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January 18, 2001

Venus Williams


THE MODERATOR: First question for Venus, please.

Q. I just wondered what your opinion was about the ITF ranking, that Martina was named world champion. Have you commented on that, whether you thought it was fair?

VENUS WILLIAMS: No, she's well-deserved to be the world champion. She won quite a few titles at the end of the year, ended the year as No. 1 despite a lot of competition out there, tough competition. You win some, you lose some. Can't win it all. I had my fair share of wins last year.

Q. What have you found enjoyable about your stay in Melbourne?

VENUS WILLIAMS: I've done lots of shopping.

Q. Shopping?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Yes. The dollar's strong, I feel like I need a few rewards for all my hard work last year and perseverance, so I've been doing a lot of shopping. But shopping days are over now, I'm going to pick up the racquet and put down the credit card.

Q. If you get a chance, what do you intend to do when you leave here? Is there one thing you like to see in Melbourne?

VENUS WILLIAMS: You know, I don't know. I didn't think about it that much. I think that tennis players are some of the most travelled people who have never seen anything. So we don't, especially the top players, we don't even give ourselves a chance. Because it's tough, because after practice you have a few hours, and you relax or do you run out and do the tourist thing? So we just kind of choose to relax.

Q. I write for the Australian newspaper. We ran pictures of you in your new top, which was quite revealing. We had a lot of letters from readers saying they thought the pictures were sexist. Did you see them and do you have any opinions about running those pictures?

VENUS WILLIAMS: No, I really don't read the papers. I found a lot of times that stories are exaggerated, and there's a lot of uproar. I've been advised by my mom and dad not to read too much of anything, especially about me, so I kind of leave it alone.

Q. You didn't see the pictures?


Q. Were you wearing the same top today?


Q. After you were wearing your outfit for the second match, how did you find it?

VENUS WILLIAMS: I love the outfit.

Q. Do you feel confident and relaxed?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Definitely. Very relaxed, very confident, comfortable. Just beautiful.

Q. It's more -- you feel more comfortable with this?

VENUS WILLIAMS: I always feel comfortable.

Q. More relaxed?

VENUS WILLIAMS: I always feel relaxed.

Q. How did you feel about the way you played today? Kind of struggled at the end?

VENUS WILLIAMS: In general, I think I played a lot better. I played more or less to my game. My last match, I had nine winners. This match I picked it up, 30, 36 winners. So that was more or less me. I did -- I was impatient a lot of times because she was a very speedy player, and a lot of times I feel like I wanted to hit winners but at the wrong times. But in general, I do feel a lot better about the second match than the first one especially.

Q. And I think it was the seventh game of the first set you had an argument with the umpire. You said the other night it takes you a lot to get you irritated but you did seem to get irritated?

VENUS WILLIAMS: No, I just didn't understand the play but after a while I did.

Q. It's quite unusual to see you arguing with the umpire.

VENUS WILLIAMS: I don't feel like I was in an argument. I just wanted clarity.

Q. Did you have a foot injury at all?


Q. Nothing?


Q. Steve Wein, AP, how did you feel about your play coming to the net today? You were in early?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, first match I didn't come in as much, wasn't as confident in my first match. I think last year what really got me all my titles was just being aggressive and moving forward, so I'm definitely implementing that in my game more and more as the rounds go on. And, most of all, when I got to the net I was very effective. I missed a few of my swing volleys today, which is not normal, but everything can get improved.

Q. Are you still going on with your newsletter, with your sister?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, the newsletter, we had to file Chapter 11. But it was tough because we start going to school and we were just fighting just to get our work done. But we're definitely going to try to aim for a March issue for around Indian Wells or Ericsson.

Q. You said your winners are increasing in this match. Did you ever look up at the score board and see how many winners you've hit?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Oh, most certainly.

Q. And look at your player that you're playing and saying she's making more errors on the backhand side or do you read that for yourself?

VENUS WILLIAMS: This court they didn't show the errors, forehands or backhands. It's nice for a player like me, a lot of times I get out of control with my errors. It helps to keep me under control. I can see my first serve percentages, evaluate my game. So it's actually very helpful.

Q. What difference do you find from the this Grand Slam and the others apart from the difference?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Well, I think that the fans are really, really nice. The US Open fans are like no other fans. And French, they definitely get behind their players. Wimbledon is more reserved. These fans, a lot of times they'll just pick a player and go for that player. They're always very much into the match; they're very lively. I think that's the best part of this Slam.

Q. Was it your sister who was watching you today?

VENUS WILLIAMS: I don't think Serena's here.

Q. Okay. It wasn't one of your other sisters that was in the --?


Q. -- The TV was filming.

VENUS WILLIAMS: No, maybe my mom. She looks rather young.

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