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September 2, 2004

Venus Williams


THE MODERATOR: Questions for Venus, please.

Q. Did you get a little more comfortable as the match got going, start to play better? Did you get a better handle on what she was doing?

VENUS WILLIAMS: I just started to play better. She played a very good match. In the first set, I was just very weak off the ground. But really as the match continued, returned a lot better also and just was a lot better on the groundstrokes.

Q. What did you think of her as a player?

VENUS WILLIAMS: She's a great player. She's a great player. She has to keep improving and working hard and enjoying as much as she is right now.

Q. She gave you problems in that first set.

VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, she did. She did some really good shots. I think a lot of it was me, too. I was missing early on. I think that's encouraging for people that I play, when I do make errors.

Q. Do you think the long game when you finally broke her was the turning point of the match?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Obviously, it was very nice to get that break, to serve to get to the tiebreak. At that point really I was just kind of working on my game. I was missing those second serves and really just trying to take my time. From there on, I also started to play a little bit better.

Q. In coming back from your injury, has it caused you to reconsider the tournaments you play in, practice you put in, and the length of your career?

VENUS WILLIAMS: No. I haven't considered those factors because of my injury, no.

Q. So you just are going to play? It feels good enough and you have enough confidence in yourself?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, I feel good. I just think that early on in the year I made mistakes to play when I wasn't well, and I've learned from that. I'm not going to do it again because it really has hindered my development to this point in the year. If I had not played and stayed home, and obviously I would have rather been out there, but it would have done me a lot more good. So I've learned.

Q. Do you think your sister feels the same way about that, not coming back?

VENUS WILLIAMS: I can't even speak for her. I wouldn't try (smiling).

Q. Do you feel almost like an underdog coming in here? Seems like there's been a lot of attention paid to your sister coming back, Justine, Lindsay playing well. Do you feel it's possible for you to go underneath the radar so far? Do you feel that way?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Never considered it.

Q. So you feel just as confident as anyone else about winning this?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Absolutely. Every day you have to show up and play your best, no matter who you're playing, as you saw today. And really it's just quite important to take it point to point. That's all you can do really. You cannot play ahead of the point that you're in at that moment.

End of FastScripts….

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