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March 23, 2002

Venus Williams


THE MODERATOR: Questions for Venus, please.

Q. Kind of tight early on, huh?


Q. First set, kind of off your groove?

VENUS WILLIAMS: I didn't really feel particularly off or anything. I just felt that she was playing good tennis, and I felt I was playing okay, too, but just on some of the key points I was missing my shots. That doesn't bring in a win. So I had to tighten it up throughout the second and the third.

Q. Did the rain postponement change anything as far as your focus?

VENUS WILLIAMS: I think probably I would have played a little better today because last night I'm sure I would have been tired, a little bit out of focus from just sitting around. It was a little bit disappointing also to have to wait to the next day to play. This was supposed to be my day off.

Q. What would you have done on your day off?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Would have hit the beach. I live in Florida but I never get to the beach. It's disappointing. So when I'm at a tournament, I actually relax a lot more than I do at home. It's my turn to be lazy.

Q. Before you went on court, you saw your dog. Your dog had a new haircut. You didn't look too happy. Did that distract you at all?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Bob distracted me. Little Yorkie, he just got his hair cut. He was stinky. I think he's happy now. He's probably happy.

Q. How did you feel about your play today?

VENUS WILLIAMS: I thought I played well. For once I was pretty happy because I did the things that we were working on in practice, so I was happy about that part. And, you know, in the first round, I haven't played in a few weeks, it can be tough to get your rhythm.

Q. Did you feel like you worked into it a little bit and played better as the match went along?

VENUS WILLIAMS: I think that I played better. I played smarter. Also she's a very good player. She moves well and she blocks back my power shots, where I would have to hit three or four good shots instead of just one.

Q. How about your serve? How did you feel about it?

VENUS WILLIAMS: I felt okay with my serve. I served better than I thought I would because I haven't been practicing my serve at all hardly.

Q. You hit one that actually landed in front of the net there. What happened on that?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Too much spin. When I try to put too much spin and come down on it, the results are devastating for me (laughing).

Q. Can you talk about what it was like yesterday afternoon when you can see that first the clouds are coming, and you can tell that there's going to be a storm, then it starts raining and you think it might stop. Then it starts pouring. You have to have a pretty good idea there's no way you're going to play. How does that work on you?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Well, I won Wimbledon twice, so I'm used to it. I'm used to the rain. It's not a problem for me. But really I would have preferred to play yesterday.

Q. You mentioned the challenge of playing in your opening match and working your way into the tournament. Can you talk about that a little bit more and the hazards there. We saw Roddick lose yesterday, and how it's difficult to get going sometimes.

VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, if you haven't played in a couple weeks, at times you can be a little bit rusty. Can't get your feet to move no matter how much you beg them. Today I did okay as far as getting myself back into the match.

Q. There's some folks that say this is your house, Venus' house, if it were yours, how would you decorate it?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Green's my favorite color. I wouldn't change it.

Q. I know you've got the OWL Foundation coming up. We hear so much about your father. Tell us about your mother, the contributions she's made to the family and to you tennis -wise.

VENUS WILLIAMS: My mom's a great person. She doesn't talk much. She's an introvert. But if you get to know her, she's really funny.

Q. One last question, your dad's told me many times he thought you'd be terrific in broadcast. They've got the tennis channel coming up. Would you like to be involved with that at all?

VENUS WILLIAMS: You know, once I did do a commentating on Serena's match. I was really unhappy with the results so I don't know if I have a career. I guess I'd better keep the tennis up.

Q. How good do you feel that channel will be for our game?

VENUS WILLIAMS: I've heard a little bit about it but I don't know very much about what it's going to do.

End of FastScripts….

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