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July 4, 2018

Venus Williams

Wimbledon, London, England

V. WILLIAMS/A. Dulgheru

4-6, 6-1, 6-0

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Watching on court, between a point and during a point, it's almost like two different people. During a point it's all power, your feet never stop moving. In between the point, you're so quiet. How much of that is about conserving energy for the moments that matter?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, the point is where the action takes place. Just leave it all on the court during the point.

Q. How do you feel about your performance today?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I'm happy. I won, so... As long as I walk away at the end with a win, that's the goal.

Q. Do you think it's more demanding mentally to come back from a set down or to continue the momentum from winning a more straightforward second set?
VENUS WILLIAMS: It just takes mental skill for both, to be honest. Ideally it's two sets. If it's not two sets, then go to Plan B.

Q. You've made so much history in your career. Today was another footnote. For the first time, two of the three matches on Centre Court and Court 1 were women's. In the grand scheme of things, how significant is that?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, I was really overjoyed when I saw the schedule for today. We have a lot of equal play on the main courts in the other three Grand Slams. It was just fantastic to see Wimbledon also follow suit. It's wonderful to hopefully have that continue, to have equal for the men and the women.

Q. You've had such success here at Wimbledon. You've played in a lot of places. Is this like your happy place more than other places?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I love winning here. I love winning everywhere, so... That's the goal when you go out to practice, come to the tournaments, is to win your match. Of course it's happy.

Q. You mentioned the equal footing for men and women. It's 50th anniversary of the open era this year. You played a role in the equality of prize money. How proud are you of that in terms of legacy?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I don't know. I haven't thought about the pride level. I think it's just about being able to be a part of something bigger than yourself. Tennis will go on long after I'm done. I just want to see the sport rise, not just women or men, but just tennis in general.

It's wonderful to see women rise, and I'd like to see these tournaments just get bigger and better.

Q. Given all you have achieved in your career, particularly here, can you put into words what it is about competition that keeps drawing you back? What is the essence of the thrill or the challenge that keeps you engaged?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I think it helps if you're good at it, you know. That definitely is a big plus. I do feel that I'm quite good at it, and I have a lot to give.

Q. One different thing between the men and women here are how they announce people. It would be 'game Federer' or it would be 'game Miss Williams' and your sister would be 'Mrs. Williams.' Is it necessary? Is it nice?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Do they call Serena 'Mrs. Williams'?

Q. They did in her first round.
VENUS WILLIAMS: That's cool (smiling).

I mean, I remember Janet Jackson had that song and she said, 'Miss Jackson.' I like that. I am Miss Williams, so...

Q. So Wimbledon is not 'nasty' then?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Not at all. Not at all.

Q. Your opponent today was very happy to play against you for the first time. At the end you exchanged a few words. Can you tell us something?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, I wished her luck because I know that it's been a long road for her with injury. I know what that's like. She's probably had some really bad luck with that. It was great to see her get back to this level and to play well in a big occasion. I'm hoping that she can have great health to continue.

Q. Next up is Kiki Bertens for you. You played in Miami this year. She held three match points against you there. What kind of match do you expect here?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I'm going to try to play well. I don't know what exactly to expect other than to continue to try to improve my game. I've done that in both my matches, just continued to play better and better throughout the match.

I feel confident that I can do that. What happens on her side of the net will be out of my control. I mean, it's the third round now. I'm sure she has some momentum and probably will be playing well.

Q. You mentioned when you were talking about how you've taken part in the growth of the game that you'd like to see it continue. Can you point out a few things you would like to see as the sport grows?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I believe in tennis we can market our players, we can try to find a way to market our players better because that grows the sport. I think that would probably be one of the biggest changes.

I happen to love branding, not like research marketing, leave that for someone else. But perhaps I see myself in that sort of position after I'm done, or even now I think is a good time to maybe put into practice what I've learned from my businesses into tennis.

Q. From your business degree?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Yes, that one, too. I didn't do marketing really, though. I did like management. Branding I think comes natural to some people or others. I think it's a strength of mine.

Q. When you watch Roger Federer play, especially on grass, what do you appreciate and admire most about the way he goes about his game, the way he performs?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I don't really watch tennis, yeah. That's about it. I would be uneducated. I don't really watch tennis. I watch my match, and that's all. I'm sure he plays amazing, though.

Q. Earlier you expressed some empathy on the issue involving coming back from an injury. Would you elaborate on the physical challenge and maybe the emotional challenge of finding your way back to the form you want to have.
VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, I think for me I think of it as just a challenge. Like if I have a challenge in front of me, I'm like, I'm here to conquer this. I don't necessarily focus on any negative aspects of it. I focus on the hurdle at hand, what it takes for me to get over that. That's my perspective.

Q. You say you don't watch tennis. Right now with the World Cup, do you have any interest in that? Is there a team you support?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I haven't seen World Cup either. I don't really watch TV. I actually don't have time to watch TV, so...

Lately, though, I've wanted to watch tennis. But I literally don't have time. I guess I need some lifestyle changes, free up some time to watch tennis or World Cup.

Q. What do you like to do with your off time? What occupies you when you're not working?
VENUS WILLIAMS: When I'm not working I'm at meetings or in the gym or at physical therapy or returning emails or spending time with my family and loved ones. That takes up a lot of my time, so...

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