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January 17, 2019

Venus Williams

Melbourne, Victoria, Australia


6-3, 4-6, 6-0

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Another big fight out there to get through. What do you think was the key from you today? Where were you particularly happy with your game?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, just focusing in on the second set -- I mean, sorry, third. Just playing a little bit more aggressively probably. Just converting a little more.

Q. Are you aware that you're 25-1 against French women at the Grand Slams?
VENUS WILLIAMS: No, I was not aware of that.

Q. The only time you lost to one was Nathalie Tauziat in your French Open debut.
VENUS WILLIAMS: I don't remember that.

Q. How impressed does that record make you?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I'm not sure if that means anything, that record. Probably some good tennis at the majors more than anything.

Q. How happy are you with your start of the season so far?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, there's just no easy matches. So feels good to be able to come out on top in these.

Q. Can you look ahead to Simona.
VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, next Saturday or this coming Saturday. I have a couple days to prepare and get ready. But I like to think that I've done all the work before I get to the tournament. It's just about executing it.

Q. What has it been like going through the match preparation and tournament preparation without David, kind of a different setup around you? Has it felt different at all?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, I mean, going into the season, I didn't know what it was going to be like. I think it's been all right, so...

Q. Who is in your team now? Who do you feel traveling with you?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I have a hitting partner this week, Craig Jones, in Auckland, too.

Q. Are you planning on staying without a coach beyond your parents? Do you think sometime during the year you might decide to hire somebody on?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, I'm not sure. We'll see. I'm still playing pretty well, so I can't complain.

Q. You've been on tour for a lot of different No. 1's at the top of the rankings. What makes Simona unique? What stands out to you about her and her game?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, she's very consistent on the court and in her results. So throughout the year she's playing at a really high level. That's what keeps her ranking up.

She is always winning matches, tournaments.

Q. Simona also doesn't have a coach at the moment. She said, in her opinion, it's not possible to play at the top level without one, that eventually she'll get one. What is your take on that?

Q. Do you think kind of not having a concrete coach next to you the whole time, does it matter?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I think everybody's different. For me, I'm doing fine.

Q. What are you happiest with in your game so far this season?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I think I'm just playing really well at the net, hitting some really great volleys. You know, it's one thing to get to the net, it's another thing to finish the point. Volleying isn't as easy as it looks.

Q. Has the court been playing particularly quick this year? Seems like there's been a lot of tiebreaks. How are you feeling it?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I think every court is playing a little bit different. I haven't played a match on any court outside of Margaret Court. I'm not exactly sure yet. But I think they're all playing probably a little bit different, which is pretty typical.

Q. All four of the slams are going to have a different ending to the third set, tiebreak, playing it out. Do you think it's good for them all to have a different way of doing it or would uniformity help fans and people understand?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I don't think I have a huge opinion on that. I think everyone's getting used to this new format here, so... I mean, we'll see how it goes.

Q. The coaching of your parents was mentioned before. What would you say the one thing your dad has brought to you as a tennis player, and same thing for your mom?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, I mean, not just one thing. Pretty much everything. It would be pretty difficult to pick just one.

Q. Okay, a few things.
VENUS WILLIAMS: Well, I think the way my dad was thinking changed the game, so that's pretty huge. Thankfully we got to work with him, be a part of that.

Q. There's a mix of handshakes and hugs at the end of matches. When you go to the net, how do you prepare yourself for a handshake or hug? Are you surprised by the other person's approach?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Honestly, I never think about that. Win, lose, or draw, I try to be even-keeled.

Q. As a Williams family insider, Qai Qai the doll seems to be very popular on Instagram, Twitter, whatever. Does that humor you? Do you understand why people are into this doll?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I'm really into the doll. I love Qai Qai.

Q. What's so good about it?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Because I personally see Qai Qai firsthand and the struggles that she goes through (laughter).

Q. What kind of struggles?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Qai Qai's mom, just forgets about her, so... It's funny to see what Qai Qai goes through. It's pretty cute.

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