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August 30, 1997

Venus Williams

Flushing Meadows, New York

Q. I was wondering why, Serena, you didn't shake the umpire's hand when it was done?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I don't know.

Q. No reason why?

SERENA WILLIAMS: A lot of people don't shake the umpire's hands when they lose. They might be thinking about something else. Actually, my mind was on something else.

Q. A little while ago you told us what you like the most about the sport of tennis and being a tennis pro. Could you take a moment and say what is the one thing, except for the travel, that you like the least about being a tennis pro?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Doing laundry. Besides losing, I suppose. That is all right too. Doing laundry.

Q. Talk about this afternoon's experience.

VENUS WILLIAMS: Problem is that we really expected to win, but we hadn't practiced. So one and one subtracts -- didn't added up. I figured out too late, though, but it is okay. We both learned.

Q. How come you hadn't practiced?

VENUS WILLIAMS: We thought we had it together, I guess.

SERENA WILLIAMS: We usually practice our singles game and hit groundstrokes, so it was more like we were playing singles instead of doubles.

Q. You both came up to the net a lot? I mean, is that something you normally do?

SERENA WILLIAMS: When we play doubles, I really don't believe in staying back. A couple times when I stayed back, changing up, but I mean, all the time I play, I usually come to the net. And actually when I watch people stay back, it is like, "Why are they doing that."

Q. Were you tired from yesterday match?

VENUS WILLIAMS: No, wasn't tired.

Q. It was kind of late when it ended?

VENUS WILLIAMS: No, it wasn't too late. It was about 9, I guess, that is not late. Not to me. It had nothing to do with that.

Q. That was no factor in today's match?


Q. Serena, you were originally going to play on the old Center Court; then you got to play on the new Center Court. Your first time on there, what did you think about that?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I played on it at the Arthur Ashe tennis thing and Kids Day. It was really nice. A court is a court. The stadium is really nice and the whole area around it is really nice, so, yeah --

Q. I guess there were more people there the last time?


Q. You guys ever watch other women's teams play?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Not generally because they usually done put them on the big courts. We really, at any tournament, can't go on the outside courts because there are so many people and they don't really show it on TV, so...

Q. So it is hard to get a feel for your opponents most of the time?

VENUS WILLIAMS: No. But we just don't want that much doubles.

Q. Venus, have you looked at your draw?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, I have seen.

Q. What do you think?

VENUS WILLIAMS: I think I have someone to play in the next round.

Q. I am sure you haven't played her before. Has anyone scouted her for you?


Q. So you are just going to go out there and play your game?


Q. Seeing that there aren't that many seeded players on your side, does that make you step back and think a little about "I have got a real good shot now?"

VENUS WILLIAMS: Not really. I really don't try to look ahead of the draw too much. If I play a seed or if I don't play a seed, I am still going to have to play -- I am still going to play a person who is going to want to win.

Q. Normally do you just go out and play your own game, you don't scout opponents?

VENUS WILLIAMS: No, we don't.

Q. Compare your game now to where it was a couple of weeks ago, just how you feel about yourself?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Couple weeks ago I don't think I was playing as well as I could, especially in the matches, because I have definitely improved over times since I wasn't playing well in matches. So, I had to improve these things and I got some help from my family, my coach, things have improved in matches.

Q. Was there anything in particular in between the last time you played a match and the U.S. Open your first match that you were told or that you adjusted that helped you the last few days?

VENUS WILLIAMS: I don't understand the question.

Q. In between when you lost to Anke in Manhattan Beach and your first round match here, was there anything you picked up upon of your own game that helped you improve upon for this week?

VENUS WILLIAMS: When I played Anke I really wasn't getting the first serves in. I wasn't returning well. I was hitting a lot of short balls, took advantage of that. I was hitting a lot of balls to her, short balls that were to her, you can't help, but just take advantage of it. And, also she was attacking my forehand, which was very weak at that time. Had a lot of spin on it. Like a claycourter or something, and just wasn't a good thing. So I had to adjust that and just get through it like I regularly would do. And, I think this time, when I played her, she expected me to have the weak forehand again which is not one of my characteristics regularly. And I didn't have that this time.

Q. So you are stepping in more to the forehand or it is more just hitting through, are you?

VENUS WILLIAMS: More just hitting through it.

Q. Serena, are you really looking forward to the day when you play a Tour singles match?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I am looking forward to it pretty much.

Q. Any idea when it might be?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I think I am playing two tournaments in November and one in December -- two in December.

Q. Apart from the U.S. Open, do you get the opportunity to be together at other tournaments, the two of you?


Q. How do you two play together at home? I mean, when you spar, both of you are playing against each other?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I didn't understand.

VENUS WILLIAMS: What happens when we practice at home? Do we hit against each over? What is the arrangement?

SERENA WILLIAMS: When we practice at home we don't usually hit with each other. My dad has hires hitters for us. We hit against different people or sometimes we will hit against each other like two-on-ones. But on the road, I don't think it is that much of a difference, no.

End of FastScripts….

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