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August 6, 2018

Venus Williams

Montreal, Quebec, Canada

V. WILLIAMS/C. Dolehide

6-5, 6-1

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. How did it feel today with the conditions, all the heat and humidity?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, it was pretty hot. I mean, you could see the line judge, even how hot it was. For the players, we try to prepare as much as we can, hydrate, you know, stay tough.

Q. Just a follow-up on the heat. Do you find it affects your game in some way, like a loss of energy or strength at some point?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, I mean, if you aren't careful. You do have to prepare for it, hydrate, eat.

But as players, hopefully you've done enough training that, you know, your physicality can get you through that.

Q. How did it heat and humidity compare to Florida? Better? Worse?
VENUS WILLIAMS: It's pretty warm here, but it's even warmer in Florida. I'm on the court by 7 a.m. in Florida. Try to be off by 9. That's the best way to put it.

Q. You had a pretty good game on return of service.
VENUS WILLIAMS: I had a what?

Q. Returning services.
VENUS WILLIAMS: I mean, I think she had a really great second serve. I think I got a better feel for it in the second set. In the first set, I was still figuring it out. I hadn't really seen her play. Obviously never played her.

I think maybe she had more of an advantage because she's probably seen me play more than I've played her. It was pretty close in the first set.

Q. What is your mindset for the next match?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I don't even know who I play yet. I want to really just continue to develop my game, to get better. That's my mindset. It's like, Okay, I want to go out on the court and achieve my goals. I think that's when you feel most satisfied, is, Okay, I hit my goals.

Q. Where you are now in your career, you still have new goals, new things you want to learn? What do you want to improve on?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I mean, I think that question answers itself. You have to have goals in life.

Q. What are one of yours just now?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I just want to rule the world, that's all. Small goals (smiling).

Q. Obviously 7-5 in the first set, then kind of cruised in the second. Is that really what it is, if you don't know your opponent, it takes you that first set to figure her out?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, I think in the first set we both had opportunities. Thankfully I was able to capitalize on it. Yeah, I think it's never easy to play someone you haven't played before. She definitely has a lot of talent, so she took advantage of it.

I'm sure it's just a matter of time before she is able to play even better than today.

Q. A couple years ago you earned your business degree. You said it was a lifetime goal. What was it like to finally get that diploma in your hands?
VENUS WILLIAMS: It was a lot of hard work. I think at the end it was surreal. You work so hard to get there, and it's already harder work when you have another job or two. To get there was definitely super satisfying.

Q. Some players go through the NCAA before going on the tour. Did it ever cross your mind? Did that dream of getting a degree come later in your career?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, I turned pro pretty young. I never had a chance to play college tennis. But, of course, that was always on my mind, to get an education. It was my parents who put that goal in my head.

Q. What was going through your mind when you saw the line judge get sick and overcome? How difficult is it to stay focused at that time?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, I just thought, Wow, she didn't hydrate.

Heat illness is really brutal, so I hope she feels better. At that point you still have to stay focused on the match, try to stay warm, not cool down. You have to be able to still be able to mentally stray strong in those circumstances.

Q. Up next is Niculescu or Cirstea, two very different opponents. Your thoughts?
VENUS WILLIAMS: We'll see what happens. I'll figure it out. I'll obviously hopefully figure it out when I get out there, but we'll see.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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