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May 3, 2009

Venus Williams


THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. (Through translation.) Have you looked at the draw, do you he know who you might meet in further rounds and who the hardest player for you might be?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I really don't think about the hardest player. I pretty much just focus on my game. That's the best thing I can do and that's the only thing I can control.

Q. I have seen that before you put ice on your leg. You have problem, or not?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Ice? No, just normal maintenance.

Q. Nothing special?
VENUS WILLIAMS: No, nothing special. I don't like ice; it's cold.

Q. When did you arrive in Rome? And if I may ask you, what have you done so far?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I got here yesterday and just practiced.

Q. That's it?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah. Maybe this afternoon I'll go visit something.

Q. Special?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I don't know what yet. I haven't done a lot here, you know, actually going to see things. I've done a lot of driving around, but never a lot of time to be a tourist.

Q. Any special curiosity? Anything you like to see or do?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I would like to have a flat here, but the euro is pretty strong. I should have bought it when it was a lira.

Q. Whereabouts? Where would you like?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Piazza del Popolo.

Q. What about the Federation Cup final? You think that you will play in the final, or...
VENUS WILLIAMS: I would love to play in the final. Serena and I would both love to play. We talked about it, and we just have to stay healthy and hopefully -- I really hope we can both play. It'll be great for the U.S.

Q. Not for you?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Well, the Italians still have a great team.

Q. As long as we will be playing in Italy, where would you like to play the final if it was up to you?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Not my choice. I'll play wherever.

Q. So you will come wherever you will have to come?

Q. North, south, islands?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Anywhere. I would love an island, (lauging) but wherever you put me, I'll go.

Q. What's your mind about your last win ten years ago here in Rome?
THE MODERATOR: Do you remember your win ten years ago.
VENUS WILLIAMS: I think I played Mary Pierce in the finals. It was always challenging to play her. Always had a good strategy against her. It worked.
You know, it was great to win such a big title on clay. Such a long history here, so it's an important tournament.

Q. Talking about the Italian team, Fed Cup team, what do you think about the girls, the Italian girls, the strengths and weaknesses if they have some? And how would you approach the match if you will play the final?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, the Italian women are really -- they're all very good athletes, I think, and also just their desire to play and play well and giving it 100% on every point.
I think that's one of their big strengths too, which is really important in Fed Cup. I think those are some of the two biggest things they do well.

Q. Do you know all of them, also the double players Vinci, Errani and the other ones?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Yes, I know them all.

Q. Looking ahead to the French Open, how big of a challenge is it to you to win that major on the clay?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I'm not at the French Open yet, so...

Q. But you're here preparing for the French Open, though.
VENUS WILLIAMS: If you want to say that. I'm actually here playing the tournament, so I would like to win, not just prepare. (Smiling.)
The French Open is a long time away. We'll get there soon.

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