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August 25, 2001

Venus Williams


THE MODERATOR: First question for Venus, please.

Q. How do you think you did today?

VENUS WILLIAMS: I guess when it counted, I was able to get the point. So that's a good thing in a match.

Q. Physically, did you feel any effects from yesterday, late in the match maybe?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Maybe I was just tired of running. Not necessarily that I couldn't run, but just tired of doing it. But other than that, I'm okay. I was okay. Normally, under normal circumstances, you don't want to have to play that many matches in such a short time period. But it happens, and I'm really happy to have won the tournament. And I just hate to lose. I don't like to go home not having won.

Q. Do you think it turned out better that you played so much?

VENUS WILLIAMS: You know, I don't know. She hasn't played since Wednesday, I suppose. And I guess in a way it's a good thing. But in a way maybe it's a bad thing I played a lot, and she didn't hardly play at all. But I don't know, to be honest.

Q. It looked like your back tightened up in the second set. You squatted down, your serve velocity lessened a little bit.

VENUS WILLIAMS: Really, I was just trying to stay loose. Then on the serve, less power, more placement. I'm going to get a measure of power no matter what I do in my serve, but I was really just trying to throw the racquet. And a lot of times you just throw it where you want the ball to go and it goes there. So I use different kinds of methods on my serves.

Q. So you were fine?


Q. Any frustration in that second set? You missed a lot of break point opportunities.

VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah. She played well. She served well. And I don't get angry out on court, really. I -- if I lose a point or a game, there's nothing I can do at that point. But it's not like I gave up. I did do my best. I might not have done the right thing or I might have made a mistake, but I did do my best, and I look forward to the future in matches. So I don't get angry. Hopefully, I'll capitalize on opportunities, but it doesn't always happen.

Q. You don't dwell on that?

VENUS WILLIAMS: No, not at all. Except there was one point where I didn't like, I had a break point, an easy backhand, and I kind of missed it. You know, that was sad. But...

Q. Walk us through matchpoint. Can you talk about it a little bit.

VENUS WILLIAMS: Matchpoint, I hit a slider up the T, which is when you -- on the ad court, if you're hitting a serve, you want it -- I don't hit it as hard, about 100, 102. And when I hit it, it slides. It goes -- it changes direction. So my plan was to hit a slider up the T. That's what I call it. What happened? What did happen?

Q. (Inaudible.) You had some great reach there.

VENUS WILLIAMS: Oh, yeah. I hit my slider up the T, and she returned it a short ball. Hit a forehand approach. I do remember now. She hit a great passing shot. And I guess if it wasn't for my height and my one inch extra on my racquet, I wouldn't have got that ball. (Laughing.)

Q. You only lost one set here. You've won three straight titles. What is it about the court or New Haven or whatever that brings out the best in you here?

VENUS WILLIAMS: I don't know. I guess I don't like to go into the Open with a loss. It seems that I manage to play my best here, and I don't know what it is. I just have good play at this tournament. I always serve really well at this tournament also.

Q. Lindsay was saying that you're considered to be the favorite going into the Open the way you're playing right now. Would you agree with that? Do you think it's wide open?

VENUS WILLIAMS: I just think that really with the way I've been playing the last year, year and a half, that I'm one of the favorites because of my past record. But you just have to -- I have to be serious going into it and play every point, and that's what counts I guess.

Q. How about your sister winning last week, you winning this week, is that kind of neat going in back-to-back?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, it is. It's quite nice.

Q. Given the atmosphere here, the size of the stadium, the crowds, and the fact that the court's the same as it is at the Open, is this the perfect place for you before the Open?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, actually it is. This week was very tough with all the top players here. It's wonderful for the tournament, but for me it was -- it was tougher than normal. The last two years I would meet a top player in the final or semifinals, but not always every match. So it was a real challenge for me to stay focused the whole time. But as far as courts, I'm not picky. I'll play on anything.

Q. Yesterday you talked about rising to the level of your opponent. What did you do today differently against Lindsay that maybe you weren't doing yesterday?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Yesterday, or last night, I believe I played a lot better than maybe today. Normally, I like playing Lindsay. Normally I play a lot better. But today I was not -- I was just -- it seemed like I was hitting the ball and it would be just out. I didn't see it out, but the linesmen saw it out. (Laughter.) It was quite bright out there also, and when she was serving it was hard for me to see the ball at times - it was so bright with no clouds in the sky. So that was a tough factor.

Q. (Inaudible).

VENUS WILLIAMS: No. Not at all.

Q. Why do you enjoy playing against Davenport so much?

VENUS WILLIAMS: I don't know. I just have fun against her. Because we just hit the ball and we get some good points in there. Hopefully, I win all the long points but that doesn't always happen. But I guess I just like returning serve. I like -- I guess I just like playing against her style of game.

Q. That mental toughness you talked about, the not wanting to lose, not liking to lose, when did that start with you? I mean at an early age here, playing against your sister perhaps, as a little kid, or...?

