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March 29, 2005

Venus Williams


THE MODERATOR: Questions for Venus, please.

Q. Terrific match.


Q. Where would you place that one in terms of quality?

VENUS WILLIAMS: You know, I kept my errors down. I think the first set for me was fantastic. The second set I feel like I definitely lost some opportunities, but that was okay with me because I wanted to -- I just felt it was good to have those tests at the same time, even though I would have liked to have held serve when I got the first break in the second and all those kinds of things, when I had all those points to win games. But, you know, of course credit to Serena. It's not like she gave me that many points. Especially when she got down, big first serve, great approach shot. I definitely had my hands full.

Q. In terms of quality, where would you put that match with your sister, in terms of quality?

VENUS WILLIAMS: I don't know. I mean, we've played some huge matches. I mean, we played two-and-a-half hour matches in Grand Slam finals. This one definitely is a highlight, sure.

Q. When you went up 5-0 in the first set, your sister did a little damage to her racquet. How did you react?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Well, her racquet is actually fragile. It's powerful but fragile. Mine is not fragile, so I can tap mine a bit harder. But hers goes no matter what. She is definitely a little bit more fiery than I am. I kind of keep an even keel. It's just the way I am.

Q. When was the last time you felt you played that consistently against anyone, particularly against anyone of that caliber?

VENUS WILLIAMS: I played some good matches in Antwerp, but I'm definitely feeling a lot more comfortable, better rhythm now. I'm just really dedicated to doing the right thing on the court. When I make a mistake, I'm just trying to correct them. If I don't move forward, then the next one I make sure I move forward whether I win or lose the point. Just little things like that.

Q. You said you had these tests and it was good to have those tests. How satisfying is it, you had everything that Serena could throw at you in the second set, and still you won?

VENUS WILLIAMS: She definitely picked up her serve, she picked up her speed. She had some great dropshots. Like I said, I definitely needed that. I definitely need to get to the point, too, as soon as I break, I hold like normal and just close it out. That's the way Serena and I both play under normal circumstances.

Q. Has it been a while since you've actually felt that comfortable at the big moments in a match like this?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, I wasn't really nervous. I just am trying to play the ball. Yeah, definitely felt nice. Obviously, I had a pretty big match, I guess, in Australia - I guess for Australians. For the rest of the world, probably not. I didn't play too well in that match, and I was extremely disappointed. Not in the fact that I lost, but in the fact how I played. But at that time I tried my best with what I had, and I feel like I got a little more right now.

Q. Why is that?

VENUS WILLIAMS: I just, you know, am training harder. Not that I wasn't training hard, but just keep going at it, getting better, just like every other player.

Q. The backhand was really impressive, wasn't it?


Q. No?

VENUS WILLIAMS: I don't know. Just I went for it on both sides, I guess.

Q. Your thoughts on playing Maria Sharapova? She's been steamrolling all her opponents the past few days.

VENUS WILLIAMS: I think it will be a good match, I guess. Not too many thoughts. When I get out there, I tell you what, I'm gonna do me. That's all I'm gonna do. Just keep it real.

Q. How confident are you of going right back to the top?

VENUS WILLIAMS: To be honest, for me, it's a given because I feel like I have the talent and the experience. And obviously maybe it hasn't been exactly as I would have planned it, but these things happen. So for me, I just feel like (inaudible) is a matter of time.

Q. How close do you feel you were playing tonight to when you were playing at your very, very best?

VENUS WILLIAMS: I never felt like I played my best. I think there's one tournament where I felt like I played my very best, and even when I hit it wrong it went in. One tournament in my whole career.

Q. Which was?

VENUS WILLIAMS: I played Hamburg in - I don't know, 2001 or 2002, something like that. I don't remember now. But one tournament in my whole career, so... You have to be willing to die on the court whether you're playing good or bad, basically. It's not about whether you're playing your best, it's about you're going to do the right thing at the right time. So that's the player who usually wins, whoever does the right thing.

Q. You only played Serena for so long. Obviously, to have a sequence where you lost some, did it help you tonight having that gap between the matches?

VENUS WILLIAMS: I don't know, it's been so long. So much has happened between this match and the last match. I just feel like in the last matches, Serena always played better. There were times, I guess, when I probably had chances and I couldn't do it or whatever that may have been. But she won them, and I was happy at least there was a Williams on it. That's what would matter to me, and that there was two Williamses in the final. I'm quite selfish about those kind of things. Obviously, I would have loved to have won those matches. For me, it's like the past now.

Q. Was there any urgency to get it done in the second set and not let it go to a third?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Obviously, that was my goal, is straight sets. But if there was a third set, I would have been just as focused and ready. But my focus was definitely on that second set, on closing it out there.

Q. Are you aware of how much the crowd was into it?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, I felt like they were definitely into it. That was nice. The yells, that was cool.

End of FastScripts….

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