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May 8, 2009

Venus Williams


D. SAFINA/V. Williams
6-7, 6-3, 6-4

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Do you think you were just beaten by the better person on the day and it was just one of those things, or is there something you think you should have done during the match?
VENUS WILLIAMS: She played well, you know, continued to fight for every point. That's what you have to do on this surface.
I congratulate her on playing good tennis the whole match.

Q. She said at the end of the match that she was the one that was going for the shots and that you were more passive. Do you think you could have attacked more at the end?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Um, you know, I wouldn't say I was passive. I would say that she went for every shot in the match. She just hit every ball as hard as she could.
Obviously she doesn't want me to have the first shot or to take control. So, I mean, if she can hit every ball that hard and keep it in, then congratulations to her, too.

Q. How much was important you didn't finish the first set when you were leading 5-2?
VENUS WILLIAMS: You know, that's -- you know, I still won that set, and I don't think that affects the match. One set isn't a match, it's two. If it's all about one set, then for sure I won the match after the first set.

Q. Maybe it was too long for you? You lose some energy?
VENUS WILLIAMS: No, it wasn't.

Q. Did you feel tired at the end? The third set was also a physical tiredness?

Q. Once you've gone past three hours in a match, what are you thinking at that point?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Well, I can't remember the last time I played a three-hour match. It's actually kind of cool.

Q. So you were just enjoying it?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Well, I mean, getting to that three-hour mark and still playing good tennis is fantastic. So like I said, it was cool.

Q. In the first set, as well as playing very good tennis, you seemed to be out-thinking her a little bit. That obviously didn't happen so much during the rest of the game. Why do you think that was?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, I hit a lot of balls long. I just think I needed to add some more spin. Even the last shot, long, long, long. Sometimes wide. Just more spin.
So I'm going to have to work on, you know, when I'm going for my shots to hit it inside the court. It's pretty key. (Laughter.)

Q. Just to see the positive side of the week, you're back in No. 3 position, which, I mean you wasn't there anymore since six years almost. Does it mean anything to you? Even if you were No. 1, maybe you don't care.
VENUS WILLIAMS: Well, I'd like to see how the ranking system works. I mean, in the past I couldn't play as many tournaments as the players ahead of me, or sometimes I had injuries so I couldn't achieve a higher ranking.
Yeah, it's great to be No. 3.

Q. Behind your sister, so you're not that far.
VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, I mean, I just want to win. I mean, the ranking will come when it comes. I like to keep my titles and have my trophies at home. When I pass by and see the trophy, I'm like, Yeah. Well done, V. So, you know, I want the trophy. That's what I take with me into retirement.
But, I don't know. I mean, didn't know I was going No. 3 or anything at all. So this is the first I heard of it. Let me think about it.

Q. Anyway, it means that you're quite close to the top again. You're not that far.
VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, close to the top. And I think my game really improved from the first match.
Just like I said, my goal is to have the opportunity to hit a lot of balls and to really just hit a lot of balls on this surface. I got to do that.
Yeah, I'm just gonna get better. That's what I feel like.

Q. The trophy that you haven't won yet is Roland Garros. After how you performed here this week, how do you rate your chances there?
VENUS WILLIAMS: We are so not there yet. I'll leave that to the rating committee and everybody else. I'll leave that alone.

Q. As it's a tournament you've never won, how do you fancy your chances?
VENUS WILLIAMS: You just asked me that, right?

Q. Pretty much. I was trying to reword it and see if I could get a better answer.
VENUS WILLIAMS: Right. I've been there; done that. Yeah. Same answer. Cool.

Q. If I reword it a third time, will I get a better answer?
VENUS WILLIAMS: We'll just keep this dance going, and I'm a good dancer.

Q. I am, too. I do a bit of salsa.
VENUS WILLIAMS: Oh, I'm a hip hop dancer.

Q. After this match you can say that Dinara is a good No. 1 in the world? Is better than you thought? Maybe she improved so much? What did you think about?
VENUS WILLIAMS: You know, I think she played a great match. What do I think about her? I mean, that's what I think. I think she played a great match.
Obviously she's a great player. Very talented. Works hard. Yeah.

Q. Were you a bit disappointed that the attendance wasn't that great in this women's tournament, apart from today? What do you think? Do you think the Italians don't like enough women's tennis, or other reasons? The combined event would be better?
VENUS WILLIAMS: You know, I wish I could speculate, but I just can't, so...
I always enjoy playing this event, and I really would love to come back next year. I can say that.

End of FastScripts

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