November 18, 1999
MADISON SQUARE GARDEN, NEW YORK CITY
p>Q. Venus, you seemed very happy after the match?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I was just -- my goal was to play better than yesterday. As long as
that happened, that was okay; I didn't lose serves. I didn't take any opportunities from
myself by losing a serve. Naturally, if I didn't break serve, okay. Theoretically, you're
not supposed to break serve. Everyone is supposed to hold because the server has the
advantage. So, I only had one break, but that's okay.
Q. Are you thinking about track and field as your next sport?
VENUS WILLIAMS: No. I didn't feel like going around (laughs).
Q. Do you think that gave you a psychological advantage, that you're not tired at all?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Not that I'm aware of, I don't think so. I just played a little better
at the tiebreak, and it seemed like she broke down a little bit under the pressure. She
just missed some shots. You can't do that in a tiebreaker because it doesn't go to deuce.
Q. Have you practiced that jump before?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I haven't jumped the net since I was so little.
Q. That was just a spontaneous thought there?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah. See, I was going around. It seemed like such a long ways. She was
going to beat me around the net; so, I was going to jump it.
Q. Have you ever done it before?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Yes, but at the end of the match, to shake the person's hand, just jump
Q. You said you were going to reward yourself with shopping, where are you going
tomorrow, to get more rings?
VENUS WILLIAMS: No, no. I'm not allowed to buy jewelry until next March.
Q. Are you still on a furniture kick?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I like interior design in general; so usually a nice piece is good for
Q. With Serena gone, do you feel like your homework is done? Do you feel like the major
obstacles are out of the way for you?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Homework is not done. I wish.
VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, I suppose so, because I'm not all stressed out because I have so
much homework. It's not done, but it's not like I'm behind, to catch up on the two weeks
that I missed. It's like a bad feeling when you have in the back of your mind that you
have to do something and you actually don't have the time to do it; that's when it's not
easy. But I'm feeling good now. I can concentrate on my tennis.
Q. Do you enjoy the sibling rivalry?
VENUS WILLIAMS: We don't have a rivalry.
Q. There's no rivalry?
VENUS WILLIAMS: No.
Q. Are you playing better because you played last week?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I guess so.
Q. In what way?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I just played regular tennis last week, not anything extraordinary. But
I'm doing my best to improve every match. This is the last match of the season -- or the
last tournament, and I want to work on things that I'm working on in practice, just to
have momentum for next year so I can come off the year with a good feeling, and just feel
like I'm going to start off the next year with the same -- the same things.
Q. Does the title mean a lot to you?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Any title means a lot to me. Because, really, when you're in a
tournament, it doesn't matter which one, you really don't want to lose. At least, I don't.
Q. Is this title more important?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I can't say it is because I just -- any tournament, I like winning a
tournament. I like my name -- people saying "Venus wins." I like seeing the
ranking go up. I like all those things. So I can't say any title is more important,
because I like to win them all.
Q. Instead of rivalry, what about comparisons, is there any comparison?
VENUS WILLIAMS: We're different players. And a lot of it has to do with body
structures. I'm so tall and she's more compact.
Q. What part of your game do you think you need to improve to take Lindsay and Martina
VENUS WILLIAMS: My Grand Slam tennis, basically. I haven't been doing too well in them,
and that's really where you can move ahead.
Q. So you think it's more mental than a part of your game that you need to work on?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Sure, definitely. Just got to -- when it comes down to doing it, taking
the next step, I'm going to have to take that step. I can't be moving backwards.
Q. Do you feel like your serve was really on today?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I've been working on my serve, yeah. My serve goes up and down a lot.
Q. It seemed to really take her off of her game?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah. She wasn't returning so well today. I can't exactly pinpoint why.
Usually, she returns well. When I played her in Munich -- maybe it's the court, too,
because it's faster and lower. The ball just goes a little lower, I guess because there
isn't as much cushion under it; so the court is much harder. So I think that had a lot to
do with it. I'm not returning my serve; so, I don't know.
Q. You said something last night that I didn't understand. You said that you were able
to stay in class longer because your mom and Serena were on their way home?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, because it's one of my most important classes --.
