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July 7, 2017

Venus Williams

Wimbledon, London, England


7-6, 6-4

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Obviously she was pretty close to you in the first set, and even in the second set till you had the break. Talk about the match.
VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, you know, in the first set I had a break. She played some great tennis. She had some luck and some great tennis. Also the second was just about trying to get a break or two, if possible. I wasn't successful in the two, but one thankfully was enough.

Q. Naomi is 19 years old. You are 37. There's a gap of a generation. Do you enjoy playing against a younger generation like her? Do you inspire anything from her?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, it's interesting, for sure. But I guess when you walk on the court, I don't think either of us is thinking about the age. You're thinking about, How do I win?

She played an amazing match today. She really played a match that was worth -- she deserved to win. But these sort of matches are always so close.

Q. In your 20th Wimbledon, you're back into the second week. How do you plan to spend the middle Sunday?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Practice, rest, nothing. No big plans. Zero big plans.

Q. How is it affected by Serena not being here with you?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I definitely had to get used to it fast, because we spend so much time together. We play doubles here. It was definitely an immediate void when I walked on the grounds and she wasn't here. It was definitely really sad.

But she's watching closely and supporting me all the way.

Q. Naomi has said she's seen your sister as a role model, has wanted to try and even copy aspects of her game. Did you see any of that in the way she played?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I think she definitely has her own style. It's so awesome to hear she's inspired by Serena, and she's made it her own. It's cool to hear.

Q. Some of the players are saying the courts are more slippery than usual, that the brown patches have come up faster than usual. Some have said they thought Court 18 was dangerous. Have you seen any of that, think the courts are not up to snuff?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I haven't played on 18 yet. I did play there last year, though. I had a rain delay on match point again. So I don't mind if it doesn't rain. Those are the conditions if it's a little drier.

Q. Are you finding the courts at all more difficult, slippery?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I mean, you have a slip or two. But that's grass. I can't say I've slipped more than usual.

Q. What is the balance like after so many Wimbledons in terms of having the experience, knowing how to play on the grass, versus also knowing how precious the opportunity is, that there may not be many left for you?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I just try to play the best I can. I've played three matches now, and had zero breathing room in any of them. My opponents played well, served well, competed well all moments. I've had to step it up. I imagine that's going to continue. All I can do is try to be my best.

Q. There were those extraordinary photos of Serena in Vanity Fair. People said it was a celebration of beauty, pregnancy. What did you think when you first saw the cover picture? What were your thoughts?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, I didn't see any previews, but I did keep asking Serena when that was coming out. Is it coming out yet or not?

She's like, Oh, it will be a week. A week turns into a month, so...

I really, really, really, really enjoyed them.

Q. Do you think the photographer captured her spirit and beauty?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, definitely. She has so many sides, so she definitely captured parts of her. I mean, obviously there's so many sides of Serena, that people don't get to see this one as much.

Q. What is the second Monday at Wimbledon like when the men and women are playing singles, so much action is going on at the same time?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I mean, for sure, like, you want to win, but you know you have to come back, at least on the women's side, to play an even more important match. So it's definitely, like, a lot of climaxes in a row.

Q. What do you think it's like for the fans to have all that offered here, which doesn't take place at the other Grand Slam events?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I think it's awesome if you get to come, like, both of those days. I don't know many people get to do that.

Q. Not to bring up Naomi's age again, but the first time you played here she wasn't even born. Is it scary or disconcerting to think about?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I don't actually think about it, yeah. I mean, to be honest, I don't think about it. Sums it up.

Q. It's the 10th anniversary of equal prize money for men and women at Wimbledon. How do you feel about this landmark? How do you feel about the progress the women's game has made since that?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Time passes by fast, doesn't it? It's awesome. I didn't realize that. Get so caught up in the moment.

It's wonderful that 10 years have passed by. I'm excited for the next 10. From here on out, it's always equal. It's extraordinary.

Q. Would you actually prefer they didn't have the middle Sunday off, that they played, being that you have to come back?
VENUS WILLIAMS: It's also something else I never thought about.

Q. Ion Tiriac in Paris essentially said there shouldn't be equal prize money in the regular tournaments on the circuit. Does that surprise you that that issue comes up again and again, isn't put to rest?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Well, look at us, 5,000, however many years we've been on earth, looking to dominate each other. We can't always get along. Sometimes it's part of human nature to be dissident.

Q. What will you miss the most about this place when the time comes you don't play here?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I'll be fine because I played so many times. It will be nice to get a life, I guess, so...

There's always other chapters in your life. I definitely lived this chapter. I'm still living it. I love this game. So I think I'll have an opportunity not to miss it, I imagine. But it hasn't -- I don't know how I'll feel. I think I'll always in my heart be a tennis player. There will be something missing always without the competition. But I'm not there yet.

Q. Could you see yourself coaching somebody --

Q. -- like Naomi in the future?

Q. If not, what kind of advice would you give her on how she can improve her game?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I don't think she needs any advice from me. I think she's good, especially from today's scoreline. She competed well.

But, yeah, I won't. I need a break from touring, rain delays, waiting on matches. I don't need that in my life after this. You guys can do that.

Q. When you're in the hallway waiting to come on the court here, what do you see in front of you? What thoughts go through your mind generally?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Probably I'm a little blank just at that point. Just super focused. You know, either thinking about last-minute strategies or just intensity. But not a ton of thought, no. At that point you start -- autopilot starts to take over already.

Q. Do you know whether the doors are opened or closed when you get into the hall? Do you see what's in front of you? Are you so consumed with thought about what's about to take place that you don't see what's ahead of you?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I believe I see, because I don't trip or fall. I do see.

Q. What do you see?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Whatever's in front of me. I don't know what to say.

Q. What's the one thing you miss the most about Serena not being here?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Some epic matches. She's probably the most exciting player to watch. I mean, she's unreal. So I enjoy that.

Obviously the doubles, you know. That's always been a forté of ours at this tournament. So I miss that.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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