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January 24, 2004

Venus Williams


THE MODERATOR: Questions for Venus, please.

Q. Do you think that's attributable to the layoff or Lisa's fine play? How would you assess that?

VENUS WILLIAMS: I think she played really well. You know, she hung in there and played a lot of good shots and was really determined. And she's a really, really good player, really talented, and she has everything: good serve, good return, good groundstrokes, good volleys, good movement. So she had a lot of good things going on out there for her.

Q. You were having a lot of trouble with your first serve. Was that sun, something else?

VENUS WILLIAMS: A little bit. I think I had some good ones, some good first serves, a lot of good ones, actually, then some bad ones, too. Just a little bit off rhythm. That's all.

Q. Do you think that's a match that you might have won had you not had such a long break?

VENUS WILLIAMS: I'd like to think so. But what I need to do is just put my break behind me and keep moving on with the now and with each match that I play from here, and learn from each one, learn from each one. I think she played well. And I had some moments when I played some good shots, too. So it was a good match.

Q. Is it a question when you're away that long, you get a little battle shy?

VENUS WILLIAMS: In the tiebreak, I probably went for too much too soon. I guess I have a lot of time to think about it now (smiling). But it's all good. It's all good because I feel I can do it - but it just wasn't today.

Q. Are you less disappointed than you would ordinarily be?

VENUS WILLIAMS: I'm pretty much in shock. I still can't believe it. But that's the way I feel after every loss - whether I've been off or on or what have you. It's definitely going to settle in this evening. It will be like, "No!" That's the way it is. You win some, you lose some. I definitely had a lot of high hopes to do well here, and of course ultimately to win. But the best player will, whoever that is. Unfortunately, it wasn't me in this fortnight.

Q. Are you good at kind of putting it in perspective?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Maybe not right now (laughter). Maybe not right now. I just would like to do well, that's all. There's definitely a lot of things I could work on. But it's nice that I'll have a break and get ready for the next event.

Q. Were you a hundred percent physically today?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, everybody has their issues. Don't really want to get into that. But it was okay.

Q. Your stomach muscle feels okay?

VENUS WILLIAMS: I'm fine, thank God, yes. I'm fine with my stomach, thank you.

Q. It appeared your movement was a little bit limited at times in the second set.

VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah. My feet couldn't -- I don't want to get into it. Lisa played good.

Q. You're due to go to Tokyo after this?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, I'm going to Tokyo.

Q. Will you stay here now?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, I'll be a tennis tourist (laughter). I'll go see the Twelve Apostles now, who knows, Ayers Rock, all those good things. No, this is definitely not the position I was anticipating, but it's okay. I have to look at the bright side and know that I have plenty of time to practice and get ready for my next event. Of course, I just feel that my form will get better and better.

Q. Were you in a little bit of shock to find yourself down so quickly?

VENUS WILLIAMS: No. Just even from the warm-up, I was thinking, "She's going to play well today," just from the way she's hitting in the warm-up. My feet, I couldn't get them to go. My feet were very bad today. Especially at my height, I can't have bad feet and still play well. So that was tough. But she played good. She had a lot of shots rockin' and rollin' today. It was nice for her.

Q. Lisa has had a lot of trouble keeping her nerves in singles matches, finishing them up. Did you expect she might have problems today? Did that ever flash through your mind?

VENUS WILLIAMS: It could have happened. It could have happened. I don't think I was able to keep the pressure on like I normally would. But I think she did good. She kept it coming. I've seen her play very well before. So I knew she was capable of that.

Q. Was your weight of shot as heavy as it is normally?

VENUS WILLIAMS: "Weight of shot".

Q. Yes.

VENUS WILLIAMS: I thought I had some heavy shots, for sure. She had a lot of good shots, too. And normally a lot of those shots she was hitting, I would run them down. And that wasn't the case today. So I think that was another area of pressure I'm usually able to put on my opponent, which she wasn't affected by today. So I think that gave her some advantages, too.

Q. What is your schedule?

VENUS WILLIAMS: I'm playing in Tokyo and Antwerp and Dubai. So I have two weeks off now. Woe is me.

Q. Will you watch any of the remainder of this Open or not?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Maybe, I don't know (laughter). I have a lot to think about and recover from at this moment, so...

Q. I know it's hard to evaluate something after a loss like this, but what sort of positives can you take away from the whole experience of coming back? Like you said, your stomach is better now.

VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, I can be positive that my stomach is fine. Yes, that's it (laughter).

Q. Nothing else?


Q. Ways it one of your most disappointing losses? How would you rank it?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Not really. Not really. Obviously, each loss is not a barrel of laughs, to put it in the least way. But I definitely had losses that were more disappointing than this. But each one is one that I don't want to accept or take or experience.

End of FastScripts….

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