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September 3, 2008

Venus Williams


S. WILLIAMS/V. Williams
7-6, 7-6

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Good points tonight. She seemed to be going one way and you seemed to be going the other way.
VENUS WILLIAMS: She just played well and kept a lot of balls in play. I mean, there were some shots that I thought okay, for sure they're going out, but they would come in. That's tennis. It's never over till it's over.

Q. In nine of your meetings, they were in finals. There was a trophy either next to you or Serena when the match was done. I would imagine that there could be some consolation in seeing your sister, or she seeing you, with a trophy beside you. In this case it's a quarterfinal. Is it really sort of deflating to have that level of tennis, the way you've both been playing in this tournament, knock one of you out and there's still not a trophy yet?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Obviously I think, I mean, we said this a thousand times, we'd love to meet in the finals, but that's just not what it was today. Nothing I could do to change that.

Q. You had her in situations where you really looked like you were in control. She seemed to be able to just bring it up a notch.
VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, she played some great volleys and she got a lot of balls back. I think I was just spraying some shots tonight. I actually felt confident, and I'd get up and I felt confident, and for whatever reason just didn't get the point. Sometimes I'd miss and sometimes she would make a great play.
You know, it's not what I planned, but...

Q. With no disrespect to any of the other players, considering how well the two of you played, and the level that you played out there today, is there a part of you that feels that the two best women players were identified in this match tonight?
VENUS WILLIAMS: For me, I feel as a player, I mean, Serena would probably say the same, I feel like when I walk on the court, I have to feel like I'm the best one. I can't go out there with any other mentality.
I'm not necessarily in competition with any other player, but I always feel like the best. I didn't play the best today, but I always walk out there feeling good about my game.

Q. Did you feel like that match was on your racquet?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah. I mean, I felt like -- well, when I was at 5-2, 40-Love I thought, wow, these should be match points and they weren't. That's sports, and I guess it makes it more entertaining.
But, yeah, I felt like I was always in control. I was always playing more aggressive. Always going for a lot more. But just always coming up a little short.

Q. Was emotional management an issue for you in those critical moments today?
VENUS WILLIAMS: No, not necessarily. I feel like I'm pretty good at handling emotions. I'm a very good closer, so today was -- you know, I've never had a match like this in my life. I guess there's always a first.
Yeah, I forget what I was going to say. But yeah, she played a little better.

Q. Would anybody other than Serena have beat you tonight the way you played?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I think she brings back a lot more balls than the next person. She plays smart. I definitely feel like if it was someone else, I think that I definitely would have won the match.

Q. How much does this one hurt? And if there is one of those many set points you could replay or have back, which one would it be?
VENUS WILLIAMS: All of them. I want to win every point, not just one. That's just all of them. I mean, each loss is never fun. I take it as a learning experience for sure.

Q. How did this match compare to the Wimbledon final?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I haven't made nay comparisons yet. So I have to get back on you on that.

Q. How does this match compare to the Wimbledon final? You seemed to hit more freely, both of you, and went for bigger shots than on almost any other occasion it seemed like.
VENUS WILLIAMS: Here or there?

Q. Here.
VENUS WILLIAMS: At first it was windy, so it was really tough to play, but the wind calmed down and I think it got a little easier. At first we both were adding more spin to try to control the ball, I felt like.
But I always feel like I play freely and go for a lot of shots. So it's normal for me.

Q. Were you surprised how much she took the net? You took the net more than she did, but she was moving forward pretty frequently?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, I think she's been working on that. When you have such good groundstrokes as her, it's obvious that you've got move in. That's just a no-brainer, and it's good to see her come in.

Q. How motivated could you tell Serena was after Wimbledon? And in that time, I know you got to play with her in Beijing, but how much do you think that loss really fed into the way she played tonight?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Well, I think she is really motivated. Throughout the year she is working hard to play well. I think we both have been playing very, very well. I think we've had a period of working hard, through injuries, but a period where we've been playing more consistently, and I think that helps.
I think I'll keep working hard and pray to have this opportunity to keep playing healthy and playing well, but she's worked hard all year.

