June 29, 2002
Q. What did you say to yourself after the first set of that singles match?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I just felt I was playing too passive, a little too tentative. I was a little disappointed with myself, to be honest, in the first.
Q. Any reason why that might have been so, that you were playing tentative?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I just had a slow start, I think, and I didn't really speed it up the way I would have liked.
Q. How determined were you at the start of that second set? I think it took you about 10 minutes to get up 4-Love.
VENUS WILLIAMS: Well, I wasn't ready to go home. I wasn't ready to give it up just yet. So I was able to raise the level of my game, get my feet moving. Sometimes it takes that to wake a player up.
Q. You had a plaster on your left leg. How is that leg?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Oh, doing good. It's just hard at my height on the grass. I have to bend a lot. Sometimes I get sore.
Q. Nothing to worry about? Did it happen in practice, your last match?
VENUS WILLIAMS: No, no. Just sore.
Q. From the running or the bending?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, just from being a professional tennis player. It's like an injury that you take.
Q. Did it affect you at all in the game, did you think?
VENUS WILLIAMS: No, not at all.
Q. Could you sum up this first week, first three matches?
VENUS WILLIAMS: It's been nice. My best match was my first match, for sure. I think the last two have been a little bumpy. But looking forward to trying to straighten things out. And I play best when I'm not going to think too much, just go out there and try to play tennis normally.
Q. How do you think you're serving?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Serving pretty good. The best part is that I'm serving consistently, forcing some short balls from my opponents, service winners, things like that.
Q. What did you do between Roland Garros and Wimbledon to work on the serve?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Roland Garros?
Q. Between Roland Garros and Wimbledon with your serve, to work on it.
VENUS WILLIAMS: Nothing. Nothing. I only hit one day. I was so tired and lazy. Couldn't get myself to show up at practice. It was hard. And it rained all day. Actually, the last that I saw was 16 days in a row of rain in Florida. So I had an excuse, too. But when it stopped raining, I didn't exactly get up (smiling).
Q. When you have a match like that, that's tough, when it's all said and won, can you say, "I'm glad to have had that challenge," it will help you as the second week goes on? Is it ever good early to have matches like that?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I just say I've lived to see another day. More than anything, I just want to be technically solid. Because when the matches get tough and come to 4-All, things like that, I just want to keep swinging and I don't want to have any glitches in my game.
Q. How do you feel now compared to the last two years when you went into the second week, ended up winning?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Oh, a little older.
Q. I mean, emotionally, do you have feelings that you remember from last year, "I feel pretty good now, it's Saturday, look forward to Monday, things are clicking"?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I remember one year I was desperate and sad because I played a bad match. Last year, I don't remember what I was thinking. More than anything, I want to get a good practice in and just keep playing better.
Q. Do you feel, entering the second week, you're coming into your territory; the first week is just something to get over?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Not necessarily. I'm happy to be in the second week. Could have went otherwise, but it didn't.
Q. Do you think that Grand Slams for you begin in the second week?
VENUS WILLIAMS: No. Start definitely the first week, just like today. If I didn't lift my level of my game, could be on the airplane tomorrow.
Q. With so many of the top men gone, do you think next week will be more a showcase for the women's game more than ever?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I don't know. I hope so.
Q. Do you think you're a better player this year than you were last year?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I think mentally I'm always more solid. I'm not always better in my game, but normally I'm always growing mentally.
Q. There's no US men going into the second week for the first time in 80 years, which is a long time. Do you think you might want to slip over to the men's draw and help out the nation?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I don't know. It's so hard for me to get by nowadays.
Q. Does it surprise you at all that American men are not doing as good as American women at this stage?
VENUS WILLIAMS: It's not really a topic that I think about on an everyday basis. But I think we're doing okay.
Q. Have you been having treatment for the injury? Will you be having more before the next match?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Always treatment. I have a trainer, she makes me stay on the table. I can't run away.
Q. So you will be having treatment before the match?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Yes. I'd rather go to dinner, though (smiling).
Q. You play Lisa Raymond, who will probably serve and volley some on you. Talk about the match-up.
VENUS WILLIAMS: Looks like she had a tough match to get through Martinez. Serena played her a couple years ago. I played her at the US Open third or fourth round last year. I'll come out swinging - so will she.
Q. If it came down to playing these three-set matches, making less than the men here, or playing five-set matches which would give them no excuse but to pay you the same, which would you choose?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I would choose that they play three-set matches.
Q. And make less?
VENUS WILLIAMS: No, not at all. I think it's hard to always change minds. But in my opinion it's unacceptable in the workplace. Outside of tennis, it's against the law, I'm not sure in England - I would think so - to pay a woman less. That's what I think. I'm a woman, but also I try to be fair in all my views. The last word is it should be three sets for the men.
Q. Do you like watching three-out-of-five-set matches with the guys sometimes?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I don't really watch men's tennis. I watch the women.
Q. You've watched Pete play.
VENUS WILLIAMS: Years ago. Years ago.
VENUS WILLIAMS: I don't know. I just like watching the ladies now. For me it's more exciting.
Q. Would you like to play a three-out-of-five-set final in a Slam?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I could do it. For now it's two out of three. In a way, it's more of a challenge because if you lose those two sets, you're going home. But the men, if you lose two, you've still got a fighting chance. I guess you just have to be a little more fit.
Q. Do you think the men's game would be more watchable if it was two out of three?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I don't know. I guess you'd have to ask the fans. For me it's a little long. I don't watch a lot of TV.
Q. Why would you watch ladies' tennis? You wouldn't watch them to learn something because you are No. 1 and 2 player in the world with your sister. Who would you watch?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I like to watch the women. For me, it's entertaining, to be honest. I like to watch all the ladies play.
Q. Is there anyone in particular?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, I like to watch Monica, Lindsay, Serena, some of the young girls, Hantuchova, Hingis. Those are some of my favorites. Dokic. I want to be entertained also. I like to see a good match.
Q. So you'd say there are better matches on the ladies' side than the men's?
VENUS WILLIAMS: There's a lot of good matches on both sides. I don't feel I have to compare them both.
End of FastScriptsÃ¢â‚¬Â¦.