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September 5, 1998

Venus Williams

.S. OPEN CHAMPIONSHIP, Flushing Meadows, New York

Q. Were you disappointed today?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Well, I really would have enjoyed to have a match where she could have played to her full ability. I think it would have been good for me.

Q. Did you sense that she was hurting? Could you tell right away?

VENUS WILLIAMS: I could tell she wasn't playing to the best of her ability. I've played her before.

Q. As you look ahead now, how much do you think not getting the kind of preparation you want is going to hurt you?

VENUS WILLIAMS: I can get the preparation on the practice court.

Q. Any comments on Serena's match last night?


Q. Was it painful watching that? You seemed pretty into the match.

VENUS WILLIAMS: It was quite entertaining.

Q. There's a chance you'll play Mary Pierce in the next round. Can you describe what you see in Mary Pierce's game right now, what sort of match-up that might be?

VENUS WILLIAMS: It will be a good match-up, two powerful players playing each other in a Grand Slam. She's playing pretty good tennis. Seems to be focused. I am trying to do the same.

Q. You just mentioned power. Can you talk about that aspect of your game, and do you enjoy that aspect of tennis?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Well, for those who aren't able to generate power, it must be very difficult. I myself have no problem doing that. And I find it an advantage.

Q. Do you enjoy it?


Q. Just having that ability?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Sure. I love it.

Q. Do you enjoy playing the big power players like Lindsay and Pierce or would you rather play someone who mixes it up more?

VENUS WILLIAMS: I think in the end it just really doesn't matter. I think that whoever you play, you're going to play them anyway. You should just be ready for their game. Sometimes the power player, you know what they're going to do. But a different player who might mix it up, they are a little bit more different to play. But in the end, you play the player.

Q. Is there more mental preparation for a different type of player than yourself or for the same type of player as yourself?

VENUS WILLIAMS: I think all the players are different. I think some people have similar games, but in the end we're all different. And I think that it's nice to know how a player plays. But in the end, you should really concentrate on your game most of all.

Q. How far along are you right now? Obviously today was not a test. But in terms of what you've achieved in the first week of the tournament, is your game where you'd like it to be?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Of course, I'd like to play better. I think that's anyone's goal. I would love to play better.

Q. On another subject. You do home study.

VENUS WILLIAMS: No. I'm finished with school. I went to private school.

Q. Did you go to regular classes or take private tutoring?

VENUS WILLIAMS: I went to regular classes.

Q. Do you remember what point you realized that you were able to generate the power you can? How old were you when you realized you could blow someone off the court?

VENUS WILLIAMS: I was always powerful.

Q. How is your knee?


Q. Very good? Is it a hundred percent?


Q. So you're able to go through a full practice and full match with no pain at all, and your mobility is good and all that?


Q. So then this type of match today is probably a positive because you weren't out there that long?


Q. What do you enjoy most about playing tennis on the circuit?

VENUS WILLIAMS: I like to travel, although I think where I live is definitely the best place. But there are differing views. I worked hard all my life to be where I am right now. I think I deserve everything I've gotten because I've worked for it, and it's nice to see.

Q. You feel a lot of satisfaction within yourself?

VENUS WILLIAMS: I feel great.

Q. You played Mary three weeks ago, something like that.

VENUS WILLIAMS: Something like that.

Q. Do you write that match off because of the knee injury?

VENUS WILLIAMS: I feel that I retired from the match.

Q. So you feel like if you were full strength, you probably could have gotten her in the end?

VENUS WILLIAMS: I do feel that I would have won the match. I think toward the end of the second set, I wasn't able to really play. Finally I realized I wasn't going to win in the condition that I was in. So I was forced to retire.

Q. Have you followed the home run chase? Are you aware that McGwire hit his 60th today?

VENUS WILLIAMS: I'm aware of the home run race. I don't follow it. I just think it's news that you have to be aware of that's all around.

Q. Are you enjoying it?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah. I don't think I'll be hitting any home runs, not on the tennis court either, I won't do that.

Q. If given a choice between watching a good men's tennis match and good women's tennis match, what would you do?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Who would I watch?

Q. You pick them, anybody you want.

VENUS WILLIAMS: It just depends. If I got to play, you mean? If I had the opportunity to play the men?

Q. Yeah, if you got to watch yourself against yourself.

VENUS WILLIAMS: That would be a tough match. I would know myself pretty well.

Q. Do you like of watching men's tennis?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah. Sometimes I'd rather watch ladies' tennis.

Q. Why?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Because sometimes I think men's tennis gets a little bit boring. It just depends. Sometimes it's not, sometimes it is. I think most times it's very good.

Q. The other day the basketball broadcaster said with your athletic skills, eye-hand, you could have been a tremendous basketball player. If you had to choose one sport to play besides tennis, what sport do you think that would be?

VENUS WILLIAMS: I don't think I would play. I don't know. I probably would run track. Get to wear nice outfits in that, too.

End of FastScripts….

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