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March 31, 2001

Venus Williams


THE MODERATOR: First question, please.

Q. Did you ever win a match saving 8 matchpoints?

VENUS WILLIAMS: No, I haven't. This-- I guess there is a first for everything. She missed a few shots. I was able to stay in there.

Q. When she hit that passing shot on one of the matchpoints, when you let it go, you were thinking it could go in or --

VENUS WILLIAMS: Well I don't think I really had a really great play on it. I had some play on it but not all the best and it went long, so, I was back in it again. I just kept getting back in it some way or another. Then, I had breakpoints and kind of ruined those, but I was just really trying to just take advantage of my opportunities and eventually I was able to.

Q. Earlier in the tournament, Venus, you said I think we have learned a lesson how people can be. Two days ago you were jeered by most of the stadium. Today you got tremendous applause and held up the winner's trophy. What lesson can we learn or you learn from the two different days?

VENUS WILLIAMS: I think both Saturdays are exact opposites. But I don't think there is anything to learned to be honest. Just a nice match.

Q. But it felt good after all you went through before to emerge the victory here today?

VENUS WILLIAMS: No, I don't think it had anything to do with it. That was two weeks ago in Indian Wells. It was a different crowd and I can't expect people to like me just because I am a good person. They don't know that. They don't know me. And most of them will never have the opportunity to even meet me. So I have got to like myself, that is how I feel.

Q. Can you remember the last time you played Jennifer in 1997, how do you think she has changed and how do you think you have changed?

VENUS WILLIAMS: I play a lot smarter. I played more percentages I think. But even then it was nice not even to play smart because you go for broke and that kind of makes you even a greater player. I think she is playing a lot better. She adds a lot more spin on the ball. She has always moved very well and she has even stepped that up some. So I think most of all mentally she is a lot tougher.

Q. How physically and emotionally draining is a match that long? I am sure you get a little perky when you win -- but...


Q. Talk about that process.

VENUS WILLIAMS: I just think the heat was a major factor today because it was so hot that I think it took a lot out of both of us. If it had been a cooler day it probably would have been much easier to go out there and run, run, run. I think most of all it was the heat but we both pushed each other to the limit.

Q. Was there ever a point you thought you were going to lose?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Not really, no. I just didn't feel like that. I just-when I was facing my matchpoints I just kept telling myself what to do at the right time, everything that my dad had told me to do, that is what I tried to do. And I never really felt like I was going to lose. I felt disappointed when I lost serve those two times to go down 5-4 and 6-5. That is the only time I felt badly.

Q. What sort of things has your dad told you to do when you are matchpoint down?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Really just the basics, look at the ball, stay down, hit your topspin, turn your hips, all those little things that are really important under pressure.

Q. The dropshots seemed to keep her a little off balance as well. Then she tried to hit you with a couple of them. How much did that help to get you past those match points?

VENUS WILLIAMS: I have a really good drop shot especially off the forehand side and really I had her on the run and on the rope and she was far behind the baseline. It just seemed like a good idea when I hit them to hit the dropshots because she was far away, and she really -- she ran most of them down. I actually had to hit a shot afterwards, so.....

Q. You have had a quite a bit of success here. Is there an advantage -- have you ever been sleeping at home first of all?


Q. Do you consider this your home tournament; is that why you feel so good here?

VENUS WILLIAMS: I feel good here because I feel like I have all the conveniences of home even though I am not exactly at home. I do stay in the hotel because it means about hour an 45 minute drive for me. It is too far. It is too exhausting to drive so far. Plus if you run into traffic it could be longer. The way Miami is, normally I take the turnpike because I95 is not just reliable anymore.

Q. Serena was asked to summarize last week's tournament in terms of just one term or phrase and she did a good job. If you had to summarize this week and the results here in just a word or a phrase what would that word or that phrase be?

VENUS WILLIAMS: I just think I was just able to hang in there through it all, through all my tough matches, through any ridiculous comments or questions that I had to face and things move on. Time moves on, things pass. So that is how I feel.

Q. What is your schedule look like in the next couple of weeks?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Home. I am a little tired, little broken. (Laughs) I am tired of taping because it really pulls your skin off. It is irritating and it is tough to get the spray off and I am -- I don't like the tape. So I am going to go home and train so hopefully when I am playing my next tournaments I won't have to -- I don't really like have to go out there and rely on my tape to get me through the matches. So I am really happy that this has been the last day of my competitions.

End of FastScripts....

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