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June 26, 2008

Venus Williams


V. WILLIAMS/A. Keothavong
7-5, 6-2

THE MODERATOR: Questions for Venus.

Q. You have just played Britain's top woman's player. Do you think Great Britain is getting better?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I played two really great girls in the first two rounds, and they were very challenging. So I think it will be great for Wimbledon and great for British tennis if they would continue playing as they did here. So it looks really bright.

Q. Marathon first set. Did you think it would be over very quickly after the first two games?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, after the first two games I was definitely feeling good, but no match is predictable. I do like to -- obviously everyone, I like to have it go my way and I'm glad that it did go my way, but that's not necessarily exactly how I planned it.

Q. Your mom told me she thought you probably weren't all that happy with the way you played, and that you need to tighten up things, that you're going to have to work on certain things. Do you feel that way, and what do you think you have to work on? Or did mom say the wrong thing?
VENUS WILLIAMS: No, I mean, I think that every match is a little different in the slams. Personally, I try to prepare, so that way it's exactly how I'm planning, but it isn't always. So I just take that into effect, and I don't weigh too much into every match.
It's just about getting through to the next round.

Q. Serena and you come in at Wimbledon, regardless of whether you're playing really well before in the year, not so well, kind of mediocre, you are always considered the favorites, the two of you, you're the really strong favorites. How does that make you feel, and is that how you think you both perceive yourselves?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I think that we really have a positive image for ourselves, which is always important. I think no matter what tournament we play, we always feel like we have the opportunity to really do something great. So we definitely bring that self-confidence wherever we go.

Q. Do you feel it more here? Obviously, this has been Williams ownership for most of the last eight years.
VENUS WILLIAMS: Maybe a little more here, yeah.

Q. How much change, if any, have you noticed in the grass in the time you've been here coming as far as the speed of the rallies?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I think the grass is getting a little slower. But it still bounces low, especially if you put a certain spin on the ball or not a lot of pace. Every year you have to figure out how it's playing.

Q. Do you have a preference as to faster, slower? Does it matter to you?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Each one has its challenges, I guess, and grass, in general, you might not get a good bounce. So either way you got to be on your toes and ready for the unexpected.
I don't necessarily have a preference.

Q. You got the unexpected in the second set. You seemed to take a nasty smack in the face from one volley from Anne. Did that hurt? Were you a bit surprised she played that shot?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, I mean, it hurt. This is tennis. You've got to be ready for whatever, so...

Q. It looked like you almost didn't see her (raising hand apologetically).
VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, I saw her, yes.

Q. How much more are you going to have to improve to go all the way in the tournament?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I'm looking to improve every round, so that's really not a huge secret.

Q. So how far off do you feel you are at the moment?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I mean, I'm not really taking a measurement. I'm just playing day to day. Then as things come up, if I need to make a correction or make a change, in the middle of the match, in the middle of the tournament, that's what I do.
So it's not really a number.

Q. Going back to when you got hit, what were you thinking at that moment and what were you thinking about your opponent?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Well, I don't know -- what was the score, 4-2 or something? So I think I was just looking to solidify my break and close out the match more than anything.
I've hit some people, too. That's just how it goes sometimes.

Q. Did you think there was anything more there?
VENUS WILLIAMS: No, I don't think so. I don't think she was aiming for me. And if she was, she didn't tell me about it. I don't think she was aiming for me.

Q. Did you see what happened in yesterday's Ivanovic match when she saved a match point on a net cord?
VENUS WILLIAMS: No. I wasn't watching, so...

Q. Have you ever had a net cord decide a very important point in a match for you?
VENUS WILLIAMS: No. I need to get a little luckier first, so...
I'm working on it.

Q. You and Serena often talk about what's great about having a sister on the tour. One would imagine there has to be some kind of downside to that. What would that be, if somebody asked you?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I think the downside to having a sister on tour is she's just as good as you are. If she's that good, you have to figure out a way to beat her. That's probably the only downside of it.

Q. So far you've had a bee attack you, a tennis ball in the head. Are you worried what might come next?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Whatever comes, I still manage to get through. So it would be a really nice trend, you know, to keep going through.

End of FastScripts

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