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June 27, 2002

Venus Williams

Wimbledon, England

Q. When you went home from the French Open, how much time did you spend working on your serve? Was that a big priority for you between the French and Wimbledon?

VENUS WILLIAMS: To be honest I didn't really spend any time. I only hit one day. I spent more time when I got here working on my serve.

Q. Was it something specifically you wanted to do with your serve?

VENUS WILLIAMS: No, just flow. That's all. I just want it to flow.

Q. To slow it down in order to get the higher percentage?

VENUS WILLIAMS: No, flow. Flowing. That's all I want.

Q. How do you get it to flow?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Doesn't always flow (smiling).

Q. How?

VENUS WILLIAMS: I don't know. Mostly when I step up to the line I'm not thinking about what I have to do, just serve it - normally, which is what I do well.

Q. You look like you were having a lot of fun playing doubles with Serena today.

VENUS WILLIAMS: We always have fun in doubles. We haven't been playing as much as we wanted to, so we were just real excited to get out there. We were just overly -- maybe overly happy. Because we just -- we have so much fun, doubles especially. When we're winning, we have conversations, kind of catch up.

Q. When you're going back and you're doing this, you're not talking about tennis points.

VENUS WILLIAMS: Sometimes, depends. You don't want your opponents to read your lips.

Q. Do you ever get sick of each other?


Q. She doesn't do anything to get on your nerves?

VENUS WILLIAMS: No. She's not that kind of person. She's a real addition.

Q. She said she never goes to the grocery store?

VENUS WILLIAMS: No, she doesn't. But doesn't worry me.

Q. Early in the tournament. What was your best conversation out there with your baby sister?

VENUS WILLIAMS: On the doubles?

Q. Yeah.

VENUS WILLIAMS: Best one's definitely on the sidelines and we don't think that 60 seconds is enough time.

Q. Should have more?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Goes by so quickly.

Q. Because doubles is so exhausting?

VENUS WILLIAMS: No. It's just that we enjoy the changeovers.

Q. You had a lot of lobs that were attempted to be hit over your head today. What do you think about when people think that might be a weapon against you?

VENUS WILLIAMS: I just think when you -- we play the doubles, players aren't as powerful. We expect the lobs. But if we feel they can hit through us, normally that's what they try.

Q. You had a very minimal number of double-faults in these two matches. Is that an indication that your serve is flowing better right now, and is it sort of snowballing in a sense that you feel more confident with it?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Just trying to take each serve seriously and not really play around at all, especially in practice. And sometimes I double-fault more than what I do with others. So I don't expect to double-fault.

Q. With your dad not here, how much are you in contact with him, you and Serena?

VENUS WILLIAMS: It's hard to reach him sometimes, especially if his cell phone is off. Best is E-mail.

Q. Have you been E-mailing him? Do you E-mail back and forth?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Well, I sent him a picture, so... I didn't get a response yet.

Q. A picture?


Q. Of you playing?

VENUS WILLIAMS: No, no, no. It was a forward letter. That was something different. No, I didn't send the picture.

Q. Are you talking about tennis at all, though? Will you be talking to him this week?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Not too much. No.

Q. When you're in a doubles match like you were today and somebody consistently serves in the 60s, does that give you trouble because you're not used to such soft serves?

VENUS WILLIAMS: It can throw you off. Normally what we do is just -- what we were trying to do is just take a short stroke and shorten our stroke and just get in. So it worked okay. But we have to maintain control normally.

Q. One of the other women players was saying today there's a whole generation of young kids out there who are going to approach tennis completely differently because of what you and Serena and, like, Mary Pierce and Jennifer are doing with the game off the court, all the conditioning, the strength and whatnot. I was wondering how you feel knowing you're having that kind of an impact on how the way the game is played and approached.

VENUS WILLIAMS: Basically, tennis has always gone to another level. Right now, I'm a part of the best level of tennis at this time, but a few years from now there will probably be players better than what I am. So hopefully I'll be ready.

Q. You're kind of the fashion expert. Did you suggest the hairdo to your mom?

VENUS WILLIAMS: No, no. I -- well, she had been saying she wanted it for a while, so it happened.

Q. What do you think?

VENUS WILLIAMS: I think it's really solid (smiling).

Q. What is it called?

VENUS WILLIAMS: It's called an Afro.

Q. It is?


Q. What do you think of Martina Navratilova playing doubles on Centre Court as we sit here?

VENUS WILLIAMS: I think that she's definitely missed that Centre Court. She's had too many great times there. And really just for her to be back there, I'm sure, is really elating for her.

Q. If you grade out your singles match today, what are the good things you did and the things you're not satisfied with?

VENUS WILLIAMS: I think I served well. I don't think I returned as well as I'd like. It was strange conditions because it was windy and then sometimes she'd play a slice and I couldn't really -- I couldn't really get a rhythm today, it seemed. But more than anything, I was just trying to keep playing consistently.

Q. If you were ranking your singles performance against your doubles performance, how do you rate yourself as the two?

VENUS WILLIAMS: I like singles better because I feel more confident in singles. Actually, doubles is much more difficult nor me.

Q. What's the difference between having up in the friends box, your dad, Richard Williams, and the heavyweight champion of the world, Lennox Lewis?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Big difference. I mean, I don't know. Normally, I don't look up in the box. I manage to see someone in the box that was different looking in the first match, around 5-1 in the second set. So normally I'm not looking in the box.

Q. Did he catch your eye?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Well, not at that time. I was in the match. All that was important was the match.

Q. Two people jumped on to the court today after one of the matches. Your sister was also talking the other day about having her own security because of an unfortunate situation earlier this year. How much more popular the women's game gets, is this more of a concern in general for women athletes and especially you guys?

VENUS WILLIAMS: I think that more than ever you have to be, these days, very careful of what you do and where you go and what time you do it and if you do it alone or with someone else. And you have to be very conscious about who's looking at you. Because normally I feel it's my job to know who's watching me, who's looking at me and who's eyeing me down. So normally I do feel who is and I get away.

Q. When you're out and about, you notice who's looking at you and how they're looking at you?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Uh-huh. I have to. I guess I'm used to it now.

Q. Have you gotten extra security or anything like that, the way Serena has?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Well, I stay home a lot, so I guess I don't need any.

Q. People are already talking about you and Serena in the final here. It's early in the tournament. When they talk about that, they always talk about how your matches, you don't play as well against each other. When they talk about that, they always bring up your father, that he has something to do with this, arranging it or something. What is your feeling when you hear stuff like that?

VENUS WILLIAMS: All I can say is it's not true, and I'm insulted that anyone would make that suggestion.

Q. Do you think perhaps the fact that you are perceived to not play as well is because you're each so good and you know each other's game so well?

VENUS WILLIAMS: To be honest, I don't know much any more. All I know is that I give 100 percent when I go out on the court and Serena does also, and that's what makes us professional.

Q. You turned it up in the last game of the first set. How did you do that? Seemed like you were pretty erratic up till then. Then all of a sudden you hit some great serves and all of a sudden got on line?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Really I didn't want the match to become any more than what it should have been. I always felt that I want always to end the match on a positive note, and always trying to get better as the tournament progresses. So the tournament had progressed to the second set of the second round, and I wanted it to be better.

Q. Any thoughts of the wipe-out of the men's seeds yesterday?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Happens to the best of us.

End of FastScripts….

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