Q. Why were you able to stay longer?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Because I was going to have to play doubles that night; so I took a
Q. Do you feel responsibility for playing tennis (inaudible) consider that at such a
VENUS WILLIAMS: No, because when I'm out there playing, I play for me, because I want
to play tennis. I want the title for me, or whatever is there, whatever I'm playing for.
In general, I think everyone plays for themselves. And naturally there's other motives,
also, or other things that can rub off on you. But in the end, even Arthur Ashe, I think
they played themselves because I think they wanted to be there. I don't think they made a
decision to tennis because they wanted to do it for black people. They played it because
they wanted to play for themselves.
Q. Does this experience remind you of when you come to the US Open? Do you like coming
to New York?
VENUS WILLIAMS: It just seems like I'm always in New York. I don't know. It just seems
like that, because the US Open passes so slow. I think it's all the traffic that just gets
Q. So has this been more enjoyable or less, or how does it compare being in the City
for this tournament, as opposed to the US Open?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I think it's a more enjoyable because I get here late. I got here late
Tuesday night. So I'll leave Sunday night. I'm assuming that I'll be in the final; that's
all I can think. (Laughs). But my ticket is arranged for Sunday night; so I'll be quick.
It's different. It's cold. But it gives me reason to buy a jacket.
VENUS WILLIAMS: I just felt that I was an extremely tall player and extremely powerful.
I felt that after that match, at least if I lost, I should have just been striking the
ball; so after that, I changed, and things haven't been the same since then.
Q. You've been playing harder since then?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Yes, I've just actually been going for it a little more, especially on
the serve. And I felt that I deserved to win sometimes, too. I felt that sometimes my mom
should be happy, too.
Q. Do you think next time you play, your mom is going to be happy instead of Martina's
VENUS WILLIAMS: We've played twice since that time. My mom's been happy, I think. I
have a good opportunity against her. It looked like she's playing better. She was playing
nicely in Philadelphia. I didn't see any of her matches, a little bit when I was passing
by. At least when I go out there, I'm going to play well. I'm going to go for it.
Q. What did you think of the enthusiasm of the crowd?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I think once you play well, when you're playing well, when it's a good
match, they are really into it. But when it's going quick, they are more quiet. So they
are quiet until it gets close; that's how the crowd is. They want it to be close.
Q. What did you say to the man that you handed the autographed ball to?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Thanks. I don't remember. Probably just talking about nothing, small
Q. Are you really on top of your game? You seem very confident?
VENUS WILLIAMS: No, I'm not on top of my game. Not in any way, no.
VENUS WILLIAMS: Yes, because she's never had a win against me, and it's not fun losing
to the same person all the time. So she really wanted to play better against me, or at
least to win or win a set, something, so bringing out her best game.
Q. We understand you're going to be on the Hollywood Squares with Serena. Now, did you
get your own square or did you have to share one?
VENUS WILLIAMS: We shared a square.
Q. Was it fun?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I'm thinking we probably did a bad job. We're not comedians.
Q. What did they ask you?
VENUS WILLIAMS: They ask you all the questions that you will not know the answer to.
Just -- I don't understand it. It seems like there should be a subject before they do the
game with each -- Tic-Tac-Toe with each one. It should be a subject. But they just ask
questions at random, and if you don't get the answers before you go out there, you just --
most of them you aren't going to know. For instance, I was born in 1980, and they asked
me: Which movie did Molly Ringwald star in with a lot of teenagers? And I don't know any
things like that. And a lot of things that -- who was the fourth President of the United
States? I don't know. And even -- what sport did teenagers participate in -- what's the
physical activities people in Texas participate in? I don't know. What? I don't know. See,
it's questions like that, how can you know the answer? It makes you look bad. It's not
fair. They should ask questions that are reasonable. But other than that, it was okay. I
felt highly uneducated?
Q. What square did you get?
VENUS WILLIAMS: We had six different squares, or five.
Q. When is it going to air; do you know?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I don't know. I probably won't get a chance to see it, anyway. I'm not
sure if we have cable.
Q. You're not sure if you have cable?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I don't think so.
Q. You don't watch much TV then, I take it?
VENUS WILLIAMS: (Shakes head.)
End of FastScripts