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September 6, 2005

Venus Williams


Q. How do you feel after that?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Well, obviously I'm disappointed because I feel like I had a lot of opportunities to win the match. But at the end of the day, the best player usually wins, and she definitely played the best today.

Q. What turned it around?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Uhm, well, I think I was playing decent, you know. And she started playing like really bad, and it totally threw me off. She started hitting, like, these really weird shots and short balls and, like, just weird stuff. Just like it threw my game off. Next thing I knew, I was playing as bad as she was, and she was able to recover, it seemed like; I just wasn't. I guess maybe it was a good strategy (smiling).

Q. After the exhilaration of Wimbledon, how difficult is it for you to deal with a disappointment here?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Well, I'm an adult now, so I've been through a lot of disappointment in my life. I feel like I, you know, as long as I'm healthy and blessed, I have another opportunity to win another tournament and hopefully win another US Open. I think that's in the cards for me.

Q. How were you feeling at the end of the first set? You seemed to really be confident.

VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, like I said, I was feeling decent. I don't think I was playing like my best, but I don't know, man, she started hitting these shots, low-confidence shots, too, short and strange. It just threw me off. It was just kind of unfortunate because I really had, you know, chances. But I don't know. Like I'm not used to that pace, and it was just weird.

Q. It seemed like she wasn't breathing as heavily as you. It seemed she looked a little more fitter. Do you agree that you maybe got a little winded?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Well, I mean, she likes to play really fast, and I don't like to play really fast really. I like to take my time, take a lot of deep breaths. I feel like it's very therapeutic. Some methods are just different, but I think still very effective.

Q. With all that said, you were up 4-2 in the second set and you didn't hold once.

VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, I mean, that did happen, yeah (smiling).

Q. So, you know, serving-wise, you were serving fairly well up until then. Talk about towards the end of the second set. You guys were trading breaks.

VENUS WILLIAMS: I can't really remember exactly what happened. I just think, you know, I probably rushed a few shots. I think it wasn't necessarily my serve. I think my ground strokes kind of left me today. And, you know, I wasn't able to get into net the way I wanted to. My approach shots just were like not there. It was, uhm -- wasn't good, it wasn't good.

Q. Don't you think she defended well at times?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, she did, she did defend well. But at the same time, I feel like if my make my shot, fairly decent shot, even if she throws up an overhead or something like that, normally I'm going to be able to put that away. But the first thing is to get the approach shot in. That was a major barrier.

Q. So what happened in the third set? You come out, hold, then the wheels really came off there. You weren't hitting your forehand. Your serve speed went down. Was your stomach hurting, or mentally were you out of it?

VENUS WILLIAMS: No, she played well. My hip started hurting and I couldn't really -- I couldn't move. It felt like I couldn't move the way I wanted to. When my hip goes off, it's usually something like unbalance in my back or something. I just felt like even if I took a time-out, there probably wouldn't be any time to get it right unless for some reason the trainer found two injuries there and I got six minutes so... It kind of hurt my movement a lot which, you know, is a big strength. Also at my height, if I'm not in position, it's useless. I have to be in position to hit a good ball because I have long limbs so... You know, I still feel like she just played better, yeah.

Q. Looking ahead, I mean, you and your sister are out of the tournament. Do you think this might be the one for Kim?

VENUS WILLIAMS: I just don't know. I don't know the future. I would have said that I would have won the match, if I had known the future correctly, so I didn't (laughing).

Q. Even though you were eliminated tonight, to what degree do you think this Grand Slam season you've shown that your career is back on course?

VENUS WILLIAMS: To what degree, uhm, I felt good about my year in general. I mean, I was able to play fairly consistently. Obviously, there's still a couple months left. But was a decent Grand Slam season. I'm disappointed, but at least I was able to win one, and that's at least walking away with something. That's what I'm telling myself at this moment.

Q. Where did the hip injury come from? When was the first time you felt that?

VENUS WILLIAMS: No, it's not -- I don't think it's anything serious. I don't think. It's just that sometimes, and this is normal especially being the taller you are, you know, things just -- you land hard, things just go like that. Usually if I get an adjustment, I feel better.

Q. So it kind of felt out of place a little bit?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, I just was having a sharp pain and it was just making me slow. You know, it makes you not want to move. It was like a mental thing also, like knowing you go there, you're gonna get that. You know, it's just... it's sports.

Q. It's hard to root against a competitor, but everybody seems to like Kim so much. Do you think you could root for her?

VENUS WILLIAMS: I do root for Serena Williams, but obviously -- maybe she should have won the match we played. But in any case, uhm, after this, I'll just lay low, I think. I think I deserve that.

Q. I'm really sorry to see you go. You gonna stick around?

VENUS WILLIAMS: I don't know. I hadn't planned this. I had planned on, you know, trying to win this match. I don't know what I'll do. But I won't be here.

Q. Shucks.

VENUS WILLIAMS: No, work's over and I'm out. I'm gonna punch my card and...

Q. When you say "lay low," does that mean you're going to get away from tennis for a little while?

VENUS WILLIAMS: I mean, there's no "get away from tennis," but I don't know. Sometimes it's like your youth passes you, you know, because all you do is work. Sometimes I feel like being young, but it's a great way to be young, also to play tennis. I don't know. Maybe I'll do something fun.

Q. Back to the hip, when did it really start hurting you? Was it in the third set, beginning of the third?

VENUS WILLIAMS: I can't pinpoint exactly, but by the time 4-1 was there, it was, you know, not getting better.

Q. What's next?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Well, I'm playing in Beijing and a whole slew of tournaments. So, yeah, more tennis is next.

Q. Which side, which hip, left, right?


Q. And first time all tournament that you've felt this?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, yeah. Uhm, well, earlier in the tournament I had something go wrong with my back, but I got it corrected. It was an off day, so it recovered. It was just (inaudible).

Q. Knowing you were making a lot of errors, was it burying you in any way, shape or form psychologically?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, I was making too many errors this whole tournament. I tried to come back on that, but it just didn't happen today. That didn't help.

End of FastScripts….

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