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August 23, 2002

Venus Williams


THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. She said you were serving pretty good.

VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah. I have been working on my toss. That's really been throwing me off for, I guess all of my life, but really I noticed this year that my toss has been really -- if I am not hitting the ball in the right spot the ball doesn't go in. This whole tournament week has been a lot of great tosses; I think that helped me out today.

Q. Practicing your serves your dad watching earlier today, what was that all about?

VENUS WILLIAMS: I always practice my serve.

Q. But in a grandstand court.

VENUS WILLIAMS: Oh, the other day?

Q. Today. This evening.

VENUS WILLIAMS: I didn't hit on grandstand today. It was and imposter.

Q. Stadium, I am sorry.

VENUS WILLIAMS: No, I always practice my serve before a match, normal practice. It is just a routine thing.

Q. I noticed in the game of the first set you went from a 111 to 113, 115, 115 then you came down to 97. Is that intentional trying to throw off the pace because she seemed to be -- your timing was quite off?

VENUS WILLIAMS: I think that if I am going to get it in in such a pace it's going to be rare that she's going or any other player is going to hit it back as a winner or putting me on the defense. But sometimes it's nice to mix it up and to hit maybe a high top-spinned ball or different pace. I do like to force the issue but sometimes also I do like to mix it up.

Q. Daniela said that technically you are really strong right now compared to when she played you in Australia?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Australia was a different story. I was just lucky to be in that round, and I just had a lot, a lot of issues. This is a different day.

Q. Are you peaking right now do you think? This usually is your time where you peak.

VENUS WILLIAMS: I don't know. I really have been working on my technique especially this week and when I went home after playing California because when my technique is not there I am not able to do as well. I just want to do everything that I am supposed to do, win or lose; then I can be happy with that.

Q. That last game you hit a couple of hard forehands and drop shots. You looked like you were having a lot of fun with her out there.

VENUS WILLIAMS: One thing about tennis you can't always plan your shot, so you have to think quick. And I guess it's pretty automatic after all the years, but I like to do those drop shot approaches. That's one of my favorite shots.

Q. You suggested you thought you were a little inconsistent. Where were you inconsistent?

VENUS WILLIAMS: I thought I was missing a lot. That's just how I felt today. I don't know. Maybe I wasn't. But I'd like to be more consistent.

Q. Are you motivated by how big a deal it would be for just about anyone to beat you?

VENUS WILLIAMS: I realize that I can't win every match but I do realize that I want to win every match. But if someone can come out there and beat me on that day, then I guess it is great for them. I am not too motivated by all those kind of things.

Q. How about playing Lindsay tomorrow?

VENUS WILLIAMS: I guess I had not the most difficult scoring line against her in San Diego, so if anything, she will be looking to improve on that. There to win the match. Of course I will be doing the same thing going out there to win.

Q. You said out on the court in the interview on TV that following her comeback has been a great story. Could you explain why?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Well, because, you know, beginning of the year I suppose I guess we all thought she'd only be out for three months and it was another month and another month and then again. So it started to be like "when is Lindsay coming back." Even me as a competitor, I liked playing her. I had great matches against her. So it's been nice to see her come back and do so well. Not every one can do that, even I couldn't, I was losing the second round, and then the third round when I came back off sometime. And now look at her now, just a great story that's she's in the finals again.

Q. Crowd pulling for Daniela, did you feel that?


Q. Did you hear the crowd pulling for you or ---

VENUS WILLIAMS: I normally hear the crowd. At times I don't, but I am pulling for me. (Laughs).

Q. What do you expect from the match tomorrow?

VENUS WILLIAMS: I think they love Lindsay here, so I guess I will be pulling for me again. Other than that, I think that she's going to probably come out there and just try to beat me, which you know, is what she has to do, and obviously I am going to be doing the same thing, that's summing up the whole match, that's summing up every match of my career.

Q. You have won 15 in a row here now. Do you feel you can't lose here or is it your home court?

VENUS WILLIAMS: I suppose so. I'd love to make it 16. But nothing is for granted. I am sure Lindsay would like to put that one mark on the losing side of the record.

Q. Why have you been able to beat her four times in a row? 7 out of 8 or something pretty high like that...It's 10-All overall but lately you have dominated her. Any reason for that?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Just to be honest, I got tired of losing to her. I mean, really. I was down like 1 and 18. If I lost another match I was going to retire. It had gotten to that point and I couldn't handle that anymore. So I proceeded to do something about it. Which was I guess the whole thing and other than that, I did become a better player also in the meantime. So I guess that helped a lot.

Q. Was that big turning point for you when you beat her again in the final for the first time? She had dominated the series between you; then you really went on a turning point against her?

VENUS WILLIAMS: I guess the turning point was at Wimbledon, I think she was up 9 and 3, still was pretty bad for me and I think that to me it didn't matter if it was 2 and 3 or 100 and 0, that was a Wimbledon final. I didn't care what the odds were against me. So maybe that was the turning point.

Q. What makes you a different player from the first time you won here in 1999 and now?

VENUS WILLIAMS: I think back then I was just hoping that my opponent would make a mistake and I could win the point especially if I was playing someone really good. Now, I am more likely to make something happen, so I think that's the main difference.

Q. More aggressive today?

VENUS WILLIAMS: I try to be, I think you have to know when to play aggressive and also when to play some defense or to play consistent. Hopefully I am doing all of those things at the right time.

Q. Do you think the key to tomorrow's final is going to be the serve?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Well, surely if I can serve well and she can serve well it's going to be a great match. Whoever holds serve the most, most likely will win. But definitely I think that will be a key because if my serve for some reason will go off, which I don't think it will, that could make the match a lot harder for me on my side and the same for her.

End of FastScripts….

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