VENUS WILLIAMS: I never liked to lose, I suppose. But as time has passed and the better that I've gotten, the better my results, the more I just hate to go home a loser. So maybe it's that. And maybe it's just that I win a lot more and I'm used to winning. When I lose, it's just a foreign idea. Maybe that's what it is; I don't know.

Q. Is that in anything you do, any kind of game or anything you do? You hate to lose?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Well, on the SATs, I lost very badly. (Laughter.) But one math test I did so bad, honestly, I didn't even bother to look at the result. I think I got like a 20. I was not good at math.

Q. Can you tell us about your clothing line.

VENUS WILLIAMS: I design for Wilson Leather.

Q. Is this like your own business?

VENUS WILLIAMS: No, no. It's not my own business, but I am designing for a company. So this is my first time as a designer, so I'm hoping it will go as well as my tennis.

Q. How often do you do it?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Well, basically there's two terms - the fall and then the summer/spring. So basically, there's one line for the fall. Later on in the fall it's kind of a holiday where we introduce a few more items on the rack. I design leather products so it's mostly outerwear.

Q. Does it have your name in it?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, it's -- my name's in it. It's been fun. I don't have the same kind of confidence in my designs that I do in tennis. And it's just a different market. Tennis is like you can go out there and you can work hard and you can make it happen. But with designing, other people have to like it. It has to sell. So it's different. It's kind of like being judged. In tennis, I make my own thing happen. So it's a new idea. And plus, it's different also because I have to work with people. And in tennis, I'm on my own, I do my own thing. So this is nice being able to work in a different setting.

Q. I saw something where they said you're focusing more on the color than the different cuts.

VENUS WILLIAMS: No, primarily I focus on cut.

Q. Okay.

VENUS WILLIAMS: The lines and how the lines are formed. I like to play with my lines, and then just add a little color. For the first time, I didn't want to be too flashy the first time around. So just I'd like to see people wearing it. That would be exciting for me.

Q. Where are your dolls? I can't find them.

VENUS WILLIAMS: Really? A lot of people have said that. I have no idea. Somebody told me they got some at Wal-Mart. I know they were at the big toy store in New York.

Q. I went there. I think they were sold out.

VENUS WILLIAMS: Really? I have no idea. I'm sorry. (Smiling.)

Q. Getting back to that mental toughness we spoke about, was there ever a match or an incident that you recall where you lost the match and thought you had a chance to win and said, "I'm never going to let that happen again"?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Too many. The last time it happened was at the US Open in '99 really. I just gave away the match. I just refused to win, basically. And it was disheartening from my performance, that I wasn't competitive enough just to step up and take a chance. That was the last time I've ever done anything like that. These days if I lose, I lose hitting the ball. I lose hitting out. I lose like a winner.

Q. Have you ever won three times in a row at the same site?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Well, I guess at the Ericsson. But I had one year off because I was injured. But I've won three years in a row, the years that I've played. But three successive years, only here.

Q. You played so well when you came into the net today. Have you thought about trying to come into the net on a more regular basis?

VENUS WILLIAMS: I was coming a lot more last year. I haven't been practicing as much. If you don't practice it, it just doesn't come out in the match. So I need to get in there and make it happen. But it seemed like I was successful at the net. I hit a few terrible drop shots. You know...

Q. I was talking more about your volleying.

VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah. I'm pretty good at volleying, because I was like a doubles champ before I was a singles champ.

Q. It seems like if you ever add that to your arsenal, it would be a real difficult task for anybody to play you. You don't have much in weaknesses.

VENUS WILLIAMS: Volleying, you mean?

Q. If you ever started serve and volleying?

VENUS WILLIAMS: I'd have to want to serve and volley, and I don't want to.

Q. Want to get it over with?

VENUS WILLIAMS: My dad might want me to, but the player has to want to. I like it at the baseline. That's where he taught us to play, at the baseline, and I'm addicted.

Q. How much of a sense of satisfaction do you get when you have -- I mean, in 24 hours you beat three of the top six or seven players in the world. That's pretty impressive?

VENUS WILLIAMS: It was nice. It was a challenge for myself just mentally - sure, physically; but mostly mentally. And I feel great to come out the winner, because I didn't play any pushovers and they didn't let me win. So for me, it's nice to feel satisfied to have beaten such great players and to come out of it alive.

Q. Have to improve any of your game for the US Open?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Really I think my backhand. I've been making a few unforced errors at times when I really shouldn't. Basically, capitalizing on my break points. It seems like the better the occasion, the better I do. And, hopefully, I'm gonna bank on that.

Q. Do you ever stop and think about where you might fall into line of women's tennis players some day down the road?

VENUS WILLIAMS: No. I haven't. I think maybe I should make some goals if I really want to be in the record books. I guess I am already, especially with the sister thing. But... I don't know. More than anything, I'm just playing tennis because I like it. It's a great career for me and I'm happy to be here.

End of FastScripts....

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