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July 15, 2007

Zina Garrison

Lisa Raymond

Venus Williams



Q. Zina, a difficult result today, but talk about how proud you are of your team and their efforts this weekend.
CAPTAIN GARRISON: I'm extremely proud. Each and every one of them, they went out there, and even from Vania actually just the fact of getting out there on the first day. Meilen today, I was just trying to have her just kind of take her out of the game, just move Petrova a little bit more, hopefully she would be tired. And Lisa and Venus.
First let's talk about Venus. I mean, coming off of Wimbledon, coming here, stuck in the airport for hours and hours and hours, then getting here, very excited to be here, wanted to do whatever it took, wins two matches, then having to play the doubles, the third.
For Lisa to go out there. They just came up a little short. It really shows the heart of both of them and the rest of the team, as well.
That's what it's about. It's about competition. I was saying to Lisa before, we've never been in this position before. It was awesome. It was a great feeling. Unfortunately we came up a little short.

Q. Venus, in spite of the loss, how big of a comfort factor is it playing with a doubles player like Lisa?
VENUS WILLIAMS: It's exciting. There's so many balls that come back off that first volley. I'm like, Wow. She knows what she's doing. I'm obviously taking advice from her. She's obviously a lot more comfortable on the doubles court than I am.
I definitely felt good going out there. It was just a couple points here and there. For the match, I obviously look to myself, I felt like I missed some shots that I, you know, should have made, that maybe normally I would make. Just better next time.

Q. For such a close doubles match, were you surprised the tiebreak was so lopsided?
VENUS WILLIAMS: They really got some lucky shots. I mean, off my serve, I played well off my serve. Normally I'm never going to lose two points in the tiebreaker on my serve. Just lucky.
You know, that hurt us some.

Q. You and Petrova have a history. But Vesnina, were you surprised by the way she came out?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I had never heard of her before this tie, so yeah.

Q. Lisa, what was it like for you to play without your usual partner?
LISA RAYMOND: Well, obviously it's always a little bit more difficult. But, my God, I look over to the other side of the court and there's Venus Williams. It's not like I don't have too shabby of a partner out there today.
You know, for me it takes a little bit getting used to because I'm used to somebody coming in a lot more. But, I mean, when you've got a serve and return like Venus, it really doesn't matter if you get to the net too often.
VENUS WILLIAMS: I felt really confident going into the doubles with Lisa because I've played against her before. I know how good she is, just how hard she works also. I guess I could have came in more (laughter).

Q. Lisa, you said before that you had hoped for a couple years now that the doubles match was really going to mean something. The result today doesn't show it, but are you happy with the fact that doubles played such an important part in this tie?
LISA RAYMOND: Well, I think we had that opportunity because Venus went out there and won both her matches and put us in that position.
I sit up here and I'm extremely, extremely disappointed obviously for a million different reasons. Yeah, I mean, this is what I play for. I wish I would have been able to come up with the goods today, not only for everybody but for the U.S. Just wasn't able to do it.

Q. When they're playing the Rocky theme song out there, is there an extra sense of patriotism?
VENUS WILLIAMS: It's definitely a different scene. It's exciting because every single person in the stand almost is for you. It feels wonderful. The music in between actually gets you going, gets your feet moving, gets your blood pumping. I think it's all good.

Q. Zina, your impression of Stowe as a venue for this tie.
CAPTAIN GARRISON: Without the rain (laughter)? I mean, I think they've done a wonderful job. I mean, from what I hear, it was a parking lot or a pasture or something, and they put a court out there.
But I think the reception has been amazing. That's what we need in tennis again, especially in the U.S. I mean, get more people involved, more people enjoying the sport.
I was talking to Jean (indiscernible) that it felt like the '70s again. People were really excited that tennis was here, they were into it. Oh, you were in the paper. It was great. They were excited.
I was really excited 'cause, you know, Vermont Teddy bears gave each one of us a Teddy bear. You guys' are in your room.

Q. Zina, can you take a step back and reflect on the year that was and also the challenges that lie ahead for the team.
CAPTAIN GARRISON: Step back for me basically is the years that I've been captain. I mean, I've lost to Belgium and I've lost to Russia. Belgium or Russia. Just have come up a little bit short each time.
I think the thing that lies ahead basically is the schedule change. I think that's going to be a great thing for the players, just giving them the opportunity to come out, do the best you can do at a Grand Slam tournament, and still come and play for your country. I think that's going to be very important.

Q. Venus, as competitive an athlete as you are, how much does it hurt to hear them cheering and celebrating their win like that now?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I guess I didn't hear them. Like I said, I didn't know who Vesnina was at all. I'm still confused on that.
But as far as it goes, I'm really disappointed because I tried really hard and I really wanted to win. That's why I was here. It's good to know that I gave a hundred percent, but it's bad to know it wasn't enough this time.

Q. Lisa, could you compare this to '98 and the last match against Spain?
LISA RAYMOND: Yeah, I mean, that was I think my first or one of my first ties, so that was pretty devastating as well.
You know, I think this probably hurts a little bit more because I've been around for a while and I know how much Fed Cup means, I know how much it means to me. I'm not going to be playing that much longer. I don't know how many more opportunities I'm going to get to be out there and try and win a match or a tie for the U.S.
It's pretty tough.

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