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July 4, 2009

Venus Williams


S. WILLIAMS/V. Williams
7-6, 6-2

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please, for Venus Williams.

Q. Can you describe the emotional and mental process you go through now in the hours after losing a final to your sister and preparing to play another one alongside your sister.
VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, you know, in circumstances like this you have to really stay focused because the tournament's not over, and you have to just stay really focused for the next match.
So the focus really never drops in between.

Q. You said out on Centre Court it hadn't sunk in that you had lost. Is it beginning to now?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I mean, obviously the match is over. But I tried my best today. She just had -- she played so well, really lifted her game. You know, I had an error here and there. You know, today I couldn't make errors.

Q. The second set your serve seemed to go a little bit, in particular your second serve. Was there a problem? Did you lose it a little bit or did she just attack it a little more?
VENUS WILLIAMS: What do you mean?

Q. In other words, obviously your strength has been your great serve.
VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah. I think maybe I had two double-faults in the match, so...

Q. You were missing on first serves, and then she was going after the second serve late in the second set.
VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, I mean, I think -- I don't know. I don't think I agree on that, because I think she had a hard time stepping in on my second. It has a lot of side spin on it and bounces like this (indicating at an angle). It's a little more difficult to step into.

Q. How tough was the wind?
VENUS WILLIAMS: The wind was more difficult on the far side, along with the sun. But it wasn't so difficult. Just, you know, when you're serving you just have to take your time a little bit more, but that's about it.

Q. Did you feel like you had, on that second breakpoint in the first set, that one lined up, the cross-court pass?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, I went for too much. I don't think she was recovering and I thought she was gonna be there. So, yeah, basically just went for a little too much.

Q. Do you think Serena possibly benefited from the more difficult road she had to the final?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Uhm, no. Each match is different. I think she just played really well today. I also think I played well, too. But she just seemed to play a little bit better.

Q. There wasn't a lot separating you. You haven't had too much time to reflect on the match. One of your strengths is really moving in on this surface. Do you think you were a little bit too passive at points in the match, or she prevented you from really being as aggressive as you might have been?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, I definitely would have liked to have moved forward. A lot of times when I had the short balls, they were low. They're really low, and it's hard to come in on those and actually hit an effective shot and come in.
Possibly if I slice, but I'm not necessarily a slicer. I just slice when I have to, not because I want to.

Q. Do you think you should have come in more or tried to get in more to the net?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, I think towards the end I was too far behind the baseline. I did realize that, but at that point I guess, you know, it was a little deep into the match.

Q. Is it easier or harder losing to your sister as opposed to losing a final to anybody else?
VENUS WILLIAMS: There's no easy to losing, especially when it's so close to the crown. So either way.

Q. Does it feel different against her than anyone else?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Either way is not easy.

Q. You've played on your injured left knee, and you got through six opponents with that left knee. But do you feel against a great opponent like Serena you had mobility problems?
VENUS WILLIAMS: You know, I have no complaints from the beginning and no complaints now. And I still have another Championship match to play. I have no complaints. I had a great tournament. I came close to winning but it didn't happen, and I can't blame it on anything.

Q. Your father was saying that the knee was a bit of a problem, whereas you were playing it down. Was it a problem at any stage? You had the strapping there.
VENUS WILLIAMS: Uhm, like I said before, I have no complaints. Everybody has something they're dealing with. I just have no complaints. You know, I wish I could have done a few things different here and there in this match. But, you know, it was close.

Q. How would you best describe Serena's performance?
VENUS WILLIAMS: She played great, especially in the tiebreak. I don't think I did too many things wrong in the tiebreak. Just, you know, I would just play a good shot and she'd just hit a winner off of it or put me in a position where she could hit another winner.
So she just played a great tiebreak. You know, I played a good tiebreak, but she played a great one. She just played a lot of great shots today.

Q. And then in the second set?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Uhm, yeah, in the second set I guess I had two close service games, you know. I think I lost it from the ground. You know, I had good serves, and then from the ground I would rush the shot.
Instead of ending the point on two shots, I tried to end it off on one. You know, I think I played well, I just lost it from the ground.

Q. You say you're not a slicer. Do you think that might be a useful addition to your arsenal?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah. In fact, I know how to slice very well actually. I have a great slice. I just -- I don't know. I'm a shover. Some people push, but I shove. That's my mentality. I have to just hit, and I can't help it. It's just hard to change my mind.
So will I slice one day? Probably. But if I have a chance to hit it or slice it, I'm gonna hit it.

Q. How is playing the opponent you played today different from the six previous opponents you played here? What is it that makes her tougher than other players you faced during the tournament?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Oh, I think the big difference between her and, you know, me also when we play people is just the serve. You know, there are women out there who also can serve big. We serve big, but we also serve very effectively, especially off the first serve. It seems like when we need that first serve, most of the time it's there.
So I think, you know, that was one of the big differences.

Q. Going back to your knee. Great champions get carried out on their shields. What would it have taken to stop you coming to Wimbledon this last fortnight to defend your title? Amputation?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Oh, my God. You know, nothing could have stopped me to come play here. Obviously every time I come I have a huge chance to win the title, just as this year. And as long as I know that, I'll be here every time.

Q. Leaving your disappointment aside, can you express your feelings about your sister taking the title this year.
VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, you know, she almost was out in the semifinals. She was never I guess -- I don't know what the stats or the bookies, is that what they call it, say? I don't know if I was a favorite or not because I don't look at all that.

Q. You were.
VENUS WILLIAMS: I guess I was. So she wasn't the favorite. But there's been many times I wasn't the favorite. So she just hung in there long enough and got the win.

Q. You've enjoyed so much success here at Wimbledon. How can you translate that to some of the other majors? Is that a goal, to really try to get back into the finals of some of the other tournaments?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, I definitely am looking forward to the other majors. I have three more before this one comes back. I also enjoy playing those, too.
I'm looking forward to them.

Q. Who is first to contact your father in these situations? Because he doesn't really want to know the score, does he? Is it usually the winner or the runner-up?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I don't know. I've never kept up actually. I've never kept up with who called first, so I guess we'll have to see.

Q. Is there more disbelief on your part than disappointment? Obviously you go in there and you figure you're going to win and you've been playing so well, winning 34 straight sets? Is it sort of like, What happened?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Uhm, you know, obviously I wanted to win the title. But what can I say at this point, except to get ready for the next one? Of course, whenever I walk on court I have the feeling that I can win, but I guess, as we can see, it's not always a given.

Q. What do Serena's 11 major titles signify to you?
VENUS WILLIAMS: It's a wonderful achievement. She's played so well so many times. You know, a lot of the times actually at my expense, so...
We've both always contested each other well, and the best player that day always won.

Q. Watching Serena struggling in the semis, do you hope for her to go through to the final or do you sort of hope that you won't have to meet her again?
VENUS WILLIAMS: No, I didn't actually watch the match in the semifinals. But I was always hoping she won.

Q. Do you ever step back and say, Wow, this is pretty incredible that I'm part of this sports story where two incredible athletes have come out of one family?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Not yet. I think Serena and I, we both expect from ourselves great results. So at the moment, we're just pushing for everything that we can. And maybe when all these moments are over, then we can look back and kind of be amazed.
But for the moment, it's hard to be -- to have that perspective, I guess.

Q. How much pressure did you feel out there being the defending champion and having come through the tournament so impressively?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I've never had defending champion pressure. It's an honor to be a defending champion.
And second is that you already won the title the year before. It's your title. So, you know, no one can take that. Just try for another one.

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