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September 5, 2000

Venus Williams

U.S. OPEN CHAMPIONSHIP, Flushing Meadows, New York

MODERATOR: Questions for Venus.

Q. Did you have a problem with the wind?

VENUS WILLIAMS: No, not really, no.

Q. You mentioned earlier this tournament that you haven't really had a chance to get away from this stadium, this area, that it's one thing after another.

VENUS WILLIAMS: I've been here all day for four days now.

Q. Would you ever think of giving up doubles with your sister?

VENUS WILLIAMS: No, it wasn't that. It's just the rain. Usually we can leave at 5:00 or so on and so forth. It's like yesterday we didn't leave till 10:00. The day before, it's the same thing. Some days I have night matches. Pretty fatiguing.

Q. Getting a little claustrophobic here?

VENUS WILLIAMS: No, I think it's tough because there's really nowhere to go.

Q. In that second set today, she was putting a lot of pressure on you, you were like sleepwalking.

VENUS WILLIAMS: I was a little bit upset, but I managed to get through.

Q. What was going on in your mind during that set?

VENUS WILLIAMS: I guess I didn't play up to par.

Q. Any reason?

VENUS WILLIAMS: There's no excuse. Just didn't play.

Q. Did you have a hard time getting warm out there?

VENUS WILLIAMS: No, not at all. Pretty warm.

Q. The way you played in the first set, are you upset?

VENUS WILLIAMS: I don't feel I had my best performance, to say the least. In the end, the win is on the record. I move forward.

Q. Was it her serve or your serve frustrating you most?

VENUS WILLIAMS: I don't feel her serve was really threatening. I just was not returning well today. Usually my return is my strong point. Couldn't keep the ball in, so I had to take some pace off.

Q. You spoke earlier in the week about the fact that some players may come out there and be intimidated by you right off the bat. When you think about that, what are your thoughts? Do you feel like it gives you a huge edge?

VENUS WILLIAMS: I guess so. I don't know. I really don't know.

Q. Nicolas Kiefer said he's been somewhat affected by all the dignitaries at the UN, had to change hotel rooms and hotels. Have you felt that with any transportation problems?

VENUS WILLIAMS: No. We had a nice time this morning. It was just a regular transport. He's staying at the UN?

Q. The UN Plaza, right across the street. He was.

VENUS WILLIAMS: That's a bad choice. But, no.

Q. You haven't noticed any traffic jams or anything?


Q. Coming up to the Shaughnessy match where your game wasn't top-notch, does that add to the frustration, thinking about the match before you played Tauziat? There were times like she looked like she was giving you a hard time.

VENUS WILLIAMS: I think I played pretty good since Shaughnessy. I think she played well, had a nice game plan. Soon as I caught wind of it, I was able to come through. Today I don't think I played my best tennis.

Q. Do you put that down to the wind? What other circumstances came into play?

VENUS WILLIAMS: I think a lot of times I was rushing sometimes, when I really could have just taken my time and hit some nice passing shots or some lobs. I don't think I had the opportunity to hit a lot of lobs because she hits a low volley. I didn't try for a lot of lobs.

Q. How different is it to play a serve and volleyer versus the baseliners?

VENUS WILLIAMS: I just think that you feel that your time is just taken away from you a little bit. It's okay. The match goes quicker.

Q. When you said you were upset, were you upset with yourself and how you were playing?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Yes. I never get upset when I'm playing, but today I was -- it was very strange.

Q. When you fell from the chair, did you think it was one of those bad days?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, I really missed (laughter).

Q. What did you change for the third set?

VENUS WILLIAMS: I really didn't do anything much better. I just made a few more shots, maybe a little bit more determined. I'm sure she wanted to win, was very determined, too. Just had an extra edge. A lot of experience maybe.

Q. Usually when people struggle, people come through, they're happy. You're not seeming too thrilled.

VENUS WILLIAMS: No. I thought I had quit playing tennis like that. But once again -- been a little while since I played a match like that. I can't accept these type of things.

Q. Have you missed a chair before?


Q. Any thoughts about how, why?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, I was just angry. I just couldn't see.

Q. Do you think this was the worst match you've played in your streak, this particular streak?

VENUS WILLIAMS: No. I don't know. Well, yes. This is one of the worst, yeah.

Q. Worst set, that second set?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Oh, yeah. That was definitely the worst set. I couldn't compete very well. I wasn't competing well.

Q. What's this streak like for you, Venus?


Q. Are you enjoying the way it's unfolding?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Well, sure. Hey, who wants to lose? I don't like it.

Q. Do you think about it before you go out?

VENUS WILLIAMS: No. I think about it after I'm finished; not before I go out.

Q. You're on this fabulous streak, yet you've had some really rough days: Today, Shaughnessy, Fraizer in Palo Alto.

VENUS WILLIAMS: Shaughnessy really wasn't a rough day. I think you guys think it was. She played well, and so did I. Against Fraizer, yeah, don't know how I won that one. Couldn't keep any balls in. She played magnificent. Managed to come through.

Q. Will you scout at all the Seles/Hingis match?

VENUS WILLIAMS: I don't really think I need to because they would have to start serve-volleying, start slicing their backhand for them to be doing something drastically different. I don't think they're going to do it. I've played both of them in the past. Most of all, I have to believe in my game because when I'm worried about them, then I have a real problem.

Q. How much better are you going to have to play to beat Martina especially, or Monica?

VENUS WILLIAMS: I guess I'll have to play a little bit better. I'll always play better when it comes to the big match.

Q. Martina has been asked all week what it's been like for her to be kind of out of the spotlight, meaning that the spotlight is focused on you and your sister. She says that's an advantage for her because it takes pressure off. Do you feel the spotlight on you, any more pressure on you? Do you feel that?

VENUS WILLIAMS: No. Tennis is just a game really. The best competitor will win. If you start taking it too seriously, that's when it gets to be pressure.

Q. Did you realize you were getting angry at yourself? Did you have a little inner battle saying, "I've got to calm down"?

VENUS WILLIAMS: I was trying hard not to stomp my feet, swing my racquet around. I'm not used to that. Some players show a lot of emotion, but usually I don't. Pretty calm and collected, moving on to the next point. Today I wasn't always able to. That was maybe the main battle for me, why I didn't play well also. I was too busy thinking about the points before, not focusing ahead.

End of FastScripts….

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