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July 15, 2007

Venus Williams



Q. Yesterday you talked a little bit about your serve being up and down throughout the match. Today I thought it was the biggest factor between you two, a big reason why you came out in the end. Can you talk about that.
VENUS WILLIAMS: Definitely my serve is a huge factor in every match that I play. It was definitely less up and down. I was conscious of what I was doing, taking my time. Just in general, after playing a match, things come a little better.
So I definitely think it was definitely a huge difference.

Q. How important was it for you to finish that match off in the second set? Could have gotten hairy if it had gone three.
VENUS WILLIAMS: Obviously at 5-All she's gonna feel like she has a chance. In her head she's thinking she has a chance. In my head, I'm thinking I'm gonna win.
I think my mentality is different because, I mean, I'm playing a lot more powerful, like I'm stronger than her. So I think my mentality's different.
Obviously, I did not want it 5-All because she's a great competitor, she has a lot of things going for her, she moves well, moves the ball around well, is a great competitor. I mean, she's in the top 10.
I just really wanted to close it out for 2-1.

Q. Yesterday the Russian captain said it was your mentality that was the decisive factor, the way you approach the game, you dig deep down to win. Do you think maybe early on Anna lacked that sort of quality and maybe made it easier for you, was sort of self-destructing?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I don't think she lacks that at all. I think she's really a great player. I think I was playing a lot more consistent today. I definitely was taking the ball first. I think it's frustrating to realize, Oh, my gosh, I'm down 5-Love, especially when you're playing for your country. That can be tough.
I think I just had a better rhythm today. I think she still played well.

Q. You had one double-fault and she had 10. Could you see her getting frustrated and unraveling a little bit?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I don't think she double-faulted a lot yesterday, but I think early on, when I got a second serve, I was going for it and it was landing. I think that put a lot of pressure on her serve, to realize if she doesn't hit a super great second serve, I'm probably going to hit a winner.

Q. Can you talk about the importance of winning the first match today, this whole thing possibly hinging on it?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Well, I think this is huge because we have 2-1 now. Russia has to play to stay in. That's definitely a different position. It gives Meilen a chance to feel a little bit freer when she swings, and it might make Nadia or whoever they choose to play a little bit not so free on their swing.
This is definitely an advantage for the U.S. I think Meilen will play very well.

Q. You played so much tennis. How do you feel physically and might we see you out on the court again today in doubles?
VENUS WILLIAMS: All I can say is I've got one more match left in me (laughter). If that match is today, I'm ready.

Q. There seemed to be a lot of chances where Anna would hit great shots, you'd still get to it, and obviously emotionally it seemed to be getting into her head. Is that something you look for and feed off?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Well, definitely it's encouraging to see your opponent upset. During the rally, I'm telling myself even if I don't hit a good shot, I'm going to run down the next ball. I have a lot of confidence in my movement also. It becomes a weapon definitely. She has to hit for the line. I don't know, I have a lot of fun out there trying to run those balls down.

Q. Can you talk about the difference in your style of play. You're a much more powerful hitter. She's more of a finesse player. How much of a difference does that make?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Well, I was definitely surprised to see how effective she is with her style of play. She definitely directs the ball really well. I wasn't expecting her to be actually as good as she was. Definitely she deserves to be in the top 10.
But my style of play is a lot more aggressive. I think today she played a lot more aggressive with her style because she knew if she didn't, it was really going to be a problem. She definitely played well for her country.

Q. You definitely get some style points for the earrings. Do they ever get annoying out there?
VENUS WILLIAMS: No, not at all. I played three sets with them yesterday, two hours. But they were a gift. Actually there's another set for Serena, and they're blue. I got first choice since she wasn't here. I presumably am expected to give up the other ones, but I don't know (laughter).

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