that I have. But it's all worth it.

Q. How much do you enjoy just being an individual with it, that you wear something and you know there is not another player in the draw who is wearing the same thing as you?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I wouldn't mind if there was another player in the draw wearing the same thing. That would be a nice problem (smiling).

You know, I have always been an individual. I have been blessed to have an opportunity to even pursue my dreams on and off the court. That's what it's about for me.

Q. There has been a lot of talk this year about how open the French Open is going to be. Do you think that you have a good chance maybe of taking that title?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah. It's so different when you're talking about it or when you're playing it, you know. When you're playing it, it's a lot of work. There is not even one point that is given.

There is rarely, you know, an easy game, 40-Love games. My whole thing about it is to try to win my match no matter who I play against. I hope to have more luck and more skill.

Q. One more fashion question. In those instances where those two players are going on court with the same thing, do you wish they had options to switch? If you were going on with someone who also wore EleVen, would you want to say, Hey, Jo, or Arina, or whoever else is wearing EleVen now, Why don't you wear the black and I'll wear the white or something like that and mix it up?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Well, I don't have as many people wearing it. They pretty much got their own kits.

But even I don't wear the same thing every day. I never know what I'm going to wear the next day. Depends on how I feel.

But that's what happens when you're the boss. You get to do what you want. It's great, within limits (smiling).

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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