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November 17, 1999

Venus Williams


Q. Did she change something in the second set or did you lose your concentration or what happened to turn it?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Well, I just remember the match that Serena played against Conchita at the US Open, also, and it's like the same type. Serena lost the first set; so Serena started out a little slower than what I did. But she hits a lot of balls back. She was definitely hitting the ball better than what she usually hits in other matches; I don't know why. Usually she -- the match against Serena was not too long ago. She hit a lot of floaters, never really produced so much power. Plus, she hits a lot of short balls, but they are not the kind of short balls that sit right here; you put them away. They are so short, they are below the net and you have to kind of lift it up. So you don't have so much momentum if you're coming forward on it. Every time I came forward on it, she just hit some nice passing shots down the line. I knew she was going there, but I didn't get over there enough of the time.

Q. Did you expect to have the same trouble your sister had?

VENUS WILLIAMS: No. I expected to come out -- I was playing pretty good. Serena, that day, she was really playing not so well. She was just fighting herself the whole time. It was so hot, we're all sitting in the stands, "Serena, please do something." Today I didn't expect to go through the same trials.

Q. Venus, did you expect as tough a match as this, or did you expect after the first set that second set was going to be a little easier?

VENUS WILLIAMS: No, I didn't expect such a tough match. I haven't gone three matches in a long time. I've had one three-set match since the Open. Usually, when I get in a tough second set, I'm able to pull it out. So I was disappointed to lose that second set most of all, because usually, maybe I'll lose serve once or twice, but I find a way to get back in it, but that time, I just failed.

Q. Did you have problems with that soft, slice serve?

VENUS WILLIAMS: No. I think sometimes she would just sneak a serve in there that was about 50 miles an hour, and that's what I would have to watch for, and she'd just slide it in. And it's so low and I'm not ready for it and I just miss it, because who expects in professional tennis to get a serve at 50? So you don't expect that and then when it comes -- so especially when I was trying to break and trying to really move ahead in the match, I was saying, "Okay, Venus, watch out for this serve," because when it came, I was never ready very much.

Q. Do you ever see yourself doing that?


Q. I know that Serena was here as your sister, but as a competitor, as a US Open champion who is no longer in the draw, is that something that's good for you?

VENUS WILLIAMS: It's good for everyone, I guess. They don't have to worry about fighting against Serena. And I don't have to worry about fighting against Serena. She's tough. Little sisters are mean. But that opens the draw up for Lindsay. I'm sure she wasn't looking forward to playing Serena. That gives her a good chance. And yeah, I miss her, because my mom called me and said Serena was coming home. And I was actually in school; so I took a later flight so I could stay at my whole class. That was the only good part about it. I didn't have to leave class early.

Q. What about playing in doubles? Are you disappointed that you're not going to be able to play?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Well, Serena and I, we felt we should be Doubles Team of the Year. We've only had eight tournaments on our record, and we've won out of those eight, there's two Grand Slams. And we don't -- we just don't play very much. We thought for sure we would take this title home. And it's always fun playing doubles because we just -- we just laugh the whole time, whether we're winning or losing. Well, sometimes it's a tough game also. Maybe sometimes tougher for us than singles; doubles is. But yeah, we felt we were going to win, so it's a little bit of a minus.

Q. It somehow appears that you missed some easy put-aways, and it seems that some people think that's because you're trying to make every shot a spectacular shot. Do you have any comment on that?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Not that I'm trying -- it's 50 percent true. Not that I'm not trying to make every shot a spectacular shot; it's just I want to hit a winner. I don't want them to get it, and I go for the line sometimes. That can be bad. My dad says, "Venus, don't go for the line. Venus, don't go for the line." And I get in the match, and I go for the line. It's my fault, all of it.

Q. (Inaudible)?

VENUS WILLIAMS: They called it out. It was out. I served that point. I worked hard for it. I should have hit a passing shot; I didn't. I felt I hit quite a few balls that were on the line very close to it, and they were on the line; they kept calling it out. So yeah, it was out.

Q. How do you actually look at that match? Do you look at that match and feel pleased that you pulled yourself out of it, or do you feel annoyed with yourself that you had to go so long?

VENUS WILLIAMS: I don't appreciate that I would put myself through that. But I did come out on the top. That goes on the record. Naturally, there are some things I want to have to work on. I don't want to have to go through that again the next match. But sometimes you're going to have a tough match. Sometimes you can't avoid that, and it's knowing how to pull them out that's most important. Earlier this year, in the middle of the year, I was suffering from not being able to win my tough matches, which is not like me. So now I'm doing better with that. Sometimes it happens.

Q. Have you made any plans for the off-season? Have you set any goals for next year?

VENUS WILLIAMS: I can't make plans for the off-season.

Q. Any goals for next year in anything you want to work on?

VENUS WILLIAMS: I want my serve to be more consistent. I'm working on that. And there's a lot of things I'm working on, but they are all small things that -- they make a big difference. If your car doesn't have a starter, it's so small, but it's not going to start. Just some things like that so that I can get to the next level.

Q. How is Serena?

VENUS WILLIAMS: I actually haven't talked to her. It's tough to catch up with her. And she didn't bother to call me, either. I guess she's busy.

Q. I thought she was in bed?

VENUS WILLIAMS: What time is it? No, probably on the couch. But she probably fell asleep by now, too. I think she's okay. I'll leave her a message.

Q. Do you think she's going to play the Australian Open?


Q. Are you?

VENUS WILLIAMS: I think so. We like it. It's fun. Thank you very much.

End of FastScripts….

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