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April 20, 2007

Zina Garrison

Lisa Raymond

Serena Williams

Venus Williams


THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Venus, you've never played Kirsten. What do you know about her game? What are your thoughts about your first-round match?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I've seen her play a little bit actually on TV when U.S. played Belgium last time. I was out injured, but I did watch (laughter). I was rooting. I've seen her play a little bit. I believe she was on the team last time.
I know a little bit. But I think it's going to be crucial for me just to play my game, as usual.

Q. Serena, a similar question related to Caroline Maes?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I'm not real familiar with her game. You know, 90% of the players I play sometimes on tour, I'm not really familiar with their game. It just boils down to me and having confidence in me. I couldn't have any more right now.

Q. Zina, did you ever think about putting Venus and Serena 1-2 or 2-1 so maybe Venus could play two matches or Serena could play two matches before the fourth started? Does that make sense?
CAPTAIN GARRISON: Huh-uh (laughter). I'm sorry, went right by me.

Q. Did you think about nominating Venus No. 1?
CAPTAIN GARRISON: No, no. Actually, you know, I believe in both of their games. It doesn't really matter if they're 1 or 2 at the particular time. They've both been No. 1. They both are champions. They both understand that regardless of where you have to play, you got to get out there and take care of business.

Q. Venus and Serena, can you talk about your new hair styles.
SERENA WILLIAMS: I wanted to do something fun, different, fresh, modern, with a twist. I decided to chop it off.
VENUS WILLIAMS: I've nominated not to straighten it (laughter). It's very, very '70s.
CAPTAIN GARRISON: I nominate I ask Venus to keep that because it's extremely cute on her. And I like Serena's, too.

Q. Serena, I saw you training this morning with a yellow shirt, black pants and red shoes. Did you know that's the colors of the Belgian flag?
SERENA WILLIAMS: What a coincidence.

Q. Maybe it brings luck.
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, go figure. Had no idea.

Q. Zina, are you disappointed at all that Henin and Clijsters didn't come?
CAPTAIN GARRISON: I'm a true competitor. We have gone to other countries. Venus, Serena or Lindsay weren't there. It just turned out that way. It's very difficult sometimes when you're playing in your country, then you have the top players, adding it to their schedule.
Disappointed? No, I'm not going to sit here and say I am because, I mean, I've had to do it. I'm just really fortunate enough to have the best team going into this tie.

Q. Lisa, what do you think about how the formula for Fed Cup works? Obviously in Davis Cup they do it doubles on the middle day. It seems to in a certain sense have more significance, but it could technically end to you. What are your thoughts on where it would be best played? How the Fed Cup does it or turn it around?
LISA RAYMOND: That's a great question. I'm a huge fan of the Davis Cup format. I mean, I think there's so many ties that you see that they don't come down to the doubles. With the men, it adds that extra element. Obviously with our U.S. team, when you have the Bryans, it's just a solid point pretty much every Saturday.
You know, I think it would definitely make it a lot more interesting to have a doubles. Unfortunately, you might struggle starting on the Friday. But the Davis Cup do it. I don't see why we couldn't.
I would love to lean towards changing that, having the doubles count. It will probably be way after I retire (laughter), so...

Q. Zina, you and Sabine were both Fed Cup players. In fact, you played each other. Now you're Fed Cup captains. If I'm remembering correctly, only two or three of the top 16 Fed Cup captains are women. Could you comment on that and whether Federations should be making more of an effort to put women in those positions?
CAPTAIN GARRISON: I think it's a great attribute probably to the latter players. I think times are changing. We now see that women are able to coach. I think because you don't necessarily see it that much on the circuit, it's sometimes a little bit harder to get in.
You know, I really take my hat off to like Billie Jean King. Billie Jean was one of the first ones that helped me believe that I was capable of coaching. I think sometimes when we get off the tour as women, we're thinking more maybe about we want to have a family, all the rest of that.
But it is something that if you're interested, it's a great opportunity right now to possibly do.

Q. Venus and Serena, I know this is a tennis competition obviously, but what are some of the other things that you two have been up to? I know you've been doing a lot of outside things as well.
SERENA WILLIAMS: I've been mainly working on my tennis game. I've been doing a tremendous amount of practicing. That's been my main focus lately.
VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, for me I definitely do lots and lots of practicing and training and gym to the point where it's too much. But I also am still in school right now. I also have an interior design company called V Starr which is local down here, so I spend a lot of time on that. That's what I do.

Q. Do you travel much when you're not competing?
VENUS WILLIAMS: No (laughter). Try not to be on too many planes.
THE MODERATOR: I'd like to thank everybody.

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