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March 30, 2009

Venus Williams


V. WILLIAMS/A. Radwanska
4-6, 6-0, 6-4

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. It got a little complicated at the end. How did you pull it together? You hit the ace at the end.
VENUS WILLIAMS: Oh, that's always fun. Every now and then everybody has those kinds of matches. I was hitting really well in the practice. Came out and things weren't going to the way I imagined they would, but that's tennis.

Q. Had you played her before?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, I played her a couple times at least.

Q. What is it about her that is tough?
VENUS WILLIAMS: She just is a fighter. Obviously I was up 4-1 and she had some chances to tie at 5-All. She plays smart and tries to take advantage of the ball and points, so she is very experienced.

Q. You and Serena have dominated for over a decade almost here. What do you attribute that to? Is it the courts? The crowd?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Every good gift comes from above, right? That's what I attribute it to.

Q. Caroline Wozniacki, do you know much about her game? Seems like every week on the women's tour there's somebody else that might break into the top group.
VENUS WILLIAMS: I've played her a number of times.

Q. How would you describe her as a player?
VENUS WILLIAMS: She is just solid. Does everything well.

Q. Take us through the beginning of that first set. Just what was going on? Were you feeling a certain way? Was she doing some things that you didn't quite expect, or you just weren't making the shots?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I just had a lot of errors. Just errors, errors. Seemed like when I had the winner it became an error.
On days like that, you just kind of have to let the errors go behind you and still continue to play aggressively and not pull back.
Fortunately I've had experiences like that before, and thankfully I know how to get through it.

Q. Are you used to Hawk-Eye by now? Do you like it? Hate it? Are you indifferent?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I like it. I'm curious to see how the call is going to go, too. Of course I would love it to go for me. I like it.

Q. Do you feel like umpires have sort of abdicated a little of their responsibility because of that?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I don't think so. I think they take pride in what they do. I think they love what they do.

Q. Do you think they overrule as much as they used to?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Umpires never overruled a lot, so...

Q. How do you think Serena's been playing?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I haven't seen her actually. We've kind of been on different time schedules, so I actually haven't seen her play yet.

Q. Not this week?

Q. Will you stay to watch her today?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I got some stuff I got to take care of. If she gets on soon, I'll definitely get out there.

Q. You say you haven't seen her play, but you've seen her this week, right?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah. I've kind of lived with her the last 29-odd years.

Q. But when you're with her, can you tell how she's doing at a tournament?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I wish I could. I'm not that good yet. I need another 29 years.

Q. How much do you see each other at a tournament like this? How much hours a day?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Well, we visit each other, and our dogs like each other.

Q. So they have a play date?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I love her dogs and she loves my dog.

Q. So the dogs play while you're out here?
VENUS WILLIAMS: They argue a little bit, and then they play. They have to get to know each other every time, and then they realize, Oh, do I know you. It's weird.

Q. What kind of dogs do you have?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I have Havanese.

Q. White, fluffy?
VENUS WILLIAMS: He's actually kind of gray.

Q. What's his name?

Q. What about hers?
VENUS WILLIAMS: She's got a Maltese named Lorelei, and a Jack Russell named Jack.

Q. You hadn't played for a few weeks coming into here. How is your level at this point of the tournament?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I feel good. I feel confident. I've been playing very well in the last few months. Won almost every tournament I played except the Australian.
I've been doing all right. Would have loved to have won that one, but...

Q. Do you feel like you're playing at a level to win this tournament?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I don't look at it like that. I'm just playing. And regardless if I played a great match before or -- obviously playing great before feels good, but if I didn't play the best, I feel like I know how to play.
All that stuff of gauging how you're playing, it's like you gotta get out there and play the ball and know that you know how to play. That's pretty much how I go out there these days.
I know what I'm doing. I've trained, and so I'm going to play.

Q. Is that what keeps you from being discouraged or changing your playing style when you're down early in a set? You just figure you're going to keep playing the way I'm playing and it'll come around.
VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah. I mean, there's days like today I was just -- sometimes you miss. Like I said, I have experience, so I know how to turn that around.

Q. You had a long career. You've had ups and downs. You always come back. Was there every a time where you said, I'm done?

Q. Never?

Q. Did you notice when your dad came out there? Did that help you? Hurt you? Seemed like your game went a little bit off when he came out.
VENUS WILLIAMS: I don't know when he exactly came and went. Serena had to prepare too, so I guess he went at some point to her practice and then came back. And probably to go smoke a cigarette and come back, so I don't know.

Q. Has that had any effect on you at all?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I like when my dad's there. It's good when he's there.

Q. Did you ever try to get him to stop smoking since you're such a health fanatic?
VENUS WILLIAMS: You know, it's a tough one.

Q. Have you tried?
VENUS WILLIAMS: When he was younger, but I kind of gave up back in the '80s.

Q. You've given up on that?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, it's up to him.

Q. Kim Clijsters is going to be back in a couple months. Can you talk about what's it's like to play Kim, and now to play her again?
VENUS WILLIAMS: We always had some great matches. She was a great competitor. I just remember always fighting and always improving her attitude with every match. Worked hard.
You know, when she gets here I guess we'll play, but I'm kind of focused on this. So if she comes back, I'll be very happy for her.

End of FastScripts

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