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July 7, 2000

Serena Williams

Venus Williams


MODERATOR: Good afternoon, Ladies and Gentlemen. Venus and Serena Williams, just beaten Kournikova and Zvereva.

Q. Feel better playing together than against each other?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Sure, it is.

Q. How do you guys play so rarely and then come into a Grand Slam like this as a doubles team and roll along like that?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Because it's impossible to beat two of us - it really is. No matter how bad we play, one of us is going to be playing pretty good. It's going to be just really difficult.

Q. Do you feel like you're in sync as a team or do you feel like you're individual talents coming through?

VENUS WILLIAMS: I think we're doing pretty good as a team. A lot of times, one of us will take over. Like I think today Serena started playing better in the second set. All I can say sometimes is, "Wow, do you need me?" At times, she was just all over the place.

Q. Serena, what do you say about Venus' play today?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I think we played better as a team together today. Usually when we first played doubles, we were too much on our own. We learned to work it out together.

Q. Serena you're one of four US women who are on the top of the rankings. When the Olympic spots come out at the end of Wimbledon, the Top 3 will be Lindsay, Monica, Venus. Would you want to play doubles at the Olympics?

VENUS WILLIAMS: The ranking comes out for doubles?

Q. They get to pick.




Q. Is that an interest or just if they want you? Do you really want to do it?

VENUS WILLIAMS: We're the best doubles team America has. It would be a good pick.

Q. What advice would you give your sister about going into a final of a Grand Slam and about playing Lindsay Davenport, Serena?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, I guess I have a pretty good record against Lindsay. I'll just give her some advice tonight, you know. Obviously, I don't want Lindsay to read the papers and say, "Okay, this is what I'll be expecting."

Q. How about how to approach a Grand Slam final?

SERENA WILLIAMS: She's been in a final before.

Q. At The Open. But here, do you have any specific advice?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Just not to get too much caught up in the moment of, "I'm in the final of Wimbledon, I'm in the final of The Open." Just got to relax, go out there and perform.

Q. Is it good to get back on the court? A lot of players say if they lose in singles, they like to get out the next day and play in doubles. Would you just have preferred to have stayed off today?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I don't know. It doesn't matter to me. I'm just here in the tournament. We're now in the finals in doubles, too, so we're pretty excited.

Q. Venus, one of the local newspapers said that the Russian history was one of your favourite subjects in the Institute of Art in Florida. Is it correct?

VENUS WILLIAMS: No. We don't have Russian history. But I did say that I liked Russian history. I thought it was extremely interesting because just all the things that happened over there. It's pretty amazing how it was so separate from the rest of Europe. I thought it was very interesting. I didn't have it in school. It's just something after I went to Moscow the first time, I kind of started learning more.

Q. What political figure intrigues you the most from back then?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Ivan the Terrible. I actually got to see Lenin, too, in the Mausoleum. That was interesting. Naturally the Romanov family is just really a real mystery because nobody knows what really happened.

Q. Are you a big fan of Anastasia?

VENUS WILLIAMS: I think it's a fraud, yeah.

Q. Can each of you say how much it matters to you what your feelings are about being role models in the tradition of Gibson, Ashe, Zina Garrison?

VENUS WILLIAMS: I don't know. There's been so few black people to win Wimbledon or even just to play outstanding tennis. So hopefully there will be more. Naturally we're going to do our best to change that. We already have.

Q. But is it something you're conscious of? Do you do any work to assist that enfranchisement of black Americans?

VENUS WILLIAMS: You do as much as you can. You know, we travel so much on the road, when you get home, you have only ten days. You can only take two days off. The rest of the days you have to practise. It's tough. We have jobs, you know.

Q. Venus, Lindsay has always been such a big obstacle for you. You've played her tough. She's beaten you. What's it going to take tomorrow?

VENUS WILLIAMS: I think in this occasion, it's something totally different because I feel like I'm playing better, my serve as well. We're on a fast surface and it's the final of a Grand Slam. I think a lot of factors in the past are really going to be obsolete today because the circumstances are so, so different. Any advantage that I might have had or she might have had is not really going to be a factor because we're both going to really want it.

