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October 1, 1998

Venus Williams


Q. Before we came, I gather you've been fairly well enjoying yourself since you got here, somewhere new for you to come. What have you been up to, if we can ask?

VENUS WILLIAMS: I've been practicing. We found a Chinese food restaurant. We haven't gone to the Oktoberfest. My mom -- we went to Dachau. My mom went to different places. We stayed home and went to sleep because we like to sleep in the daytime, because it's kind of like nighttime at home. That was it basically. I wanted to go to some of the castles, too, so maybe tomorrow I'll do that.

Q. What about the match today, how do you think you played?

VENUS WILLIAMS: I think I played well. I think sometimes I made too many errors. I didn't always capitalize on the opportunities. But she played differently this time than when she played at The Open. Plus the conditions were different also. It was very windy, so it was just different. But here, there was no wind, and we played more aggressive today, she was hitting the ball harder, so it was a different match.

Q. Next week we could have a possible change, the No. 1 ranking in the women's game. What are your thoughts at the moment on the 1, 2, 3, 4 positions? If there was no ranking, just from what you've seen in the last four months, what would you say?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Well, if I were given the power to place the No. 1 position?

Q. Yes.

VENUS WILLIAMS: Now who do you think you would put there?

Q. After you?

VENUS WILLIAMS: I don't know. I should have to deserve it. That's why I think there's the computer rankings. I don't know. A lot of players have been playing well in the last four months. I played very well in the beginning of the year, and then I wasn't that successful, but I was very consistent. Players like Jana and Arantxa, Lindsay, they came and started playing better, too. It's really tough to say who would be No. 1. Of course, the No. 1 right now is Martina. She's been playing well to keep that position. But next week, I don't know. It really doesn't affect me because I won't be going for that position. I'm trying to get to No. 4 (laughter).

Q. What are your impressions of this tournament as an event? It's a bit different than everything else. Now that they've got the leading women here as well as the men, has it surprised you what kind of tournament it is? Do you think it can develop even further, become more important, perhaps?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Sure. It's a great tournament. It's run a little bit differently from the rest. I think it's a little bit more personal because the amount of people are less. There's 20 people in the beginning, and each day there's less and less. It's a nice thing. I like it.

Q. On something different, in looking to next year, a lot has been spoken about the likes of Sampras, Agassi, Philippoussis, not playing Davis Cup for their country. What is your status going to be next year on playing Fed Cup?

VENUS WILLIAMS: I plan on playing Fed Cup next year. I hope to play at least two rounds. I don't know if Serena is going to play, but it would be nice if we could play. But then we might be a point for singles and doubles, that wouldn't be fair.

Q. But you are making yourself available for Fed Cup?

VENUS WILLIAMS: I hope to be available. Definitely I'm going to play once at least.

Q. I'm working on a story on new rules in tennis. What is your opinion about just one serve, and the net a little bit higher?

VENUS WILLIAMS: I don't quite understand what you're saying.

Q. What do you think if they would change the rules, just give only one serve and do the net a little bit higher, to change the game? Would you like that or wouldn't you agree with that?

VENUS WILLIAMS: I like having second serves.

Q. So you think it's okay the way it is? You wouldn't like to change it?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Oh, I like it right now the way it is. I wouldn't want to change it.

Q. You were talking earlier about the difference in conditions between here and Flushing Meadows. Where do you prefer playing tennis more, indoors or outdoors, where there's no variables?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Well, outdoors I just feel like I have more room to run, more space. But indoors, there are no variables. There's no outside conditions. It's a difference. I like the hard courts inside, Supreme, doesn't matter. I grew up on it.

Q. Where do you think you're a more dangerous player?


Q. I know we haven't finished the year yet, so there could be more things to come. If you were to pick one thing, one match, one moment out of this year so far that you'll remember most of all, what would it be?

VENUS WILLIAMS: I don't know. There's a lot of things, like when I won the mixed doubles in Australia, that was nice. When Serena and I won the doubles in Oklahoma, I won the singles, then we won the doubles, that was real nice. Winning the Lipton was really nice, because I had a tough finals match where I could have lost it, so that was real nice. There was a lot of nice things happening to me. Sometimes not so nice things, like bad calls. But I can get through this.

Q. We were asking Arantxa about how she thought your game had developed and everything else had developed since you made your professional debut by playing against her in Oakland in '94, which was a very tough match, of course. Arantxa was of the opinion - obviously you have more experience - but she didn't think your game had changed at all, it was just the same as it was in '94. What do you say about that?

VENUS WILLIAMS: I believe that generally I'm the same player, the same person. From that point generally was my base, whatever I had in '94. And I think only from there, I've improved. Basically I have the same strokes, and of course my serve is better, things of that nature. In a way, she's correct.

Q. Has the game proved to be as pleasant to be involved in as you imagined when you first went on court in Oakland? Has your career so far turned out the way you hoped it would?

VENUS WILLIAMS: I try to -- I try not to take things too seriously. When it starts to get too serious, it's for none at all. I need to have a nice career, just like everyone else: goes to college, has a nice career of their choice. This is my career choice for this moment in time. I have to do my best, have my fun, then move on.

End of FastScripts….

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