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MIAMI OPEN PRESENTED BY ITA├║


March 26, 2018


Venus Williams


Miami, Florida

V. WILLIAMS/J. Konta

5-7, 6-1, 6-2

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. You have a history of playing some tight matches with Konta. Today what turned it around for you?
VENUS WILLIAMS: What was what?

Q. What turned it around for you today? You have had a history of having some competitive matches with Konta, and today there was a very tight first set. What turned it around?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, I think she just played really well and was able to get a foothold in, and then she just kind of played well at the right times. Just get a rhythm to her game I think helped me.

Q. When you find somebody playing you tough like she did early on there, does that create an extra spark in you? What motivates you in that particular moment?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, pretty much everyone I play plays me tough, so that's the norm for me (smiling). There are no easy matches.

Q. Do you feel there is more pressure towards you ever since Serena left the tournament?
VENUS WILLIAMS: No, no.

Q. Do you feel tired at all? I mean, you're 37 and having two matches back to back that were three hours long, how do you do that? How do you maintain that level of energy with those long matches back to back on two days?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I don't see what 37 has to do with it.

Q. There is a possibility you might play Monica Puig next. What will be the challenges with that match?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I haven't played her in a long time. Obviously she's a great player, gold medallist, not easy to do, like a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that she, you know, was able to capture. If I play her, I'll have to be ready for her best.

Q. Do you know anything about Danielle Collins? I know that she played in college. Have you played her or know anything about her?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I have never seen her play, but I do love seeing Americans do well. She seems like a super-nice person, so, you know, it would be nice to play an American, as well.

Q. As a member of the players council and a sister, what is your opinion about the maternity leave?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I think a mother should have every opportunity to be with their children.

Q. As long as they want (indiscernible)?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah. I haven't ever been a mom. I think you have to talk more to moms about what that's like.

Q. I don't know if any other person asked you this question. As great a champion as you are, you have been mentally strong to turn things around the last match and this one. When you are behind on the score, what do you tell to yourself? What do you do? What goes through your mind to get that incredible mental strength to manage yourself to turn things around and get the victory?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Well, really, you have to realize that the player across the net wants to win, too. So you have to fight for every point, and if you come up short, then you just start over again. Everyone is so good now that you can't expect to have an easy match.

Q. Do you feel any special motivation this year being that it's the last year at Key Biscayne?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I feel very focused, and it's really not the last of tennis in Miami, so for me it's just a transition and not an ending.

Q. You have whittled down your presence in the press room considerably. You don't elaborate very deeply on certain things. Is this something that you just want things to be simple, or is it just not that much fun being here? What's going on with your thinking that way?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Well, I have to get to the training room, so when the match ends, the work's not over. And also, for me, the tennis matters the most. I don't really have much to say outside of that.

If you win, you won. If you lost, you go work harder. What else can I say?

Q. So do you think this whole setup like this match after match, interview after interview, do you think that's asking too much of the players or would you prefer not to have to go through...
VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, I think -- no, I don't think it's asking too much. I have just done a lot of interviews in my life, and for me, it's always been about the tennis. I have never, you know, been a press hog. I never will be. All that matters to me is the tennis.

Q. What was the last time you heard a question that really got you thinking?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Well, honestly, it's all about trying to be nice in here, you know. So I'm always thinking and trying to be nice.

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