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March 25, 2005

Venus Williams


THE MODERATOR: First question for Venus, please.

Q. I'm convinced that after some of these quick matches maybe you have a date or something, you just blow through some of these matches. What's going on?

VENUS WILLIAMS: I would say that was probably one of my best matches of the year. I was saying earlier the other day, this week, that I'm definitely getting a better rhythm with my whole game, so that's what counts.

Q. Can you talk a little bit about Fed Cup. Have you been approached?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, I've definitely been approached. I love Zina, I love Billie. I love playing Fed Cup. I love the atmosphere, to be honest, the atmosphere of learning. I definitely would like to play but I'm still talking to Zina and everyone at the USTA.

Q. Are you going to wait till the end of the month?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Obviously, I'd love to play, but I also need to make sure I'm healthy. I just came off an injury, and I'm entered in Amelia Island and Charleston. That will be the fourth week in a row for me. Obviously, I'm eager to play. I just need to see how I feel.

Q. Do you sense the way the other players turn up their game to try to keep up with you and Serena?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Sure. I guess if I was playing someone who was top-ranked and had a decent reputation, I think I'd try to turn it up, too.

Q. You said that today was your best match of the year. What did you do specifically right that you're happy with?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Just the little things, the attitude thing. I'm definitely leaning on the ball, have better racquet speed, just better. It's taken me a couple times to get to this point, but I'm just building on each event.

Q. One more on Fed Cup, then I'll stop. Singles/doubles, how would that work?

VENUS WILLIAMS: You know, I think normally how it works is normally by ranking - normally.

Q. So that might put you in doubles?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah. That could be, if I'm on the team. I'm definitely a pretty good backup player (laughing). I think, obviously, to have another Fed Cup title for the US is definitely a goal.

Q. Gauging off of today's play, do you think you can swing it on through to the championship?

VENUS WILLIAMS: I would like to. I would like to. I want to build -- I didn't get to hit a lot of balls today. I did hit some good shots and some forceable shots, but I would have liked probably to have hit a few more balls. It is what it is, and I'm in the third round.

Q. Your opponent today was 19. When you were that age, you probably won this event a few times, getting ready to go into your Grand Slam run. Do you look back now and think of all the things you have achieved at a young age? Does it amaze you now?

VENUS WILLIAMS: At the time I was just always thinking how I could get better and just I never thought I was that good, I always wanted to be better. Now, looking back, I see I was okay. But still I'm in the same thing, "I've got to get better, I'm not that good." So I guess I'm my worst critic. But at the time, that's what I was thinking was, "Gosh, I have to do better."

End of FastScripts….

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