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March 20, 1999

Venus Williams


REVEN OLIVER: First question for Venus.

Q. How do you feel you played and were you concerned about your serve? You doubled twice in the first set.

VENUS WILLIAMS: No, double-fault -- I was actually very happy with my serve. In general, my second serve is very soft, but today it was like 87, 91. That's just unprecedented for me. It's great.

Q. Are you pleased with the way you played overall?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Not really. I think I made too many unforced errors. I didn't attack the short balls as I have been working on in general. I definitely think there's room for improvement.

Q. When you found out about the draw and the fact that you would not play Serena until the final, what was your reaction?

VENUS WILLIAMS: I never saw the draw. Someone told me. I still haven't seen it.

Q. So what is your reaction?

VENUS WILLIAMS: I suppose it's a good thing.

Q. What are your thoughts about the prospect of playing here? Is that something you'd just as soon avoid as much as possible?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Serena and I are both super players. I guess like the best player when we play will win. I've been taking a break recently, so maybe my break wasn't long enough. I was still hitting with Serena. I had to get my practice in, and I was playing doubles. It wasn't really a break. I've been going quite a long time, weeks in a row.

Q. Is there a mixed feeling about the decision not to enter the same tournaments?

VENUS WILLIAMS: We've only played one tournament. I had to defend my title in Oklahoma. Serena says she was going to France. She goes to France, gets to speak French. I was in Oklahoma. That's how that turned out. We really played mostly the same tournaments. We played Sydney, then the Australian Open. We kind of separated. That's the only time we've ever done that. It's the only time we're going to do it this year, too.

Q. How much did winning the Lipton mean to you last year? What do you think of your chances of winning it again this year?

VENUS WILLIAMS: I think it was great. I got to win at home. It's my largest title to date. What was the second part of the question?

Q. Your chances of repeating.

VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, those are great. I just have to believe in myself and keep going. I definitely believe I've improved my game. I'm serving well enough. My second serve is much better. I'm very happy.

Q. Has Serena's game caught yours yet, do you think?


Q. You said you improved your game. In what ways have you improved?

VENUS WILLIAMS: In the past, I had a weak forehand. But I don't have a weak forehand anymore. Sorry, that made me angry because I really worked hard on my forehand. I'm much better. I actually come in a lot more. Today I didn't come in very much. In the past, I wouldn't have even came in that much. That's a great improvement for me. I'm actually able to see the ball better. I play a lot smarter. There's a lot of things I've improved. I think I understand things more.

Q. Are you still the No. 1 Williams sister?

VENUS WILLIAMS: I guess I have the No. 1 ranking in the Williams' family.

Q. Who is more talented?

VENUS WILLIAMS: I suppose y'all have to wait and see. I guess right now I'm on the top for the moment. It could change. I'll have to keep working hard, get motivated by Serena, something, because she's doing great. It's very exciting for me. I love to watch her play, motivate her. It's great.

Q. Could you imagine to be No. 1 and 2 once?

VENUS WILLIAMS: It's been said in the past.

Q. Did your dad bring any signs this year?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Have to ask him. I don't know. I didn't even see him until -- I didn't see it at all. It was odd. I didn't see it. I guess most people look to where their people are sitting at, like their parents, their coaches. I just didn't see it.

Q. How does your father treat you and Serena? Does he always be with one of you?

VENUS WILLIAMS: He travels with both of us. He usually goes to all our tournaments, especially in the US. I think he treats us evenly. I think so.

End of FastScripts....

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