home jobs contact us
Our Clients:
Browse by Sport
Find us on ASAP sports on Facebook ASAP sports on Twitter
ASAP Sports RSS Subscribe to RSS
Click to go to
ASAP Sports e-Brochure View our


September 8, 2000

Venus Williams

Flushing Meadows, New York

MODERATOR: Questions for Venus.

Q. What did you think was the turning point in the match?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Well, I was really making quite a few errors, especially off her service game, until -- well, all the whole match, actually. My balls, it seemed, kept flying long, so I had to tame my shots. I just kept fighting and kept staying in there. Eventually things worked out.

Q. You seemed to have really worked on your net game. That helped you today. Can you talk about how you tried to improve that?

VENUS WILLIAMS: I mean, really, Serena and I, we have three Grand Slam titles in doubles, and we have two in mixed. Pretty good volleyer. I just never got to the net that often. And when I did, I missed my shots. I think today I missed only one volley, and all my swinging volleys were perfect, mostly winners, I guess, except for maybe one. And I felt that whenever I moved forward, I had a better opportunity, and it was working out.

Q. When you were down 5-3, what was your mindset at that point?

VENUS WILLIAMS: I don't know. It went very fast after that. I just kept slugging, fighting away. Just had to cut back my unforced errors. I think a few times I moved forward at the right times, and I managed to convert.

Q. Was there a point where you said, "I've got to dig in right now"? You knew the match was on the line.

VENUS WILLIAMS: Well, actually, yeah, at 5-4, I thought, "Well, I waited till the last minute to break, this is the last opportunity." I was thinking that.

Q. People really like watching you two play. How much do you enjoy playing her?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Oh, it's a great time. I think the only time that I don't have a good time is when I'm making those errors. But as long as I keep myself under control, it's pretty successful, actually.

Q. You mouthed the words saying, "Unbelievable," what was so unbelievable?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Just the fact that I really was not playing well today and I was down 5-3. It really just seemed like all of a sudden the match was over. That was pretty unbelievable.

Q. How much of a difference was your will to win? Even when you're not playing well, Martina could not close it out, but your will seemed to carry you through.

VENUS WILLIAMS: Oh, yeah. I've got a pretty big heart these days. I really didn't want to lose. I felt that I should have an opportunity. This is my opportunity, I should take it, and that it wasn't over, even though it was 5-3. It was only one break. There weren't too many breaks of serve in this match. But I felt like, "This is my opportunity, I deserve to be in the finals, and I just need to go ahead and get it done."

Q. Is that the biggest difference, do you think, in the way you play, especially during this winning streak, that determination and finding a way?

VENUS WILLIAMS: I guess so. I've been around a little bit. I know a few more things, and I'm just trying my best to take my opportunities. Because when you don't, they're gone, and the next person goes on.

Q. What are your thoughts on playing Lindsay tomorrow? Is there any thought of tonight you have the chance to avenge Serena's loss?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Well, the only thing I felt about Serena's loss, I felt she -- she didn't play well actually in any way, shape or form. And I felt bad that like she had to learn a lesson like that. I feel that like it should have been me, that I should have lost like that, so she could have taken the example from me and not have to suffer in such a manner. Usually that's how it goes. So I felt really bad about that. I felt like I wish I could have taken the loss for her.

Q. But seeing how Lindsay played against her, the strategy she used, she said she's going to try to do something similar to that tomorrow against you. Can you look at that and say, "Now I know what I have to go against her"?

VENUS WILLIAMS: I think Lindsay played well, but I think most of all, Serena played badly. She wouldn't make any shots. She was hitting across the ball." Serena, what are you doing today?"

Q. Where was Serena today?


Q. She's already gone home?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Her and her dog have left.

Q. When did she leave?


Q. Did you see your father leave?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Sometimes. He was in and out. I didn't see him at all times.

Q. After that dropshot?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Which one? The one I made or the one I missed?

Q. The one you missed.

VENUS WILLIAMS: Oh, yeah (laughter). That was some shot, huh? In the heat of the moment. I have a pretty good dropshot these days actually, so it worked out.

Q. You don't get at all disconcerted to see him get up and walk out in the middle of a game?

VENUS WILLIAMS: No, because I don't rely on my parents. Usually I have it all figured out, what I'm going to do. And, sure, sometimes if you're playing bad, they'll say, "Come on, let's go, get it done, you can do it," things like that. That's okay. But as far as strategy, I've got it all figured out. I don't really need too much to look at the box.

Q. You seemed to look at the friends box often in the match. What's the chemistry?

VENUS WILLIAMS: I didn't hear you.

