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August 11, 2008

Venus Williams


V. WILLIAMS/T. Bacsinszky
6-3, 6-2

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Serena was saying earlier everywhere she's gone she's been mobbed for autographs. Have you had similar experiences since you've come to Beijing?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, everyone's been excited. So that's a good thing. Everybody's excited about the Olympics, and I'm part of the Olympics, so I feel like I'm part of the whole movement.

Q. Before you came here, what athletes were you excited to meet or what events did you think you wanted to go to? Have you had time to do any of that yet?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, I had no illusions. I'll be here all day every day hopefully, playing the singles and the doubles. I don't think I'll get to see anything or meet anyone.
It will be a privilege, though, to be playing later into the rounds.

Q. How did you feel about the match today?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I feel really good about the match. That was my first match since the Wimbledon doubles final. I was really pleased. Not a lot of unforced errors. No service breaks for me.
I thought she played really tough, served really well. She missed a couple of shots that helped me. But in general I thought it was a well-contested match, and I think I did the right things to come out on top.

Q. I understand that you have won the championship for both singles and doubles of the Sydney Olympic Games. You also won the championship for the singles in Wimbledon. In Beijing this time you'll be playing both singles and doubles. What is your expectation for the Games here and how do you distribute your energy for the coming American matches?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Well, obviously, I mean, the first part is being part of the Olympic spirit, which is the first thing, competing in the games. That's what it's about: competing and peaceful relations.
Second, of course I would love to have gold in both events. I have to work hard to deserve it. I'm willing to do that and make those sacrifices.
As far as energy for both matches, or both events, I mean, I know it's going to take a lot of energy. But fortunately I have a really good partner, name's Serena Williams, and she's going to do more than half the work, so that's going to help me a lot.

Q. How long did it take you to come down from the high of winning Wimbledon and then to start thinking about the Olympics?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Well, immediately because I had to play doubles. I really, really wanted to win that, so I got really focused. Of course, after that was great.
For me, I think that title meant a lot. I think that I'll always carry that title with me on the court, just the whole whatever it took to win, I'll take that with me every time. So it meant a lot to me.

Q. I would like you to give us a brief introduction of your feelings after you arrived in Beijing in terms of the preparation and the value, the venue for the tennis matches. We actually have several million listeners. I would wonder if you would like to say a few words to our audience.
VENUS WILLIAMS: I'd like to say hello. I'm very happy to be in Beijing. Of course, I was waiting for this moment since Athens. I hope that they get to see the tennis that I'm playing, along with the other competitors, on TV or in person.

Q. I know you have an interest in fashion design and you also have a professional certificate in this field. I wonder if you have any new works and whether your trip to Beijing this time, particularly the Chinese elements in the opening ceremonies, has given you any enlightenment?
VENUS WILLIAMS: The question was, was I inspired by Chinese design?

Q. Yes.
VENUS WILLIAMS: Yes, of course, I love Chinese design. I love the different motifs and the different patterns. I think also it's inspirational, the different design periods, I mean, so many thousands of years of history, I think. You can find so much inspiration in those thousands of years. So, of course, it's very inspirational for me.
A lot of times I'll buy books when I go to different countries, and it just shows different designs and different patterns. Of course, I have one from here, too.

End of FastScripts

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