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August 13, 2019

Venus Williams

Cincinnati, Ohio

V. WILLIAMS/K. Bertens

6-3, 3-6, 7-6

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Obviously every win is exciting. Is it a little bit extra sweet to be able to pull that off in front of a crowd that's so pulling for you and also against a top-10 player?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, I'm playing at home and we know she's playing great tennis, so that was cool.

It was just a second round, though. For me, it's just round by round. I have a third round to play. To be honest, every player I play plays amazing. She was no less than that.

Obviously she has more experience and probably more composure under fire, and we could see that in the third when she held serve and broke.

But, yeah, I'm ready for the next round.

Q. You have played her twice before and they have both been very long three-set matches. I'm curious what you think about your two games that create these long, very, very close matches each time?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I don't know, but if I could figure it out I would try and win in straight sets. I'll have to give a long think to that one (smiling).

Q. Was it especially exhausting, given especially the humidity out there?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, it was pretty hot. You just have to keep focused on hopefully keeping your feet going. I'm not sure how she felt about the heat, but, you know, I think we were playing at probably the toughest slot during the day. We had to be super heroes out there.

Q. At 5-All, was there anything you kind of told yourself to turn things around?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, I think at 5-All I felt pretty calm. Maybe I rushed a little bit at 5-3. There is such a thing as wanting it too much. You have to earn it.

She played a great game at 6-5, awesome game. And then the tiebreaker was a lot more fun for me, I guess, than her. It's just nice to get that lead and have, like, a few chances.

Q. When you get to 6-2 in the tiebreak and the crowd starts to really get into it, you seemed to take a few moments and seconds to take it all in and compose yourself. Can you let us into your mind and what you're thinking at that moment?
VENUS WILLIAMS: At 6-2, I think I'm gonna win at that point. Like, if you don't think you're gonna win at 6-2, then you've got a problem.

Now, granted, you can still lose. That's tennis. It's not over until you cross that finish line, but at that point I feel confident. But, you know, there is still another point to play, so you want to try to play that point the best you can and close it out.

Q. There has been a lot of focus this year on the ATP Player Council, which just had a bunch of different moves and shakeups, internal controversies. The women's side seems to be a lot more tranquil, at least from the outside. How are things going?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I'm on the player council, I run two businesses, I play professional tennis. I do not know what's going on in the ATP. I just don't have the bandwidth. So wishing them luck (smiling).

Q. I'm curious how things are going in the WTA, though. How is the WTA Player Council doing?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Well, I'm up for election, so we'll see what happens. Hopefully the ladies will vote for me again.

Q. What's your campaign platform?
VENUS WILLIAMS: That's a good question. I mean, I haven't come up with one yet. I don't think it's like high school, you know, like, better school lunch or something, or lobster in the players lounge.

Q. No posters around the locker room, "Vote For Venus"?
VENUS WILLIAMS: No. I don't know. I think the ladies probably have some sort of respect for me, and I have a ton of respect for each and every player here. I think that's kind of the grounds that it goes on.

If they respect you, they vote for you, if they believe in you. Every woman has their strong sense of, like, what they want. So if they don't want you there, you can't convince them that you should be.

Q. What makes you keep working and...
VENUS WILLIAMS: They keep electing me. (Smiling.)

Q. You can choose not to if you wanted to.
VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, but...but...

Q. It could be Victoria Azarenka or Donna Vekic in the third round for you. Just curious of your thoughts on those two opponents. Vika is on the council with you.
VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, it's great having her on the council. I feel so much support, so hopefully we will both be on there again.

I don't know. To me, I just want to win, so I don't know what's gonna happen. Those ladies are both amazing players, and I think it will be an exciting match.

Q. It appeared that many aspects of your game were working well today. Is there something in particular that you were pleased about?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, I just tried not to go too big, because I can go so big and I have a lot of power and it's not always easy to control it. So I'm trying to play smart instead of going hog wild, which is extremely easy to do.

Q. You mentioned recently that you're always trying to learn from matches, from every experience in your life. What have you been learning from yourself in the past few matches the past few weeks?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Not to go too big. That's what I have been learning.

Q. In life or just on court?

Q. What made you decide to become a YouTuber?
VENUS WILLIAMS: There were a series of events that led me there, and once I got there I quite like it. Actually, I have the other video on deck. I just have been busy and haven't made the edits yet.

I enjoy it, actually. More than anything, I like to film things. That's more fun for me than, like, being on camera. The point of having a channel is to be on camera.

Yeah. You guys write what you want and then I get to say what I want (winking).

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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