Q. You seem to look at the friends box, your supporters, during the match. What is the chemistry that is happening when you look up at them?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Well, like today, I wasn't playing well, so I kept looking to them to say, "Come on, you can do it," things like that. But like in my other matches, usually I don't look at the box too much. But today I really felt like I needed more motivation because I just kept making these unforced errors. I felt that, sure, she was going to beat me, that would be fine, but just to make it so easy for her was unacceptable.

Q. It doesn't faze you when your dad's not there?


Q. Can you talk a little bit about the strategy you used today as opposed to '97 when you first played Martina?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Oh, boy, '97, I was just a yearling. I have no regrets in '97 because I just -- I didn't know what I was doing basically.

Q. But your game is much better and smarter now, you feel?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Oh, yeah, definitely much better. My serve is better. Maybe my thought process also is much better, to say the most important thing as far as the difference. You know, Martina, she played well. She took advantage of me because I didn't know what was going on.

Q. Forget about the rankings. Tomorrow, if you beat Lindsay, do you feel like having a Wimbledon under your belt, this tremendous streak of wins, that you would be the No. 1 player for the year?

VENUS WILLIAMS: No. I'm still No. 3. But in my heart, I don't feel like I'm walking out there and playing against a player that is better than me. If I felt that way, I don't feel I'd be able to succeed.

Q. Obviously Lindsay is a much different opponent than Martina. How will your approach differ against her?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Well, I just think that I'll play my game, do my best, and usually that doesn't go wrong. Today I didn't play so well. But I did do my best. Well, maybe I didn't, but I tried hard.

Q. You said you didn't feel like you played with passion in the first set. What did you mean?

VENUS WILLIAMS: I felt like -- I wasn't even grunting. I usually grunt. Even in practice I'm grunting. I was like missing too many shots into the rallies. I felt like I wasn't giving it my all. My feet weren't moving, I didn't want to move to shots. That was not me.

Q. What will you do tomorrow to prevent that from happening again?

VENUS WILLIAMS: I don't think it's going to happen again tomorrow. I think maybe I just didn't want to hit a lot of shots today. But I think also there were a lot less shots than, for example, Wimbledon, or even last year in the semifinals, because I came to the net a lot more, I took a lot more balls out of the air.

Q. Lindsay once said that Martina's problem is she can't dictate points against you and your sister. What is this about dictating points?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Against other players I believe she's dictating the points more, hitting them on the run, they're hitting them back to her.

Q. What is dictating the points?

VENUS WILLIAMS: It means the next person is on the defense and you're choosing what happens in the point. I think that her game is not made for that as far as when she's playing against someone like me or Serena or Lindsay. She's playing against other players, yeah. But I guess she would have to practice more of a power game. Maybe that's just not her. Everybody has to use what they have. I think she uses that well.

Q. What has been the biggest turnaround in your rivalry with Lindsay? What do have to do to continue to win against her?

VENUS WILLIAMS: I stopped. I didn't like losing that way. It was just too much. I felt if I lost one more match like that I'd have to retire, really.

Q. What is a cooler name, Venus or Tiger?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Whatever you think. I love my name. What do you mean? I'm not a tiger. If I was a girl, my name was Tiger, I think it would be strange.

Q. Your streak is carrying you. Lindsay is playing some of the best tennis she's played. She's fully healthy. Will this raise the stakes as opposed to last time you met, a higher-level match?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Well, I hope so. At Wimbledon, it was a nice match. I guess it wasn't one of our best matches. I think two weeks later at Stanford, it was a little bit more maybe competitive, although it was an easier score line. But I think tomorrow I'll play well. This is the final of a Grand Slam. Everything's at stake. I'm not going to give anything away, the best I can.

Q. Did you feel when you started grunting, everything would be all right?

VENUS WILLIAMS: I felt if I started grunting, I think my effort level would be a lot higher.

Q. What about the Olympics? Are you guys still planning on playing doubles?

VENUS WILLIAMS: We hope to. I love playing doubles. I like having a Grand Slam in doubles. It's nice to see them add up.

Q. Is she still going to come to the Olympics with you?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah. That's the plan. I haven't seen anything in the papers that says she wasn't.

Q. With Martina and Lindsay over the last day talking about how they were teaming up against you guys, did you see that as fun or "Bring it on"?

VENUS WILLIAMS: These days it's like WWF Wrestling.

Q. Martina said in her press conference she feels she took a lot out of you physically. That inadvertently may help Lindsay tomorrow. Would you agree with that?

