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November 9, 2008

Venus Williams


V. WILLIAMS/V. Zvonareva
6-7, 6-0, 6-2

THE MODERATOR: Questions for Venus, please.

Q. Must be a lovely feeling to end the season in that way, is it?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, it's a fantastic feeling to end the season this way. I've never even had the opportunity to play this tournament very often, so, it's really awesome to have the opportunity to play here and play well. So I'm pretty pleased.

Q. What were your feelings after the first set which surprisingly slipped away?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I know. I just played some bad shots, and it just went from bad to worse. And before I knew it, the set was over.
I was very, very -- little disappointed to say the least. But I just, you know, I realized that the match wasn't over. I realized also that I was just starting to get my rhythm to play a little better.

Q. Did you change anything in the second and third sets as well? You came to the net a little bit more than she?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, I think in general I usually come to the net a little more than my opponents. It depends on, I guess, the day. But I think I just got a lot more consistent. I was missing some shots early on in the first set, just early in the point.
I think also it was more control the point, and that helps a lot when you're not stretched out side to side every point. So I think the table started to turn a little bit.

Q. And looking back over the whole week, what for the future and next year for you and what you've done over these days?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I haven't really thought too much about next year yet. I'm very happy to end the season on a high note, and also to have ended the season.
So, obviously, I have high and wonderful hopes for next year at the appropriate time I will work hard for next year, but for now I haven't given it a ton of thought.

Q. It must be absolutely fantastic. Did you feel after you'd won the first set, and the longer the game went and you saw the frustrations of your opponent that she was probably caving in?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I mean, there are probably a couple of times where she missed one or two shots a little more loose, but, then she would just recover and come back. Like at that 4-2 game in the third, she just kept running down, hitting some incredible shots and she was still fighting. So there was really nothing that either one of us was giving away too often.
So it was really about actually winning the match and not actually just losing it. I had to go out there and win it, because she didn't give it away.

Q. I'm assuming that, like your mother who I spoke to earlier, in Blackburn, and Lancashire in the UK where there is a large contingent of the minorities that support the Williams sisters, what message can you send them?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Obviously, thanks for the support. I need it. In those times where I really get down like today, I feel the good vibes coming from all over the world. So thanks for the support.

Q. Have you heard of Blackburn?
VENUS WILLIAMS: No, I haven't. I don't know a ton about England, so...

Q. Could you replay for me the look you gave to the referee when they make a wrong decision on the passing shot in the tiebreak? When it was to protest, you asked for the Hawkeye. She make the wrong decision, you looked to the referee like you were killing her. What was that look? Can you do it?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I don't remember that look, to be honest. It was just the heat of the battle. I was glad the ball was in. But in the end it didn't help. But, you know, I don't remember that look.

Q. Which part of the match do you think was the real Venus?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I don't know. I think, obviously, the second set was really, the second and third sets were really. I think I started to find my timing finally at 2-5, which, you know, is a fine time to find your game.
But, all in all, you know, the whole match is all about finding a way when it's not going your way, when your opponent's playing well. So it's all me.

Q. Vera was in an obvious sort of emotional distress at some points in the third set. Were you aware of that? Does it give you an extra shot of confidence or do you screen it out?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Well, I can see most of what's going on across the net. Does it give me confidence? Maybe, I mean, hopefully that's all me doing that (laughing).
But I think it's a little bit of both. She wants more from herself. She wants to, obviously, win this Championship. She worked so hard to get to the Championships and to get to the final. I mean, when you get this far it's all on the line. It's very emotional. I mean, I feel emotion, too, I just don't show it the same way she does.
I think that's part of entertainment, too. It's entertaining to see her going through it on the court. I think the fans really relate to that, and they can feel like a part of your experience when they can see that, feel that.

Q. You finally won one of the few major tournaments you've never won before. Does it make it extra special?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, actually, because it was missing this one. I haven't had a ton of chances to win this one yet. So, yeah, I felt pretty happy about winning this one, yeah.

Q. Does it feel a little bit overdo that you missed your first slam final more than ten years ago?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Winning this one?

Q. Yeah.
VENUS WILLIAMS: Not necessarily. Because I haven't played a lot at all. I've played this one. This once in '99 and once in 2000, and I had to retire in 2001 or something like that. So, you know, it wasn't overdo, per se, considering the number of chances I've had to win it.

Q. Can you take momentum from an event like this into next season and into another event that you never won, the Aussie Open?
VENUS WILLIAMS: You know, I've come so close to winning all of them, so I've always put myself in the position to win. And I know how to win, so of course I take these experiences of playing against the best players in the world into next year.

Q. Are you satisfied with sort of the final details that have been ironed out in the road map this week?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, we all worked together this week, actually, really hard to iron out the details. I think everyone's pleased from all ends. I think the good part of it all is that next year if we see that something isn't working or needs to be adjusted or whatever it may be, that we've all come together to work, learn to work together and that we can work it out.
So I'm confident about the road map, and the things that have been ironed out. That's just what it's all about.

End of FastScripts

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