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July 2, 2001

Venus Williams


MODERATOR: First question for Venus, please.

Q. If you could I guess assess your play, your thoughts at this point in the tournament.

VENUS WILLIAMS: I think my groundstrokes were a lot better today. My movement was very good. But my serve was a little bit down , really just my first serve percentage, whereas in the rest of my matches I've been serving quite well. Pretty confident I can bring it up.

Q. Obviously, tomorrow a lot of people are going to be talking about your sister's match with Jennifer just because it's a headline match-up, I guess. Your thoughts on that match and maybe what Serena is going to have to do to get through.

VENUS WILLIAMS: Well, I mean, I'm going to be hoping Serena wins all the way. She's my sister. I want the best for her. You know, I think in the previous matches she's played against Jennifer, they've been very close. But I don't think Serena's performed nearly as well as what she can do. I think she's just been given a lot of effort in those matches, and I think that's why they've been close. I think Serena picked up the level of her game today. She's just going to have to go out there and compete. She has a choice to compete well and compete badly. She has to make that choice.

Q. How do you feel about playing somebody as old as Tauziat?

VENUS WILLIAMS: I just feel no difference. Each person is a competitor once they walk on the court, and possibly trying to beat me, so that's how I see it.

Q. Generally, how do you see the match against her?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Well, I just think that I'm going to have to stay calm and not get rushed at all, just stick to my guns.

Q. Is there more of a challenge playing someone like that, who is more experienced on grass?

VENUS WILLIAMS: You know, it's just playing a different player. Everyone's different. You keep that in mind when you play them, what their strong points are and what their weaknesses are. So that's how I approach every match, a different match against a different player.

Q. Serena said she bought her dress already for the Wimbledon ball. Have you?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, I did. But, you know, nothing about the ball dress yet. Mostly the tennis ball.

Q. Serena mentioned how your father had encouraged you to step it up in the second week, to bring it up another notch. Can you give us any insight or detail on that?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, he did. I was playing okay in the first week, but not nearly up to my potential. I was really making quite a few errors at random, basically two or three a match. Even though the scores were easy, I was making the games a lot harder. Whereas today, the score was easy and I won quite easy. So that was nice.

Q. Are you all friendly with Jennifer? Do you feel like you have maybe an intimidation factor over her with the fact that her mental breakdowns, I guess, against you at the Ericsson, letting three match points get away against Serena at the French?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Well, I don't really know her. She's a little bit older than what I am. She's probably more serious about life than what I would be at this point. And as far as a mental advantage, I think that everyone walks on the court to play me, they have to be ready to play well. And I think she knows she has to play well against both of us. Really, I don't think it's a problem for her, and it shouldn't be a problem for anyone because if you come out and play a top player, you do have to play well to beat them. I think she keeps that in mind, not only when she's playing me, but any top player - in fact, these days, any player.

Q. You've always admired Sampras. Do you see yourself being able to win this tournament as many times as he has?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, it would be a dream come true just never to have to lose here, yeah. Never have to walk home a loser. That would be great. But you win some, you lose some. He's lost a few here before he got his wonderful record. And I've had my losses, actually, since '97. So maybe I'm done paying all my dues.

Q. The other day you said that you were just finishing getting over being a kid, now you have to grow up. Is it more fun in some ways being a kid? Do you miss that? Are you looking forward to the challenges?

VENUS WILLIAMS: I didn't feel like I had to grow up. Just saying I'm starting to grow up. I think that I'm not going to lose as many things. I'm going to hang on to the things, especially the things that I like. So I've made that pact with myself. I'm going to keep my little things.

Q. What are some of those things?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Just little things like hairpins that I really like. I won't just throw them around. I'll put them in one place all the time. Because I really like them. If I let Serena borrow them, I'll make them give them back. A little hair band my mom gave me, I've had it for six months now. I really like it. Maybe she didn't give it to me, but it's mine now. Just things that I'd like to keep. No need to keep wasting money by going out and buying more. I'm trying to be more parsimonious.

Q. Will you talk strategy with Serena tonight at all? Do you guys talk about it? Will she help you at all for your match?

VENUS WILLIAMS: I don't know. I guess so, we'll talk about the match. Maybe, I guess. Sure, it's a good idea.

Q. Anything you would say to her about Jennifer?

VENUS WILLIAMS: "Play your game." That's all she has to do really. She has a great game. If she gets out there and plays, it's going to be rough for anyone, as long as she competes well. If Jennifer beats her, and Serena has played well, then kudos for Jennifer.

Q. Would you talk a bit about playing Navratilova for the second year in the doubles? You cut short her ambitions last year.

VENUS WILLIAMS: It's just basically Serena and I, we love doubles, and we hate to lose in the doubles. We don't like to lose in the doubles, especially before we lose in the singles. No losses for us, especially before singles. Yeah, I don't know. Maybe if I was playing Navratilova in singles, I'd feel a little differently. It's just another match for me.

Q. She has a better partner this year.

VENUS WILLIAMS: I can't exactly say that she has a better partner. De Swardt was a good player. She had a big serve. I think that helped her out a lot. Haven't played Sanchez in doubles in a little while, but I know she's a good doubles player. I don't know, we'll see.

End of FastScripts….

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