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June 27, 2005

Venus Williams


THE MODERATOR: Questions, please, for Venus Williams.

Q. You looked overjoyed.


Q. You did. How did it feel?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Uhm, it was nice being out there. I just wanted to play well, just keep my level rising for each round.

Q. Nothing personally satisfying about it, I guess? She obviously beat Serena the last time.

VENUS WILLIAMS: Well, I think, you know, it's probably a really big challenge mentally also to play both Serena and I in a row. So, uhm, I guess I had a good position to be second sister (smiling).

Q. When she had that good spell at the start of the second set, did it flash through your mind that this girl beat your sister?

VENUS WILLIAMS: No, I just made a couple errors at the wrong time. She did hit some good shots. But, of course, my plan was to just break and hold again. And I felt very in control. But she's a very good player. This is a good surface for her. She's a very good retriever. And when she has the opportunity, she definitely tries to take it and move forward. So I knew I would definitely have to play well.

Q. She said you were really fired up and very focused on the match today. Did you feel that way just coming on the court from the first point that you were in there?

VENUS WILLIAMS: For sure. I felt like, you know, I had the advantage, of course, with experience. Of course, having watched the whole last match, I saw a lot of things. And definitely, like I said earlier, as the tournament progresses, I would love to try to raise my level each time.

Q. When a player takes down your baby sister, does that juice you up or fire you up a little?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Well, it's hard to say exactly, but (laughter) I definitely would like to, you know, do it a little bit for my sister - but mostly for me.

Q. We were pretty stunned by the result on Saturday. Were you watching it? As it unfolded, were you in sort of disbelief?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Well, when you go out there, you always give Serena the edge against almost anyone she plays. I think, of course, that part was definitely unexpected. But it wasn't under the best circumstances for Serena either. Under the circumstances, I think she did really well.

Q. Do you find the British people here at Wimbledon quite supportive of international players? Should London win the Olympic bid?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Come on, it's not fair to ask an American that. It's not fair.

Q. Do you think it's a good place to host a tennis tournament?

VENUS WILLIAMS: I'm going to skip that part of the tournament. I think all the fans are very fair here. To be honest, a lot of times I don't really hear it. I'm just so focused on what I'm doing.

Q. Has Serena stayed to watch you?

VENUS WILLIAMS: I don't think Serena will be coming back to tennis, but she's with me all the time.

Q. She's still in London?

VENUS WILLIAMS: I don't know if I'm allowed to say. Have to clear that with Serena.

Q. Threw a big pebble in the pond. Sorry, Venus. Can you enlighten us any further?

VENUS WILLIAMS: You know, usually in press conferences, I just like to talk usually about the match more or less.

Q. You're not saying obviously Serena's not going to play tennis again? That's what it sounded like.

VENUS WILLIAMS: No, no. I said she's not coming to Wimbledon again this year. I think she's done with the tennis for this year.

Q. For this tournament?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Yes. You guys hear what you want to hear every time.

Q. Have you seen her as emotional as that after a match as she was Saturday night?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Serena's a very emotional player, so yeah.

Q. If you weren't who you are and you weren't the tennis player you are, the champion you are, would you still come to Wimbledon as a fan? Do you enjoy tennis that much?

VENUS WILLIAMS: What are you saying?

Q. Wimbledon or any tennis match, US Open, Australian Open.

VENUS WILLIAMS: If I didn't make it as a professional player?

Q. If you hadn't played tennis in your life.

VENUS WILLIAMS: Not at all. I don't think I would be at Wimbledon.

Q. You're not a tennis fan outside?

VENUS WILLIAMS: I think I'd be running track.

Q. As time moves on, would winning another Grand Slam mean more to you?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Maybe in a way, probably.

Q. In what way?

VENUS WILLIAMS: In a way that life is always changing. You just have to adjust with it and challenge yourself to overcome all kinds of things all the time. I'm not really saying on the court, but off the court, too.

Q. You and Serena have such a great fashion sensibility. If you could give a nice fashion description of that beautiful headgear, how would you describe that?

VENUS WILLIAMS: The first part is that I haven't combed my hair (laughter). I could quite possibly turn you all to stone right now. Secret weapon in case the forehand or backhand isn't working. I love scarves mostly because I don't like to comb my hair that much. You know, my hair is kind of hard to comb, it's so curly and crazy. Other than that, I'm just a scarf collector. This is my longest one.

Q. How many scarves do you have?

VENUS WILLIAMS: It's depending on who is lifting my scarves. I have three other sisters now. I had four scarves lifted that I just bought. So now I have to change the location because, you know, I always have some really nice ones. Serena had one, Lynn had two, and Isha had one, too. They have to kind of get their own.

Q. Have you been asked about Mary Pierce yet, how you feel playing against her, what she's done recently?

VENUS WILLIAMS: I think she's been playing very well. Should definitely be a good match.

Q. How do you match up with her, your games?

VENUS WILLIAMS: We've played quite a few times. I think I still have the series lead, I think. I don't know if I ever played her on grass, though. I don't think so.

Q. How do you feel about where your game is right now?

VENUS WILLIAMS: I think my game is good. And I feel like that I'm raising to the next level if things get tight in all my matches. I have had some close sets, and I am able to step it up in gear, especially if I get a high percentage of first serves in, too.

Q. Were you expecting to be at this level? Have you played your way into it? Did you come in thinking that you were ready?

VENUS WILLIAMS: I always expect to be better, always. But, uhm, my whole goal is just one round at a time. It's just that simple.

Q. If you were to get to the final, presumably Serena would come and watch the match, wouldn't she?

VENUS WILLIAMS: I don't know. She's seen so many matches, I think, you know -- I don't think she would -- I wouldn't expect her to come necessarily because it wouldn't necessarily be the first time or the last time. But I'm not even there yet, so.

Q. She would watch it on tele, wouldn't she, rather than go shopping?

VENUS WILLIAMS: She'd watch it. It's harder to watch on TV.

Q. She told us Saturday evening that she gets too nervous watching television. If she saw your match even today, it would be in person, but she can't watch matches on TV. Is that correct?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Yes. Even for me, all throughout the Australian Open, I went home, but I was too nervous to watch the TV, so instead I would text someone in the stands to text back the score so I didn't have to watch. It's the weak way out. It's hard.

Q. Did that work? Isn't that more nerve-wracking?

VENUS WILLIAMS: No, no, it's not, because you're not watching every point. You just get a score and try to accept it, whatever that score may be.

Q. Can you talk about the difference of coming into a tournament like this when there's huge expectations for you and coming in where you're kind of laying in the weeds a little bit?

VENUS WILLIAMS: What's the question?

Q. Can you talk about what it's like to come into this tournament as everyone's favorite to win as opposed to maybe the way you've come in this year.

VENUS WILLIAMS: It's all good. I feel like I'm always in a good position.

Q. Do you see Sharapova as the favorite to win it if it's not you?

VENUS WILLIAMS: I think that's for you to decide.

Q. You know more about it than me.

VENUS WILLIAMS: I seriously doubt it. The way you guys write, you would think you all have played professional tennis before.

Q. That's why we're asking you.

VENUS WILLIAMS: Let's try to move on.

Q. Do we get some calls wrong?

VENUS WILLIAMS: I don't know. I don't know.

Q. Do you find the whole thing, with all the times you've been here, less fun now?

VENUS WILLIAMS: I feel like I've seen a lot and done a lot, so nothing surprises me. Just roll with it.

End of FastScripts….

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