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August 16, 2004

Chanda Rubin



Q. Just your explanations about what happened today, why do y'all think y'all lost this match?

VENUS WILLIAMS: I think that we'll just have to talk to our coach because we both wanted to win, but it was both of our first doubles match in a year, and this is our first time playing together. And I just think that a lot of shots that we normally would have made, we just were a little rusty.

Q. How much do you attribute unfamiliarity with one another? Did that factor into the equation at all?

CHANDA RUBIN: I think any time you play with someone for the first time, you have to get used to the person a little bit. And also the other team, they played well when they needed to. I think both of us could have played a little bit better at key times. Speaking for myself, I definitely could have been, you know, a little bit better, especially early in the match, and, you know, towards the end.

Q. Inevitable that people are going to say, "Was Venus missing Serena?" Was that a part of the defeat?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Was that why you called me in here, to ask me that? Is that why the press conference was called, so you could ask me that? I'm here playing for the USA. I love playing with Chanda Rubin. That's not even part of the equation.

Q. Looking on the positive side, do you think it will help with the defense of the singles gold?

VENUS WILLIAMS: No, I really don't think so, no.

Q. Not even from a physical point of view?

VENUS WILLIAMS: No, not at all. I love doubles.

Q. In all fairness, I don't normally cover tennis. When people ask you a question about your sister or whatever, other people allude to you being testy or anything like that, can you explain why it is so annoying to you to receive some questions like that sometimes, just out of your words as opposed to from someone else's perspective?

VENUS WILLIAMS: I tell you why it was annoying tonight, because it's really late. I just feel like we were called in here so someone could ask that question - other than that, you know, normally I always get questions about my sister.

Q. I have to ask, because it was a terrific match, a great contest, could have gone either way in the final set. We're interested in the match, but we are also interested in you and your sister. You were the champions in Sydney. She's missing from the equation here. That's the difference. I think it's a valid question from our perspective, your missing your sister on the court.

CHANDA RUBIN: Not to cut you off, but, I mean, she also hasn't played in the last year doubles. Both of us, a new team, you have a number of factors. It's not just the fact that she's missing Serena. As she said, we went out, we fought hard. You know, as you said, it was a good contest. It's really kind of a pointless question, because, of course, she's always played with Serena. But the match could have gone either way, as you said. It was just a little bit of a difference which could have been a number of factors, and you have to take all those into account.

Q. What did you think of the crowd out there? Towards the end, there were groups chanting, "USA," others were saying, "China." Was that a good atmosphere? People talked about lack of fans out here at the tennis.

CHANDA RUBIN: Yeah, I mean, it's the Olympics. Of course, you know, people are cheering for their countries. That's what you expect. The match was close. You figure the crowd is going to get more into it. It was a very compelling match for everyone.

Q. In other sports like basketball, you see a team that feels a lot of tremendous pressure to win simply because they're American, they're expected to be dominant. Do you guys have any kind of feelings like that, playing for the United States, feeling any pressure at all because it's the Olympics, even though you're usually accustomed to competing internationally?

CHANDA RUBIN: I didn't feel any extra pressure. I wanted to win the match like I want to come out and win any match. Of course, this is the Olympics. You feel a lot more excited coming into it. But it's still a match that I wanted to go out and win. Even if it was on a back court, I still would have wanted to win just as much.

End of FastScripts….

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