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July 5, 2000

Venus Williams


MODERATOR: Ladies and Gentlemen, Venus and Serena.

Q. Today you were on the same side of the net, tomorrow on the opposite side. How do you look at that?

VENUS WILLIAMS: I don't know. We feel like we answered enough of these questions yesterday. We think that the request right now is because of doubles or else we wouldn't be here.

Q. Who played the better tennis today between the two of you?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I don't know.

VENUS WILLIAMS: I think we played even. We both held each other up.

SERENA WILLIAMS: Some parts. Some parts, you know, one of us were down, the other partner was there. The best thing about us, if one of us is down, the other one is definitely going to be there. I don't think there's been too many matches where both of us were down.

Q. Which of you hit Martina harder?

VENUS WILLIAMS: I think that she turned her back a little bit, that's all.


VENUS WILLIAMS: Otherwise she maybe would have got it back.

SERENA WILLIAMS: Probably made another winner.

Q. What's it like to play her?

VENUS WILLIAMS: This is a one-time opportunity for us.

SERENA WILLIAMS: She used to be my favourite player. When I was younger, I used to admire her. My dad would say, Who is your favourite player? I always used to say, Martina Navratilova. I always wanted to play against her. She retired. I'm grad I had an opportunity.

Q. What did you admire?

SERENA WILLIAMS: She's really playing some decent tennis. Really her serve has a lot of weird stuff on it. She's definitely -- how old is she?

Q. 43.

SERENA WILLIAMS: Definitely not acting her age out there. She's playing a lot better. Pretty exciting.

Q. What did you admire about her when you were younger?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Oh, I don't know. She was a serve-and-volleyer. I guess I must have liked her. Look at me, I'm not serving and volleying. I don't know.

Q. Venus, any residue of the cramping you had yesterday? Did you have to do any therapy or IV after the match?

VENUS WILLIAMS: No (laughter). No, I didn't have any IV treatment. I think it was a matter of not hydrating myself the night before apparently because there's only so much water you can drink out on the court before you start feeling sick to your stomach. Next time I'm going to have to do a better job of hydrating before the match. This is something I didn't know.

Q. Are you a little bit worried about that after the US Open last year?

VENUS WILLIAMS: No, no, not at all. This time I just decided that I didn't have time for the cramps. I wouldn't be able to accept it. I think that's mainly why they went away.

Q. What are your thoughts on Martina, Venus?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Navratilova? She came out playing better than what we ever expected. Our power didn't seem to get to her usually. Her hands were quick as ever, probably quicker than Serena and I's. She really watches the ball. She was returning our serve, when she got the opportunity, just with the best of us, on the same level as Serena and I.

Q. Have you talked to her at all over your time as a pro tennis player or today?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Not really. About what?

Q. Just anything. Has she ever said, "Here is some advice"?

VENUS WILLIAMS: No, not really. Well, sure, "Good job, great match," regular things like that. Not really advice.

Q. How do you think she'd do if she came back and played singles right now with what you saw?

VENUS WILLIAMS: I don't know. It's tough to say. She was only covering half the court today. These days, being mobile is pretty important. The girls are pretty more powerful than what they had been ten years ago. But from what she did today, sure, I would say she would do pretty well.

Q. What sort of things would you say between points to each other as a pep talk?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, just, you know, "Let's go. Let's make it happen." The usual, things like that. Sometimes we don't get much into tennis, we just try to stay relaxed.

Q. Is it nice to have this distraction today to take your mind off tomorrow?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yes, because I like playing doubles. Then we don't have to go out and have some intense practises. We can play our doubles match. Yes, we got a good practise. Since today was three sets, that was really good for us.

Q. Will you warm up against each other tomorrow?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Most likely, yes - maybe.

Q. Martina has won nine times. Can either of you imagine winning nine times, this title?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I don't know because nine years from now, I don't know if I'll still be playing. She's played a great feat. If I still play, yes, maybe. But that was a really impressive number.

