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January 26, 2001

Serena Williams

Venus Williams


MODERATOR: Questions for Venus and Serena.

Q. The fact that you're never seeded is something that bothers you or you couldn't care less or you think it's wrong?

VENUS WILLIAMS: It doesn't make a big difference to us. We're just happy to be in the draw. We realize we didn't have a ranking. After this, our ranking should be pretty good, actually. We like to play the top players. It's more fun, more of a challenge, you know, more points.

Q. How many times you have to win in order to be ranked?

SERENA WILLIAMS: We'll get a ranking after this. You have to play three tournaments. We usually play with each other. Actually, we only play with each other. Last year we missed a few tournaments. We only play mostly in the Slams because when you play in the other tournaments, it gets to be too much, you get tired. It should be interesting to see where we're ranked after this.

Q. The other day we talked to the Black brothers, Byron and Wayne, who said just the opposite than you just did. They said they do not play doubles together too often, besides Davis Cup, because they don't want to have arguments in the family, not good for the atmosphere. Why is that the opposite?

VENUS WILLIAMS: It's just the opposite for us. We love to play with each other. I can't imagine playing with anybody else. Just the way it is. We do so well together. I know no matter what I do out there, Serena's always going to be behind me and there for me.

SERENA WILLIAMS: We really just like to play with each other. We always get along. We never fight. We never really had that option. That was a good thing.

Q. Serena, if you had to pick a different partner from your sister, which player would you like to play with? And Venus also?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I was thinking about that the other day. I don't know. I would have to be in that situation, so I really couldn't say right now.

VENUS WILLIAMS: It's tough to say because, you know, people already have partners a lot of the times, and sometimes they change. So whoever was available, I would say.

Q. Does this take a little of the sting out of --


SERENA WILLIAMS: No. This is no consolation. This is just a different event.

VENUS WILLIAMS: We love winning doubles. We didn't want to lose it all.

SERENA WILLIAMS: Like I said, this is a different event, not like a consolation for us at all, because we're really single players.


Q. The fact that Martina was able to beat you both here, does that signify maybe there's a bit of a move away from power players?

VENUS WILLIAMS: In my opinion, I think it's just you guys really dramatize. I guess that's your job, selling papers, selling stories. But everybody wins, everybody loses. Not everyone can win every time. So she played good matches. It's not because she wasn't or was a power player; it's because she played good and she deserved it. So I don't think it has anything to do with whether she hits fast or whether I hit soft or anything like that.

Q. So you see it as a blip?


Q. A hiccup, as far as you two goes?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, we should have been better prepared or better to compete more readily. It's yet early in the year. A lot of players do have a tough time early in the year.

SERENA WILLIAMS: It wasn't a blip, no. She played well both matches. Why not?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Nothing is a blip in a Grand Slam.

SERENA WILLIAMS: Nothing at all.

VENUS WILLIAMS: We're ready to compete. We know how to play. We know how to win Grand Slams. So does she. She moved on. It was good for her.


Q. Is it a warning, though? Couple years since she won a Grand Slam. Is it a warning that maybe the pendulum is swinging back a bit now?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I think in a way we've already answered that question. You're just asking it a different tense. We've already answered that.

Q. If you're looking forward to this year, where --?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Looking forward to every match that might come to me.

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I mean. Like I say, it's old news, it's gone. There's nothing I can do about it.

VENUS WILLIAMS: Nothing we can do about it unless we find some type of time machine. They just aren't available anymore, except in the movies (laughter).

Q. Obviously it's one you'd like to put behind you and move forward.

VENUS WILLIAMS: I did all I could. Move on to the next Grand Slam or the next tournament. I hate to have any kind of loss on my record, no matter where it is.

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, really.

VENUS WILLIAMS: Last year, at least I did, I played very good, playing consistent tennis for the last six months of the season, or the time I was playing. I just had a slow start this year, late-bloomer. But next year I'll be looking to come strong here.

Q. After your match here, was this a bit of a reality check?

VENUS WILLIAMS: No, not really. I know I can play. I never doubt myself.

Q. Do you go back to USA or you go around in Australia to get a look at what Australia means?

VENUS WILLIAMS: No, I'm going home.

Q. No holiday, no vacation?

VENUS WILLIAMS: No, I miss my home.

Q. What do you know about Australia?

VENUS WILLIAMS: What do I know? From the very beginning?

Q. Not tennis.

VENUS WILLIAMS: Australia was started as a penal colony in the beginning. They went on to become patriotic Australians, got their own accent, moved away from the British, and here we are.

Q. Are you feeling a lot better now, your stomach upset?

SERENA WILLIAMS: Yes, I started feeling a little better yesterday. I had a slight relapse this morning, but I'm getting better. I just think I just need to go home. Maybe it's just -- I don't know. I just need to relax. I think I need to take some relax and go home.

Q. Venus, could I ask if that dress is the one you were supposed to wear if you are going to play the final?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Oh, no. It's just a variation. You know, a girl's got to have a lot of things in their closet.

Q. Not special for the final?

VENUS WILLIAMS: It would have been. Would have, should have. Those aren't definite words. I didn't.

Q. What about this trick Clement did on the court, what do you think about that?

VENUS WILLIAMS: It's good he didn't take it any further.

Q. There's a lot of talk about the volley game dying in the men's game. After your doubles today, what would you have to say about serve-and-volley in the women's game?

VENUS WILLIAMS: I don't think too many ladies are coming out to be pure serve and volleyers, but there are people that are willing to come in. In the end, I think it's really important to have the groundstroke game, especially with today's powerful racquets, because if you don't have the groundstroke game to rely on, you have to keep worrying about coming and running to the net, and that can be a lot of pressure. The groundstrokes I think are the basics.


Q. What do you think was a turning point today for you guys?

SERENA WILLIAMS: I think when we were down 3-1, weren't we, in the third.

VENUS WILLIAMS: We couldn't get down too much further.

SERENA WILLIAMS: I just was very upset at that point. I was really ready just --.

VENUS WILLIAMS: To turn it around?

SERENA WILLIAMS: -- To turn it around basically. I was pretty disappointed at that, so I had to do something about it.

VENUS WILLIAMS: Theoretically, we should have been on serve, but we weren't. Fortunately, we were able to get the break at the end and we were able to break back. But it was only a matter of one or two breaks. We were always exchanging breaks.

End of FastScripts....

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