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March 27, 2005

Venus Williams


THE MODERATOR: Questions for Venus, please.

Q. You seemed to be tougher today and so focused, and you made so few unforced errors. You played a great match today. I guess you agree, don't you?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Thank you. Thank you very much (smiling).

Q. You're leading the tournament in return games won. Why do you think that is?

VENUS WILLIAMS: My return is one of my best shots. That's the shot my dad's always emphasized since we were little kids. Just you need a great return game, hold serve, be able to break. And I'm of course getting a better rhythm, better and better this year.

Q. Your opponent said you hit hard from the baseline. When she tried to move you around, she said you hit harder. How do you think you are in terms of velocity on serve and ground strokes?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Well, just all last year I had a hard time keeping my balls in because I never really was able to play my game because I never was able to get a good amount of practice because I was usually pretty injured. So this year I've had a much better chance to hit, and so I can hit it with a better velocity and keep it in so I don't have to take so much off my shots. Now I'm just striking it. You know, that's one of my assets. I don't know where I get the power from because it's not like I have tons and tons of muscles, but I got blessed, I guess.

Q. When you've got a score line of 2 and love, can you take anything away from that? Can you gauge the way you're playing?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Well, normally - especially in women's tennis these days - if your opponent only gets two games it usually says that you were on or they were off. I think in my case I played a good game. I had a couple breakpoints against me and some close games. I feel like I won those important points and always returned her best shots. That can be frustrating.

Q. In the case of preparation, do you like matches which are so quick like today?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Well, my first match was quick, but I didn't get to hit a lot of balls. I felt like I would hit a shot and it was like one or two shots and the point was over. But today I did get to hit a lot of balls - high balls, short balls, low balls, lots of returns - so that was good. The score line didn't show the intensity in which I had to play in order to get that score line. She played very well, and she's a great player.

End of FastScripts….

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