Q. (Inaudible) not playing?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, I just think, you know, I just want to play tennis for a little while in my career, move on. Nine years from now, I'll be almost 29 -- 28.


Q. Do you remember watching Martina's last Wimbledon win here, 1990?



Q. You saw it on TV?


VENUS WILLIAMS: No. I think we saw a tape of it. I knew we were practising that day, I remember.

SERENA WILLIAMS: It was a big thing.

Q. What do you two intend to do in the buildup to your game tomorrow?


Q. Talked your dad into coming yet?

VENUS WILLIAMS: You know, we haven't talked to him.

Q. Didn't talk to him about coming?


Q. Do you want him to come?


Q. Before most singles matches you've relied on your father's advice and coaching. Now prior to this one, you feel like you're on your own; together you have to support one another going through the questions?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Like we said earlier, we've had enough of these questions. It's really beginning to be repetitive. What can I say? We're going to go out there, we're going to play. What more do you want us to say?

Q. Have you sensed that your father has felt a bit awkward because he's the coach of both of you, you're both playing this big match tomorrow?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I don't think he feels awkward. I think, if anything, he's excited because two of his players are in the semifinals. What more could you want besides two of his players to be in the finals?

Q. Do you think you'll be able to smile tomorrow on court or the tension will prevail?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I definitely think we'll be able to smile tomorrow. We're always filled with smiles. We like to smile.


Q. Can you imagine playing doubles with anyone besides Venus?

SERENA WILLIAMS: It's kind of hard to imagine because I've always played with her, ever since I was younger. We always played together. I've never played with anyone else on the tour. It would be kind of tough. If she retires before me, I might retire from doubles.

Q. What's so great about playing with each other?

SERENA WILLIAMS: It's fun because I know Venus is going to get a big first serve in. I know I just have to put it away. I'm just there. Sometimes now, my serve, I hit a big serve, she's going to put it away. Playing with her, you get to smile, not only talking about tennis. Not talking about, "Do this, do this." We can relax and talk about something that happened earlier in the week, whatnot. It's just so much better.

Q. In those huddles after almost every serve when you were serving, you were talking about things that weren't strategy? No strategy at all?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Mostly today we were talking about strategy because we knew we couldn't lapse up because this team has had a few comebacks in this tournament. I've seen one. Maybe they've had a few. But usually we talk about a lot of things.

Q. Do you think that tennis just won't hold your interest, to have a career as long as Martina did? She stayed with it well into her 30s.

VENUS WILLIAMS: I think it was different back then. The tour wasn't as long as it is these days, there weren't as many girls playing, girls didn't start at age 14. There were different things happening.

Q. Have you spoken to your mother since all this happened and you're playing tomorrow? Is she very excited about it?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, she's really excited. We talked to her yesterday, all of us. We all were talking to her, trying to convince her to come down.

Q. Was she not up for it?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Not really. She's been traveling so much all these years. At one point she traveled more than me because she had to go to my tournaments and Venus' tournaments.

Q. She's just going to sit and watch the TV?


Q. Only one Williams can get to the singles final. Obviously you can get both to the doubles final. Is that what's motivating you?

VENUS WILLIAMS: We love winning doubles.

SERENA WILLIAMS: We really do.

VENUS WILLIAMS: Since we have no ranking, we want --.

SERENA WILLIAMS: This is the first year we've ever played doubles here. We want to go ahead and get a title. We want to start out with a perfect record here.

Q. Serena, how much of Wimbledon did you watch last year?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I watched a pretty good deal. I didn't watch too much. If it's on the TV and there's nothing else to watch, I watched it.

Q. Did you see the final?

SERENA WILLIAMS: No, I didn't see the final at all.

Q. Did you see Venus' match against Steffi?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yes, of course.

Q. The four previous matches that you played against each other were not at the height could have been, at the level could have been, probably because of tension prevailed. Do you think tomorrow could be a different story or you don't know it yourself?

SERENA WILLIAMS: We don't know it ourselves.

VENUS WILLIAMS: We don't know.

Q. No idea?


End of FastScripts….

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