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November 6, 2008

Venus Williams


V. WILLIAMS/S. Williams
5-7, 6-1, 6-0

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Congratulations, it must be nice to qualify. But is it tennis with sympathy for your sister?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, I mean, it wasn't the happiest match, I guess, at the end. Because, for sure I've qualified, but, you know, my sister had to qualify. Of course I would have wanted her to qualify. But the best part is that she still has an opportunity to qualify, and, yeah.

Q. Is this the best you've played in this competition? You've been to the semis twice before, I think, but not made the final.
VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah. How many times have I played, twice? Three, really?

Q. This is the third time?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Oh, nice. What was the question?

Q. Is this the best you've played in this competition?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I don't know. I mean, I've played good in the past two, but it's really just about playing well in matches now with the knockout round. But that's not a problem, that's something I'm used to anyways in my daily life of tennis. So I'm ready.

Q. You're about as close as competitive sisters can be. So what goes through your mind when you see that she was very upset out there on court? What goes through your mind and what can you do as a big sister afterwards?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I mean, there's nothing I can do. I think she just has to go through it, and figure out in her head what went wrong in the match. Just like all the other matches, even though it was against me. So I think she'll just take some time and come out even stronger tomorrow.

Q. Obviously, you'd be surprised at how easy the last two sets were. You got any understanding why that would be?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I think I just started playing well in the second set, obviously. Serving a lot better, and then that first game in the third was really long. I mean, we faced a lot of breakpoints.
But after that, I think she started to get a little more impatient, a little more -- probably a little more upset with her performance and let it go.
I think it's tough. Neither one of us is used to being down Love-3. So it's kind of an unfamiliar feeling when it does happen. So I think that probably played a part in it, too.
She just started to play faster and faster, a little more impatient. Then the other person keeps bringing it back, and then it just starts a domino effect with her.

Q. Were you surprised she didn't fight more than she used to do as usual, for instance at the US Open she was down in both sets and then she came back fighting very well. This time it was not the case?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, I think at the US Open she did come back fighting very well, but also I missed a lot of shots. So that hurt me a lot at the Open.
I think I played some unusual shots today. A lot of times with us it's all or nothing. But then, you know, I had a lot more topspin shots and some of those returns were high floaters. So, you know, it was probably a little bit different than what she was expecting, so, I think that was probably maybe something that threw her off a little bit.
But I think she fought. I mean, at the end that last game was a fight to get it. But, you know.

Q. Did you have a problem with the left knee? Because at the second set at 4-1, it seemed that you were touching your knee and that you couldn't push that much on the left knee afterwards on your serve?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, I'm doing okay. Life's good.

Q. Compared to all your other competitors, because you know your sister really well, you know her personality, what makes her tick, do you find it's possibly marginally easier to play against her?
VENUS WILLIAMS: No, not necessarily, because I think out of all the players on the tour I probably respect her game the most. So it's a little bit tougher to play against someone that you respect so much.

Q. And how do you reconcile the fact that -- I mean, it's the first time I actually met you and I find you extremely composed, extremely relaxed. You're in control of yourself with the powerful aggression that's needed in the game, how do you marry the two together?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I think my personality is relaxed, but my genetics are powerful, so that's how it works (laughing). It just kind of comes out of my body whether I want it to or not.

Q. How much of your victory today do you think was down to effective opposition with your sister having a bit of turmoil, especially in the last set, rather than you actually excelling yourself? Or was it a bit of both?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I think it was a bit of both. Obviously, I still had a great chance to win this match. But, I mean, especially against players like me who can't give away four errors in a row or two errors in one game, lose points. That hurt her a lot today.
Of course, you know, the more points you give away, the better your opponent starts to feel. So I was on the receiving end a lot of times.

Q. And confident enough to win?
VENUS WILLIAMS: To win the tournament?

Q. Yeah.
VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, I said yesterday, I play matches pretty relaxed and laid back. I don't think too hard at all. I always feel confident going into the match. At times I don't always play the best in the match, but I still feel good about what's going to happen, so I feel confident.

End of FastScripts

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