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March 13, 2018

Venus Williams

Indian Wells, California

V. WILLIAMS/A. Sevastova

7-6, 6-4

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. You said playing Serena is like playing a final. So what was the mental and physical recovery like from last night to today?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, it was a really quick turnaround. And, you know, that level match and that level of opponent is, you know, worthy of a final, but it wasn't even really close to a final.

So you just have to reset your mind and focus on the round you're in.

Q. How did you, after the quick turnaround, mentally prepare to play an opponent completely different from Serena?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Completely different, completely different resolution to solving the problems and the rallies in the court.

It was honestly a very good match. Well-competed on both sides.

Q. You said after the match on court it was a tough match to figure out, but in that second set it seemed like you were really anticipating her. What did you figure out about her game as the match went on?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I mean, there were some points where she just played and it was too good. And I thought I was in control of the point and winning the point, and she turned it around. It's just real talent.

So figuring out those kind of moments of being able to control the point till the very end.

Q. You have done so much for equal pay at a Grand Slam level. Wondering where you see the fight for equal pay now, lower down on the tour levels, what you think needs to happen for women's equality.
VENUS WILLIAMS: I believe we have equal pay at all the tournaments; is that correct? Isn't this tournament equal pay? Or no?

Q. This one is, but Cincy, like, something like 60 cents on the dollar that the women make on the men.
VENUS WILLIAMS: I think the difference between -- are they two different tiers or something? I don't really know the men's tour that well. I really can't speak to it.

But I believe is that a 1000 event for them and ours is a different level? And where there is only so many sanctions. So in this case, we do have equal prize money and other places you're dealing with two different sanctions.

Q. Katrina Adams said there will be a statue at Althea Gibson at the US Open. What are your feelings about her being honored?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, Althea has done something in history that hasn't been done in history before under circumstances that were basically impossible.

No one really knows her story, so there should be a statue, and, you know, mandatory education about her, to be honest.

Q. Carla Suarez Navarro possibly in the next match. You have had some close, competitive ones with her in the past, and maybe a somewhat similar opponent with heavy topspin to Sevastova. What are your thoughts on that one?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I think the big difference is I played her more than the girl today. I really didn't know her game. So today was, like, also a learning -- what works? What doesn't work? How does this player -- what's the rhythm like? I don't think there will be as many surprises if I play her.

Q. Knowing you had had such a quick turnaround from last night and this was such an energetic match, how did you conserve energy and how important was it to get it done in two sets?
VENUS WILLIAMS: There was no conserving energy. I had to let it all go and try to win the point. Because she wasn't conserving anything, I don't think, either.

Q. If you could step back and say the one or two things that have changed in tennis since you entered the game, what would those one or two things be, please?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Honestly the game is always progressing. Just like any other sport. It's like either keep up or get out, and I have decided to keep up and hopefully still be one of the people that's changing the game.

Q. You said you have a lot more tricks up your sleeve a while ago?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Did I say that? I don't have nothing (smiling).

Q. On your Instagram you posted a video for EleVen and you used audio from press conferences and questions journalists have asked you. Wondering what the inspiration was behind that.
VENUS WILLIAMS: I don't actually do the mixing of the videos.

Q. Have you seen that?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Yes, yes, of course, but I don't, you know (pointing to self) tennis player. (Smiling.)

Q. So no input, then?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Not on every concept. Then I wouldn't be able to play the tennis. But obviously anything that goes up there is very me.

Q. Probably this has been said many times. What's behind the name EleVen?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Life is about not having any confinements. And as much as we all say, Oh, I'm giving it all, we all have mental confinements and physical confinements. EleVen is about being able to break free of that. And once you can, then you're really living the EleVen lifestyle and that's a daily choice.

Q. Do you find you can do that most days?
VENUS WILLIAMS: No, but I try.

Q. What music have you been listening to lately?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Nothing this year. But I actually did start listening to Smokey Robinson, The Miracles, a couple days ago. Isn't that bizarre? So that's it.

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