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January 25, 2001

Venus Williams


MODERATOR: Questions for Venus.

Q. Nothing worked for you today: Your service, your backhand, your forehand.

VENUS WILLIAMS: You know, I just had an off day. She played her normal game, which is to get quite a few balls back, be a great counter-puncher. Today just didn't seem -- I didn't do the right things.

Q. The fact that you played doubles is definitely an advantage for the tennis public, but do you think it served your cause?


Q. Maybe do you think playing too much tennis has had an adverse effect on your result?

VENUS WILLIAMS: You know, I think that if I'm in the doubles competition, I should be ready to play. After all, I'm here to play tennis. So that's what I should be able to do. If I'm not in shape, it's my problem.

Q. Any reasons that you can come up with that it wasn't your day today, or it just wasn't your day today?

VENUS WILLIAMS: It just seems that I wasn't really prepared today to hit as many balls as possible.

Q. Was it the heat, humidity, or just generally?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Uhm, yeah, I just played a lot of matches. Yesterday was a long day. I guess I just didn't have what it took today, and Martina, she did. She came out, stepped up to battle, and now she's in the final.

Q. How long would you have to go back in your tennis-playing career to find the last time you lost like that on a tennis court so comprehensively?

VENUS WILLIAMS: I don't know. She's beat me before 6-1, 6-2, when I was like a baby, my first year on the tour. I don't think every game was like 40-Love. When it was time to get the important points or if she was down a breakpoint, she got those points back. A lot of times I'd be in there and I'd just miss a shot, you know, just giving it back to her. That's something you can't do, especially in a Grand Slam semifinal.

Q. How well do you think she played today?

VENUS WILLIAMS: I think she played very well. I think she played her normal game.

Q. Was it better than some of the matches she'd played against you?

VENUS WILLIAMS: I think she played about even, and that's important to do, be ready to play.

Q. Did you feel any pressure before the game?

VENUS WILLIAMS: No, I didn't feel any pressure at all. I've been in this situation quite a few times now - I guess five or six, which is enough. No, I didn't feel any pressure.

Q. How frustrating is it as a professional athlete to know that some days, regardless of your preparation, you can wake up and things just aren't clicking?

VENUS WILLIAMS: It happens every now and then even to the best of us. But maybe sometimes it happens for a reason, sort of a wake-up call, get out there and start practicing harder.

Q. Do you think this will be a wake-up call, or do you think the score was so out of whack with your previous matches that you just chuck it up to a fluke?

VENUS WILLIAMS: I don't understand the question. Will it be a wake-up call?

Q. Will you internalize this and really go back and work hard, go back to the drawing board, or was this match such an aberration that you won't take it seriously?

VENUS WILLIAMS: I don't think that this can happen again, but you never know. Things happen all the time for no apparent reason at all. Normally I wouldn't expect this to happen again. But, sure, I'm going to go back and work hard, everyone will, I guess who's lost here.

Q. Will you reevaluate your approach to Australia for next year on the basis of this year's performance?

VENUS WILLIAMS: I'm not sure. Depends on how I feel next year.

Q. Yesterday was kind of a stressing day anyway because 8-6 against Coetzer, then your sister's match, then doubles. Which one of those three different moments in the day has been more demanding on your concentration?

VENUS WILLIAMS: I don't know. They all were pretty tough. Myself out there yesterday, I wasn't playing my best tennis, a little bit out of control at times. Then Serena, there's nothing I can do in the stands. In the doubles, we lost the first set, but we went on to play a little bit better after that. I'll have more just different points in my life.

Q. Over the next three months, how much and where do you plan to play?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Three or four tournaments. I'm in Europe, some in the States.

Q. Do you know which ones they are, please?

VENUS WILLIAMS: I plan on playing in Nice, Indian Wells and the Lipton -- the Ericsson.

Q. Are you coming to play Rome?

VENUS WILLIAMS: I'm supposed to, yes. As long as I'm happy and healthy, I'll be there.

Q. Will you and Serena sort of keep away from one another as much as possible, except the Slams, again this year?

VENUS WILLIAMS: I don't know, just depends.

Q. On what?

VENUS WILLIAMS: On where we decide to play.

Q. Who will make that decision?


Q. Your preparation for this tournament, do you regard this tournament as highly as the other three Grand Slams? Do you intend to play next year?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, I regard it very high. Naturally, I would have loved to take this title home. I traveled a long way to get here. It's a sad thing not to go home with the title. But hopefully I'll be back next year, probably take it home, who knows.

Q. Lindsay Davenport said after her match that the heat made the balls float, she had trouble controlling them. Did you have the same problem?

VENUS WILLIAMS: No, not at all.

Q. What was your best match of the tournament?

VENUS WILLIAMS: I think they were all about the same (laughter). I don't know, maybe the doubles match yesterday.

Q. Can you put a finger on why we haven't seen the sort of tennis we expect from you in this fortnight, haven't seen sort of the consistency, accuracy?

VENUS WILLIAMS: No, it hasn't been normal. Ever since last year at Wimbledon, I've been working really hard to play consistent tennis. I did do that until my last tournament last year. And this year has been very erratic, the Australian Open. I just think I needed more preparation time. Maybe you guys should put the tournament a little later for people like me.

Q. How much do you think you lose from your game when you take the fall off and go to school and everything?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Oh, not too much. Just as long as I have enough preparation time for the beginning of the year.

Q. What do you consider preparation time? Is that actual match play or just practice?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Just practice time.

Q. How much school have you got, how many more years are you going to try to fit in?

VENUS WILLIAMS: I think I have about 45 more credits.

Q. Different system in America.

VENUS WILLIAMS: Each class is worth three credits, so I have 45 left, maybe a little less.

End of FastScripts....

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