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August 30, 2022

Venus Williams

New York, New York, USA

Press Conference


6-1, 7-6

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. We know about Serena and her plans post-Open. After you have done the doubles, do you plan to evolve away from tennis and do your own thing or is tennis still in the forefront of your mind?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Right now I'm just focused on the doubles.

Q. Speaking of doubles, can you sort of talk about how that came to be. Was it your idea? Was it Serena's? What are you sort of most excited about in terms of playing together yet again?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, it was Serena's idea. She's the boss, so do whatever she tells me to do (smiling).

I don't think we have played since 2016, but might be getting that wrong. We have had some great wins. It would be nice to add some more.

Q. Serena yesterday told us it was very important for her for you to be part of all of this period for her, just trying to wrap her head around evolving away from the sport. I'm curious, from your perspective, how has it been for you? It is emotional seeing Serena make these kind of decisions?

VENUS WILLIAMS: We're a huge influence on each other, and I'm a huge influence on her. For me, I just kind of felt like my role is to make sure I don't influence her in any way, and that this decision needs to be all hers and her family's. The newest part of the family, I guess I would say, because obviously we are family.

I think that's the role I play is definitely support with everyone else in my family.

Q. Just to that end, to that question, you said that Serena is the boss. She said that you're her rock. Are there specific ways she's needed your support this week as she's tried to balance the emotions that have gone into her good-bye year?

VENUS WILLIAMS: I don't know. I don't know exactly. I think she's had some time to process it, and she's doing it the way she wants to. That's what matters most is to do things on her own terms.

Q. I'm wondering whether you had a chance to watch some or all of last night's match for Serena and what your thoughts and emotions were with the whole night, everything about it?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, I definitely watched it. I wanted to be there, but I had obviously an early start today. It's never easy the first round. Definitely was an exciting evening.

Obviously my hope is that there is more ahead for her at this tournament.

Q. Over the years, so many moments. Can you talk of one or two that were particularly sweet here in your experience? Also, if you could change one thing in our sport of tennis, what would that be?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Honestly they are all great moments. I just love being here, love playing here, the excitement of getting here, and the lead-up is all just -- it never gets old. It's so sweet.

Obviously there has been some great moments for both Serena and I here that we've got to share with each other, either on the doubles court or watching the other go to victory. That's nice.

If I could change one thing it would be no second night match. It's a little brutal. A lot of brutal.

Q. Now, as opposed to 10 years ago, what's motivating you? Is it different than it was 10 years ago? What's driving you out there on the court?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Three letters is W-I-N. That's it. Very simple.

Q. Several players have been in this interview room in the last few days talking about how you and Serena have influenced their careers and their lives. What goes through your mind when you hear other players talking about the impact you and Serena have had on them?

VENUS WILLIAMS: That's fantastic to see these young women living their dream and doing positive things in their lives, and in turn influencing other people, not just young women, to also get up, do something, live your life, go for your destiny, fight.

That's what it is. So it's just an exchange of energy and exchange of giving. So it's wonderful to see that.

Q. You spent quite a while away from tennis after last year. What was that like, taking some time away from tennis? What was it like getting back into playing and training and getting ready to compete again?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, it was definitely the longest time I have been away from tennis and been without a racquet in my hand. So it was a completely new experience for me, getting a racquet back in my hand and trying to acclimate as quick as possible to be ready for the US Open, which was not easy.

Definitely, like, playing lots of great points but it's just, in the end, it's just rust. There is nothing you can do about that except for, you know, not be rusty at some point (smiling).

So I'm very excited about, you know, all the good moments that I had this summer. I definitely walked out there and did my best under the circumstances.

Q. On the doubles with Serena, I just wonder, people talk about the record that you guys have in major finals, that perfect record. Obviously I can imagine you guys are aiming to get to that final again. Seeing the atmosphere that Serena played under yesterday and the atmosphere that you had on Ashe today, are you hoping you will be playing on Ashe together and be able to kind of have the crowd spur you on to hopefully go on that run again?

VENUS WILLIAMS: I honestly hadn't thought about that. More than anything, I just want to hold my side of the court up and be a good sister.

Q. About the match today, not taking anything away from your opponent, but it seemed like a lot of shots went her way, hitting the net, coming over or going up the line. How discouraging was that for you and how were you able to just get past it?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, I think this is some of the best tennis she's ever played. I have seen her play before, and her level was really incredible today.

So credit to her. You know, I was still finding my space. This is my first major in over a year, so I was finding my space and my rhythm and finding myself out there and getting closer and closer.

Honestly, just kind of really unlucky in the tiebreaker, and I hit an amazing second serve that somehow went for a winner on the line. Then another great serve that was a shank in. I felt like I did what I needed to do to win that tiebreaker, but there is nothing you can do, you know, on moments like that.

I felt like I had it, but truly unlucky. Like I couldn't do anything about those shots except maybe play an even better shot than what I played, but I thought that I had played a great shot. Those moments, you know, you just shake your head and, you know, too good.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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