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January 17, 2001

Venus Williams


THE MODERATOR: First question, please.

Q. Congratulations. I was just, I guess to both of you, there's been a lot of attention about I suppose peripheral issues from you apart from your tennis game, the great outfits that you've been wearing and some of your quirkier comments and your attitude and your sassiness. Do you think that comes with the territory from being an elite athlete in 2001 or does it annoy you that it might detract from your game?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I think when you're an athlete, when you're quiet or you make noise, either way I think there's going to be a lot of, especially if you're an elite athlete, there's going to be a lot of attention around you. A lot about Venus and I have been said in the past, actually most were fabricated. I think people read things that are fabricated. It's just stretched and pulled.

VENUS WILLIAMS: We're just doing our best to play good tennis.

SERENA WILLIAMS: To play good tennis and design good clothes.

Q. What's your favorite Grand Slam?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Whichever one we're competing in at that time.

SERENA WILLIAMS: They're all so great. Each of them have a different atmosphere and a different --.

VENUS WILLIAMS: Different memories.

SERENA WILLIAMS: Different memories. I couldn't say. I don't know. I mean, I couldn't really say.

Q. The attire a little different today, on the lighter side.

VENUS WILLIAMS: I was under the impression we were here to talk about doubles, but yes, I did wear white today.

Q. Have you got an opinion on your outfit yesterday after the publicity today?

VENUS WILLIAMS: I haven't been watching TV or reading papers so I don't know. I stay away from all the media.

Q. Just getting back to the Grand Slams, is there anything about coming to Melbourne that sets it aside from the others?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I'd say the fans, they're really into tennis and they're really into sports. They're really out going for every point. There's just so much emotion, you could say, in the fans here. I think that's one of the best. And obviously the fans at the Open are big, but here, from day one, Open is usually semifinals or quarterfinals. But here it's from day one.

Q. You feel a lot of support when you walk out there?

SERENA WILLIAMS: When I walk out there, I just try to keep my mind focused on the game. But I do feel a little more support than most tournaments.

Q. Venus, all this attention, you may not be aware of it, but pictures of you yesterday in your outfit were splashed across all the front panels. Does it irritate you that maybe the way you look and what you wear is getting more attention now than playing good tennis?

VENUS WILLIAMS: No. I'm not irritated. I'm not easily irritated.

Q. Is it something you've thought about, that maybe if you, depending on what you wear, you'll get more attention? You must have been aware that wearing what you did yesterday, it was going to generate a lot of interest?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Well, no, I wasn't aware.

Q. Chris, Associated Press. Jeff Tarango had a newspaper article a couple days ago, did you see it, where he said that players should form a union and try to get more prize money and on a level with NBA or NHL players. Do you have any thoughts on that?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Life is so complimented so far that I don't know. I don't even know my next move sometimes. Maybe we should, but so far I'm just going to try to go for the Australian and maybe get paid after that.

End of FastScripts....

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