VENUS WILLIAMS: I don't agree because for me it's no excuse to say, "I was tired, that's why I lost." If you're an athlete, you have to get out there and you have to be ready. Whether or not I'm tired has nothing to do with whether I win or lose. I don't have time to be tired during the match. After the match, sure, I can go lay down and sleep. Tomorrow, will be no excuse. I'm not going to be tired. In my mind, I'm fresh, I haven't even played a match.

Q. How tired are you right now?

VENUS WILLIAMS: I'm not tired. I'm young. I shouldn't be tired.

Q. Given the quality and the closeness of the last 10 or 11 matches between Martina, do you think you versus Martina is the best rivalry in tennis?

VENUS WILLIAMS: I don't know. I'm just taking a day at a time.

Q. Which one can be better than you two?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Well, we've played the most, for sure, a lot of three-set matches.

Q. I'm talking about quality, interest in the public. What could be better than when the two of you play?

VENUS WILLIAMS: I don't know.

Q. When you compare the dynamics, you just compared it to the WWF.

VENUS WILLIAMS: You know, tag team. What do they call it?

Q. Tag team.


Q. How much of it really at the bottom line is hype, just people whipping up a frenzy, and how much is actually felt by you guys?

VENUS WILLIAMS: I don't know. Because like, once again, I've been put in the middle of something. I really don't have any concern or thought about it. Everyone these days is out for themselves, no matter what it is. So as far as alliance, I'm not even involved.

Q. When you were playing badly today, all the unforced errors, did you think, "Oh, my God, it's the '99 semifinal revisited"?

VENUS WILLIAMS: I'm tired of giving opportunities away. It all started at Wimbledon where I just stopped giving things away. Today it was the same way. I didn't play my best, but at the right times I think I moved forward, took some chances and did my best. Anything can happen, and today I was winning.

Q. You had a six-month hiatus from the Tour. You came back and barely lost since. Do you think that was as much of a mental rejuvenation as a physical one?

VENUS WILLIAMS: I think maybe I had more time to think about the game, just to simplify it in my mind. But who's to say what would have happened.

Q. Did it make you want to be out there?

VENUS WILLIAMS: I don't know. Yeah, I was ready to play. I missed the countries, like visiting different places.

Q. Early in the year, you were being told by your dad, everybody was talking about you retiring. Here you are in the US Open final. What happened? I thought you were done.

VENUS WILLIAMS: I guess school wasn't that important.

Q. Speaking of school, I think they said there were 4,000 people who bought your dolls. Do you consider making some dresses that typify school so that some of the young children that bought your dolls will not just look at them as a tennis player, but think about education, too, because you think about education?

VENUS WILLIAMS: I don't know. I guess maybe I'm known as much as a school girl as a tennis player, get away from school. But I don't know. Right now, I guess the tennis dresses are what needs to be done. Later on hopefully maybe there will be other outfits.

Q. Are you thinking about not going back to school this fall, playing more tennis?

VENUS WILLIAMS: I want to play more.

Q. You don't?


Q. You do?


Q. So you're not going to maybe go back to classes?

VENUS WILLIAMS: I'm going to go back, because I have to. I can't not go back because I started and I have to get finished. After this term, I'll be halfway done. Two more terms, it will be finished and I can play in the fall again. I could pick one or two destinations that I want to go to and play. But I think I have a good start now. Next year I won't have points coming off, just start strong then, and just get my degree.

Q. Have you seen the Arthur Ashe statue?

VENUS WILLIAMS: No. I saw a picture in the paper, but it wasn't a very good one.

Q. 25-match winning streak. Do you remember how it feels to lose now?

VENUS WILLIAMS: I know how it feels to be close to losing (laughter). That's a foreign feeling right now, and not a very accepted one for me. If it can continue this way forever, that would be unbelievable. Sure, I like this.

Q. Are you going to win tomorrow?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Let's hope for the best, expect the worst. I think it's a good chance.

Q. Given the off-court conversations and the talk about tag team, would it be sweeter for you to have beaten Hingis and Davenport on the way to thing?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Well, I did that at Wimbledon. That's nice to beat the top seeds. Helps my ranking. I won a Grand Slam in great fashion. Sure, it would be nice.

Q. (Inaudible) personally, though?

VENUS WILLIAMS: I don't hold any grudges. I'm just competing out here, and that's all.

End of FastScripts....

About ASAP SportsFastScripts ArchiveRecent InterviewsCaptioningUpcoming EventsContact Us
FastScripts | Events Covered | Our Clients | Other Services | ASAP in the News | Site Map | Job Opportunities | Links
ASAP Sports, Inc. | T: 1.212 385 0297