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July 13, 2007

Zina Garrison

Vania King

Lisa Raymond

Venus Williams


CAPTAIN GARRISON: I just want to thank everyone for coming out.
We're really looking forward to playing in this sell-out crowd. The team is very excited. We've had a great time here, the little time that we've spent here without the rain. But we're looking forward to a great weekend and hopefully a lot of sunshine.
THE MODERATOR: We'll start the questions.

Q. Venus, could you tell us about how you're feeling coming into this tournament following your victory?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I feel really good. I got here and everyone on the team and Zina have really understood the need for me to be able to rest after just traveling internationally and everything that goes into, you know, winning a title like Wimbledon.
So I feel really good. Actually I'm very motivated. We all really want to win this tie, so I'm going to put a hundred percent into it.

Q. Zina, what factors went into your decision playing Vania? Was it her performance in Delray Beach that was the deciding factor?
CAPTAIN GARRISON: First and foremost, I'd like to once again publicly thank Meilen for coming. It was such a short notice. Serena waited till the least amount of possible chance to say she wasn't willing to come.
But for me the decision to actually put Vania in is actually her previous times on the Fed Cup roster. So she knows how things work.
I didn't necessarily want to put Meilen in, kind of come in and you have to go a hundred miles an hour. Meilen is great. We had a great talk. She was really good. She said, Hey, whatever it takes for the team. That's what you need: that type of team member.

Q. Lisa, are you looking forward to potentially being in a clinching doubles match?
LISA RAYMOND: Well, I mean, I think that's why I'm here. I'm on this team because of the fact that I think Zina has faith in me. If it were to come down to a doubles match, you know, I'll be ready.
But I have faith in both V and Vania or Meilen. Given the opportunity, I very much look forward to it. You know, hopefully we'll be able to clinch it before then.

Q. Vania, could you talk about playing in the singles and your thoughts on that, the process that went into it, what the conversation was like with Zina?
VANIA KING: Well, first of all I'm really honored just to be on this team with these great players and to play for my country.
Every time I play Fed Cup, it's a great opportunity for me to show that I can play well and play my hundred percent. It's really special I get to be the first one to go out and play against Russia.
I think we can do well.

Q. Venus, can you talk about your first opponent, Nadia Petrova, and what your strategy is going to be for this match?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I've had some great matches against Nadia. I haven't played her I don't think in probably a few years now. I think we both play pretty similar. We both try to hit the ball a ton, serve big, dictate. Whoever plays that match better...
Obviously, I'm very confident right now. She's in the top 10; she's got a lot of confidence with her. But I'm going to be extra motivated because I'm playing for my country.

Q. Vania, can you speak about starting it off first, what you know about your opponent?
VANIA KING: I've never played Anna before in matches or practice. I don't really know anything about her. I just found out that I was going to play her.
I think we're going to have a little bit of a talk later and I'll find out (laughter).

Q. Venus, can you talk about sort of the emotional week you've had and take us through it since last Sunday.
VENUS WILLIAMS: Well, since last Sunday all I've done is really try to sleep a lot (laughter). I spent a ton of time in the airport.
I thought actually it would be great for me to come here because I knew, even before I got here, it would be really relaxing, that this is not the big city, but this is a place where I could relax and really get - how do you say - balanced almost. I think that's been effective.
I've gotten a chance to go out on the court, I've gotten a chance to be with the team, I've gotten a chance to be at the spa a little bit and go to the pool and then just rest a lot. So it's been the perfect.

Q. Venus, very busy time for you, Wimbledon, Fed Cup. Can you talk about the US Open Series coming up, leading up to the US Open.
VENUS WILLIAMS: Yes, I'm definitely very eager to play in the US Open Series. I don't think I've ever played a summer where I was healthy. I'm looking forward to it, just riding my momentum, having the opportunity to play, and obviously try to win the series, move my ranking up, all those things.
I'm excited.
THE MODERATOR: Thank you very much.

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