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August 27, 1997

Venus Williams

U.S. OPEN CHAMPIONSHIP, Flushing Meadows, New York

Q. How would you describe today's match? Was it as easy as it appeared?

VENUS WILLIAMS: I think Garcia was a bit nervous. She probably wanted do well in this Open. She just didn't play like she usually would. It was a bit easy, because she had it pretty easy for me and I was able to take care of it.

Q. Next round you play Anke Huber. What do you think about Anke?

VENUS WILLIAMS: I think that Anke is playing well this year. She has a lot of experience. She wants to do well this Open, so I've played her actually about four weeks ago or so, like that. It's going to be a good match.

Q. But in California, you lose very well?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, I lost the match.

Q. And how big is your chance? How big is your chance to win next match with Huber?

VENUS WILLIAMS: I think I'm just going to have to play well and just to stay focused on each point, just try not to let her in the match at all. So I think definitely my chances are very good.

Q. Are you playing the best that you've played so far? It's unusual to hear a person as young as you talk about your opponent being so nervous. You seem so calm.

VENUS WILLIAMS: I try to stay calm. I guess if I'm not, you can't tell.

Q. Are you playing as well as you have?

VENUS WILLIAMS: I don't think I'm playing as well as I have this year, but I'm playing pretty good. I think so. I don't think I'm ever happy. I'm happy with the way I play, but I always think I can do better, even if I win a match or if I win a tough match. No matter what match I play, or if I'm practicing, I always think I can do better.

Q. In terms of your next round, is it at all a disadvantage that you were only out there for 35 minutes?

VENUS WILLIAMS: No. Like before, in my first round, I had a tough match. I think I got to practice a lot of short balls today, so I don't think it was a disadvantage at all. I won't be worn out or anything.

Q. Is your game suited best to the hardcourts?

VENUS WILLIAMS: I believe so, possibly. I think I can play on any surface, but I grew up on hardcourts. I like playing on that. Most of all when I practice, I like to play on clay. I don't like to practice on hard.

Q. How far would you have to get in this tournament for you to consider it a successful tournament for yourself?

VENUS WILLIAMS: A successful tournament? Actually in this tournament I'm trying not to look ahead at all. I do that a lot. I'm just trying to play it a point at a time, game at a time. I don't want to start looking ahead and just become disappointed, things like that. I just want to do in matches what I worked on in practice. Once I'm doing that, I will develop. I'm going out there and I'm playing matches safe, just not doing what I'm doing in practice. I'm not going to develop my game. I'm going to get better, but not as quick as I could.

Q. Venus, how much of a different player do you think you are today than you were, say, at the Lipton earlier this year? Do you think your game has developed?

VENUS WILLIAMS: I believe so.

Q. How?

VENUS WILLIAMS: I think I'm definitely probably return serves, first serve is more consistent, second serve is better, learned to place the serve a lot better, better slice. My volleys are much better. There's definitely a lot of improvements. I might be even faster, too.

Q. Were you happy with your serve today?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Actually, she was a very short girl, so I thought that I just put a lot of spin on it and get it over her head, a lot of spins, because she wouldn't be able to handle that. I didn't try to go for the big ones today unless I wanted to. But she stood far back. I thought that the spin would be better. I think I served well today. I definitely think I could serve better.

Q. When you see where Martina Hingis is at very close to your age, do you think if you had played more, in more tournaments at age 15, 14, you would be close to where she is now? Do you look at her and say, "Gee, I could be there"?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Well, I really can't say, but I really wouldn't want to take anything away from Martina, because she's doing a great job and she's helping women's tennis, and everyone is interested in watching her play. I definitely think I like the way I did things. We just had different agendas. I had different things to do. She had different things to do also. I don't regret any of it. To say what I could have done, I'd rather not say that because that's in the past now. I can't change it. I'm happy with how everything is going now.

Q. What have you done off the court in New York to enjoy New York?

VENUS WILLIAMS: I did a little bit of shopping. I eat (laughter). I haven't done too much actually. I just want to make sure I don't get tired. My mom wanted to see the Statue of Liberty and the Empire State Building. The better I do at the tournament, I'll do more shopping. In these rounds, I'm not going to do any of that stuff.

Q. What kind of stuff have you been buying?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Clothes. I don't know. I don't buy anything else on the road. I try not to buy any jewelry.

Q. Do you plan to stay here after the tournament for a little while? Are you going straight back home?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Oh, no, school starts. I'm not going to have much time. My next tournament is in October. I guess I kind of know what it feels to be cramped for tournaments. I guess some people have tournaments right after the Open, though. It's not that bad.

Q. Where are you playing?

VENUS WILLIAMS: I'm playing in Russia, Germany, Switzerland, and possibly the Netherlands. Who knows.

End of FastScripts….

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