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September 10, 1999

Venus Williams

U.S. OPEN, Flushing Meadows, New York City

WTA: Questions for Venus.

Q. Can you talk about your injury in the third set? You seemed to cramp or something.

VENUS WILLIAMS: Unfortunately, I was unable to close it out. I didn't take my opportunities. I had quite a few opportunities and breakpoints. She played some nice shots. I played some nice shots. It was a good match.

Q. Was it fatigue?

VENUS WILLIAMS: I guess cramping is just fatigue, or you're sick. I don't think I drank enough water either.

Q. Have you ever cramped before?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Years ago in Australia, it was super hot and I didn't drink enough water.

Q. Do you remember when?


Q. No, do you remember when?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah. It was in Sydney in 1998.

Q. You lost a lot of speed on your serve about midway through the second set. Is that when you started to feel not very comfortable?

VENUS WILLIAMS: No. I just lost a lot of speed on my serve in the middle of the second set. I definitely was feeling pretty good at that point.

Q. What was the problem then?


Q. Do you feel like if you hadn't gotten that cramp, you know, kind of the cards were in your favor this year?

VENUS WILLIAMS: What can you say about "wouldn't have" or "shouldn't have"? I should have just taken my opportunities earlier so I wouldn't have had to have been out there at that point. That's just too bad.

Q. Did you feel the cramping coming on or only at that moment when we saw you sort of pull up?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, when I was trying to hit some serves, when I had the foot fault, it was just pretty tough. Every time I would push down, you know, have to use my leg, especially since I'm a tall player, I can't stand up high, I can't make shots like that, I have to get down. That was tough.

Q. Did the foot fault get into your concentration on those serves?

VENUS WILLIAMS: No. I've foot faulted before. I was okay at that point. I wasn't tight or nervous or anything. In the middle of the third set, just been playing so many points that you're ready to hit.

Q. Do you think you cramped only because it was physically tough, or do you think you cramped because you were stressed?

VENUS WILLIAMS: I definitely think it was physical because we were both doing all types of running. We were just doing all types of running. I was moving her; she was moving me. There was really no break.

Q. Did you ever get to a point in the third set where you thought she was tired?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, definitely. I thought she was tired.

Q. What were the signs?

VENUS WILLIAMS: I'm sure she was tired. She was breathing hard, struggling to get shots.

Q. When you went up 3-2 in the third set, you could see that she was hitting long on her shots, really wasn't that much punch, looked like she was basically dying on her foot. Did you feel at that point it was time to take control of the match right there?

VENUS WILLIAMS: I was definitely feeling confident off the ground to the very last shot. I was definitely feeling good about it. I just didn't capitalize. Hit a lot of short balls I could have came in on, things like that.

Q. How about the match up until that point? You were really going at each other. Is that the way you normally play?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Most times. It just depends on how I play, if I get crazy. Like in the first set, I didn't play well at all. Just depends on how I play.

Q. What do you think of tomorrow's match?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Well, hopefully Serena definitely will do better than what I did two years ago. But it's under totally different circumstances because Serena has a lot more to work with, I would say, than what I did at that time.

Q. What did Serena say to you when you came off the court?

VENUS WILLIAMS: She said, "Nice job."

Q. You obviously know your sister's game better than anyone. Coming off of Martina, what kind of a match do you expect tomorrow?

VENUS WILLIAMS: I expect both of them to go out there and go for it because it's the title at stake. I think they're both going to go out there swinging. I know Serena will, and I guess Martina will just do her regular thing.

Q. Did you two meet in the locker room before you went on and after she came off?


Q. What did you say to each other?

VENUS WILLIAMS: I wanted my brush.

Q. You wanted your brush?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah. She took my brush.

Q. What was your emotional state of mind coming to play your semi after watching one that involved your sister as opposed to someone else playing the semi?

VENUS WILLIAMS: I was expecting to do a little bit better than what I did. Just have to wait for another opportunity once again.

Q. Is this the most disappointing loss of your career?

VENUS WILLIAMS: No. I've had some terrible, terrible losses. This is pretty disappointing, too, but.

Q. What did you think of her get on the next-to-last point? Can you appreciate it now or then?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Definitely. It just kind of hit the frame and just kind of skidded and kept going. It was just, "I'll hit the shot, it's probably going to go out," but it just went in. You just get those sometimes. Not too much I could do about it. I thought it was going to go out. She just lunged at it. Normally, that type of shot would go wide, long, but it went in.

Q. Is there anything that you'll say to Serena, kind of a scouting report for her? Anything you think you could tell her that would help her?

VENUS WILLIAMS: I will just tell her to play hard. Serena has played Martina so many times, not as much as I have, but a lot. She's been at a lot of matches I've played against her. She knows what she's doing.

Q. How much more special would it have been to be able to play your sister?

VENUS WILLIAMS: That would have been super.

Q. Do you expect Serena to be a little more motivated because Martina beat you today?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Well, now she's playing for two people. Hopefully, I gave Martina a good workout today.

Q. She's a good competitor. Do you think in any way it's easier for her to play tomorrow without playing you?


Q. No, Serena. Do you think it's at all easier for her to play Martina rather than you?

VENUS WILLIAMS: I think she would have much rather that I win.

Q. For family reasons, of course. But in terms of motivation for her, just wanting to beat an opponent, do you think it might be easier for her tomorrow?

VENUS WILLIAMS: I don't know. No matter who Serena plays, me or anyone else, she wants to pull in the win. She's angry, even if she's playing against me, if she's missing shots. So it doesn't make a difference.

Q. I asked Serena would she put any premium on luck at all.


Q. Premium, any value at all on luck in these matches.


Q. Luck.


Q. I reminded her of what Patrick Rafter said, that you need luck to win Grand Slam events. She kind of dismissed that fact. Do you have that same attitude?

VENUS WILLIAMS: No, I don't believe in luck.

Q. What do you mean, you don't believe in luck? If everybody is equally as good, a net cord here, a bad call here, an experienced player like even John McEnroe saying that you need luck --?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Well, if it all came down to luck, I would lay in bed every morning. I wouldn't get up and start practicing. It wasn't luck that Martina won the match. Everyone has the right to believe in what they want. I personally don't believe in luck. Everything that comes comes for a reason. That reason is hard work or something else. I don't believe things just happen because the wind blows and luck just lands on you.

Q. Have you talked to your dad yet?

VENUS WILLIAMS: No. I haven't seen him yet.

Q. How do you think he's taking this?

VENUS WILLIAMS: I guess pretty good. He's 50 percent got to the finals, so.

Q. Was it distracting losing your beads at the end?

VENUS WILLIAMS: No, not at all. Usually not too many come out, just four or so. Not too many usually come out.

Q. What did you change after the first set? What did you tell yourself going into the second?

VENUS WILLIAMS: The first set, she played some good shots. She would hit the ball away from me and I'd hit it right back to her which made it easy for her to win points. The second set, I just started really moving the ball around a lot more.

End of FastScripts....

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