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August 28, 2008

Venus Williams


V. WILLIAMS/R. De Los Rios
6-0, 6-3

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Another sort of commanding performance out there. Are you happy with the way you're playing right now?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Well, yeah, pretty happy. I think I just had a lot more power than she did today. She plays a game where she hits a lot of high balls, which at my height doesn't, you know -- I think it would be effective against a lot of players, but with my height and my reach, it doesn't phase me as much. I think that helped me.
She kept raising the level of her game and making it more competitive, even in the end when I had the 40-Love. So of course I didn't want to get back on serve, and, you know, it all went well with me.

Q. Dinara Safina was just in here, and she was asked a question that a lot of top women have been asked, and that's about a lot of the changes in the No. 1 ranking this year held by different women and so forth. Was there parity and so forth, no dominant force. She said, without even naming a player, she said, Well, of course you still have Venus and Serena Williams and they're very, very dangerous. We heard it from Ana the other day. When people bring that topic up, your and Serena's names come up almost every time. How does that make you feel?
VENUS WILLIAMS: It's exciting. I love what I do and I'm glad I do it well. I mean, I think Serena and I, we do have some nice abilities that are, I guess, genetic and blessings, you know, speed and power and lots of other fun stuff.
It's nice to be respected by your peers.

Q. Serena said she could hardly remember lifting a trophy here. It's a year longer for you. How does it feel for you?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Oh, yes, I remember. I won't forget, but I'd like to have a more recent memory as of like '08. So that's pretty much the goal.

Q. Do you feel overdue here? You guys really won it four years in a row.
VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, I know. Yeah, I guess that is a good statement I guess, kind of overdue got to win it to deserve it.

Q. I was reading that tennis players get a lower percentage of various event revenues than other athletes such as golfers, basketball players, football players. I was just curious, since you're pretty well-known in this business, if it's a topic of discussion, if you have any thoughts on that?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Not at this moment, no. Let me think about it so I make sure I say something real politically correct.

Q. I'll let you read the article and talk to you next week.

Q. Do we have the same Venus Williams here physically that we did at Wimbledon?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I feel great. I love Wimbledon, obviously, but I still feel very confident. Obviously winning Wimbledon makes you confident, so I don't have any complaints.

Q. When you won in 2005, Wimbledon, I know one of my confreres was very surprised. Other people felt the way about Serena when she won Australian Open in 2007. Are you guys sort of always the best players, and if you don't win you have to figure out why you don't win?
VENUS WILLIAMS: That's very nice of you. I listened to my dad after all of all these years. So if I would just listen and do what he says I'd be better off. So it's my own fault for when I lose.

Q. And Serena's, too?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I don't know what her explanation would be, but I blame myself.

Q. Do you surprise yourself, the two of you, that you haven't won more? Do you think there is always fairly logical reason you haven't?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I'm always expecting more from myself. I would love to win even more than what I do.

Q. Today is the 45th anniversary of Martin Luther King's "I Have a Dream" speech. In addition, tonight Barack Obama is going to accept his party's nomination for presidency. Do you feel any kinship there when you're out there playing and James Blake is playing today? Pretty special feeling you have about this?
VENUS WILLIAMS: To be honest, I didn't know that that was the date. I'm so focused on trying to win my match, and obviously coming down from Beijing.
It's been a whirlwind, so I've been just pretty much he focused on the tennis. I had no idea it was that date.

Q. And about Obama? I know that your religion...
VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, I don't follow politics as much as maybe the rest of you guys do. Not a lot of comments there, either.

Q. You have taken a leadership role in tennis, and I'm wondering if you had any thoughts on the LPGA. It's asking its players learn English or face suspension.
VENUS WILLIAMS: A lot of tough questions today. (laughter.)
What do I think of that? They might have a reason for it. I don't play on that tour, so there's nothing I can say about it.
I guess it is an American tour. Maybe it helps if people with speak English.

Q. Can you imagine that in women's tennis?
VENUS WILLIAMS: No. I think it's just a different, completely different tour. We don't have the pro-ams. Maybe we should, but we don't.

Q. Serena said the reason she doesn't have more US Open titles is one year she felt all the umpires were against her. Do you think that she...
VENUS WILLIAMS: Did she say, quote, unquote the umpires were against me?

Q. She said one year it happened to her.
VENUS WILLIAMS: She had some bad calls?

Q. That's why she hasn't won more US Open titles. Do you think she got a raw deal?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I would have to imagine I was already out of the tournament, so all my dreams and hopes or anything was transferred to her, because we all went down that day.
But, you know, I just -- I think that she's a great player, obviously. I'm still trying to catch up to her in the Slam count, along with everyone else on the WTA Tour, so I think she's done fantastic.

Q. When you lost to Li Na in Beijing, was it mentally difficult to just think about the doubles? Obviously you won the gold medal. Was it a tough adjustment?
VENUS WILLIAMS: No, I wanted the medal even more at that point. I did not expect to lose to her. I just thought I was pretty confident.
Yeah, I just started spiraling a little bit. But, hey, I still got gold. I'm still excited. I'm still excited. Yes, I love it.

Q. You've had two kind of relatively easy matches, maybe a tougher one coming up. Do you feel good you got a bit of a rest with the last two, or do would you prefer kind of a tough workout?
VENUS WILLIAMS: You know, whichever way the draw goes, whichever way the matches go, as long as hopefully it's a win for me, I'm pretty happy about it. I'm very satisfied so far the way it's gone.

End of FastScripts

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