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June 27, 2009

Venus Williams


V. WILLIAMS/C. Suarez Navarro
6-0, 6-4

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please, for Venus Williams.

Q. Can I ask you what you know about Melanie? A surprise win by her. Do you know her at all?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Uhm, I've played her -- I'm sorry, not played her, but been on the same team with her in Fed Cup. I think she was a junior at that time. Super nice. Just so enthusiastic about tennis and about life, enjoying herself. Very well-adjusted.
And, uhm, obviously I saw her Fed Cup win earlier this year. It was really exciting. It was huge in helping us get to the finals. So she's done some great things.

Q. Two American women winning at the same time, and one of them wasn't named Williams.
VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah. Super good news. I like it.

Q. Talk about today's match. A nice revenge for Australia.
VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, completely different circumstances. You know, in Australia, I had a lot of opportunities, but didn't take advantage of them. Today I realized that it wasn't the same match, and I was determined to really run away with it.
You know, in the end it got closer. But I love to have the opportunity to serve matches out, so I was pretty glad for that break.

Q. Does centre really feel like Venus Williams' court?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Thank you. It definitely feels really, really natural when I'm out there. It plays great, obviously. And, yeah, I love it.

Q. It looked like mirror images. You had your left leg all taped and she had her right leg all taped. Is this for the cripple's championship or what?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I did notice her tape, but it didn't seem to hamper either one of us. She is very quick, brings lot of balls back. So, you know, I played her before. I was ready for that.
Obviously the tape helped her to do that.

Q. How much was the loss in Australia on your mind going into today?
VENUS WILLIAMS: A little. Not a whole lot actually, because I knew what I did in that match. Obviously at this point I knew her game, too. Just learning from that and pushing it forward.

Q. Did you just lose focus a little bit at two up in the second?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Uhm, you know, she held serve. Yeah, I didn't have the best service game. I think I rushed a little bit. It's sunny on that side, so sometimes a little bit more difficult to serve on that side.
So I think maybe I served too aggressively. I should have put some in instead of serving and being blind. So I learned my lesson the next time around.

Q. What do you remember most from the match you had against Ana Ivanovic here two years ago?
VENUS WILLIAMS: You know, we had a lot of great exchanges. I just remember playing aggressively.

Q. And what are your thoughts on facing her now? What have you seen in her game of late?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Obviously she's, you know, talented. I think this is a good surface for her. Uhm, as far as her game, she does everything well.

Q. Have you ever stopped to look back a little bit and feel surprised by the lack of young American women coming up behind yourself and Serena?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, everyone's been talking about it, but there's not much I can say about it really. Unfortunately, not much I can do either.

Q. Have you got a career goal for Wimbledon titles, or do you take it year by year?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Year by year. Each one that I can manage to get, you know, it's all mine once it's mine. That's the good part about it.

Q. Do you think about the girls ahead of you? Steffi Graf has seven; Martina has nine.

Q. Federer said yesterday when talking about the second week, this is when it gets really interesting for me. Do you feel the same way?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Not necessarily, no. We think different.

Q. What do you feel? You got through the potential rough patches and now you've got four more potential tough ones.
VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, I take it match by match and figure out whatever I need to figure out that round. You know, I don't really overthink it.
I don't have all these strategies on first week, second week. It's just you got to play good tennis. That's just really all it comes down to.

Q. You started early, came out on the tour with a ton of attention, and have had a successful career. Melanie is now going to be in the spotlight. What one piece of advice would you give to her?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Oh, just enjoy yourself and, you know, keep working hard and doing the things that got you to where you were.

Q. Has she come to you for advice?
VENUS WILLIAMS: No. It doesn't really work like that on the pros, you know.

Q. Can you afford to have a fun middle Sunday, or is it going to be all business tomorrow?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I haven't quite planned out what I'm doing. I always enjoy myself, so every day's fun that I'm alive. It's good.

Q. In the past you've talked about feeling this calm during the fortnight. Is that what's happening now, or is it a little different this year?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, I definitely feel calm, and I know what I need to execute on the court. I feel good. You know, the days come. Playing in the singles and in the doubles and just enjoying every minute of it.

Q. So everyone else weighed in on Michael Jackson. Do you want to talk about how much you liked him as an entertainer?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, I think everyone respects him as an entertainer. It's shocking to hear, but unfortunately everyone's time comes. But, uhm, you know, God will remember him.

Q. Jankovic had some problems with the heat today. It clearly didn't affect you at all. Is that never a factor for you?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, the heat usually isn't a factor for me. I guess I was out there a little less time than she was, too.

Q. Were you saying that you don't strategize for any of your matches? Does this mean you don't have a game plan; you just go out and be Venus?
VENUS WILLIAMS: No, I don't have a game plan for a first week or a second week.

Q. Just play tennis?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Play good tennis. You have to, no matter what's strategy is.

Q. You've won 29 straight sets here, all the way back to the third round in 2007. You were playing Morigami then, down 5-3 in the third. It went over two days.
VENUS WILLIAMS: That was an intense match, and she was playing so well. She plays low groundstrokes. I just remember playing very aggressive from 3-5, just returning aggressively.
I don't know, when the chips are down, I start to force the issue even more. Usually it works.

Q. Is there any explanation for why everything has been smooth since then, why you've not lost even a set since then?
VENUS WILLIAMS: You live, you learn. You play tennis, you learn, too. I attribute it to that.

Q. Are you surprised that Ana Ivanovic has dropped down the rankings so much since she won the French Open last year?
VENUS WILLIAMS: You know, I don't know. I don't follow other people's ranking as much as I follow mine. So usually I stay focused on what I'm doing and celebrate my victories and learn from my losses.

Q. You've had such great support from the strap on your leg. Is this something that you plan to use after this tournament because it's given you such great support?
VENUS WILLIAMS: That's a good idea. You know, I was thinking maybe I could, like, totally get a permanent one. So maybe you'll see me with one that's just not tape, that's neoprene and Velcro and all that good stuff. So you never know.

Q. An artificial leg?

End of FastScripts

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