home jobs contact us
Our Clients:
Browse by Sport
Find us on ASAP sports on Facebook ASAP sports on Twitter
ASAP Sports RSS Subscribe to RSS
Click to go to
ASAP Sports e-Brochure View our


September 5, 2017

Venus Williams

New York, NY, USA

V. WILLIAMS/P. Kvitova

6-3, 3-6, 7-6

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Did that feel like a special match out there with the crowd, the atmosphere, the way you both were playing?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, definitely felt like a special match. No easy moments, not easy to hold serve or break serve. This match meant a lot to me, obviously, playing at home and of course it being a major.

It means a lot to her, you know, coming back and being able to compete in this major and to prove obviously to herself that, you know, she could defeat anything no matter what's thrown at her. It was amazing to see her shine today.

Q. Your sister is not here, but you're representing the family, the team, as well as anybody. Is there some extra joy in that, that you're pumping it out there, Girl? You were the first one that ever told me she has your back; you have her back. I never heard that expression until I heard it from you.
VENUS WILLIAMS: Where you been? (Laughter.) It's been a while.

Q. Big year for you, especially here. Reflecting on your journey over the last six years when you had to drop out in 2011, how would you describe that period?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Wow. I would describe that period as six years (smiling).

Q. But the journey itself from -- you know, I don't know what your frame of mind was then, but to where you are now.
VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, at the time, the frame of mind is as an athlete and as myself, I don't accept limitations. So it took a while to accept some limitations.

But it doesn't mean that the glass is half empty. I saw it as half full. Whatever I had, I had to do the best I could with that and to be the strongest that I could and be reprehensible for each and every shot that I hit.

That's how I saw these last six years.

Q. Granted, it wasn't a Grand Slam final, but where do you put this match in sort of hierarchy of great wins, especially in light of the fact that she had beaten you three times in a row, twice in tiebreakers in your last few matches?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, our last few matches, I mean, if you can imagine the quality of this match was high, I would say the others were even higher. A lot of times in those matches I just felt a little unlucky. Like she would hit these amazing shots out of nowhere, and all I could do was say, Well done. I never really did anything wrong in those matches.

Sometimes you have opportunities and sometimes you take them and you don't, but it's not like you get opportunity after opportunity after opportunity in these sorts of matches. You have to take the ones you have.

I was happy to have a little more luck today, actually.

Q. Does it feel like one of your best?
VENUS WILLIAMS: One of my best matches? I'm not into the whole best-match thing. It's about winning the match you're in. Doesn't matter whether you're playing well or not playing well. It's about figuring out how to win.

If you're out there thinking you have to play your best match every time, you're not going to win these events. That's too much of a high expectation.

Q. When a person does something for a long time, they gain knowledge, savvy, know-how. Talk about your experience over the years, how that has sort of grown within you and how you call on it in a big match like tonight.
VENUS WILLIAMS: Well, I mean, these big matches, yeah, there have been times where I have won these and there have been times I didn't win them. My opponent was better. It made me go out and work harder. Either way, the experience makes you grow.

Quite obviously I'd love to win these all the time (smiling). It's such a wonderful feeling, because you put in so much work to be able to succeed at these moments.

Q. When you came to the net, you seemed to give her a little curtsy or something. Was that right?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I definitely don't curtsy. No, it's not a thing.

Q. No?

Q. You mentioned opportunities before. You did have a lot of break opportunities and had a tough time converting, and then at the crucial moment, obviously you did. In the tiebreak, was there something you changed in the way you were approaching her serves towards the end?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I don't get often to play a lefty. There was a bit of different speed. I didn't feel like I returned as well the second serve on the ad court. I had opportunities. And just the spin is different. And I was hopefully able to make corrections through the match. You know, you'd like to think it's not too late to get another opportunity to swing at it and swing at it hopefully right.

Tiebreakers, you have to play smart but you have to be aggressive. You can't just sit back and hope. I didn't want to hope. I wanted to, like, be doing something about my future (smiling).

So I tried my best to be aggressive, and then to put it in the court, as well.

Q. Can you describe Venus the player in the early 2000s versus Venus the player now? What kind of differences are there out there on the court?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Really? Early 2000s, I mean, I had perfect health. It was great. I loved it. I was fortunate to have that moment in my life.

And now I'm still living my dream, and it's amazing.

