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March 25, 2002

Venus Williams


THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. I was wondering if you saw any of the Academy Awards last night. I was just wondering if you could relate at all to what Halle Berry was talking about. ?

VENUS WILLIAMS: I didn't see it. I went to sleep. I had a match.

Q. To get to No. 1, I know Althea got there before, but it was a different area when there wasn't the scrutiny and attention. Do you feel that was an achievement that transcends your goals?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Her getting to No. 1?

Q. You getting to No. 1, in this media age.

VENUS WILLIAMS: I don't understand the question.

Q. Is it an accomplishment that's just bigger than what it does for you in terms of reaching your goals?

VENUS WILLIAMS: My life's simpler. Number one, I'm in 2000. I'm here and I'm alive. That's what counts. I'm playing good tennis. I'm enjoying myself. Tennis isn't even first in my life. So, basically, No. 1 was great, but there's other things that are more important to me.

Q. What does that mean to you that you didn't have to sacrifice all those other things to get to No. 1; that you could still have a fairly well-rounded life?

VENUS WILLIAMS: What does it mean?

Q. Yeah. You know there are a lot of competitors --?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Everyone has a different attitude toward tennis and toward life. Mine is just, "I'll do what I want when I will." And that's what makes me happy. And at this point, I want to play tennis.

Q. You played pretty good today. Amanda Coetzer's like a backboard. You kind of mistreated her today out there. Tell me why it was so one-sided.

VENUS WILLIAMS: I just think today was one of those days where nothing went wrong. I'm sure today wasn't her best day at all. I've played her on quite a few occasions. Today wasn't her day. I guess that was good for me.

Q. You feel like everything's clicking for you right now?

VENUS WILLIAMS: So far. I think I can do better with moving in and coming to the net. I've been hitting quite a few nice approach shots. Normally they've been winners. I haven't had to volley very often.

Q. Was your game plan to overpower? You do that with everyone. But she's about a foot shorter than you.

VENUS WILLIAMS: Well, you know, basically I'm not going to go out there and play her game. I'm not going to get into long rallies and lobbing and moonballs. That's just not me. My plan was definitely to make sure I stayed with my game.

Q. Do you think this is a tough day for you and your mom with you and Serena playing at the same time, running from court to court?

VENUS WILLIAMS: My mom isn't here. My dad was here. He caught my first set. He moved on to Serena's. Afterwards I moved on to Serena's, too.

Q. Got close the second set.


Q. Are you aware that David Rineberg (ph) has written a book about you and Serena. What was he, a hitting coach?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Someone told me he had a book.

Q. You haven't seen it or anything?


Q. How do you feel about that? Someone that once worked with you is kind of making money off the experience of having worked with you?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Everybody's doing it nowadays, right?

Q. Does it make you and Serena want to pen your own memoirs to set it straight?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Too young. Let me live a few more years.

Q. How about Elena Dementieva, how would you compare your games? What do you have to do to beat her?

VENUS WILLIAMS: I think basically I have to be more consistent. She's a very good player. She's been in the Top 10. She's beat all kinds of players - Davenport. I don't remember who else, but a lot of people. So, I just have to get out there and play better.

Q. I guess she got hurt last year, her foot. Kind of dropped off a little bit. Seems like she's getting back to her form. Do you feel like you have similar games? I mean, you attack more than she does, I would assume.

VENUS WILLIAMS: I think we do have similar games as far as we rely on power and speed to meet our ends. But I think the execution is a bit different.

Q. What do you recall from past matches with her?

VENUS WILLIAMS: I recall I was able to get through the first set nice but I always struggled in the second. So I'll try to make a different trend from there.

Q. How many times do you have a day like today where everything just does seem to work, and everything is clicking? I mean, that must make it almost seem like it's ballet for you or something. How often does that occur?

VENUS WILLIAMS: It doesn't happen often, especially if you're just flowing, where you don't have to try very hard. But normally I'm working against myself trying to get myself to stop hitting unforced errors. But today was nice. I'm hoping it will continue like that.

Q. What does that feel like? Does it really feel effortless, or do you just feel like the court is the size of an airplane runway on those days?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Today I just went for every shot. I didn't really hold back on anything.

End of FastScripts….

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