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May 20, 2006

Venus Williams


THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. Well, Venus, it's only your ninth match of the season. How do you sum it all up?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Well, obviously, I'm disappointed because I would have liked to have won the match. I definitely feel like I'm capable of winning that match. But, obviously, I need to do what it takes on a consistent basis.
So I'm confident that next time around I'll play better.
Q. She didn't play well the first set, but you were playing outstandingly well. What happened out there?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, I was playing well, you know, forcing the error, you know. The only thing I can say is that I just didn't play well. I think my backhand was just not good today. I couldn't - or didn't - control it. I think that hurt me a lot, my backhand today. A lot of errors.
Q. Was it a bit mental, that you thought it was too easy, the first set, and then relaxed?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Well, I think that maybe I was a little disappointed to lose serve, you know, for 1-2, I think. So maybe I focused a little bit too much on that because I felt like I was playing well, you know, no need to let anyone in.
But, you know, so soon after the match, I definitely need to go sit and think about it and figure it out.
But in general I'm playing strong, I'm playing well. Just in general it's just the errors. Too many errors. So I really have to work on that.
Q. You two have played 21 times now. Is there a sense of familiarity, that you know what she's going to do and she knows what you're going to do?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I don't know if she knows what I'm going to do, to be honest. I feel like I know what she's going to do, yeah.
Q. You do.
VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah (smiling). She has a great game, great player. Obviously, when we play it's always definitely of interest to everyone.
Q. What about from now to Roland Garros?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Now, I'll go practice and work on my backhand.
Q. Here in Rome?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, I'll stay in Rome a little bit and then go to Paris. Who knows? I might have a Sunday start (smiling).
Q. Apart from the backhand, your physical condition? Are you feeling all right? You like to have more endurance or strength?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I'd like to have more of everything, yes, please (smiling).
I'm greedy. I'm going to work on everything next week and tighten everything up. I've come a long way since Warsaw, I've come a long way since my first round here, so all I can do is just go up.
Q. It was a strange match in Warsaw. You were down, cramping, then you won. That match and the first set today was crazy.
VENUS WILLIAMS: You're right. Right. I was really confident, you know, in the first set because, I mean, in Warsaw I really didn't play that well but I'm still winning the match.
And still today, I felt like, well, in the second and third part of the match I wasn't playing my best, but I still felt like until the very last point was over that I could win.
But I just really have to work on the errors. I've got to quit it. I'm just being too gracious, you know, yeah.
Q. After having won already Wimbledon two times, Roland Garros, on clay, is something that you take as a challenge or pride or what?
VENUS WILLIAMS: "Pride," you said?
Q. The pride to show that you are also very good on clay, that you can win a Grand Slam on clay.
VENUS WILLIAMS: Oh, I have nothing to show or nothing to prove. I never felt like that, ever. I feel very blessed to be where I am. I feel like there's a lot of people who do want to do what I do. So to prove, no.
Do I feel like I have the ability and the talent to win Roland Garros, sure, but I have to go out there and work just as hard as the next person, and that's what it takes, and do it right every match. I've done that before in Grand Slams. I've done it before at Roland Garros; I just kind of lost to that other Williams sister. That happens (smiling).
So I feel good going into the French.
Q. When you are around your Italian friends, which is the nicest word they say to you? Sympatico? Nice? Smart?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Proprio dici.

End of FastScripts...

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