Q. How much contact had you had with Petra after her unfortunate incident? And if you have had contact with her off the court, what has been the nature of the conversations that you have had with Petra?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, I'm not in contact with a ton of players off the court. I have got to be honest.

I mean, obviously I was wishing her well from afar, and, you know, sending best wishes and all other stuff, too.

Q. Obviously Sloane won her match today, too. Two American women advancing as far as you have so far and a chance for more. Is this a great day for American women's tennis or just a great day for tennis?
VENUS WILLIAMS: It's been a great two weeks for American tennis. Seeing all the American players in the draw and all of them advancing so deep and competing so well.

All I have known all my life was great American players. So it's great to see this resurgence, and I hope it can continue. I think both of us had to go through a tiebreaker today. I think it's dramatic fashion and it's great to see both of us go through.

Q. What are your thoughts now about facing Sloane and what will be the keys to that match?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I don't think I have ever played her. Did I?

Oh, I don't know. Regardless, whatever happens, I have to focus on what's happening on my side of the court. Make evaluations out there when I'm out there in terms of strategy and see what's working.

Q. What is your appreciation for her comeback from the injury that she had?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I can't say I know a lot about her injury. I know she couldn't walk for a while, but I don't know the specifics of her injury. It's always a lot of work coming back. But she got started right away. Perhaps she appreciates the game even more. I don't know. We have never talked about that. I'm glad she's happy and healthy and winning.

Q. I know the fans were thinking a lot the last two or three points of the tiebreaker. What were you thinking?
VENUS WILLIAMS: In the tiebreaker, you just want to create space, you know. You want to create space. So when you see that gap opening bigger in your favor, it feels amazing.

There is a point where you say, I'm not ever letting this go. That's kind of what I felt like out there.

Q. Sloane has played really well since she came back. I'm wondering, when you had injuries, did you come back hungry, wanting it more? Or was it a little bit daunting coming back because you didn't quite know where you were at? Between 2003 or '06?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, I was always a tennis player, so every single day was dedicated to getting back on tour.

In retrospect, I probably should have done other things, but every day was still a day of how do I get better? Never lost track of that.

Q. This is a big year for anniversaries. Your 20th, the US Open. I'm just curious, with regards to -- I could see on TV, at least, that you were a little more conscious about the foot fault maybe in terms of stepping back a little bit from the line. Was that something you were conscious of during the match?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I don't really think about it. Maybe I should think about it more once it happens once, but you really get caught up in the moment, and you're just trying to hit a good serve. Hopefully it's not a foot fault on an ace when you really need it.

Q. A little off tennis, but as a Floridian, when you leave home this time of the year, do you leave the home hurricane-ready, and are you sitting here following this Irma which looks like a big storm? Or you can't let that get into your head?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I haven't watched Irma closely, but perhaps I should know more. I have a lot of family and important people in Florida, and my whole life is there. I need to understand what's happening, for sure.

Q. Is everything ready at the house? You just leave and whatever?
VENUS WILLIAMS: No, we only get ready for the storms if they happen, case by case.

Q. When you look at your career, Serena's career, the careers of so many players, say, going back to Monica Seles, Davenport, up to today, Kvitova, and so many, WTA players come back from so many hardships, so many setbacks. Could you talk about that? What does that show about the grit of these athletes?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I think sport is, you know, a little microcosm of life, and it shows the human spirit, just being out there on the court, fighting against all odds. If you're down, you keep going.

Great champions came back from injuries or circumstances they could never have planned for. It's very encouraging for people to watch. You know, those champions you mentioned helped, changed so many lives, motivated so many people by being their best.

You never know whose life you'll touch just by being your best.

Q. Was there ever a point in this match where you felt like you had control and things were going to be okay or that she had control and things were not going to be okay?
VENUS WILLIAMS: You know, definitely when I had opportunities in the second set and so many break points disappearing, you feel like, wow, I should be doing more. You have to put it behind you. Then for 3-All, I felt, okay, now I'm really ready to hold serve and not get broken anymore.

There were still moments where it was very close and you have to expect that. You have to expect to fight through those close moments. Definitely I felt at 3-All, like, all right, here we go again.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

ASAP sports

tech 129
About ASAP SportsFastScripts ArchiveRecent InterviewsCaptioningUpcoming EventsContact Us
FastScripts | Events Covered | Our Clients | Other Services | ASAP in the News | Site Map | Job Opportunities | Links
ASAP Sports, Inc. | T: 1.212 385 0297