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January 22, 2001

Venus Williams


MODERATOR: First question for Venus.

Q. Finally you have proved to yourself or to the crowd or to Mauresmo that you have much power?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Well, I was really having a tough time on my serve today. I tried to remember everything that my dad has told me. It just didn't work out today. I ended up really just having to hit serves at 150 kilometers to get it in. At the end, I really just went for the gold and got lucky.

Q. When you have a shot like Mauresmo made where she hit the big backhand into the corner, what goes through your mind? You seemed to shake it off and go right into the kill mode.

VENUS WILLIAMS: She hit a great shot. Not much I can do about that because I went for some myself, but not such great ones. There was nothing I could do about that. It was a good thing that I won the next point.

Q. Does that show a little bit of killer instinct that you could weather a shot like that?

VENUS WILLIAMS: I've been through a lot of ups and downs in my career. I know how to deal with certain situations. Every now and then it goes against what I've planned. Luckily enough, I was able to pull through.

Q. Do you think the Mauresmo you find here is a very strong player with the shot so strong as you?

VENUS WILLIAMS: I don't know, you'll have to ask her if she thinks her shot is as strong as mine. But I think she serves very well out wide, in the deuce court, the ad court, in the corner she serves very well. I have to keep my eyes open for that. I think that's one of her strong points.

Q. How did you feel you played overall then?

VENUS WILLIAMS: I think I was a little bit up and down today. In the first set I was really able to stay level. You know, after that, I was up and down. I think she was a little bit, too. I guess we weren't really sure about what we were going to do. I better walk out with a better game plan next time.

Q. After the third game of the first set, three fresh racquets got brought out. Were they late? Do you just like them that fresh? What was going on?

VENUS WILLIAMS: No, I didn't pick them up. He was nice enough to bring them out. I didn't request them.

Q. Did you actually go on court with just the one?

VENUS WILLIAMS: No. Actually, I went out with more than four racquets.

Q. How important is patience to a player when you get to the quarterfinals of a Grand Slam?

VENUS WILLIAMS: I think it's a virtue and then sometimes a snare. If you're too patient, the next person might just step up. If you're not patient enough, then you could make too many errors. So it's a happy medium in between. As long as I'm moving up to my short balls and attacking, making my shots, I'm okay. I think maybe you have to take it to the next person, make it happen more than be patient.

Q. You'd rather be over-aggressive than over-cautious?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Oh, yeah, definitely.

Q. You said you decided to go for it at the end. Why did you make that decision, after the long rally, the last two serves?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Well, I guess I ended with two aces. I really thought that, you know, it was actually time for an ace because I hit so many out, that it was bound to go in. Lucky end.

Q. Serena was having a good look. Was she wearing the supportive sister hat or --?

VENUS WILLIAMS: She was definitely a little supportive because I was a little upset in the second set when I was getting down. She said, "Come on, Venus, do your best." That really helped out a lot because I just felt I wasn't playing my best tennis. In the second set I made a lot of errors at random. She was there for me.

Q. Are you that conscious of the family being present? You can pick their voice out?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Uh-huh, yeah.

Q. How conscious are you of the crowd overall? When Amelie got to the point where it was going to go to the third set, the crowd started getting behind her, are you aware of that cheer?

VENUS WILLIAMS: No, I wasn't paying attention to that. When she hit that wonderful backhand down the line, I did hear a roar. I was kind of concentrating on the next point. Most times I'm not really thinking about the crowd - not too much.

Q. Seems the first game of the match you chipped and charged very powerful.


Q. Hit and charge, sorry. It was your intention to put some power on the ball at the beginning of the game?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Well, at the beginning of the game, I was doing okay, coming in like I normally have done, at least since last year, coming to the net. You know, after that, I couldn't get off the baseline. I set camp up. You know, normally I like to come in after the short ball, and I did that okay in the first set. After that, I didn't do it too much.

Q. Is your power going to be your key weapon with Coetzer?

VENUS WILLIAMS: No. I think maybe just moving in after the short balls, just playing consistently, just playing every point, not just looking forward to the next game or the next set, but every point. Naturally, she's a top player. She's in the Top 10. She has a lot of experience. She's looking forward to, you know, capitalizing on this opportunity, getting to the semifinals. I can't take anything for granted.

Q. When you get to this stage of a tournament, are you able to dominate a match, given the caliber of players that have gotten this far?

VENUS WILLIAMS: I think so. I think as long as I keep my head on, I'm actually always playing well.

Q. It's up to you, you decide, "I'm on tonight," you have the match?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, I guess so. If you say so, okay.

Q. How closely will you watch Serena and Martina?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Well, hopefully I'll be at the match. But I think I'll have a match myself. Hopefully, I won't be watching it too close. Hopefully I'll play first and I'll be able to get there, but we'll see.

Q. How important is scouting your potential opponents on their current form? Do you have anyone who does that for you specifically?

VENUS WILLIAMS: No, not really. I see a lot of the players on TV. I actually pick up on things very quickly, either in the warm-up or in the first one or two games. I think that's just part of being a smart player, really just knowing your opponent.

Q. Is Martina Hingis the most in-form player?

VENUS WILLIAMS: I think she's playing the most consistently at this point. When people get to big matches, people tend to play either a lot better or a lot worse. Hopefully I always play a lot better, and Serena will. I guess Lindsay is playing well. I'm not sure. I haven't seen any of her matches. Seems like Martina has been having some fairly easy ones.

Q. What do you think about the issue of prize money that's come up this week? Do you think the prize money is right where it needs to be? What do you think?

VENUS WILLIAMS: I think that it -- I guess sometimes it's a tricky subject. If the tournament makes money, shouldn't the players make money? But yet we do make a pretty good living. So if the tournament, I guess, does better, then the players should, too.

Q. Correct me if I'm wrong, did you have a knee guard, knee support on during the doubles match the other day?


Q. How was it tonight?

VENUS WILLIAMS: It was a lot better today. I think the Rebound Ace is a tricky surface maybe. But now I feel cured (laughter). I took the band off.

Q. Can you tell us what type of injury it is?

VENUS WILLIAMS: I don't have it anymore. My knee was just sore. Really, I woke up this morning, I was up and jumping.

Q. Tendonitis or something like that?

VENUS WILLIAMS: I guess tendonitis, a sore tendon. But usually tendonitis sticks around a while. But it went in a matter of days, five or six days, so I'm really happy about that because I can move a lot faster.

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