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August 24, 2000

Venus Williams


Q. Venus, you struggled early on, like you were shaking your head a lot; what was going on out there?

VENUS WILLIAMS: When I have a bad day, my balls fly long, and I couldn't get them to stop going long; but I was able to contain it, control it to a degree. So there was the match.

Q. Compared to the other day, how do you think you did today?

VENUS WILLIAMS: I think I did a lot better, as far as serving. I think I did a lot better.

Q. She goes up 4-3 in the first set, what was going through your mind going into the next game?

VENUS WILLIAMS: I was very disappointed I had gotten down 4-3. I didn't feel like I was going to lose the set. Always disappointing for me to give game points and sets away.

Q. How was the footing out there? Looked to me like maybe there was slipping and sliding going on.


Q. I think I saw her slip at one point, I wasn't sure. How was the surface?

VENUS WILLIAMS: I don't think I was moving my feet very well today. I think maybe that's why it looks like that. She's a claycourter, they like to slide.

Q. Were you particularly discouraged, Venus, when you lost three straight serve games in the first set; one at love, one at 15? Did that motivate you or what was the reaction?

VENUS WILLIAMS: A little bit disappointing, but what's in the past is in the past. I couldn't change it. Just have to move on.

Q. This is not related to tennis: I understand you and your sister are going to be coming out with dolls around December? Barbie dolls?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Uh-hum. Not a Barbie doll. Venus and Serena doll.

Q. How did that come about?

VENUS WILLIAMS: I don't know. I think my dad set it up.

Q. Okay. Are you excited about it?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, I'm exited about it. It's really cute, actually. And at first I was a little bit... I thought maybe it's a little bit vain to have a doll. Once I saw them, I thought they were really cute. It's going to be a lot of fun.

Q. Did you play with dolls when you were a kid?


Q. Do you have an idea why your dropped off (inaudible) In California to now?

VENUS WILLIAMS: I don't know. I wasn't playing that well in California either. The thing is, when it comes time, I know I can raise the level of my game. So I'm not worried about my game at all, actually. I think it's just a few things here and there that's actually putting me off. As far as playing today and the other day, I think I played better today. And gradually moving forward and, you know, if I'm playing a top-ten player, for sure I'm going to play better. I think that I have the ability to raise the level of my game and even to drop it. Which is not a good thing always.

Q. Is that something you're working on to try to overcome that?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah. I think that I get a little too relaxed, a little too confident, I feel like I'm going to win the match. But I think that gives too much leeway to my opponent.

Q. Depending who wins this next match right now, Huber or Coetzer, you'll play; can you speak a little about their games and what that means to you?

VENUS WILLIAMS: I played Coetzer twice this year; once in hardcourt once in San Diego. I played Huber once? They're both different players, and I can't say who'll win the match. Maybe Huber. She played earlier today. She could be tired.

Q. Do you think about the streak having won 17 in a row now? Is that something in the back of your mind when you're playing?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Not really. You guys start writing about the streak, not me. I wasn't even thinking about it. But it's nice to go 17 matches without losing. I haven't lost since the French Open. It's pretty good.

Q. Do you have remedies like Shaquille O'Neal? If he's winning games and eating spaghetti for the past few nights, he continues that until he loses; do you do anything like that?


Q. Is this your tournament to lose, or do you go into every tournament thinking you're going to win it and someone else has to beat you?

VENUS WILLIAMS: I feel that I have a good opportunity to win the tournament I'm entering. That's how I feel, otherwise I wouldn't enter, I'd stay home and practice. Under these circumstances, I feel like my chances are really good here. Chance he I'll meet Monica in the finals. If that doesn't happen, hopefully I'll get to the finals and meet someone there.

Q. When you're playing, do you think your inspiration that is an effect on any of the young players? Do you think about kids who are watching?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Not he when I'm playing, no, not really.

Q. How about your performance, do you think about that as far as kids are related, any of the young kids who are watching?

VENUS WILLIAMS: During the match mostly I'm thinking about my game, not about the people in the crowd. I don't really, especially these days, I don't really see the crowd too much. I did notice in the middle of the match the stadium was pretty full. I'm not really looking around a lot. I don't take too much notice during the match.

Q. But I noticed after the match a lot of kids are drawn to you.


Q. Does that impact on how you feel or think?

VENUS WILLIAMS: I'm a sports player, kids love sports players. Action figures.

Q. Is your doll an action figure?

VENUS WILLIAMS: I guess it will have to be.

Q. Are you designing the clothes for it?

VENUS WILLIAMS: No, I think it's just going to have clothes from Reebok or Puma basically the same designs I chosen in the past.

Q. Any feeling how you might be seeded in the U.S. Open?

VENUS WILLIAMS: How I might be seeded, 3.

Q. (Inaudible)


Q. Pretty confident the way you're playing heading into the Open?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Do I feel confident?

Q. The way you're playing, do you feel confident?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Yes, I feel good. This is definitely a good week for me to play and to get some experience and to play well, to get a title under my belt going to the Open, same as last year, and also just straighten out anything that might be going wrong. So when I head into that first round, I'll be ready to go.

Q. You talk about going to the Olympics; how you're looking forward to that?

VENUS WILLIAMS: It will be fun. It will be a long way to get there. Once I get there, I'll be ready to go.

Q. How would you have felt if Serena wasn't able to go?

VENUS WILLIAMS: The arbitrator, I feel, made a good decision. In the case he made a decision for Lisa, I feel he made a good decision also.

Q. You hold the Olympics (inaudible) every four years?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Seeing this is only fourth time tennis has been an Olympic sport, I don't think it's at that level yet. I think for a tennis player the dream is more or less to win a Grand Slam than the Olympics. The Olympics is an extra bonus. Not many people get to have that gold.

Q. I don't know how well you know Lisa, have you talked to her about the whole situation?

VENUS WILLIAMS: No, not really, she hasn't talked to me. I wasn't involved.

Q. I know. I just wondered if she had talked to you about it?

VENUS WILLIAMS: No, I understand her disappointment, because the Olympic dream is pretty good, especially for an athlete, but I wasn't involved.

Q. Right. Venus, Tiger Woods says he wants to make golf more like America, wants to see golf look more like America, resemble racial diversity in America; do you feel the same way about tennis? Do you think about it?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, well, seeing that I am black, sure I'd like to see lots of black players play. At this point I think I'm just trying to get my game together so I can set a better example then move on from there.

End of FastScripts....

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