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June 28, 2000

Venus Williams


MODERATOR: Good afternoon. Venus Williams. Who would like to start?

Q. That could potentially have been a very tough match, but you got out on top of her and kind of ran away with it?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Sure. I played her before. Each time it's different. Sometimes the match is a little bit tough, sometimes it's very easy. Today could go either way. But I think the most important thing is I served a lot better than what I did in the last match. My serve was there for me the whole time.

Q. How much of the change to serving and volleying more that you're doing and your sister is doing is related just to the surface or is this something you want to do all the time?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, I think it's something we want to do the whole time because we have such large serves that when the ball is floating, it's much easier just to end the point than to get in the rally again. Hopefully this will be a change. Of course, you have to serve-and-volley at Wimbledon. You just have to get that mindframe moving forward. We want to keep this something in our game. I want to.

Q. On hard courts, as well?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Yes. On hard court, it's similar to grass. It's very fast. The clay, you still have to hit a lot of balls no matter what.

Q. It would seem the natural thing for both of you to be doing.


Q. Is that something you feel real comfortable with, getting more comfortable with?

VENUS WILLIAMS: I'm getting more and more comfortable just in the past week. I've never in the past liked serve-and-volleying so much. I relied so much on my groundstrokes. I'm getting more comfortable with it. I'm even starting to like it. If you start liking something, you start doing it more.

Q. Is there a major adjustment to serving on grass for you?

VENUS WILLIAMS: No. If anything, my serve is a lot better on grass because it's just flying through there. It's to my advantage, but unfortunately my opponent's disadvantage. If anything, the only adjustment is the grass court.

Q. With a game under your belt, how do you assess your chances?

VENUS WILLIAMS: I feel very good. I just need to go into every match serious as possible, definitely cut down the unforced errors.

Q. Were you aware of how quickly Serena's match was over?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah. It was unbelievable. I don't know what happened. "Serena, what happened?" I had a practise court at 12:30. I came off. My dad said, "I'm going over to see Serena." I went in the locker room, had to go back out, "Daddy." The match was finished. I couldn't believe it. I heard the second set was about 12 minutes.

Q. Family record?

VENUS WILLIAMS: I think I've had one in 30 minutes.

Q. With whom?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Gala Leon Garcia, second round at the US Open, 1997 (quick response - smiling).

Q. What court?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Louis Armstrong.

Q. We were talking with Serena earlier about John McEnroe's comments. She said she watched him on television saying that while he thought you were great players, you needed to learn some humility. She said she didn't think that was very fair, that she thinks you're polite, give your opponents credit. Do you have any feelings on it?

VENUS WILLIAMS: I believe that Serena and I are very polite, because that's the way our parents taught us. I don't believe in any situation that we've never been polite, gracious when it was necessary or unnecessary. But I believe also that most of the time when Serena and I lose a match it's because we beat ourselves, not because the other player beat us. I've been beaten about four times and there was nothing I could do, wave the white flag. But most of the other times, I've beaten myself, unforced errors. That's not only the case with me, but with other players also. The player who makes the more unforced errors usually loses the match. Sometimes with Serena and I, it's unnecessary. I think Serena and I have great personalities.

Q. Who were the four players, and which matches?

VENUS WILLIAMS: I was beaten once by I believe Sonya Jeyaseelan.

Q. Where was that?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Last year in Amelia Island. Van Roost one year in Filderstadt. I just couldn't do anything. Once by Davenport, where she just beat me that day, not where I beat myself that day. I believe once by Spirlea.

Q. Where was that?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Last year, Philadelphia. Davenport played too well.

Q. Where was Spirlea?

VENUS WILLIAMS: 1997 in Philadelphia. Those are the four times where I recall the player -- just what could I do, winner, ace, angle. On those type of days, you just have to clap your hands.

Q. With the recent coaching changes that Jennifer Capriati and Mary Pierce have made, there's been a fair amount of talk about having family members, and fathers in particular, as your coach. What's the best thing about having your dad as a coach? You can talk to us; no one is listening. Have you ever said, "Gee, I wish dad wasn't my coach"? Did you ever have any anger towards him?

VENUS WILLIAMS: I think at any point sometimes people feel like you want to change coaches. But if I change my dad as a coach, I can't think of anyone else that I would want to get or that I could get along with for more than two weeks. It wouldn't be a good idea for me to change because I get bored easy, and my dad understands that. We have the same personality. He knows how to work with me. He knows how you to work with Serena. I don't think anyone else would quite understand that at this point.

Q. He said when you were in elementary school that the teachers complained about you, that you weren't paying attention. You said you were bored. Does that go back then?

VENUS WILLIAMS: They would say I was reading too many books in class, not paying attention to the lesson, that I could do a lot better, but I daydreamed too much. I got through it.

Q. But he said that you said you learned all that they were teaching already.

VENUS WILLIAMS: It was pretty simplistic, especially in elementary school. I was never able to excel in math. After a while I stopped trying. In everything else, I was excellent.

Q. Do you ever think about maybe adding someone to coach you who has more of a tennis background?

VENUS WILLIAMS: No, no. My dad is a great coach. All of our losses, I can never blame on my dad. I would definitely blame on myself as a bad student.

Q. Normally with people with two close personalities clash. Do you ever have a row with him?

VENUS WILLIAMS: No, because we weren't taught to be that way. We were just taught to pay attention, to listen, to be quiet. Naturally you voice your opinion at times. Usually I just stay quiet, try to listen. It really turns out best that way. Basically that's how it goes.

Q. How does he mix things up with the coaching to keep you interested?

VENUS WILLIAMS: We do different drills, we do different workouts, different things like that. We change sometimes practise sites.

Q. Surprise you with where you're showing up that day?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Sometimes, "Okay, head over to this park. We're going to practise at this park." That changes it up. Sometimes he'll have a different hitting partner there.

Q. How much does your mom coach you as opposed to your dad? Is it 50/50?

VENUS WILLIAMS: My dad does most of the stuff at home. They usually take turns on the Tours. Some tournaments like the Lipton or Indian Wells or US Open are together. But usually they take shifts. For a coach, if it's your job, if that's where you make your earning, living, it's what you do, what you like, but when you're the parent, sure you want to be the coach, but you also have your own life. That's why it's great that they can take turns.

Q. How is it different with your mom than it is with your dad?

VENUS WILLIAMS: My mom says a lot, lot less. I think at a Grand Slam, I want more input, you know.

Q. Is that why your father came this year?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah. I asked him to come. I said, "Serena, you want daddy to come to Wimbledon?" "Yeah." I said, "Okay, I'm going to ask daddy if he'll come." I asked actually one day, then two days later I asked him again. "All right, get my ticket." He decided to come. My mom said, "Good." She wanted to stay home.

Q. What are your thoughts on a long career versus a career that's shortened, possibly moving into business or something like that?

VENUS WILLIAMS: I don't know. When you're real good at something, it's tough to say good-bye, especially if it's something you've done all your life. I suppose I'll be around a little while more. No more retirement scares at this point.

Q. When you look out to the future, do you see yourself like a Martina Navratilova?

VENUS WILLIAMS: No, I just don't see that. I'm sort of lazy. I wouldn't want to work that hard.

Q. But do you like what she's doing here?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Oh, yeah. You have to like it. People love Martina. They want to see her. This is pretty exciting. She's playing on Court 1 today. They could have chose a lot more matches put on Court 1, but they chose her.

Q. Your dad said you should go into the Internet business as a web-caster. You could make more money. You're not interested?

VENUS WILLIAMS: I'd get bored in the office, just sitting around, eating doughnuts.

End of FastScripts….

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