Q. Considering she's never dropped a set in a Grand Slam final, how important is it for you to get off to a good start, maybe get that first set, knock her on her heels?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Naturally no one wants to start in a Grand Slam with the deficit of a set down, so I'm going to go out there just swinging.

Q. Serena, how much of a consolation prize is a doubles final to make up for your enormous disappointment of not reaching the singles final?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I don't think doubles is really a consolation. Whether you're playing singles or doubles, you want to do the best that you can do. I'm still here to do the best that I can do until I'm out of the tournament. I don't think there can be a consolation. It's different. It's like singles and then the doubles.

Q. Did you two spend yesterday night together? If so, what were some of the conversations? Did you talk about tennis at all?

SERENA WILLIAMS: No. We were watching a movie.

Q. Can you say how excited you are about being in a Grand Slam doubles final?

VENUS WILLIAMS: We're real excited because, first, we have no doubles ranking. We got a wildcard into the tournament. We were seeded No. 8. We were given that. Everything that we have in this tournament, the reason that we're here is because they decided to let us in. It's really good. We just hope to get this title. Maybe we'll be the first unseeded players to win Wimbledon.

Q. But you are seeded.

VENUS WILLIAMS: Well, unranked. We have no ranking.

Q. What do you think the probability is, if you guys played all four Grand Slams in a year, that you could win that Grand Slam together?

VENUS WILLIAMS: I think it would be pretty good.

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I think it would be pretty good. We have to make sure we focus a lot and really, really be serious. But I think we have pretty good chances.

Q. Is it a goal or does singles just get too distracting to do something like that?

SERENA WILLIAMS: No. Our goal mostly is for singles, but we usually try to enter the doubles. We don't feel we can lose, whether it's singles or doubles.

Q. How late was your application to enter?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Well, I entered as of the French Open. We got a call a few days before we left for Wimbledon that we had no ranking because our French Open points dropped off. We applied for a wildcard. We got it.

Q. Serena, the other day Venus spoke about what the advantages of to having your father as a coach. What do you see as the pros and cons of having your dad as a coach?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Actually, I can only see pros. He's your dad, he's your parent. You know he's going to be there for you no matter what. He's definitely going to want you to win. Whereas a coach, you have him a couple weeks, a couple years, you get rid of them. It's different with a dad. He's always around. And he knows my game. He's taught me, so he knows my game since I was an infant and a youth. It just works out great because he knows it the best.

Q. Serena, I want to clarify, you would want to go to Australia, all the way to play doubles?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I guess. I mean, obviously I'm pretty disappointed that I wasn't able to make it in the singles. It was one of my goals. What can I do about it?

Q. That would be something you'd be willing to do?


Q. You were playing against Kournikova. What do you think about all the stories around Kournikova? Did you have a chance to read the Tauziat book with Kournikova?


SERENA WILLIAMS: No, we didn't read the book. We all bring a lot of excitement to tennis. That's what matters most.

Q. Venus, you're dad has kind of a reputation for saying some outlandish things. What do you think is behind that? Do you think a lot of it's kind of saying things to just play a joke on people? What do you think is the genesis behind some of those comments?

VENUS WILLIAMS: I don't know. Your best bet would be to ask him. Usually I'm not there. I see it written. I don't know, you know, if someone wrote the true story or if they just twisted the comment. Who's to say?

Q. Are you ever surprised at what he says? Do you ever kind of open the paper, wondering?

VENUS WILLIAMS: You know, I don't read the articles too much, not really.

Q. Does your dad take pressure off you by deflecting some of the attention with some of his antics, shall we say?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I guess in a way he does, for sure. I'll say yeah.

Q. In what ways?

SERENA WILLIAMS: You know, he always has his own things that he's doing, he's getting a lot of attention. You know, it's good. The whole Williams family.

Q. What do you think, Venus?

VENUS WILLIAMS: I think that we don't have too much pressure mainly because we believe in our games. Usually when you feel pressure it's because you know you're doing something a little bit shaky, you feel a little nervous because you're not sure if your game is going to hold up. That's usually when you feel pressure.

Q. Does your dad's discussions with the press contribute to a kind of casual atmosphere in any way?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah. You like it, we love it.

End of FastScripts....

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