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March 30, 2008

Venus Williams


THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. As a friend of Caroline Wozniacki, how do you see her as a person, her potential as a tennis player, and why do you like to play doubles with her?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, I played once with her in Doha, and we had a good tournament. I think she has definitely been improving. I played her a few times, and she's played better every time, and that's what it takes on this tour. So she's got a bright future.
As long as you work hard, you can achieve anything.

Q. It seemed to go pretty well for you today.
VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, I played well. I think I played consistent and not too many errors, which is great for me. She brought a lot of balls back, and that was a challenge, but I was just winning all of the important points.

Q. Will you be practicing, you and Serena be practicing individually from now on? Or do you plan on practice together again at all?
VENUS WILLIAMS: We practice together, but it just depends on our schedules. I played early, So I need to do my thing. It just -- we just get our work done, basically.

Q. Lindsay said yesterday you've told Zina you're taking a pass on the Fed Cup. What went into that decision making?
VENUS WILLIAMS: You know, I've tried to support Fed Cup as much as I could these few years, but sometimes I just get tired. Moscow's a long way, and I've had quite a few long trips already this year.
I'm going to be playing Amelia and Charleston, so I just couldn't play five weeks in a row. Obviously, my commitment to the tour is very important to me also, so I just can't do everything.

Q. But do you have Beijing in your game plan?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, yeah, definitely. I'm planning my summer around the Olympics and the US Open.

Q. Where do you feel your game is now?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I feel good. I feel good. I know what I'm doing out there, so, yeah, good.

Q. The last time you went to Moscow to play Fed Cup you were pretty exhausted emotionally possibly as well as physically. Why did you go? Was it out of respect for Zina?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, I definitely went for Zina, because I really like her as a person and respect her. I definitely lost one of those matches because I was just mentally gone. It was tough.
I bounced back and won the next one real easy, but I definitely needed to win my matches and, you know, didn't work out that time. We came close in Vermont. We've had some tough ties and some good ones too, but unfortunately I won't be there for this next one.

Q. What is your schedule going to be around the of French Open, Wimbledon time? And will you be replicating what worked so well for you last year?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I know. I better have. I'll be playing every point exactly the same way for Wimbledon. But I'm just going to play in Rome, French Open, and Wimbledon. That's it.

Q. Do you think you'll go home between the French?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, I'll go home.

Q. What do you think of Marina Erakovic?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I thought she was really a good player. Very consistent. She took her time, even though she was playing against a player who has a lot of experience and a lot of success, and sometimes that can be intimidating. But she just took her time from the beginning and made the games challenging.
I think I just had a little extra power, maybe a little extra speed. But I think she'll get better.

Q. It wasn't long ago that the wrap on women's tennis was that there were three or four, maybe five girls, and then early rounds were easy. Do you feel like that is no longer the case? Yesterday, Arvidsson really took Jelena to task and everything. Do you think there's more depth?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Everybody wants to win, so that's just what it is. Everybody has a little belief that they have an opportunity to win that match and they go for it, and I think that's one of the biggest differences.

Q. When did you kind of notice that change? Would you pinpoint it?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I don't know (smiling). Get back to me on that one.

Q. Have you seen Caroline play this year? And how far do you think she's come as a 17-year-old?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I haven't seen her play too much this year, So I can't quite say. But I'm sure she played well.

Q. She is 19 in the race list right now.
VENUS WILLIAMS: Excellent. Excellent.

End of FastScripts

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