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May 31, 2017

Venus Williams

Paris, France


6-3, 6-1

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. It's about something that happened yesterday. French tennis player abused a female journalist. He tried to kiss her all the time on live TV program, and maybe even touch her breast. What can you say about that? His accreditation has been revoked. What can you say about that attitude? In general, attitude regarding women in this world.
VENUS WILLIAMS: I don't know anything about that. Yeah.

Q. (off microphone.)
VENUS WILLIAMS: I mean, I didn't see it, so I can't really comment on something I don't even know about. It's really hard to say. Sorry.

Q. That was a great win today. How did you feel out there on the court? Seemed like you were enjoying yourself.
VENUS WILLIAMS: You know, it's always a joy when you can control the match. The first set was a little bit --you know, she played well, just, like, amazing defense and offense, too.

It was a little bit tricky there, but, you know, just try to still control the match. That always feels good.

Q. Serena was in the crowd today watching you. Is she planning on staying with you for the whole tournament? Did she say anything to you after the tournament today?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, she said, Good job. Yeah, and she came in sometime during the match. I don't know exactly when.

I'm sure she feels the excitement of being at a major and not having the pressure to play and prepare. Must be an interesting feeling to say the least.

But she knows exactly what it's like out there, and she's had a lot of success here. If she stays here through the end, I would like that.

Q. Talking about playing and preparing, you have had two matches here now. How do you feel generally how the two have gone, especially today against a more defensive player where you had to make a lot of balls, brought a lot of balls back? How do you feel about these few days here and looking ahead in to the tournament?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, it was something to build on. Today's match was definitely less errors than the first match.

I want to continue that. Her play is a little bit different. The day is different, the conditions are different. It's about adjusting to that moment and that's what I have been good at over the years.

Q. I'd like to ask a general question. If you could step back and change one thing in our sport or one tradition in tennis, what would you suggest as one change that you could think of that would be good for the sport?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I would definitely say a shorter season. It's just a little long. It's wonderful to have tennis all year, but the shorter season would be better for the players.

Q. Do you sense that there is an opening in the draw this year with Serena and many others absent? Do you feel you can go deep like you did in Australia?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Of course my goal is to win every match that I play. I don't want to walk out on the court and say, Oh, this one is not one I want to win (smiling).

Do I sense it's open? I just am really focused on me and nothing's a given, or else I'd win every game.

Q. Since it's a quiet press conference, let me ask another question. If you could go back in women's tennis history, go back and play one match against one player that you have never had the opportunity to play, who would you enjoy going back to play a match against?
VENUS WILLIAMS: That's a hard one.

I don't know. It would be hard to choose just one. And also, that things would have to be level. I'd have to go back and play with a wooden racquet or they'd have to come forward and play with the same equipment I'm playing with and the same type of training. It would have to be an even playing field to make sure that it was even.

Q. Althea or Billie Jean or...
VENUS WILLIAMS: Of course out of nostalgia and because Billie, I'd want to choose her, but of course I think it would be awesome to play against Suzanne Lenglen. Never had a chance to play against Chris Evert or Navratilova. It's hard to choose just one. It would be hard.

Q. You're up against Hogenkamp or Mertens next. Do you know about either of those players? The next players in the draw, do you know much about them?

Q. Hogenkamp or Mertens. That possibly answers it.
VENUS WILLIAMS: Oh. I don't know. Whoever I play...

Q. It's my English. We've got translators. They'll translate for me.
VENUS WILLIAMS: You know, I don't think I have played either in singles, so it will be interesting to, like, see how that ball is coming at me. I just want to win, so whoever I play, I just would like to win that match. That's how you have to be is greedy.

Q. I just want to get your quick reaction, a lot of players are calling for a name change for the Margaret Court Arena. How do you feel about that?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I didn't know about that, either. I don't know about anything.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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