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March 28, 2004

Venus Williams


THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. I'm doing a story on momentum. In terms of you building momentum this year, because you haven't had so much, this match, where the first set you got through a tight one then the second set you got to run away with it, if you build on this tomorrow, do you think you're getting going?

VENUS WILLIAMS: I have to build on it. I think my returns helped me out today. They were real tough yesterday. But as far as momentum, I think I just kept getting it today in the match. It's something that you do build on throughout the year and throughout the tournament and throughout the match. So, yeah, it's an important factor.

Q. You're playing someone like Schiavone next, who ideally would be the opponent you'd build momentum against, but she has a different style, is that going to be difficult for you?

VENUS WILLIAMS: It will be a different style because Daniela, she has the ability to press the point and to hit winners, where against Schiavone, maybe her strength is more or less to get a lot of balls back, try to frustrate you. So if anything against Schiavone, I'll have a lot more time to do exactly what I want to do.

Q. When you're playing at your peak, do you just have that automatic sense of when the key points are and what to do? Or tonight, for example, are you trying to figure out what to do?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, really I was just making mistakes and probably pressing too hard. I really wanted to win. She really wanted to win (laughing). So it was interesting, at least that part, to see how motivated she was. So I was like, "Pick it up, pick it up."

Q. Good tennis?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, it was good tennis. Even in the second set there was good tennis but I just kept winning the points. Yeah, I started to feel good and I think it was tough for her because a lot of the shots maybe I was missing early in the second I stopped missing. I was able to cover the court well, and she was, too. So that was good. I think if she plays like that, she's going to win a lot more matches for sure.

Q. How did you feel sort of mentally and physically versus yesterday?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Mentally, I felt better. Tried to be more clear going into the match. Yesterday I knew what I did wrong. But yesterday was more windy and I played quite a different player yesterday. So today was possibly a bit easier because I was kind of warmed up and better into it and things like that.

Q. Yesterday sort of helped?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Oh, definitely.

Q. In terms of adjusting your game for tonight, how did you turn the tables?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Just the errors, I had to stop the errors. I think even today I was hitting some really good shots. Then she would hit one in the corner and she had me a lot on the defense. But even with that, I'm a good player on the defense because I can hit a lot of shots that are still very forcive when I'm on the defense. So I think that helped a lot. But she played good. I was just trying to make sure I had an answer for everything.

Q. How close did you feel today to the zone of your best tennis?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Not close. I'm never happy. I think that I started definitely doing the things I'm used to doing, which is playing well and having an answer for each shot my opponent has and really just competing well. And that was nice. But I just always felt like, "I got to pick it up, I got to do better." So tomorrow hopefully I'll even do more.

End of FastScripts….

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