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July 1, 2005

Venus Williams


THE MODERATOR: Questions, please, for Venus Williams.

Q. What are your thoughts going into the final tomorrow knowing who you are going to play?

VENUS WILLIAMS: I'm feeling good. I'm definitely happy to be able to finish my match yesterday and like have a day of rest today or a day of training and recovery. I feel good. I've played Lindsay a number of times, so I feel like, you know, I'll be quite experienced when it comes to playing her.

Q. Of all the times in your career when your game has been at this sort of level, where does this compare right now?

VENUS WILLIAMS: I don't know. Everyone keeps asking me how does it compare to all the other times. I just think that -- I guess I don't know.

Q. What are your thoughts specifically on Lindsay's game? What specific challenges does she present when you play her?

VENUS WILLIAMS: I think playing her is very similar to playing me. I'm probably going to get to a few more balls. I have a bigger serve and that kind of thing. But definitely somewhat looking at me across the court.

Q. The last time you beat her was here on grass, is that right?

VENUS WILLIAMS: I don't know.

Q. Can you recall your last match with her here?

VENUS WILLIAMS: No, not really. Not really. It's been a while now.

Q. You must have memories of the final in 2000 when you beat her.

VENUS WILLIAMS: Oh, for sure. Lots of great memories.

Q. Can you tell us a few?

VENUS WILLIAMS: It was just a really good match. I've been talking about that all week, the final. It was a great match. I'd like to repeat that result.

Q. The way you were serving yesterday was so amazing. Can I assume from that you have no lingering effects of the abdominal injury? Is that completely put to rest?

VENUS WILLIAMS: I'm not thinking about it. It's not in my head at all when I'm playing or when I'm serving. So it's not really anything that enters my mind. I'm fine.

Q. Does it enter your body? Does it constrain you in any way?


Q. Have you surprised yourself these last two weeks?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Surprised? I've been working hard. Hard work pays off. Other than that, I just played one round at a time, whoever I was playing, and I didn't worry about what was happening next, just what was happening in the moment.

Q. Did you watch the match or have you seen any highlights from yesterday's match? Have you been able to watch yourself, how you played?

VENUS WILLIAMS: A little bit. I try to study. I don't find too many mistakes, at least not the last couple of matches.

Q. You liked watching it?

VENUS WILLIAMS: I think I look at it from a different point of view. For me, it's more or less studying what I've been doing.

Q. You're just not enjoying it the way a fan would?

VENUS WILLIAMS: It is enjoyable. It's not fun watching the losses, to be honest, because you're still trying to reverse what happened in your mind, but you can't. It's just there on tape over and over again. The wins are a lot more fun to watch.

Q. I think you got 35-inch vertical, you jumped three, four times in celebration. When was the last time you jumped that high?

VENUS WILLIAMS: At the Green Day concert. No, at the U2 concert. Yeah, that's my Green Day jump. Got inaugurated at the Green Day concert.

Q. You've not paid attention to outside voices, you've stayed focused on what you've wanted to do, stayed strong on who you thought you were. How satisfying is it to do what you've done and get back here?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Satisfying, yes. I'm pretty much in the moment right now. Most of all, I feel like I deserve to be where I am. For me there were never any doubts. So in that way it's not a surprise, it's not something that I hoped would happen but probably never would. It's nothing like that, along those lines. So for me it's just very natural.

Q. It seems like you actually have known it was going to happen. You never had a moment of doubt?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, I -- I don't leave it up to the next person to believe in me because no matter how much the next person believes in me or doesn't believe in me or says I'm not going to do it or whatever it is, they can't walk in my shoes; they can't breathe the air I breathe. They can't live inside my head. I've tried to stay really focused on what was important to me and what I thought.

Q. When you had lost early in a tournament, were there moments where you wondered or were you depressed you wouldn't reach this point again?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Well, sometimes I had to take a break for a week or so just so I could get away from tennis a little bit, just regroup.

Q. Not to take this too far, but after your loss in Paris, you were obviously very upset. How did you turn it around?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Took a few days off. I went home and started practicing. That's all there is to it.

Q. Can you describe your hunger and drive out there? Yesterday you were untouchable. It was very visible that you really wanted it. Can you talk about not just this tournament but in general what keeps you going out there? Is it hoisting the trophy? What is it that you love so much?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Because I like what I do, I really do. I want to be the best at what I do. I feel like I have a rare opportunity in my life, at this moment in time right now, women's tennis, to be the best. I feel like I have to take those opportunities and I feel like I have to live my life with no regrets. In that manner of thinking, I have to walk out there and try every time. Even if I'm playing really well or if I'm not playing very well, each time I have to go out there and really fight for it. That's what was in my mind.

Q. Yesterday I think you said Serena asked for your autograph. When you've had those dips, obviously you've had that strong belief in yourself, how important is having Serena, doing the same thing as you are in many ways, how important has that support been from her during these past two years?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Well, it's nice to always some reassurance along the way, especially from people that count in your life. But each and every step of the way, I know she's there with me.

Q. Is she coming to the final?


Q. Has she sent you any more congratulatory emails?

VENUS WILLIAMS: No, not yet.

Q. There was congratulations from different countries in Africa, all in support of you, said they never lost faith in you. Is there any chance that we see you one day play tennis in one of the countries in Africa?

VENUS WILLIAMS: I would love to, I really would. I'm sure a day is going to come. I don't know when. But hopefully sooner than later.

Q. Any particular country you would like to go to?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Well, if I had -- if I wasn't a working girl, I'd be in every single one of them. Right now I know that the rest of my year schedule has a lot of tennis, I do know that.

Q. One day you will go to Africa?


Q. How are you intending to spend the rest of the day?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Just resting. Nothing serious. Just stay off my feet. I don't have any big plans.

Q. In your previous Grand Slam finals, were there any particular routines you involved that you'll go back to?

VENUS WILLIAMS: No, I don't have any routines really. Just play it by ear. No superstitions. Just try to rely on all the practice and training.

Q. Talking about the similarities in your game and Lindsay's, what has been the key when you've been victorious and what has let you down when she's won?

VENUS WILLIAMS: I think a lot of it is about my errors, when I make too many errors. I think that's what really brings me down more than anything.

Q. Back to your enthusiastic jumps after the win yesterday, can you recall the last time you did that on a tennis court?

VENUS WILLIAMS: I don't know. Really, pulling up the memory bank. I don't remember.

End of FastScripts….

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