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September 3, 2002

Venus Williams


MODERATOR: Questions for Venus.

Q. How do you feel about pulling this through?

VENUS WILLIAMS: It's real nice to be in the quarterfinals.

Q. Were you as calm as you looked on the breakpoints?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah. I mean, at that point I had rushed so many shots, missed so many, I was just happy to be able to get through those points. You know, today wasn't my best day, so it was nice to win on a day where I was off.

Q. What was going through your head in that third set, 11th game, serving down 15-40? What were you thinking about to turn it around?

VENUS WILLIAMS: I don't know. Just playing the point. It was nice that I got a few first serves in, I think maybe four in a row, finally. You know, I just shouldn't have -- I should have just closed it out, really stayed tough while I had the lead instead of, you know, letting it get that far. But it wasn't all my fault. I think she played really good.

Q. Reason for changing the racquet?

VENUS WILLIAMS: It was about to break.

Q. Can you talk about the last two games? The last eight to ten points, you really stepped it up.

VENUS WILLIAMS: Well, I was trying. I was trying to hit some forceful shots, give myself a chance. I definitely didn't want to go to the tiebreak. Of course, if I had to, no other choice to play it. But it was nice to hold serve and not have to be down a break. I tried to tell myself, "It's better than being down a break trying to close out the match off her serve."

Q. How difficult has the bad weather made it for you?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Not difficult at all. I would have loved to have played yesterday. I don't know why they canceled my match. That's how it happens.

Q. Is there any concern now that as it gets deeper into the tournament, you have a bunch of matches together, it will have an effect?

VENUS WILLIAMS: No, not at all.

Q. Serena says you've been outplaying her in practice pretty handily. Do you feel that way? Do you feel you're playing as well on the court today as you've been playing against her?

VENUS WILLIAMS: I don't think I had a very good practice this morning. Maybe that transferred over to the match. But it's always important to at least feel good in practice, if you can.

Q. Were you surprised at all the way she was able to hang in there with you?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Oh, no, not at all. I know she was going to play well. All she had to do was come out and beat me. I was making so many unforced errors. Sometimes on those slow serves, I just couldn't -- they were so slow (laughter).

Q. Why was she so effective on your second serve?

VENUS WILLIAMS: She's playing real good.

Q. There are matches where you served really well your second serve, other matches where you're taking a lot of pace off of it, you're unsure. What's going on there?

VENUS WILLIAMS: I don't know. To me all I care is that it goes in, whether it's hard or slow. Normally I'm not going for a really big second serve. Sometimes I do.

Q. So what? Percentage-wise, you're playing more for percentage or what?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Depends on how I feel, how I'm feeling that point, how I hit it.

Q. You said before that it feels good to win a match where you weren't playing at your best. Is it almost better to go into a quarterfinal with that kind of a match behind you rather than these straight-set wins?

VENUS WILLIAMS: I wouldn't say necessarily you have to go out there and have very tough matches to play your best. Surely, maybe it can make you work a little harder, be a lot more serious about the later rounds.

Q. Were you frustrated during the match at all because of so many unforced errors on your part? What were you thinking in terms of your own patience or frustration, what was going through your head?

VENUS WILLIAMS: I was thinking a little bit, this is how I used to play in '98, back in the day. I don't like to go backwards to those times. Those were tough times for me. I like to live pretty much in the present, or play like I'm playing now and not digress.

Q. Did you see any of the tape of the Spirlea match they were replaying?

VENUS WILLIAMS: I didn't see it. I saw one point.

Q. Backhand on match point.

VENUS WILLIAMS: I didn't see that one. I had match point at 7-6. I didn't even know it was on. I think I was on my way to the tennis center. I didn't see the match.

Q. Have you hit any shot that was bigger than that backhand down the line at match point down?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Probably not.

Q. You haven't played Martina in a while. There's a possibility of it. Can you talk about playing her again, whether you relish it or...

VENUS WILLIAMS: Well, I'm happy to be in the quarterfinals. It could have definitely went the other way. If I play her, if I play Monica, I'm just very happy to be here at this point.

Q. Do you feel in any way that your second serve can be improved, and if so in what ways?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Sure. I think my whole game can improve.

Q. Specifically the second serve?


Q. How do you feel it can be improved?

VENUS WILLIAMS: I'd like to have better placement.

Q. Did it go through your mind at a certain point that you could have lost this match?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah. Even when I was down 5-2 in the second, I thought that I was going to win that set, but I didn't. Only when it got to be about 4-3 did I start to think that I was definitely on a tightrope.

Q. Do you ever think back to your matches against Martina, '99, 2000, one the loss and one the nice victory?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah. Hopefully I can play better than what I played in those days.

Q. Both days you're talking about?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah. Back then I really made an unforced error every other point. I'd like to think that I'm not playing like that anymore.

Q. When you beat her in 2000, do you consider that an important emotional victory?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Sure, it was definitely important to win the match, otherwise I wouldn't have been in the finals. Still I made a lot of mistakes. I'd like to be better every year.

End of FastScripts….

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