Q. You obviously just come off a tough match. If you would, please, could you comment on the announcement today that players who don't play in the major tournaments on the WTA circuit would face a very severe suspension?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I thought that was announced in March or something.

Q. Well, it was a press conference with Larry today.
VENUS WILLIAMS: Players don't like suspensions. I mean, it's tough for the top players, because it's a lot of give. You know, not necessarily a ton coming back.
So it's tough, but if it's best for the sport, I guess we all have to contribute.

Q. In the instance of Indian Wells, I know both you and Serena said you're not going to play there. There is an opportunity to not be suspended if you appear. Is that a little bit awkward to you, considering you don't really want to play that tournament and you've told them that?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, I think the WTA is a good place, and I think that as -- all of us live in a free country. So we're able to make a choice whether or not we want to play or not. That choice is for every player, not just Serena and I.

Q. You cannot do much about the luck of the draw, but do you think that this particular fixture had more riding on it than most of the times?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I mean, I don't know. It's a quarterfinal match I wanted to win, so I wasn't thinking too much further past this match until the next one happens. Yeah.

Q. But there was so much at stake for her and for you. She will be 1 if she wins the tournament.
VENUS WILLIAMS: I mean, I think this would be different if this were the last tournament we were going to play, and we just had this last chance. But I think we both look at it as we want to do well and play well and win here.
There will be other tournaments where we'll play well and win. So it's not like we're putting our whole life on one match and tournament.

Q. Do you think people overdramatize the difficulty of playing each other at this point?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I don't think it'll ever be underdramatized until we're housewives. Until that time we'll hopefully keep playing good tennis against everyone and also against each other.

Q. On that note you played a grueling match, but as soon as it was over you burst into a smile as you approached the net. Could you share what was in your head at that moment?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I just hit another error, so it was over. But, you know, she's the only player who I care about, like, what happens after, if I win or lose. So any other player I don't follow their result or see if they win or lose or what have you.
But her, of course I still hope that she wins.

Q. You think it was a fair result?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Well, yeah. I mean...
Yeah, it was fair. I had challenges and she had challenges. It was great.

Q. Even in defeat, was it a great experience? I mean the standing ovation, all the incredible points?
VENUS WILLIAMS: You know, the thing about sports a lot of times is that you have to stay so focused you don't really get to indulge in those moments. I think maybe a lot of other entertainers really get to soak it in.
It's like, Okay, next point, get ready. If you stay there and soak it up that might be it for sure. Obviously it's a great atmosphere, and I'm glad that the fans will have an opportunity to enjoy this kind of atmosphere.

Q. How do your points in practice compare to some of the great exchanges you had out there in front of 23, 24,000 people?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Think they're just as good.

Q. You talked about being a great closer. On those set points, what do you think happened? Was it just getting tight or...
VENUS WILLIAMS: Well, maybe in the first set I got a little tight, but not in that second. I just, you know, missed some shots. I sometimes went for too much or just at the last minute made a technical error or take my hat off. Just little things that like that, which at the end make a big difference.

Q. You're talking about being a housewife, and ten years ago you weren't uttering those words. When you look back at what you've been able to accomplish, do you have look back and marvel at the high level you've been able to play and your record of longevity?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, I'm trying to do more. And for the record, I'm aiming for the 2016 Olympics. We'll be playing doubles. I'll be here for a long time still grinding and earning titles and making life hard for anyone and everyone.

Q. When you see the fabulous sprinters at the Olympics, do you think that's something you could have enjoyed?
VENUS WILLIAMS: No, I did run track, but I love what I do. I don't think there's any sport quite like this, so I'm glad that I'm blessed that I have the opportunity to play this sport.

Q. When you're serving with the set point, is it different knowing it's Serena across the net? Is there more pressure on you to make a great shot than there would be in a match against almost anyone else?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Sometimes. I mean, if she's playing super aggressive and attacking then maybe yes. But I think it all depends on her mentality on that day, so just got hit the best serve I can.

End of FastScripts

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