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March 29, 2004

Venus Williams


THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Well, tell me how you feel it went today, how you're feeling.

VENUS WILLIAMS: I think overall my game was better tonight. I would have liked to have a higher first serve percentage, but my second serve was effective. I feel like whenever I needed to really put pressure with my serve, I would do that. That was good. I was playing for sure a really good player. She's very consistent. She's a fighter. She never says die. That was good for me to get out there and really make a point of getting through that match.

Q. Better percentage at the net tonight, about 78 percent?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Oh, great, great. I think that I got a lot of short balls today so I came in on them. I was doing well at the net. I felt good at the net. I've been practicing my volleys. That was that (smiling).

Q. Does Billie Jean King still talk to you and encourage you about coming to the net?

VENUS WILLIAMS: I always get messages from her, e-mails. She's so sweet. She's such a role model. Such a great coach. Of course she's always saying, "Get in there, get in there." I'm hearing the same thing, of course, from my dad. I suppose I can't give up on a baseline game.

Q. You've got the wing span for it.

VENUS WILLIAMS: For sure, for sure. I've got to go.

Q. Reduced the unforced errors tonight, too, from 21 to 15.

VENUS WILLIAMS: Oh, great, great. I felt like I made less errors. I think I could have made even less errors than that. There were a few games where I did make a few errors. I had to realize that and then kind of rein myself back in.

Q. Do you feel like you're better able to take more risks now? You said the first match or so you were taking risks and it's not working. Is it working better for you?

VENUS WILLIAMS: I have to take risks. That's my game. Any time I try to get involved in playing safe, that's foreign for me. That's not my game, that's not my style. I don't succeed that way. For me, it's about taking risks in a controlled manner. As long as I'm playing my game, I'm fine.

Q. What did you do when you first started thinking about coming back, what did you do to prep for your return? What have you been doing, is it different from before?


Q. Like are you working on your net game more? Are you training in a different way in order to keep your fitness level up so you don't get injured again?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Not really. Pretty much the same regimen, just hope and pray not to be injured in the near future.

Q. You said your dad's telling you to come to the net more. What else is he talking to you about?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Oh, always the same thing. My dad's really technical. But he was happy in today's match. He said, "Is that Venus? Is that Venus? I don't know that Venus." So that was nice (smiling).

Q. That's good.


Q. Serena wore your earrings today.


Q. The hoops.


Q. That have the dangles, silver.

VENUS WILLIAMS: Are those mine? She said they were mine?

THE MODERATOR: You gave them to her. She said "her sister."

VENUS WILLIAMS: Lyn. Lyn gave those to her, yeah.

Q. Good clarification.


Q. I don't think Lyn's getting them back.

VENUS WILLIAMS: No, those are Lyn's -- like Lyn and I, we both wear long, dangly earrings. They weren't mine. They looked good on court.

Q. Yes, they did. How many of your sisters are here?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Well, there was Lyn, Isha. Isha left, and she's coming back tomorrow. Lyn's still here, so all of us are pretty much here by tomorrow.

Q. Dementieva is up next.

VENUS WILLIAMS: I'm ready. I'm ready, yeah. With each match I'm looking forward to succeeding in everything that I try, and you know, of course get out there and play well.

Q. What are you doing right now in your off time? A lot of times you just sit back and read. Is that what you're doing? Are you going to the beach?

VENUS WILLIAMS: I play my guitar, work on my chords and everything else. Music theory. But I kind of want to go to the shops. I haven't had a chance to. I've had a match every day or some kind of rain or some kind of nonsense. So I'm working on it, spreading my wings and getting to the shops.

Q. Maybe tomorrow?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Let's do that (smiling).

Q. I didn't know you played guitar. What kind of music do you like to play most?

VENUS WILLIAMS: I like everything. My teacher gives me songs and then I end up making up my own things, too.

Q. How often are you able to take lessons?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Not very often. So when I do, I go and get the crash course.

Q. Are you good enough to play in public?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Not confident enough, no. Good enough, yes. Confident, no (laughing)

End of FastScripts….

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