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March 26, 2002

Venus Williams


THE MODERATOR: First questions for Venus, please.

Q. Yesterday you said you went for everything and it was just your day. Today did you take that attitude on the court in the first set and then change your attitude after that?

VENUS WILLIAMS: I don't know. I just -- you win some points and you lose some points. In the end I won more than I lost.

Q. Were you trying to move things around in that third set when the weather changed?

VENUS WILLIAMS: I never really felt that I was going to lose today. So moving along to 7-5, 7-6, 6-4, 6-2, 6-1, whatever it took for me.

Q. Were you trying to get it over before it would start to rain?

VENUS WILLIAMS: I didn't think it was going to rain.

Q. How do you feel overall about the way you played today in your game?

VENUS WILLIAMS: I feel okay. I think I could have done a lot better. But a lot of times you have some days that aren't your best days, and what counts is that you get the best out of yourself that you can on that day.

Q. You said you recall struggling against Elena, I guess, the second sets and doing well the first set. Today it was kind of different.

VENUS WILLIAMS: Uh-huh. Well, theoretically I should have won the first set. I was up a break. I had so many opportunities and I just couldn't do anything that made a lot of sense. She kept putting the pressure on, and before I knew it, the first set was finished.

Q. But you did very well on your break points.


Q. Yeah. Percentage-wise. She got 4 of 14. You had 6 of 9.

VENUS WILLIAMS: My word. I didn't know it was that crazy out there.

Q. Did you consciously change your game to maybe not go for the lines in the second set? Because you were erratic in the first set.

VENUS WILLIAMS: No. Really, more than anything I just had to cut down the errors. That's not a way to win a match, is unforced errors. I think she played well. She kept bringing balls back, kept running balls down, returning them with power. I always had to find an answer for that.

Q. She said she wanted to go right at you, take away the angles. Did that bother you the first set?

VENUS WILLIAMS: No, nothing bothers me.

Q. You said before even if you're not playing well you manage to find a way to win it. Is that what kind of started to make a difference between you being a champion like at Wimbledon and the US Open, and before - that you learned how to do that?

VENUS WILLIAMS: I think anyone can win on a bad day, but also you've got to know how to win the big matches and step it up, accept your responsibility, get out there and compete. Once you can do that, you're a champ I guess.

Q. How concerned are you about your serve, you had ten doubles today. Do you feel that's an area you need to improve?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Well, yeah, I saw the numbers were getting up there. But I think I'll do better. I always do, as the tournament goes on.

Q. Is it fair to say you have a brooding interest in tonight's match?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Oh, yeah, I want Serena to win. I'm biased.

Q. Obviously, you've been down this road before. In fact, at this tournament. If she does make it to the semis, is it any different this time around?

VENUS WILLIAMS: I always want Serena to win. She always wants me to win. We always want the best for each other. So, it's the same.

Q. Have the two of you played enough against each other that to play her again is just another match for you?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, it's just a match on the way in the tournament.

Q. After the US Open final, a bunch of us were talking to your mom in the player lounge. She kind of intimated that Serena was still a little too nervous and basically said, "It's the sibling thing, that's always how it's been with them." Do you think Serena's ready to overcome that? Are you hoping she isn't?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Serena hates to lose, no matter who it's to. So I don't think she gave me any matches.

Q. No, I wasn't -- but just because younger sisters tend to be nervous. They feel like they...

VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, I suppose it's a complex. But I don't think it's one for Serena.

Q. What stands out in your memories of the US Open final when you think back to it?

VENUS WILLIAMS: I never thought back to it. I moved on.

Q. Not a highlight for you?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Sure, I love winning - especially Grand Slams. But I like the Wimbledon more. That was more memorable for this year - last year.

Q. You haven't lost here in your last three tournaments. Do you feel like you own this arena?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Sometimes. Not always. When things are going my way, it feels great.

Q. What is it about this place? Do you feel extra comfortable here?

VENUS WILLIAMS: I guess I've just picked one tournament that I'm going to win always. It just happens to be this one (laughing).

Q. We kind of look at you as the older sister to Serena. In your family order, you've actually got a few older sisters. Did you ever have those jitters or nerves playing Candyland or whatever against your three older sisters, because they had the edge because they were all older? Did you feel that with them?


Q. Did you ever beat them?


Q. Anything. Candyland, cards.

VENUS WILLIAMS: We always lost and broke our pieces to the game. We didn't have it long enough to enjoy it (laughing).

Q. Who was a sore loser?


Q. Is she still?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, I don't think -- she just hates to lose. She's the ultimate competitor.

Q. Will you, indeed, stick around tonight?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah. I like to watch the matches. It's rare that I get to see them. Especially in the beginning when we first started on tour, I was always playing the matches. So when she started playing, for me it was fun to watch them.

Q. Would you ever, tonight, when you're watching, think of her match in terms of you perhaps meeting her? Or you know how she plays so well you'd never think like that, as far as strategy, what you would do? You wouldn't think like that?

VENUS WILLIAMS: I go into a strategy in each match. If you don't plan, it's most likely you'll fail. So no matter who I'm playing, I'm going to have a strategy. I hope (laughing).

Q. Are we going to see a lot of signs from dad if this does happen?

VENUS WILLIAMS: I think he -- I don't think so.

Q. I didn't see him in the third set.

VENUS WILLIAMS: I think he likes his camera the most now.

Q. What does he do with the pictures?

VENUS WILLIAMS: I don't know.

Q. Hasn't shown you any?

VENUS WILLIAMS: I've seen some. He gives me some copies.

Q. Could you hear him shout out to you today? He was yelling a lot of stuff out there.

VENUS WILLIAMS: Sometimes. But just with all the people shouting, it's hard to pick out a voice.

Q. How do you think the fans are here? Do you feel like you're well-supported here?

VENUS WILLIAMS: I think that they want to see a good match. But at times, like in my first matches I played, I felt a lot of support. Today I thought it was pretty even.

End of FastScripts….

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