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August 26, 1999

Venus Williams


Q. Why was the second set so much more difficult than the first?

VENUS WILLIAMS: I think she played better. I think my first serve percentage went down a lot. And also I wasn't able to capitalize on my break opportunities because that set could have been more or less 6-2 instead of 6-4. I think when she did get her second serves in very deep, they had some pace on it, so, I didn't want to back up any to give myself more time so, I just stayed right there.

Q. Did the rain delay and the waiting have any impact on your concentration?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Not at all. Come out right away, no problem. I am used to rain delays; that is part of professional life, I think.

Q. A lot of players have been commenting about the slowness of the surface.

VENUS WILLIAMS: I just don't see a difference. Every court is almost the same to me. It is great.

Q. Last night you said you almost had your A Game. How do you feel about today?

VENUS WILLIAMS: I think I was playing well today also because -- most of all I am doing what I am working on; what I want to do more of in the future, coming in and just closing out my opportunities on breakpoints. There were two or three games where I had breakpoints and I did not -- actually two games on her serve, so, that is once I get that breakpoint, just to close it out quickly; and moving forward. As long as I am doing that, I am going to be happy with my game.

Q. Looks like you are working a lot of different shots; not like you are just slugging away to win points. Like you said, you are coming into net a lot. Have you been working on that?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Well, I can play quite few different points defensively a whole match. I can slug away, just overpower someone. I can come in if I wanted to. On a rare basis I can serve and volley. Right now, I am not ready to serve and volley, but it could happen. But definitely I have quite a few things I can do in my game, and it is great when you have a game where you can improvise.

Q. How did you spend your rain delay today?

VENUS WILLIAMS: I was here practicing indoors. I went back and they called me came here. It was still raining. I went back; they called me. Finally I got to play. So it was back and forth.

Q. Do you have a preference over who you play next? Monica or Amanda?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Not really. Usually I just go for the higher ranked player. But both are playing well, two separate games, and Monica just came off of a final in Canada, but she just came off an injury. She will be feeling okay, I guess, I am not sure. But whoever wins.

Q. Have you recently changed your racket?


Q. How do you feel about the draw in the US Open?

VENUS WILLIAMS: I feel great. I am happy. I am prepared to compete.

Q. What about Serena being on the opposite end of the bracket?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Just have to -- we can't be together in everything. We usually are, but in tennis sometimes we are kind of separate.

Q. Is she here watching you?

VENUS WILLIAMS: No, she is at home.

Q. Did you notice that sign for you that those girls were holding up?

VENUS WILLIAMS: "Venus rocks," yes. (laughter).

Q. Venus, what does it mean to you to have your father there in the front row? Are you aware of his presence the whole time while you are playing?

VENUS WILLIAMS: I think during a tougher stage of a match; that is when you look over and you hear: Come on, let's do it, things like that. But most of all, I know that he has done what he can and when it is time for me to play the match that is when it is time for me to show that I have learned something. So it is great to have your parents there. Sometimes there have been matches when Serena are playing at the same time. My mom and dad are there, I was own my own, and she was owe her own; they are going back an forth (laughs) but it has always been good times.

Q. When you look back on 1999 up to this point of the season, where would you rate the year for yourself? The French Open was a disappointment. You set yourself some pretty high goals and targets. How do you feel about it?

VENUS WILLIAMS: I think I have done okay this year. Definitely, in the Grand Slams, haven't done what I would have expected. French Open was definitely the most dismal of them all, almost. They were all pretty dismal no matter where -- I still lost, so I think I am doing okay. I am moving forward slowly, but surely. It really -- the results really count in the Grand Slams because in the other tournaments, I have done well, have four titles this year, but in the Slams is where you accumulate the most points; that is where I have to really focus in on.

Q. In one sense is that a bit of a change of thinking because didn't seem that long ago where you were really bursting to move up ahead very quickly and you are saying you are taking it more slowly now?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Not that I am taking it more slowly, I am just moving slowly. I don't want to go fast, really. It is just that at this point, points come off and then sometimes you can add some; sometimes you can't. Where I really do my adding is at the Grand Slams more than anything, gaining points. I want to win a Slam. So it is fun.

Q. If you were to end the year at No. 3 - granted, Steffi is going to be coming off the computer, so you are moving up - would 3 satisfy you or not?

VENUS WILLIAMS: I think it is a logical place, especially if I am not going to play a lot at the end of the year so only so much I will be able to do. But it will set me up for good position for next year, just moving forward. I just have to realize that other people ahead of me have more points to defend than what I do and I can only do better.

End of FastScripts….

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